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Photography lies!

Richard Avedon, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor,

Richard Avedon, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, 1957

In 1936 he abdicated the British throne for her. It is April 1957, almost 20 years later. Richard Avedon photographs the couple in their New York suite in the Waldorf Astoria. The famous photo shows two sad bitter people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both are proficient in being photographed. During the shoot they smile, they want to appear satisfied with life. That’s how they want to be seen, but the photographer has other plans. He knows they adore dogs, so he tells them, that his taxi has run over a dog. The couple’s mask drops and Avedon quickly takes a photo. Years later he recalls in the movie Darkness and Light:

The expression on their faces is true, because you can’t evoke an expression that doesn’t come out of the life of a person. (…) There are times when it is necessary to trick a sitter into what you want. But never for the sake of the trick!

Oh, really?

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