Only Paramount in NY had its own on-staff portrait photographer from Sitters were formally seated and display gravity as well as charm. He avoided any element of risque sex appeal and so provided an alternative to the tendency to eroticize women sitters found in the work of John De Mirjian, Alfred Cheney Johnston, and Georges DeBarron.
When his movie work began dominating his trade, he diversified, shooting stills and male portraits. He became known in Hollywood for shooting scene shots showing production numbers in which a star was contrasted with a chorus or a crowd. His earliest work sometimes suffers from a rather schematic arrangement caused by slow shutter speeds.
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By the s, faster exposures enable a looser, more spontaneous looking stage picture. He also took to putting the camera on stage and shooting close up dramatic scenes, particularly in drawing room dramas. When leading his own studio from , he availed himself of hand-held cameras with high speed film and rapid shutters, so the pictures reflect the dynamism of stage action. He did not do portrait work. By frequently employing light toned patterned or plain backgrounds, he endeared himself to periodical photo editors for whom the dark backgrounds favored by art photographs presented reproduction difficulties.
He never used props. He preferred shooting personalities in their own clothes rather than costumes.
He had a talent for suggesting that the sitter was absorbed in thought or amused at his or her surroundings. He signed his best pieces in white ink. In the s he offered the following observations about facial features and their contribution to attractiveness. Eyes are most important. Large, soulful ones or narrow, deep-set eyes each have a very definite attraction.
Little irregularities make a face more interesting. Because of the Studios initial backing by Gen. Grant, it became the official studio of West Point. Army officers had their promotion pictures taken by Gustavus or Gotthelf Pach. In the final decades of the 19th century, the firm developed a national reputation for college portraiture. It opened branches in the Ivy League towns. It would be the prevalent method of lighting theatrical production shots until the Theatrical photography was a subsidiary element of a wider practice of photography, with portraiture prevailing over production shots.
During the s and s under second generation director Alfred Pach, the studio excelled in large format images of performers in contemporary clothing. In the s expanded its coverage of the world of entertainment with an emphasis on celebrity portraiture. Made an early specialty of candid shots of stage stars, usually seen at home.
Bert Underwood did the earliest important formal portrait studies of stage personalities. Several uncredited lensmen shot the entertainment material in the s. There may have been two or more staff photographers shooting clients, for the style of portraiture varies from static poses shot in natural light to fanciful fashion poses. Her outdoor photography had a pictorialist poetry to it, her studio work a clarity of focus and elegance of arrangement that was distinctive, and her production photography a straightforwardness that permitted the ideas of the designer or choreographer to be conveyed unambiguously.
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Her images translated well to the print medium. He was interested in depth of field, assymetry, and visual echo effects.
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He tended toward straight photography, thinking the art of the camera was largely a work of setting the frame for the picture. His prints are not overly worked, and he was a minimal retourcher. Hiller - was a remarkable photographer known particularly for theatrically staged tableaus. Often Lejaren would spend all of his effort arranging the set and actors in his tableau, with an assistant actually making the final negative.
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Thusly, Lejaren is often construed as more of a "director" than "photographer. If he's doing it awkwardly, or not the way I'd do it, all right -- it's a good job so long as he gets her into the sink, completely strangled. He shot unadorned almost abstract nudes, often posed with a mannerist breadth of gesture. His portraits have a purity and lack of complication that is refreshing.
His s portraits often attempted a two-dimensional, graphic quality by reducing shadows to a minimum. He sought to depict the humanity of persons, and was among the most sympathetic of theatrical portraitists. In his earliest work, pre , Rabinovitch cultivated a pictorialist density and richness of texture, yet he possessed an aesthetic clarity of line and an instinct for the integral disposition of various pictorial elements.
Rabinovitch was particularly adamant in his determination not to retouch 'anything above the shoulders' in a portrait at a time when wrinkle erasers and 'eye doctors' dominated the dark rooms; yet he would manipulate everything in other portion of the pictorial field for expressive purposes. He did theatrical work, but his interest in human appearance was broad and he would approach interesting looking people on the street in order to portray them.
Yet this clarity was added to what was primarily an experimental outlook to the medium. Like Man Ray, he would solarize, or abstract pictorial elements. His still lifes from the s have a spare monumental simplicity admired by lovers of modernist abstraction. Fascinated with shade and known for the plummy blacks in his prints. Broke into the magazine market in Attempted to compete with Tommy Vandamm as a production photographer of the stage and enjoyed some success in the s shooting a number of serious, psycholgoical dramas.
Did portrait work as well. Was considered a photographic psychologist by his colleagues, intent on capturing the mentality of his sitter. To emphasize the different his exhibition prints became increasing narrative in implication, resolutely representational, and sometimes moral in point.
Yet Eickemeyer had his fascinations with the pleasure of the simply visual. His book devoted to representing Winter had the sort of clear focus sharpness that anticipated the Ansel Adams aesthetic. New York Frank E. In New York, he became for a decade the chief rival of Ira L.
He was a talented portraitist and an imaginative early fashion photographer he shines particularly in the contributions to the fashion section of THE THEATRE , but could never maintain his business. His photographs of members of the Ziegfeld Follies from are particularly exciting,--brightly illuminated and dramatically posed--an alternative vision to the richly tone visions of A. Marceau ran a diversified photographic studio that did portraiture, scientific photography, and occasional photojournalism. Upon Marceau's marriage to actress Jeanne Allen in , he became greatly interested in theatrical portraiture.
Made extensive use of props, drapes, and painted backdrops in his portraits. Well connected to the political establishment, Marceau also specialized in official portraiture, travel images, and advertising photography. His various branches were run as local service photography shops, doing home photography, Society shots, and official function images. He favored richly toned, deeply shaded photographs and often depicted his subjects standing, shot from a slightly declined angle to give them stature.
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At times in the s he used a soft focus lens. His theatrical photography featured performers in moments of action or emotion. His Society portraiture, in contrast, often depicted persons in self-possessed repose. He watched the infantilization of Broadway in the period, the focus on imitations of Childhood Little Nemo, Babes in Toyland, etc.