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16-03-2008
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Richard Burbridge - Photographer
INTERVIEW FROM HINTMAG.COM

In the rarefied atmosphere of fashion photography, Richard Burbridge's unconventional photographs are a breath of fresh air. The UK native, who is part of the furniture at design bible i-D, has brought his hyper-attenuated eye and perfectionism to Harper's Bazaar, W and French Vogue. Burbridge is also noted for his penetrating portraits of celebrities such as Sean Penn and Iggy Pop, as well as designers Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Jeremy Scott. Here, the typically taciturn shutterbug opens up to Lee Carter about cover-worthy winks, Christmas tree kinks, and other high fashion hijinks.

Lee Carter: Did you find fashion or did fashion find you?

Richard Burbridge: Initially, I stayed away from fashion, but I've always thought fashion photography is some of the best photography there is. I was recently looking at next season's advertising campaigns—like Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Missoni—and I think it's outstanding.

LC: In the last two years you've shot about a third of the i-D covers. That's helluva a lot for a magazine known for a gritty street style, not bowling ball-polished imagery like yours.

RB: I left London seven years ago and I worked for them then in bits and pieces, but it never really took off. Then they came to me with a pre-fab team. Amber Valletta was my first cover and I had never shot that kind of a girl before. May Anderson was another of my favorites (left). One of the problems I had in starting a career in fashion photography was I wasn't prepared to shoot just any model. The girls who inspired me were the best, so I held off until I could get them. Terry Jones has maintained one of the most consistent magazines with i-D. The other magazines from London have evolved and changed a little bit and though my covers are different for them, somehow i-D still feels like i-D to me.

LC: Working at i-D, is it barrels of fun or grinding work?

RB: It's definitely something I look forward to. We shoot them after other jobs that day, so it's an all-night shoot—Friday into Saturday morning, usually. With a great team, there's a lot of pressure to do great work because everybody's watching what everyone else is doing and is inspired by it. Or they'll wait to see what Pat [McGrath] does. I feel responsible to them as well, to make brilliant pictures. (gets photo of Stella Tennant) This was taken at midnight one night. Stella has trouble winking without screwing her face. She's been on the cover once before where she screwed her face up, but we can't do that again because it'll look like the last cover. This one will be the April cover. With i-D, there aren't as many constraints and politics I face when I shoot for one of the Vogue magazines.

LC: In the last two years you've shot about a third of the i-D covers. That's helluva a lot for a magazine known for a gritty street style, not bowling ball-polished imagery like yours.

RB: I left London seven years ago and I worked for them then in bits and pieces, but it never really took off. Then they came to me with a pre-fab team. Amber Valletta was my first cover and I had never shot that kind of a girl before. May Anderson was another of my favorites (left). One of the problems I had in starting a career in fashion photography was I wasn't prepared to shoot just any model. The girls who inspired me were the best, so I held off until I could get them. Terry Jones has maintained one of the most consistent magazines with i-D. The other magazines from London have evolved and changed a little bit and though my covers are different for them, somehow i-D still feels like i-D to me.

LC: Working at i-D, is it barrels of fun or grinding work?

RB: It's definitely something I look forward to. We shoot them after other jobs that day, so it's an all-night shoot—Friday into Saturday morning, usually. With a great team, there's a lot of pressure to do great work because everybody's watching what everyone else is doing and is inspired by it. Or they'll wait to see what Pat [McGrath] does. I feel responsible to them as well, to make brilliant pictures. (gets photo of Stella Tennant) This was taken at midnight one night. Stella has trouble winking without screwing her face. She's been on the cover once before where she screwed her face up, but we can't do that again because it'll look like the last cover. This one will be the April cover. With i-D, there aren't as many constraints and politics I face when I shoot for one of the Vogue magazines.

LC: Let's move into ad campaigns. You shot the much-publicized CK One campaign that included the models' email addresses. The billboards filled Times Square. What is it like to see your photographs that size?

RB: Were they in Times Square? I think I saw them on Sunset Boulevard and on bus stops. It was a strange experience because we were working with an advertising agency.

LC: Was the email thing your idea?

RB: No way. It was completely their idea. I didn't understand that decision.

LC: You also did the Gucci watch campaign last year, among others. Do you prefer ads or editorial?

RB: The Gucci ad was a favorite from last year. But in advertising, I run the risk of having differing ideas from the agency's. When I get an advertising job, I really just want to shoot pics my own way.

LC: Is it difficult to shoot in so many genres? Do you get into a different groove for each?

RB: It's the same groove for everything except portraits. I only shoot someone I'm interested in. Usually, I have my own opinion of them, so I'll manipulate the shot into what I want them to project.

LC: With Vivienne Westwood, what are you trying to say with her looking off into the distance? That she's a visionary?

RB: Dignified, regal. I'm paying homage to her. I'm very respectful of who she is and wanted her to enjoy that picture as well.

LC: Did she?

RB: Yes.

LC: Is she as kooky as the press makes her out to be?

RB: She's an individual. I think we both admitted to each other that we're shy. I'm sure 99.9% of what's written about her is inaccurate.

LC: Why did you leave London?

RB: I was in search of American clients. I was driven by an excitement to work for the American magazines I was starting to work for when I was in London—American Vogue, Interview. They were my most lucrative clients in London. And the photographers I respected most were coming out of America.

LC: Are you still impressed with American photographers?

RB: Hmmm. Well, I feel America is the most comfortable base for me to be still. And I have very opinionated criticisms of the way business is done in London. Recently, I've either shot for English or discussed shooting for English clients and I find it nowhere near as professional as it is here. I have no plans to go back to London. Plus, I think the cosmetic industry is where I've always wanted to head, and there really isn't a cosmetics industry in the UK.

LC: They don't wear a lot of make-up?

RB: That's probably it, nor do they do their hair or nails. I was discussing it with several make-up artists. Appearance and personal care is much less important in the UK. When I was growing up, I didn't know you could go somewhere to get your nails done. They eat their nails instead of painting them. And now I shower once or twice a day.

LC: Is that something you picked up once you moved here?

RB: Yep (laughs)

LC: Besides yourself, who are your fave photographers?

RB: Definitely not myself. I have trouble liking my work. I'm always frustrated. Frustration is my driving force. But I do admire Steven Meisel and Mario Sorrenti, for sure.

LC: Do you ever collaborate with other photographers?

RB: Not me, but I think we're seeing it more and more, with this whole boyfriend/girlfriend team thing�

LC: Like Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin?

RB: Yes, and Anuschka Bloomers and Niels Schumm. I think they are very strong photographers and they have very clear ideas about who they are and where they are. I really enjoy fashion photography when it's telling a story. I'm not interested in magazines that are just showing a lifestyle or a dress.

LC: Do you get frustrated when people rip you off?

RB: Very frustrated. I had a very serious bout with it a year ago and it really affected me badly. I saw a campaign that I thought was blatant plagiarism.

LC: Who shot it?

RB: I can't say. I had a number of phone calls saying "we really liked your campaign," but it wasn't mine. It's a sign I'm inspiring people and I came to realize that all the photographers I liked have been plagiarized, too.

LC: Where do you see yourself in a few years? Will you have a gallery exhibit besides the one W put on [a small group show highlighting work published in the magazine]?

RB: W is a magazine I really respect. I thought it was really fitting to see those photos in that scale on a wall and to see a room with four different images. I would love to have another show, but I wouldn't want to show in a photography gallery. An art gallery maybe. (Burbridge's children arrive.) I had this really cool idea for a project with my daughter but she didn't enjoy it, so I stopped. Every month of her age I was going to shoot a similar portrait to document her physical growth. I did it for quite a while and then I was going to do it on my son but it became too much pressure on them. Now I won't have a wall of their portraits. I once agreed commercially to shoot children, but it was a nightmare.

LC: Which designers do you like most? Do you lean toward English designers?

RB: One of the most successful designers in the world designed our wedding outfits—Alexander McQueen. When I first knew him, he was struggling in a basement with a pair of scissors.

LC: Rags to riches?

RB: Yeah, I have huge respect for that kind of crazy energy. Another favorite is Rei Kawakubo.

LC: Who designed the jacket you have on now? It's great.

RB: It's by Comme des Garcons.

LC: Of course.

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16-03-2008
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I'd love to see all his i-D covers

i-D
June/July 2006 - The Horror Issue
makeup: pat mcgrath
styling: edward enninful
model: snejana onopka




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Richard began a career in photography in the early 1990s and moved to New York in 1993, where he is still based. His first contribution to i-D was a picture of an exploding firework, and he has gone on to shoot numerous i-D covers. Richard collects old scientific and optical devices and his interest in science is often reflected in his photography. Primarily a studio photographer, Richard also shoots a variety of subjects. He is currently working on a portrait exhibition.
Credits include:
April the serious fashion issue Issue No 185
August the audible issue Issue No 189
September the 1.9.99 issue Issue No 190
March the drenched issue Issue No 195
May the aesthetic issue Issue No 197
April the gallery issue Issue No 208
June the passionate issue Issue No 244
September the new dawn issue Issue No 247
January the skin issue Issue No 262
June The Horror Issue Issue No 267

[id magazine]

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16-03-2008
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i-D
June/July 2007



Photography Richard Burbridge
Fashion Director Edward Enninful
Make-up Pat McGrath
Hair Teddy Charles for Orlo Salon
Photographic assistance Amy Troost and Dylan Griffin
Styling assistance Michelle Cameron, Sharon Sylvester and Caroline Newell
Model: Snejana Onopka at DNA
Sunglasses by Christian Dior.

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17-03-2008
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Second Skin
i-D january 2006
model: Lily Donaldson


from liveinternet.ru/community/lily_donaldson

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17-03-2008
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Wow an editorial with Lily Donaldson which I like he can do wonders!

Pages 5 and 7 are gorgeous

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17-03-2008
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harper's bazaar, march 2007
rachel alexander by richard burbridge



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17-03-2008
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vogue italia (beauty supplement), april 2006
anja rubik and solange wilvert



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17-03-2008
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vogue italia, september 2005
pictorial
lily cole and marina dias



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17-03-2008
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vogue italia, may 2005
variations on chic
natasha poly



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17-03-2008
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vogue nippon, may 2007
vogue gioiello supplement
the shine and the glam
claudia merikula and ? by richard burbridge
styled by joanne blades




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17-03-2008
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harper’s bazaar us, february 2003
most romantic moments
mariacarla boscono and theo volpatti (mariacarla’s ex)



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17-03-2008
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I really like the second picture of the ed with Rachel Alexander. And "the shine and the glam" is very good too, it appeared in vogue Italia in march 2006... I didn't know that vogue nippon uses reprints.

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17-03-2008
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another model in the shine and the glam editorial is natalia halicka

V #47
"Long Live McQueen"
Ph. Richard Burbridge
Rachel Alexander, Oxana Pautova, Cecilia Mendez, Georgia Frost, Margaret Peppey



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17-03-2008
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Vogue Italia September 2007 Beauty
Ph. Richard Burbridge
Kim Noorda



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