8 Week Portrait Class - Lindberg

This is part 4 in an 8 part series about my discoveries, inspiration and creations with Don Giannatti’s 8 Week Portrait Class.

This week's master photographer is renowned fashion photographer, Peter Lindbergh. His international career began in the late 1970’s when began photographing for the Italian, English, French, German and American versions of the Marie Claire and Vogue magazines. Lindbergh has been described as being the first photographer whose photos were more than just fashion photos, they told a story. This was possibly inspired by his passion for cinema and film making. The following essay can be found on his website, and is on one of my favourite subjects, creativity:


Creativity is the basis of self-expression. Why are some people supposedly more creative than others, and why can’t others open themselves up enough to be able to express who they are?

Creation is the birth of something, and something cannot come from nothing. When someone creates something: a painting, a poem, a photograph, the creativity comes from an idea, from a feeling, from emotion, or from a combination of ideas, feelings and emotions that are somehow ‘reborn’ from all our experiences and perspectives.

Creativity is the desire to express ourselves. To formulate these expressions, we have to draw from our reservoir of experience, dreams, desires and experimentation and mix together what was, what is, and what could be… I don’t think you can learn it, it is rather something that evolves. Your perception of everything in your life fills up this reservoir.

Some people are drawn to create and express themselves, others are drawn to reflect, to analyze. But in the end, they all could be creative if they had the desire to explore the way in which they are integrated in the world of their experiences. Because creativity is really a rebirth, a true tone we feel for ourselves and for our world. Then our work becomes a real part of who we are. Maybe all this is a question of how deep we are willing to go…
— by Peter Lindbergh with Lily, New York, June 1996

Lindbergh is particularly well known for his black and white photography. He takes a simple approach to his work often using natural light, natural posing and simple backgrounds. Soft light, low contrast images are the result. This was my inspiration in creating the images for this week.

The first two images I created with a simple black tent made from a black curtain at the back and black foam core sides. His use of flags and shadows inspired the last two images, where I carefully positioned the reflections in the glass across the subject’s face. Natural ambient front lighting that reflected from the light coloured sandy ground was used for all images creating a beautiful soft light. Thanks again to Millie for modelling, we have great fun every session!