Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Photography | George Hurrell's Style

In my regular life, I work at a photo store where I do sales and photography. I am still relatively new to shooting in the studio, so I am always fascinated by the way lighting can dramatically change the look of a picture. You have different lighting for children, different lighting for head shots, different lighting for different colored backgrounds... there is so much simple lighting can do to make a picture pop!

Jane: "I feel like a guinea pig."

George: "You won't when we've finished with you."

I know I have already done a post about George Hurrell, but I wanted to do another one to share these behind the scenes photos of Hurrell's 1942 photo shoot with Jane Russell at the Beverly Hills Studio. Jane Russell (21 at the time) was a relative unknown in Hollywood. Her big break in the 1943 film The Outlaw (which we all know what this film did for her career) hadn't come out yet. Hurrell was paid $4000 by Howard Hughes to take pictures of his newest protege.

As you can see in these pictures, Hurrell usually shot in a sparsely decorated, dark room with dramatic overhead lighting. The lights usually at full power to give the large lighting contrast we have grown to know as his signature style. His camera angles were usually higher than the subject, and the subjects were usually positioned in unusual poses, but the results were always beautiful.

And here is the final result...

Quote by Jane and George found at TCM Fan Community.


  1. Wow! The final photo was really stunning. She looks a bit like Katharine Hepburn on this one. Jane was a very beautiful woman.