Gwyneth Paltrow lives in a different world than you and me. She’s a movie star, married to Coldplay’s Chris Martin, has a website that sells $485 sweaters, and even got to sing with Cee Lo. That’s pretty special, right? You know what else is special? Secret magazine cover for subscribers only. Don’t worry, you’re special. We’ll show you.
I have been known to like Terry Richardson‘s work (not so much the guy). But I didn’t always have an adulation for his style. It’s been an evolution of taste for me, sort of like eating uni (sea urchin) at the sushi bar. Somehow over time I’ve developed a taste of that slimy texture, – and uni, too (ba dump). Here’s Terry’s subscribers’-only cover for the October 2012 Harper’s Bazaar.
But wait, there more! Here’s the gatefold:
And for those who purchased off the newsstand:
As we mentioned with Flaunt‘s Joseph Gordon-Levitt cover, the lack of type can really make the image more impactful (not that it needed it). This isn’t exactly on-camera flash, as the source seems to be much larger, but it’s still pretty much on-axis as is Terry’s style. White background means no distraction, and holy canole…That’s some dress. If you look that good at 39, go for it.
In total contrast, we have this cover that’s promoting her new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, as photographed by Matt Jones.
She’s still aglow, but with much less make-up and retouching. We can see freckles (aka sun damage). The pose, lighting, and background are much more friendly and appealing. And the inside spread’s shot is like the world’s greatest lifestyle stock image. Big honking lightsources, soft shadows, nice bokeh. This isn’t the first time Matt’s photographed Gwyneth – he did a nice cover spread for Elle back in March 2009 (love the hair!) that had a similar evocation of personality.
Verdict: Both photographers do a great job of being “appropriate” for the publication, and the contrast of the two effectively illustrates the dichotomy of the image Gwyneth tries to portray, namely, all that is glamour and all that is wholesome. But this column isn’t about egalitarianism, so we must choose. My visceral reaction is to pick Terry’s special cover because she looks so damn hot, but you know what, I’m gonna go with Matt because it’s such a cute and contemporary looking image. It’s the kind of shot that I would love to make in my own kitchen. Boy, I’m hungry!
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