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Tom Ford on Why He Takes His Own Photos

>> With A Single Man opening in limited release this Friday, Dec. 11 — apparently Aline Weber has a cameo — Tom Ford has been on a serious press blitz this week. Monday, he had 20 television and 12 print interviews; last night, he appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallonvideo here; and this morning, it was appearances on Good Morning America and The Martha Stewart Show.  But film promotion isn't the only thing on his mind — in the December/January 2010 issue of Interview, Ford explains why he's gone the Karl Lagerfeld route and started to photograph a lot of his advertising images himself:

Even in fashion, it’s become ridiculous — 60 people to take a still photograph. I’ve started taking my own because I got so sick of all of that. I work with my one photo assistant, and a model, and hair and makeup, and that’s it. And, you know, I worked a good bit with Helmut Newton and with Richard Avedon, and the other day with David Bailey. For that whole school of photographers, it’s always been one assistant, one key light, one camera, one backdrop. And these guys worked on film. No one works on film anymore. I don’t shoot on film: That’s the only reason I can be a photographer. »I don’t shoot on film: That’s the only reason I can be a photographer. To be a photographer now, you just have to kind of catch a base image, and then you can rebuild it, rework it, recolor it. Those old guys like Newton and Avedon — and [Irving] Penn, who just died — were just incredible in the way they could pull off the images they did on film, with no retouching. They truly understood the mechanics of their craft. For most photographers today — I won’t necessarily mention names — you see a picture of 10 people in a magazine, and none of those people were shot together. They take the best head from here, stick it on the best body from that shot, move that over there, and you fill in, which is fine, but that’s a different kind of art — an impressionistic way of interpreting something. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing, but it’s a different way of working.

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