Photography and Text by Elizabeth Beugg, Copyright 2018
THE ART OF INFERENCE
If there is one universal truth in the fashion industry, it’s that sex sells. No matter the product, adding an aspect of sex appeal increases its success exponentially. There is an innate human fascination with sex that pulls a viewer into an erotic photo. That being said, some of the most successful fashion images possess an erotic feel without being overtly erotic or graphic; the art is in the inference.
I recently attended a lecture by Stuart Weitzman, a well known shoe designer, who reaffirmed the importance of sex appeal in selling a product. Inference unified every ad campaign he presented. He showed numerous ad campaigns that dealt with erotic inference, all without any sort of graphic nudity, that all projected sex appeal loud and clear. He also showed ad campaigns that contained a brand inference, like a dalmation with shoe-shaped spots. The key take-away from this is the power of letting a consumer interpret an image; that leaving things to the imagination can be more captivating than spelling it all out.
Knowing this, I aimed to create a shoot that fell into the erotic category, while still leaving things to the viewer’s imagination. I knew that the juxtaposition of sticky, messy food and pristine jewelry would make for a dynamic photo, so I chose to center the shoot around various necklaces and earrings. Though the jewelry was the subject of the shoot, I wouldn’t say it was the focus. I tried to create an image that grabs the attention of a viewer, in this case through drenching models in various foods, so that they take would take the time to look over the photo and, in turn, notice the featured jewelry. It’s a little less direct, but it makes for a more interesting photograph than should the product have been front and center for the entirety of the shoot. In the end, I tried to take cues from Stuart Weitzman and other designers and create a photo that communicates everything it needs to without saying anything at all.
About The Author: Elizabeth Beugg is a Sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Elizabeth Beugg, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/elizabeth-beugg-party-fashion/