Renowned fashion photographers Bruce Weber and David Bailey are arguably the godfathers of old school photographs, having captured images for everyone from glossies like Vogue and GQ, to portraits of music legends like Mick Jagger and the Beatles. So it’s safe to assume that they probably know just about every form of photography, right?
Not so much. Turns out that Bailey and Weber don’t understand one very popular method of photo-taking: the #selfie.
We asked the two about the selfie phenomenon just after they shot an entire series of photographs on their Nokia Lumia 1020 camera phones.
“Wait, selfie?” Bailey responded.
“What’s that?” Weber chimed in.
Both of them seemed genuinely puzzled when we explained the phenomenon, describing how kids are now taking images of themselves using their camera phone and posting them to various social media channels (sometimes several times a day!). But even though Weber didn’t understand selfies until now, he did have an opinion about sharing photos on cyberspace.
“I have this conversation with a lot of people in the studio,” he said. ”I like to put interesting things in my life on photo. I don’t think I like the idea of sharing my photos–not that I’m doing so many interesting things–but it seems weird to me,” he said.
“I don’t have anything against it if that’s what they like to do,” he continued. “I have a lot of people in my studio who Instagram and take interesting photos and it’s great. Sometimes they take pictures of themselves and they’re funny. I like to see how people see themselves.”
The two photog friends (going on thirty years) had just wrapped up an entire day shooting in Harlem for Nokia’s new 41-mega pixel camera. From photographing a boxing ring, to street style, to children playing in the streets, both captured a unique blend all on a camera phone.
“Harlem was always my favorite place in New York City,” Weber told us. “There’s a great book shop up there. I collect vinyl records, so I used to go all the way up there to get vinyl. I really enjoyed the people up there, the way they dress. I love seeing the people, the clothes.”
So how different of an experience was it replacing high-end cameras for phones?
“Well, no different. If it takes photos, I’ll take it,” Bailey said.
Check out a few shots from the day–minus any selfies, of course.