Phillip-Lorca diCorcia

My tutor suggested that I take a look at the american photographer- Phillip-Lorca diCorcia. I had never heard of him before, so I did a little research into his background;

DiCorcia was born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut where he attended the school of fine arts in Boston. He then decided to go to graduate school (Yale) where he concentrated s0lely on studying photography, and particularly became interested in photographing people.  He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography in 1975. To begin with he got jobs as assistants to professional photographers. This is how he learned the trade, and by 1984 he was a freelance photographer.

His method and style of photography was a huge turn around from the norm at the time. He is famous for his meticulous restaging of scenes from everyday life. This appears to be a candid style of photography, but it is definitely not candid, but extremely well planned and thought out. I have shown in previous assignments (particularly assignment one in Digital Photographic Practice) my love for well planned candid looking photography- so I am very interested to learn more about this famous photographer.  Below is a quote describing the well-thought out process of DiCorcia’s work;

“DiCorcia takes many Polaroid test shots before taking the final photograph. He  is also well known for his use of mixing artificial and natural light in his images in a distinctive way. His photographs are not candids.” (1)

DiCorcia’s work may appear ordinary, but upon reading a little more about this talented photographer I came across this description of his work;

“Upon viewing Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s photographs, you may think if you had been there at that moment, you could have taken the same photo. His photographs are ordinary yet abduct the viewer’s imagination. Looking at his images, we are encouraged to make up our own stories. Though the photos look simple to take, in reality each scene has been well choreographed by diCorcia long before the shutter has been clicked.” (2)
This highlights what I have just been learning; about the importance of a workflow, and planning the photos which I am going to capture prior to the shoot. This worked well for my previous assignment, and obviously worked superbly for this talented photographer.

DiCorcia takes everyday occurences and captures them in such a way that really makes the viewer sit and think. His thought provoking images are truly ordinary, and yet spectacular at the same time!

Using a carefully planned staging, he takes everyday occurrences beyond the realm of banality, trying to inspire in his picture’s spectators an awareness of the psychology and emotion contained in real-life situations. His work could be described as documentary photography mixed with the fictional world of cinema and advertising, which creates a powerful link between reality, fantasy and desire.”(3)

Below is an example of the ordinary things that DiCorcia captures;







I personally don’t really like the mundane feel that these photographs have. In my photography I would rather portray a more whimiscal and dreamy approach than the stark reality that DiCorcia shows in his work. However, what I can appreciate and have learnt from DiCorcia’s work is that you really can produce a masterpiece of terrific photographic artwork by visualising a portrait well in advance, and by planning every detail of a photoshoot.

(1) NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY (2013), Photographer’s Spotlight: Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Available on: [Accessed: 22/01/13]

(2) NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY (2013), Photographer’s Spotlight: Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Available on: [Accessed: 22/01/13]

(3) WIKIPEDIA, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Available on: [Accessed 22/01/13]

(4) V&A, Photographs by Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Available on:,[Accessed 22/01/13]

(5) BLOGSPOT, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Available on: [Accessed 22/01/13]

(6) NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY (2013), Photographer’s Spotlight: Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Available on: [Accessed: 22/01/13]


One thought on “Phillip-Lorca diCorcia

  1. Pingback: Module Reflection and Evaluation | Hans Photography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s