David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle is an american photographer well known for his manipulated images. This is something that I have been looking into quite a bit since beginning part 4- Reality and Intervention. I came across this talented photographer who’s renowned for his pop photography images. LaChapelle’s photography career began when he started showing his artwork in galleries in New York. His work was recognized by Andy Warhol, who offered  LaChapelle his first job as a photographer at ‘Interview Magazine’. Andy said to him once, “Do what you want, but make everyone look good.(1)” This is an insight into the celebrity world- where looking good, and producing good looking photographs was the key aim. Personally- I prefer capturing honest, real people, and editing them in such a way as to only remove small blemishes and enhance the image slightly. Manipulating images to the extremes of LaChapelle would not be something I would agree with- however his work truly is amazing. His photographs of celebrities became very highly regarded, and he was soon shooting for top editorial publications. He became the ‘go to’ photographer for the world’s biggest stars. “If you are paging through Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, or Interview and are struck by a photograph that jumps off the page with electrifying colors, humor, and dynamic subjects, chances are the photographer is David LaChapelle.(2)” His signature photography has become renowned for extremely colourful sets, wildly unique positioning of models/celebs, and subtle humour throughout!

His images really do pull on the boundaries of photography. In an interview he talks about the following image of Michael Jackson;



I used a Michael Jackson impersonator and spent weeks and weeks moving pixels around to create the face of Michael Jackson circa 1990.  It’s a photograph, but it’s a not a portrait, so it sort of redefines what a photograph is. We spent so much time going back in and putting in details and flaws, and there’s no question that it’s Michael  Jackson. But he never posed for it. It’s a very strange concept. (4)” This shows just how much of LaChapelle’s photography is formed through manipulating images to produce what the photographer wants the public to see- instead of what really was so. This is a concept that I’m not really comfortable with; however I do appreciate the skill and talent of LaChapelle- and the great success that he has achieved through his work.

Below are a few more of this talented photographer’s wacky pieces;







(8) 09-11-18-david-lachapelle2

(1)  BELIEF NET, David LaChapelle: Superstars and the Divine, Available From: http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/2000/05/David-Lachapelle-Superstars-And-The-Divine.aspx, [Accessed: 04/03/13]

(2)  BELIEF NET, David LaChapelle: Superstars and the Divine, Available From: http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/2000/05/David-Lachapelle-Superstars-And-The-Divine.aspx, [Accessed: 04/03/13]

(3) ART NET (2013), Freak Flag, Available From http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/reviews/kley/david-lachapelle-michael-jackson9-14-10.asp, [Accessed: 04/03/13]

(4) INTERVIEW MAGAZINE, David LaChapelle Gives Up the Gold, Available From: (http://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/david-lachapelle-rape-of-africa-#/page2), [Accessed: 04/03/13]

(5) ANTHONY LUKE PHOTOGRAPHY, Interview with Photographer David LaChapelle in his LA Studio, Available From: http://anthonylukephotography.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/interview-with-photographer-david.html [Accessed: 04/03/13]

(6) FASHIONISING.COM., Kate Perry by David LaChapelle, Available From: http://www.fashionising.com/pictures/p–Katy-Perry-by-David-LaChapelle-ghd-2011-campaign-9837-154520.html, [Accessed: 04/03/13]

(7) GUY HEPNER, David LaChapelle Dream Evokes Surrealism, Available From: http://www.guyhepner.com/artists/?_escaped_fragment_=ART24/David-LaChapelle/COL90/Dream-Evokes-Surrealism, [Accessed: 04/03/13]

(8) SHOOT FOR YOUR LIFE (2011), David LaChapelle, Available From: http://www.shootforyourlife.com/2009/11/18/david-lachapelle/, [Accessed: 04/03/13]


One thought on “David LaChapelle

  1. Pingback: Module Reflection and Evaluation | Hans Photography

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