“Keep the photography simple, and work the print.”


The fall edition of Esquire‘s Big Black Book, a men’s style guide with a luxury bent, comes out this month, and John Midgley sent me the tearsheets for a story he shot with Esquire fashion director Nick Sullivan. Called “The Revisionists,” it’s about four designers who have attempted to reinvent the suit for the 21st century. Here’s what John had to say about the shoot:

“It’s a series of 4 pictures shot in a simple portrait-like manner at my home. The idea was to keep the photography simple and in the style of portraiture from the 1920’s and 1930’s, because the clothing was inspired by tailoring from the beginning of the last century.

I have always been inspired by the portraits of August Sander for their seeming simplicity, attention to detail and the way they drew you into the people he was shooting. I used to always shoot on large-format 4×5 and 8×10  cameras, but on this occasion we shot on a 35mm digital camera, which was at odds with both my personal style and the style of photography I had been inspired by for this series.

To be honest, I was nerve-wracked and very unsure I had made the right decision and feared I had taken an easy way out. But when I started working the images in post, I realized that as before when I shot negative, a lot of the work is in the printing and color work. Keep the photography simple, and work the print.

The only thing I need to remember to do is to slow down on the 35mm. It is very tempting to just  press the trigger again and again. Overall, I am happy with the results and love the process.”



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