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View Full Version : Discussing an Annabel Williams picture



David H. Bebbington
10-01-2006, 11:27 PM
Here is the said picture (for those not familiar with the name, AW is one of Britain's most successful social photographers and appears to have made a great deal of money both from client fees and by running workshops):

Ray Heath
10-02-2006, 12:03 AM
g'day David
I don't know the name or the work

the subjects have wonderful expressions but composition is too lose to really make a strong statement

it looks a little too much like something the local portrait studio would do, not that there is anything wrong with that type of work, in fact I've done it myself, but this type of image doesn't stand as strong, creative fine art, with a wide appeal

Kevin Caulfield
10-02-2006, 12:37 AM
I am quite familiar with her work (and have in fact just been perusing her wedding and portrait book, having been asked to step in as a last-minute wedding photographer). This picture just does not work for me. The lighting is great and the idea is great, but if this was the best result, then she should not have bothered. It is not essential for the eyes to be looking at the camera, but it is nice to at least see the eyes looking sideways. The only child whose eyes can be seen is almost lost in a blur of not very interesting motion. In fact, it looks like all the children are about to start crying. I like Annabel Williams' portrait photos, but this picture just does not work at all.

blansky
10-02-2006, 10:17 AM
This looks like a typical "lifestyle" picture that was used a lot in the 80s and 90s. It was originally, I believe, done by commercial photographers who would take some "models" out (not usually family members, but a fake family) and do a bunch of "aren't we having fun now" pictures.

Often the were done for stock then sold to soap, or feminine hygene, or drug companies.

The style was later picked up by portrait photographers.

This picture looks like the outtake of a series of "ok kids, climb to the top and tumble down" series.

Unfortunately, if this was the best one, the shoot was a bust.


Michael

David H. Bebbington
10-02-2006, 10:44 AM
This picture looks like the outtake of a series of "ok kids, climb to the top and tumble down" series.

Unfortunately, if this was the best one, the shoot was a bust.


Michael

Despite the fact that Annabel Williams is a roaring success in the UK, doing lots of commissions and running group workshops at 250 per person and day, I must say I agree entirely with Michael. This shot was done on digital, which in a sense means there is even less excuse for having such poor poses from 2 of the 4 models. The picture I posted was from a magazine article, it did not say whether AW took assistants along on this shoot (who could have been the children's mother plus a friend), they were sorely needed, as one child has its head down and is unrecognizable, while the other in the foreground looks as if he/she has just been slapped hard. For AW to supply this pic for a magazine article and describe it as her all-time favorite is quite beyond my comprehension!

Regards.

David

copake_ham
10-02-2006, 10:55 AM
Agree with Michael et. al.

As to saying she was proudest of it - unfortuantely, nowadays, people often make "absolutist" statements without considering the import of what they are saying.

It would be interesting to go to her in a couple of years and ask if she still agrees with such a declamatory statement with respect to her opinion of this shot.

catem
10-02-2006, 12:22 PM
.... the other in the foreground looks as if he/she has just been slapped hard.

Sand in the eyes, I reckon...

bnjlosh
10-02-2006, 12:27 PM
just wondering, were these her kids? maybe why she is most proud of it...

SuzanneR
10-02-2006, 12:43 PM
I had never heard of her before, and having found her website, well...

I suppose she's very good at self promotion, because she is a profoundly mediocre photographer.

Gerald Koch
10-02-2006, 01:05 PM
HO HUM. There must be hundreds, nay thousands, of similar photos taken every year. I find the picture quite unremarkable.

Les McLean
10-02-2006, 01:10 PM
I had never heard of her before, and having found her website, well...

I suppose she's very good at self promotion, because she is a profoundly mediocre photographer.


Suzanne you have said it all in your second sentence. I speak from personal experience having worked with her.

MattKing
10-02-2006, 01:33 PM
Just to be contrary...

I enjoy this photograph. I think it captures exuberance and shows energy and motion in a very good way.

I don't know whether it succeeds as an artistic statement, but I doubt it was intended as such.

I do think it is worth viewing.

Matt

David H. Bebbington
10-02-2006, 10:47 PM
just wondering, were these her kids? maybe why she is most proud of it...

Just for the record - this was a commercial portraiture shoot, commissioned by the children's mother. AW allegedly spent all day on this.

Claire Senft
10-02-2006, 11:03 PM
I feel it is an effective photo. It is the only time I have heard her name.

I think that there are several ladies on this forum whose photos I am familar that regularly do better than the example shown.. One of them is your Australian compatriot.. Her photgraphic superiority,in my mind, compared to the example I been shown here, makes naming her redundant...since I believe many will feel likewise.

Baxter Bradford
10-02-2006, 11:04 PM
....... AW allegedly spent all day on this.

and presumably all night laughing her way to the bank?

Reassured that it isn't just me with this opinion of AW. She obviously got in with the in crowd and they have feathered each others' nest for some years.

Gay Larson
10-03-2006, 01:48 AM
My very first thought when I looked at the photograph and the caption was "Why". Why was this the photograph she was most proud of. It begs the question, "is this the best you've got?"

Cheryl Jacobs
10-09-2006, 05:27 PM
First off, I don't think this is much of a representation of her usual work. If it's a favorite of hers, perhaps it's simply because she enjoyed the feeling of doing something different from her personal status quo.

She's certainly a master self-promoter. I found her work a few years back via a portrait book she had just put out. I would not call her an amazing photographer by any means, but she does what she does consistently, so at least her clients know what to expect. She does rely heavily on assistants and make-up artists and stylists.