HOMAGE TO BOB RICHARDSON
An editor friend of mine, Rob Hill (he also happens to be one of the writers of my Naked Ambition book) has a new job at one of the rare growth opportunities in the print world. He is editor-in-chief of the new magazine THC Expose. Rob was the editor of FHM Magazine and of Hollywood Life (formerly Movieline Magazine). In his new role, he has created a magazine that is stunning and smart, not only for its genre, but for any genre. So much so that the New York Times, Details Magazine and Playboy are all writing about the magazine.
As a continuation of our collaboration, he asked me to shoot Wilhelmina rising star and model April H. for an upcoming fashion spread. The theme of which was natural fabrics by socially conscious designers. That gave me and my favorite stylist Miriam Sternoff lots of freedom to create a sexy and dramatic 10 to 12 page fashion spread for the magazine.
Rob came up with the concept of writing racy text on Aprils body. A good way to get his headlines in I guess! It worked well. To me it was like the old Bikini magazine, where the subtitle on the cover was very clearly what the magazine was about, Action, Film, Cars and Rock N. Roll! ‚ For the lettering, we enlisted the help of body painter Marky Andrews and for hair and makeup I used the amazing Helen Jeffers.
As part of the swip (the tear sheets pulled) to get the emotion and feeling right for the shoot, I brought along a book of work by the iconoclastic Bob Richardson. Many of you already know this but Bob was a very successful fashion photographer in the 60s who strove to bring the street photography esthetic to fashion imagery. He fought bouts of schizophrenia, eventually living on the streets in Los Angeles, losing not only his stature in the industry, but literally all his images. It was when his son Terry Richardson, (yes that Terry Richardson), honored his Dads accomplishments by helping him reproduce his tear sheets from the height of his career, that the world remembered what an important influence he was to the fashion world. We all remember Guy Bourdin, but to me Bob Richardson was just as powerful.
As we all sat and enjoyed the images in the Richardson book, we realized that we wanted to pay homage to the cover . You should buy his book and celebrate the work yourself. I hope you like my shoot below. ‚ -Michael