Saturday, 23 March 2019

A Boring Essay on Hats

In 1989 I watched the film 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being'. Tereza did a photo shoot with Sabina who wore nothing else but a bowler hat. Bowler hats have never looked the same.

Barbara at Calogeros
Dr Shama - Ubud

On a Summer Sunday ten years later I strolled into Gino's Cafe and Bar in the Cappuccino Strip in the port city of Fremantle.  It was crowded, not a spare table anywhere. Nearly 200 men and women, drinking coffee, licking gelato, eating calamari, sipping shiraz - people watching, reading papers and dozing. I scrounged a table for two, sat alone and waited. ... and waited ....and waited.

Penny - Moore River
Twenty minutes later heads started to turn. They looked across the road towards a woman with a curvy body, tight fitting dress and broad-brimmed hat. One by one every head turned to the blonde as she sashayed across the strip and sat at my table. She was the only woman at Ginos wearing a hat. I photographed her. It was my first professional award. I suddenly realised how important hats were to both photographers and women.

As a photographer you can buy a $5000 camera and use studio lighting, portrait lenses and Photoshop. But a single hat shot may be the magic difference.

As a lady you can get a tan spray, teeth whitening, an hour in make-up but pull on your favourite hat you may surpass the alure of everything else

Barbara - Cottesloe
Ten Reasons to Wear a Hat

1. The first thing I look at is the subject's face. Then her hat. Its right there! Before I tilt down to look at the dress, legs or shoes.
2.  Hats are better than tans, teeth whitening and tattoos. Plus you can change a hat every day or every hour.
3. A hat frames your face
4. Hats make a statement and reflect your mood.
Veroniqua - Lauder and Howard, East Fremantle
5. There are so many 'looks' with a hat - tilted forward, back, left, right.
6. Hats frame flirty eye-meets with the lens.
7. In Aussie sun, a wide-brimmed hat provides shade and makes the wearer look 10 years younger.
8. Continued use of a hat preserves your skin and helps prevent skin damage.
9. No more 'racoon-eye' shots. (deep eye shadows.
10. Fantastic cover for a 'bad hair' day.
Pam - West Perth

'One of my favourite poses was working for Steven Meisel. It was one of my first photo shoots with him, and we were trying to get the cover of Italian Vogue. Then, I literally took my Balenciaga hat, pulled it down, and gave a rolling eye, 'ugh' face, crossed legs on the floor. And lo and behold the cover of Italian Vogue!'
Coco Rocha

Wave Waif at Walpole
If you've read this far, you deserve a reward.  In 2019 the Fremantle International Portrait Prize has a  prize pool of more than AU$20,000. Adding a snap with a hat may just catch the judges' eye.

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