Glen Luchford, The Agony and The Ectasy
Anyone who has assisted a photographer, or indeed seen the plight of a photographic assistant up close at first hand, might well be fully attuned to the title of this latest monograph from the British photographer Glen Luchford The Agony and the Ecstasy: Jack Webb by Glen Luchford, which will be published by IDEA this week. The agony of not quite being the one true creative hand, so close and yet so far, and the ecstasy of just that proximity – the stardust of the photographer and the subject, the (supposed) glamour of the fashion shoot.
Glen Luchford has shot hundreds of fashion images over his more than two-decade- career. In 1991, he met Jack Webb and hired him as a lighting assistant. Webb, a photographer in his own right, would stand in for models on set so that Luchford could test the lighting. “Those pictures were made without the sense that they’d ever been seen again because usually what happens at the end of a session is you separate test shots out and they get trashed,” Luchford says in a conversation with Webb that is included in the book. “But for some reason, I hung onto them.”
What results is a book of 82 photographs of Webb and 82 images of the subjects he stood in for. It’s at once funny and touching, a kind of private diary of a professional relationship and personal friendship, evolving over the years. As Lou Stoppard writes, “This book is as much about friendship as it is the photographic process. It’s full of fashion, but it’s not about fashion. It’s about 25 years of collaboration. About photographer and assistant, friend and friend. About Jack and Glen, Glen and Jack. Two men growing up together.”
Vogue, Paris, March 2015
Vogue, UK, 2015
Self Service, SS/12
Vogue Italia, October 2007