An Eminent Photographer to Both Fashion and Royalty

 Lord Snowdon is behind the considerable logic of why noble yet fascinating photographs endure of the most immense icons in fashion, from presenting the reality of an apprehensive Christian Dior to showing the opulence that of John Galliano possesses as he is seen lounging across cream fabric of course including that of his dominant americane moustache as if hand-drawn. You name it, Snowdon’s done it. Stating “I hate the word portraits”, Snowdon majority of captures have the components of adequate frames and show the spectacle of reality of people’s nature causing controversy against society’s speculation of opinion. 

Born in the hustling city of London, England, Snowdon was first influenced by his art focused great-grandfather, Edward Linley Sandborn being that of a mordant photographer and cartoonist. Not only does it run from his sardonic great-grand-father, but also Oliver Messel, Snowdon’s uncle having the prolific career of a theatre, ballet and opera designer.  Furthermore, in 1943, Snowdon was enrolled to the well regarded Eton College alike to his barrister father, Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones. Here was where Snowdon took a profound intrigue in the significant topics of Science and Engineering however this was soon overpowered by his interest in photography therefore he effectively came to the decision of invigorating the lacking Eton Photographic Society .

A deplorable incident occurred during Snowdon’s period of a 16 year old; he was contracted with the lamentable disease of polio bringing great distress and trauma to him-self and his family. Meanwhile, as an act of condolence and to less an the feeling of durability in hospital, Snowdon’s mother, Anne Messel permitted Snowdon with a camera with the acknowledgement that it would envision her son’s successful prospects. 6 months later, Snowdon was not entirely recovered still holding the devastating impact of a withered left leg, marginally briefer than that of his right leg.

Subsequently, Snowdon’s intellect in the field of Science brought him to the obvious conclusion of studying the resourceful subject during his University years at Jesus College, Cambridge. Despite Snowdon’s dedication to Science, he soon discovered that his yearning of photography was at a much greater level, with gratitude to his theatrical productions working uncle as inspiration, Snowdon then converted to studying architecture which includes photography regarding buildings. As a result, Snowdon purchased his first extensive form of camera, a second hand Thornton Pickard. Quoting – “I used to stay with him (uncle) in Venice and we would walk all night. Most people look down. He taught me to look up. You miss so much not looking up.”, hardly any time passed before Snowdon was capturing portrait schemes of photography. 

Significantly, Snowdon’s first profitably published photograph was that in Tatler, a British associative magazine considering the outset of his apprentice alongside London humanity photographer Baron. Additionally, 3 years passed and it was 1954 when Snowdon photographed that of the opening of Terence Rattigan’s Separate Tables, two one act plays of whom Rattigan achieved the pride of a CBE for writing such a phenomenal piece of literature. This capture of such a superlative spectacle provided Snowdan with tremendous promotion over the theatre industry as well as his intense superiority in the field of society photography. This stride in Snowdon’s already-enormous popularity gave him numerous opportunities such as photographing for the favoured fashion and life-style magazines: Vogue, Tatler and even Harper’s Bazaar.

An example of Snowdan’s legendary work includes that of US Vogue’s issue cover in April 1971 presenting British American glamour actress, Elizabeth Taylor giving the convincing stare emphasising her consciousness and opulence. Snowdan’s choice of a cougar blue definitely contrasts exceptionally with that of Taylor’s nude based make up. Not only contrast but the maya blue eye’s Taylor acquires corresponds to the enigmatic backdrop adding mystery and an eerie sense. Moreover this can be related to the prestige theme involved in that of Taylor’s endeavours. Another evidently conferred feature is the way in which Snowdon is able to create effect, in this specific image being the excessive neutrality of Taylor’s profound facial expression, this conveys how placid clients felt working beside Snowdon.

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Secondly, after a multitude of perpetual research, I finally came across this vintage and exceedingly elegant Snowdon capture of Jean Quick. Although thorough inquiry by myself was undertaken, I was unable to uncover any kind of information about this women categorically thus I can only case my perspective on the image itself without reference to reality. To start with, this photograph appears to have been set in that of an ornate cafe/restaurant depicted from the luxurious cloth and expensive-looking attire. Coincidently, Quick gives me the impression that likewise to the aspect of Taylor, she is a remarkably enigmatic woman, perhaps a person who goes unnoticed, inexorably the standard of person with a preference to being in their own presence rather than others hence the inadequacy of information around the internet. Something more, the idea that the background is blurred evidently is intended for us to focus on quick, stating a matter of the women looking mediocre externally nonetheless being the holder of something substantial internally. Quick causes my feelings to recalibrate into intimidation as if the image is reticently applying an act of coercion. 

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Comprehensive of all of Snowdon’s pieces, the most iconic ultimate is the many captured of Princess Margaret, Snowdon’s authoritative wife from 1960 till 1978. For instance, the primed portrait photograph of the princess is shown attiring extravagant and extensive earrings that justify the momentous women’s affluence and fascinating prosperity. On the other hand, what is the most appealing about this photograph is the ceaseless shadow amongst her face that separates in addition to giving dominance to a sentiment of two sides. When it comes to a dark and light colour, this sentiment distinctly represents the concept of good and bad, angel and devil, and yin and yang. Undoubtedly a royal in the spotlight of fashion must demand an element of her life and soul that is private which this idea could be a rumination of.

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Overall, my reaction to Snowdon is quite controversial. Although being able to constitute the most awe-provoking photographs, I still do not utterly believe in the entire concept of each after the meticulous depictions I have approximately analysed. Decidedly, every Snowdon photo I have seen so far illustrates a genuine secrecy that other images do not, just showing the notion that everything is not what you see it as and everybody has a concealed enigma corresponding to his 2008 biography’s confession to unconstitutionally fathering a child briefly preceding on from his divorce with the beautiful Princess Margaret.

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