A Day in the Life
David Bailey (born January 2, 1938)
From the moment I saw Antonioni's Blow-Up, I was drawn to the 60's style of photography and photographers. Only later I found out that David Hemmings' character was losely based on David Bailey. Without a doubt THE swinging-sixties master of visual storytelling. A drop-out at school, he later said: You could become a boxer, a car thief, or maybe a musician. Photographer wasn't on the list and seemed an even dimmer possibility after Bailey's failed early efforts to take snapshots with the family's Brownie camera. Then, in 1956 he left for Singapore while in the British Royal Air Force..
He discovered the works of Henri Cartier Bresson, which inspired him, and started voraciously poring through copies of LIFE and various American photo journals. In 1957 he bought his first camera. After finishing his national service in 1958, Bailey secured a job with David Olin (Queen Magazine). In 1959 he became an assistant to fashion photographer John French in London. In 1960, at 22, he was already working as a freelancer for British Vogue, and soon became almost as famous as the people he was photographing.
Everyone who was involved in Bazaar, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, The Who, singers Marianne Faithfull and Sandie Shaw, actresses Mia Farrow, Catherine Deneuve and Geraldine Chaplin, actors Peter Sellers and Michael Caine, and models Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy and Penelope Tree. They all stood in front of Baileys lens. He also photographed the period's current fashions on the streets of London and New York for magazines like American Vogue and Glamour. Bailey’s fashion work and celebrity portraiture, characterized by stark backgrounds and dramatic lighting effects, transformed British fashion and celebrity photography from chic but reserved stylization to something more youthful and direct.
Although he continued to photograph celebrities for publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and The London Times throughout the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, he began to turn his attention to television commercials. He produced a number of books and documentary films. In 1972 he began publishing the fashion and photography magazine Ritz and if you visit London in the near future, drop by at the National Portrait Gallery for Bailey's Stardust exhibition until June 1st this year. Or for that matter, just visit anytime you like. It is in my opinion one of the absolute must-see's in LDN.
For the lovers of photography and photographers among us. Especially for you guys. Eat you heart out! Now on EKSTURstore:
And for the collectors and child-at-heart's among us, the Wooden Camera!