Four beats to the bar and no cheating

all images copyright David Bailey

I watched a documentary about the iconic photographer David Bailey last night. Bailey would have to be one of the best personalities in the business. Effortlessly cool, irreverant funny and charming, I have known quite a few photographer boys who have tried to imitate his swagger. My mother loves Bailey's work and we had coffee table books full of his images around the house I grew up in. His fashion work is of course sublime,

there is a reason he is still in demand by all the major fashion publications. But the movie I watched last night showed some of his reportage work which is lesser known. So much so I can't find any examples on the internet, hence the odd screen garbs from youtube. I love that way his eye for graphics translates into real life making each documentary image so striking and strong. The compositions don't dominate though- he has that sense of connection in images of starving african children just as he has in his images of Mick Jagger. You know the people in his photographs are reacting to him and that's a good thing. He says during the film of these images something along the lines of " it was just straight documentation, anyone who was next to me would have taken the same picture". yeah, sorry Bailey, somehow I doubt that!.

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