Ben Rayner Crosses the Atlantic with Glamour UK
So far this summer, Ben Rayner has shot two stories for Glamour UK, and what’s really remarkable about both of the stories – even with different fashion and models and locations – is that they’re both identifiably Ben’s work. His style is threaded through each image. That’s because Glamour UK has become an incredible creative partner for Ben, acting as a true collaborator, letting him execute his vision in every project. “They let me be me, and are super responsive to creative ideas about everything - everything from start to finish. Even down to layout and image selection, which is really nice and I think shows my personality in the work,” explains Ben. “The way things are seen in print is quite different. It’s nice to have such an influence on that and work with the designers and bounce ideas around.” That means that Ben’s vision isn’t limited to the bounds of the photograph’s frame, but takes part in deciding how they sit on the page, interact with the text, and lay in the magazine. It’s a holistic approach.
The first project with Glamour took him to Miami on a shoot that he kept intimate and agile. Ben and his team wanted to escape New York’s chilly June, so they headed down to Florida. Miami is often a destination for photographers because the city is so beautiful, but Ben wanted to do something a little different than the recognizable beach story. “We wanted to shoot something that wasn’t typically Miami which is why it may not be completely recognizable,” says Ben. “So it’s quite nice to go places like that but then use them in completely different ways. I’ve shot in Miami lots of times but never quite in that way.” Miami was the location but the location can always be whatever the photographer needs it to be. For this shoot, the focus was the awesome model, the great fashion, and the experience that translated to imagery – so that’s what Ben highlighted in his photographs.
Later in the summer, Ben teamed up with Glamour UK on the other side of the Atlantic. He was in London with three up and coming models to photograph their favorite pieces from the new season of runway collections. Again, though, Ben’s style isn’t to look at clothes in a vacuum. Instead, he wanted to put them in a personal context. The story ended up having a looser structure to it than traditional fashion stories, but he did that specifically so that we can imagine living in the clothes instead of just understanding them as technical pieces of constructed fabric. “The clothes are less thematic, it’s more about the personality of the girls, almost like a photo diary,” says Ben. “It’s more about the interaction so it was just a nice series.” After all, there are two ways to understand fashion: in the carefully calibrated world of the imagination, and how the clothes will actually live on regular people in the real world. Ben is all about showing the real.