Semiotics in Fashion Photography: Does It Affect Culture as Much as Culture Affects It?

Topics: Semiotics, Photography, Linguistics Pages: 3 (809 words) Published: August 25, 2013
Semiotics in Fashion Photography: Does it affect culture as much as culture affects it?


Fashion Photography has taken quite the belittling from the conventional world of photography. Where other forms of photography ‘naturally’ capture beauty, fashion photography is have said to be too meticulous in ‘setting up’ the photograph. . Brookes states that, “fashion advertising, in particular, is seen as negating the purity of the photographic image. We see the typical [in fashion photography] instead of the unique moment or event.”

Despite such an outlook on fashion photography, it has received thorough analysis and academic attention from the likes of Barthes, Wilson, Anderson, Brookes and Kawamura. Barthes has taken fashion photography and placed it within a semiological framework, where he applies the semiotics into fashion photography as a means of communication through the signs and symbols for any photographs.

Culture revolves around fashion photography. Or is it the other way round? It has become apparent that semiotics is greatly relevant to fashion photography, and fashion is an excellent example of a ‘identity-image producing media’. Fashion is an incredibly distinct language itself, and “emblematizes the essence of its social context”. With that, is culture affected, or is the fashion photography affected by culture? With this essay I will be investigating the idea of whether culture is affected by fashion photography, or does fashion photography dictate our culture.

Enquiry Outcomes

I will be exploring the world of semiotics and how relevant it is to fashion photography and using it to solve the question of; whether fashion phtoography follow culture or dictates it. We take it for granted that fashion photography is something we pass by everyday, something that we do not pay very much attention to detail in our everyday lives and we don’t know how much it really affects our culture to a certain degree.

With this...

Bibliography: 1. Jakobsen, M. (2008) Semiotics, Fashion and Cognition. Unknown.
2. Barthes, R. (2006). The Language of Fashion. Oxford: Berg Publishers.
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