Brooke Shields backstage photoshoot with Ronald James.
After taking several years off to spend time helping his family, fashion and portrait photographer Ronald James is back behind the camera
Ronald James (https://ronaldjames.com) will reopen his Upper East Side studio. Ronald had enjoyed a successful career for several years, taking photos of celebrities such as Brooke Shields and Elizabeth Hurley and doing photo shoots for various magazines including Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, before going on hiatus.
It’s no surprise that Ronald has a love for photography as he grew up around photographers and photo shoots. Her mother, Lizzette Kattan, was fashion director for Cosmopolitan in 1976 and became editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Italia in 1978. She started Men’s Harper’s Bazaar in 1979, and she served as editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar France. when it opened in 1983. Ronald spent his childhood running around the sets of big-name photographers such as Bruce Weber, Herb Ritts and Chris von Wagenheim. When Ronald started experimenting with photography, he had artists like Joe Eula and Ron Ferri to advise and guide him.
Edward Steichen is generally considered the first fashion photographer. He was commissioned to take thirteen images featuring the fashion creations of Paul Poiret for the magazine Art et Décoration. Fashion magazines have been around since the 17th century with illustrations of the latest fashions, but when photography became popular it was quickly adopted by industry. Fashion photography focuses on displaying the latest styles of clothing and items. It is most common on billboards and in fashion magazines. The photograph will typically feature models wearing the display items.
Photographer David Bailey once called fashion photography “a portrait of someone wearing a dress,” but most would disagree. Fashion photography is so much more than just showing off an outfit when it’s done right. Irving Penn, the photographer with the longest tenure in Vogue magazine’s history, saw his own role as “selling dreams, not clothes.” Ronald would agree with Irving saying, “Photography is much more than freezing a moment. It’s a collaborative process of an entire team, dedicated to the art form of fashion, and together we create a story through images that resonate.
The advent of fashion magazines helped make fashion photography an art form. Fashion magazines like ‘The Lady’s Magazine’ and ‘Le Costume Français’ had been popular in Europe since the 1700s, with Harper’s Bazaar debuting in 1867 as the first true American offering. Condé Nast bought an American social magazine called Vogue in 1909 and turned it into a high-end fashion publication with international aspirations. The center of the fashion industry at the turn of the century was Paris, and the use of photographs provided the rest of the world with a glimpse of the latest styles. Fashion photography has provided us with a living testimony of social history and a reflection of contemporary culture through the centuries.
Ronald is looking forward to getting back into the studio, but he’s enjoyed the change of pace over the past few years. In addition to starting a family, he co-wrote with his mother a book dedicated to his country of origin, Honduras. The book, titled “Roatan and the History of the Bay Islands” (https://ronaldjames.com/roatanbook), is a combination of personal essays and unique photos. It paints an intimate portrait of Roatan, one of the hidden gems of the Caribbean. The book interweaves the island’s rich cultural past and heritage that continues to shape the island’s growth. Ronald’s photographs paint a vivid picture of this “heaven on earth”. Ronald is looking forward to reopening the doors of his studio and creating captivating stories that combine fashion and culture.
SOURCE Ronald James/PRNewswire