Rankin: The Story Behind My Favourite Photos

The legendary photographer previews his new book 'More'

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Rankin, one of the world's leading fashion photographers, is about to release More, a new retrospective of his career highlights.

For fans of his work and aspiring photographers alike it's an essential read, full of fascinating insights into the craft as well beautiful examples of the contemporary photography he is famous for.

Here, Rankin gives us a sneak preview and tells the story behind four of his favourite photographs.

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1 | 'Tongue Tied' 

"I shot ‘Tongue Tied’ in 2011, as a test for the cover of my catalogue 'Open'. I liked the idea of the double meaning. Being open for business and open as a person.

"At the time the models were just supposed to be shot next to each other, but unknown to me they were very good friends and when we started shooting they suggested that they should kiss. A lot of good ideas actually come from subjects and I just went with it – well you would wouldn’t you.

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"We had to spray them with water every few minutes to get their skin and lips wet. That’s when my life can feel very surreal."

"This shot dates back to 2003 and is called ‘Sitting Pussy Cat’. It’s part of a much larger shoot that saw models transformed into domestic cats and dogs. I originally shot this for a Selfridges window display and it made a later appearance on the front cover of Issue 32 of  ‘Spezial Fotografie’.

"It was a fairly unique shoot as the model had to pose under the suit and mask for ages to get it right. Also it felt weird talking to a cat! I had a lot of fun freaking my dogs out with these heads when I took them home."

 

"This one is from a series and book I did called 'Girls on Top'. As the name suggests it was girls photographed from a low angle as if they were sitting or towering above the camera.

"It was one of the first times I worked on digital, and it was very interesting to see the models interact with the camera in a new way. It was like they were more in control. 

"These were very quick to shoot – especially this one."

Bring Me Sunshine

"This is taken from a shoot that appeared in Hunger issue 4. It’s my wife, Tuuli.

"It was fucking freezing that day, which always pisses your subject off. When it’s Tuuli I tend to be less forgiving. Once we were doing nudes on location and she said she was being bitten. I couldn’t see any insects and really needed the shot, as I was losing the light. So I pushed her and pushed her to do more.

"The next day she was covered in little pink marks. I mean hundreds of them from head to foot. Luckily they were just midgy bites and disappeared in a day – or I would have been in serious trouble. Since then I listen to her gripes.

"When you shoot with natural light you chase the sun all day. This was no different in the end we had little slithers of light being reflected by mirrors to get the shot. But that is what makes shooting on location exciting."

All images:  © Rankin
MORE is published by TeNeueus, October 2013, £70, teneues.com.


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