Glen DaSilva

Glen DaSilva

Fashion photography

by Glen DaSilva (USA)

I am an advanced amateur photographer, shooting primarily on 35mm film since my father gave me his Minolta x700 when i started high school; it have been a passion for more than 20 years. My goals for this workshop were to improve composition techniques and to think more about light and shadow.

Portfolio from the Fashion Photography workshop with Sacha, May 2013.

Written review by PAULINE VERMARE,
Associate Curator, International Center of Photography

At first glance, Glen’s corpus is quite uneven –some pictures look very professional, and others more amateurish. I can tell that Glen is passionate about what he does, and confident in what he is doing –which means he can only improve from here on. This portfolio is an interesting search for the right mood, and composition. My favorite photographs in this portfolio are the ones that look less staged, more spontaneous, more raw. It feels like Glen is more at ease with female models, or perhaps the female models are more at ease with him: the result is much more natural and interesting.

I find images 2 and 4 very pleasing to the eye and well composed. Image 2 is very interesting, well balanced, I like that the model is not looking directly into the lens. I also like the blur in this instance, which make the image more dramatic and help us focus on the subject’s dream. Perhaps image 4 is my favorite of the whole portfolio, with this intriguing background adding substance and depth to the scene. I also like the use of color. Image 6 is too gimmicky for my taste. It is interesting to see that, with the same model, background, photographer and equipment, you can produce a completely different image. I guess I prefer the subject to be further away and in osmosis with its surrounding. Image 14 is a more classic fashion photograph that would easily fit into the pages of a glamorous magazine. In that sense, image 1 would also be a reasonably good picture in a fashion magazine – though perhaps color would have made it more powerful.

The other photographs, to me, are more of a quest for an interesting background and pose, and the end result is still too artificial. I think perhaps those two male subjects are not spontaneous enough, as I see in some images (for instance, 3, 10 and 13) that Glen made a big effort to find interesting lines in his frame.

But the self-awareness of the subject(s) damages the strength and authenticity of the image. I do appreciate image 13 though, perhaps the most spontaneous of them all, with an interesting play on lines. Black and white seems more apt to convey that sense of geometry. I suppose there is something interesting in the very Parisian backgrounds in some of the images, but – perhaps because I am from Paris - I find all these images (5, 8, 9, 15) too fake to be interesting.

The other images, featuring the female model, are overall not so well composed. In image 11, the chair in the foreground blocks the eye, and so do the characters walking towards us in the distance. Image 12 is too obvious, but then again perhaps interesting in a fashion context. All in all, I think that Glen definitely has the potential to become a talented fashion photographer.

The best images in this portfolio show that he has the passion, creativity and technical resources to produce very interesting images in both color and black and white. He needs to focus more on his subjects, find ways to make them less aware of his camera, and play some more with both color and black and white to refine his visual universe and ultimately make it more personal and unique.

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