Gérard Harten

Gérard Harten

Gérard Harten forms an interesting trio with Franck Malthiery (here) and Olivier Ribardière (here) of French male photographers who have managed to carve out substantial careers in children’s fashion photography while maintaining a Gallic sense of independence and creativity.

Gérard is based in Paris and Cape Town, and is the author of a number of iconic – well, sets more than individual images. This first consists of some bubble-related models, for the French brand Lili Gaufrette:

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…..which are really memorable – but more for the bubble conceit than the styles: having seen them a couple of times in the past the only impression that remained for me was the pretty white dress that seemed more like an under-slip, and that a number featured shorts.

Another of Gérard’s really striking (and brave, in a PC context) concepts was to use “tribal” makeup (and artifacts like headdresses and dreamcatchers) for a swimsuit collection by Floatimini:

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……and I’m sure he got all the usual criticism for “appropriating cultural material”… They are in fact really impressive, not just for the stylist and MUH work, but also for the compositional and photographic effects.

The next set couldn’t be more different: spoilt little rich kids in luxurious surroundings with their glamour-model mama (editorial for Smudgetikka):

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….and the mag says it’s an “upscale Parisian hotel”: why there’s no vaunting of its name I can’t imagine…

The next set is back to a French brand, Jacadi:

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…..again very imaginative and particular – with a completely different feel to the sets presented so far: a photographer that’s impossible to pigeon-hole.

And this far along in the presentation, it’s time to remember his most reposted and pinned images  – naturally for a French brand, Tartine et Chocolat:

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….I particularly love the first one – where you can’t quite believe she’s that tall – but they’re both good examples of where editing has been used to create art and beauty, not just simply to remove imperfections and create a kind of bland hyper-reality. There’s actually a third girl in the series:

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….the same model as in the first image, I think, showing that her legs are pretty long – but the trompe-l’œil of the reducing tiers of the dress helps foster that impression…

And to increase the appreciation of his art, one more single image and a gallery where the breadth of vision is even more pronounced – a real master. Have a look as well at the three videos at the end: he doesn’t try any particular stylistic conceits, as in his still work – but they’re still sweet companion pieces to the photographs…

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