September 6, 2010

influences and inspiration

Triggered by the most recent post on the pin-up photo session, I thought that an on-going theme about influences and inspiration in photography would make a good topic.

The photo above was taken during an engagement photo session. In posing Melissa and Dennis for the one sequence, I wanted to use an idea that I saw on the cover of the disc of a movie I had watched just a few days before – An Education. (Amazon)

The young actress, Carey Mulligan was nominated for an Oscar for her role in this touching coming-of-age story. Beautifully told and acted and filmed. It was based on a book written by Nick Hornby. He was also the author of ‘High Fidelity’, a book dear to my heart.

The cover image of the DVD / Blu-Ray disc caught my attention – the two actors, elegantly posed. When I saw it, I immediately knew I would reference this image some time during upcoming photo session.

My earliest influences as a photographer were Henri-Cartier Bresson and Elliot Erwitt and … a slew of photographers whose work I noted while voraciously reading about photography.  As a wedding photographer, my influences are Jerry Ghionis and David A Williams.

Now while other photographers influence us, we obviously take so much from our the culture we are immersed in, visually informed by music, television, videos and movies and books.  When a movie by Quentin Tarantino influences even wedding photography, we have a good example of how Art is re-assembled and referenced and used by everyone.  In that spirit I will add more images, looking at how they came to be, influenced by something seen or experienced.


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{ 8 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Eric Cullen September 7, 2010 at 2:09 am

This is a film that I want to see. High Fidelity is a great book but sadly Hornby sold out when he set the film in the USA.


2 Eric Cullen September 7, 2010 at 2:21 am

Nothing against the USA, but I feel the film lost something.

Cheers Eric


3 Matt Heath September 7, 2010 at 2:40 am

Great image and interesting to see where the inspiration came from! Something I feel is vital to me, to look at other work and take some inspiration from it!


4 Mark Cornwell September 7, 2010 at 4:30 am

I don’t enjoy watching films. But I have found that forcing myself to watch some “popular” ones has helped me several times with ideas that I can say to a group, “just imagine you are xxxx in the film xxxx” they “get” the idea and act into it well.


5 emopunk September 7, 2010 at 5:08 am

Hi Neil! First of all let me thank you for all the learning I have been having from you. Through the book and then via your website..
You may like to have a look at the movie based upon your beloved book. It features John Cusack playing the main character. I didn’t read the book but the movie is definetively worth a look..

Keep up the great work!! ;-)


6 Neil vN September 7, 2010 at 6:55 am

Eric and emopunk .. I did see the movie and loved it and considered it highly enough that is one of those movies that has to be on my shelf. That’s how I rate movies … 5 stars = has to be on my shelf. Just to have.

High Firelity as a movie is great, but I loved the book more. I just identified so well with the main character who lives his life to a music soundtrack.

Neil vN


7 emopunk September 7, 2010 at 7:41 am

Eheheh.. I really understand what you mean when you say you identified yourself with the character..
Anyway Jack Black is really too much fun in the movie! ;-)

P.S: off course the DVD is on my shelf as well!! I think I will look up for the book when I have time.. Cheers!


8 Fabio Luiz September 23, 2010 at 8:04 am

First, thanks to your tips and translation of his book to the Brazilians.

I’m always seeing new posts on the site “to have these kinds of influences in my pictures.

I identified with this post.



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