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Old 28th November 2009   #1
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Kathryn Gamble, Figure photographer

As we have noted before, Kathryn Gamble was to Figure magazine what Michel Arnaud was to Mode--the magazine's best photographer, the one who produced the vast majority of the publication's best images.

With that in mind, it is a pleasure to discover that Mrs. Gamble has an official Web site (linked below). Unlike most photographers who shoot full-figured models, however, she actually includes selections from her Figure work on her site.

For example, long-time Judgment of Paris readers will instantly recognize the following two images as being part of the "Romantic Lines" layout, featuring Yanderis Lodos, which appeared in the July/August 2006 issue. Set in a highly romantic Southern plantation, this was the magazine's best-ever editorial. It is a pleasure to see these fine photographs without the text that appeared on the original pages (although that text was actually quite literary, and ennobled the images).

This editorial was a masterpiece of aesthetic harmony, for nothing could be more appropriate than seeing a full-figured goddess dressed in a romantic peasant blouse, adorned with chandelier earrings, and photographed in such a gorgeous locale. Every aspect of the layout, including the model's dreamy expressions, epitomized timeless beauty.

Bookending Mrs. Gamble's Figure work, her site also features two never-before-seen outtakes from the shoot for another Yanderis layout, "Prints Charming," which appeared in the magazine's final issue, March/April 2009.

These outtakes are similar to the published images, but with slightly different poses. The picture above is highly sensual, with a soft-featured Yanderis alluringly slipping the strap of her dress off of her shoulder. And the following headshot is actually much prettier than the corresponding image that ran in the magazine.

It is a pity that Mrs. Gamble's site does not include more images of Kelsey Olson, who was to Figure what Kate Dillon was to Mode--the magazine's most recognizable model. Kelsey appeared in Figure numerous times, including a memorable layout shot by Mrs. Gamble called "Now & Then," from the Nov/Dec 2008 issue, which featured Kelsey channelling a Moonlighting-era Cybill Shepherd.

* * *

In retrospect, Figure magazine is deeply missed. Its best layouts, such as the ones that are linked in this post, were the equal of anything in Mode, and in fact superior to Mode's editorial content during the last two years of its existence, when it had devolved into a faux-plus publication. If it hadn't been for Figure's occasional lapses into diet-related advertising (an unforgivable obscenity), it would be even more fondly remembered. As it was, Figure was a bimonthly guarantee of at least one memorable layout celebrating timeless beauty, which is far more than what we have today. Glamour's efforts, so far, haven't even come close--let alone the fact that unlike Figure, said magazine does not provide a waif-free environment, so it cannot be considered a size-positive publication.

One hopes that a successor to Figure will appear presently, a magazine that will maintain Figure's excellent model-booking policies, but deliver a more resolutely size-positive message, with no body-diminishment advertising whatsoever.

We also hope that the talented Mrs. Gamble will have more opportunities to shoot plus-size models in the future.


Last edited by HSG : 26th December 2009 at 18:59.
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