What Makes Rankin’s Work Distinctive?

Rankin is a  very famous fashion and portrait photographer who works closely with films and advertising industries to advertise many different products and he is also well known for advertising different films and television programmes. Below are some examples of his work that i really like and enjoy.

He is a very well known fashion and portrait photographer and in the photography industry there is a lot of these at the moment and these types of photography are very popular with upcoming new photographers who are just starting out in the industry trying to become a famous photographer much like Rankin is now.

For him to stand out in the industry it is important that he makes his work very distinctive and different to every other photographer who is in the same category as him. He has been a photographer for quite a while and has managed to create a variety of different portfolios which can be found on his website. So he has a lot of experience in trying to make his work distinctive and different.

One of the reasons I decided to choose Rankin as part of my current project is because his work stood out to me and shone through the others photographers work that we could choose from. Although it may be similar to some other fashion photographers work, he puts his own twist on things and takes one model and adds either so much or so little t the image and uses his ideas and talents in many different ways to make his work stand out from the rest.

He uses each model as a project and he uses so many different elements to make his model suitable for shooting and it will also help convey any important messages he may want to portray in his images or that whoever he is working for wants to have portrayed through the photos. He also use each of his models as a very blank canvas and puts his own stamp on them and makes them into a vision or an idea he has in his head, in some ways you could say that he models that he uses have no say in what happens to them bent they go into a shoot with Rankin, its a case of they go into his shoot and they basically hand them selves over to him and give him full control over their body, what they look like and their facial and body expressions. An example of when he uses a model as a blank canvas and has complete control of what they do and how they look is a piece of his work where he has taken four different female models and painted their entire bodies head to chest and also their hair, so that all of their bodies that are in the frame are just black and you can’t see the real colour of their skin. He then added bright coloured paint to their face and it looks like he has created an abstract work of art on their face and this is ironic as most of his work is seen as an abstract piece of art. He has changed the models identities completely and they don’t have any say in what they look like because they are his project and he has complete control. The photo below is the photo that I believe he shows really distinctively that he has complete control over all the models that he works with and that he uses their bodies and their image as a project and they have limited or even no say on what goes on and what happens to them during the shoot with Rankin.


Also in Rankin’s work I feel that he is very distinctive because of the different colours that he uses in his work, he steers clear very much throughout his work from light colours and very pale and pasty colours as this just isn’t his style at all. His style is very much the opposite of light and subtle, he is very focused and passionate about using bright colours and vibrant makeup on most of, if not all of his models that he works with. This makes his work distinctive because especially when working with beauty and makeup models, some other photographers who seem to be competing with Rankin, keep their models quite natural and pale and don’t use much, if not any colour when it comes to everything about their models and the shoot that they are doing, anything from  makeup, outfits, props and backgrounds or locations. They use this because they like to promote natural beauty and purity in people, as in the media things about models are very strongly opinionated and highly frowned upon this is what make everything the same and plain. Because of this many photographers work can be seen by people as very boring and dull, all very much the ams, this can be a problem for some photographers that are just starting out and are trying to manipulate other photographers work because they don’t have anything distinctive about them and their work has no identity and they have just copied something they have seen on a screen, with no idea, passion or creativity involved. What makes Rankin’s work so distinctive in terms of colour, is that he uses totally different strategies from other fashion and beauty photographers and puts his mark on beauty and fashion photography by adding bright and vibrant colours to his work. I really like this about his work but it really shows that he has distinction in the industry, for example if you was to put a line of photographs together all taken by beauty and fashion photographers like Rankin, then his work would stand out the most because of the vibrancy in his work and the powerful strong colours that he uses. An example of when he portrays this in his work is when he photographs a model who is not wearing anything and is lying in a very awkward but somewhat seductive pose on the floor and it covered head to toe, hair included in body paint. The colours are bright and distinctive and it looks like an artist has created a piece of work on her body as the art on her body is very neat and tidy and looks a lot like it has been done by an artist. It’s a very vibrant and bright image and is a prime example of his works with vibrant colours. Below is the example of that piece of work.


Also a lot in his work, he focuses a lot of body language and facial expressions. This works in well with everything else in his pictures to make his work very distinctive. He steers away from traditional facial expressions typically used in fashion and beauty photography. This is typically poses and facial expressions that will make the model seem suductive and sexy and this is something that a lot of different photographers focus on mainly especially when it comes to fashion and beauty photography. But the thing about Rankin, is that he uses different poses and facial expressions in his work to portray maybe the same or different messages as other fashion and beauty photographers do. He doesn’t actually focus on their beauty he focuses on their body it self and uses it almost like a mannequin to make his dream and his idea for that shoot and that model a reality. He has full control much like their make up and outfit during the shoot they have hardly if  not any say in what goes on their are just their, to be his toy and his doll, to put it in the nicest way possible that best describes their role. He shows an example of his distinctive work using body language and facial expressions when he creates an image using a human arm and head and the way he positioned the models face and the other models arm, it looks a lot like the person is holding the persons head by their hair and hanging it from the air. This is because of the facial expression used on the persons head which he has photographed, it ties in well wight he makeup and the clothes, also the hair style that she has been given makes it look a lot like she has a dolls head and that has been ripped off of the body and hung above the body in the air. The facial expression looks so doll like and plastic that it is the complete opposite to normal and typical beauty and fashion photography, facial language and poses. Its gone from natural, pure and beautiful, facial expressions and poses, to really fake, plastic and doll like poses. Which shows his distinctive streak in his work because its different from a lot of other different photographers work as he doesn’t copy them. Below is the example of his expression work.




One thought on “What Makes Rankin’s Work Distinctive?

  1. There are some really fantastic observations about Rabkin’s work here Emily and you have explored these in a great deal of depth – really well done. For this project it’s really important that you use quotes to back up your ideas each week as this shows your research skills. If you can remember what you read for this it would be worth while going back to that to add in some quotes – as reference these to your bibliography.


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