Friday, 15 March 2013

Other Pictures: Metaphorical Photography




I had the rare pleasure last month of talking to Miles Aldridge about his book of family pictures, called Other Pictures. This was for a family book feature in the April edition of BJP.

Other Lives is a book with two halves, one of the life before children, where Aldridge hangs out with his girlfriend/wife Kristen McMenamy (a supermodel), travelling from shoot to fashion show and living in hotel rooms along the way. It's looks exhausting.

And that is where Other Lives begins, in the fashion world, with a sheet taken from the notebooks Aldridge kept for ideas, timetables and sketches. On the sheet, there’s a handwritten work schedule that goes from New York to London to Paris to Milan. There’s a checklist of fashion houses he’s shooting for, sketches of Kristen and some canoodling doves and then an insight into the toll his schedule is taking on him. “I am travelling very fast between New York and Paris on campaigns and editorials,” it reads. “I remember my life before. The one where I would spend the whole day at the Everyman Cinema watching old movies. The days seemed to drag on in a gentel comforting with the promise of a beer at the Hollybush after. Now I scramble from bed to airport to studio to lab to meeting barely having time to do up my shoe-laces. It may destroy me. Part of me doesn’t care if it does. Is this because I feel that so much of what I do is meaningless or because I have already done quite a lot. I don’t know. My first child is due in two months maybe she will give my life more focus.”

The life with McMenamy is in black and white, the second half ( the life after children ) is in colour. The second half is dreamy, the first half is concrete and is a kind of discourse on the modelling, body and the way that it changes. Frustratingly, I can't really show those - they are not available for certain areas of the public arena, something that is interesting in itself. But the book is wonderfully put together, with the first half really setting the scene.

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