The Studium and The Punctum


Guy Bourdin – The Estate, Autumn 1979

“Studium – the information which a photographer puts in to a photo to tell a story”

Although I believe Guy Bourdin’s fashion photography is not the most basic photography produced compared to other fashion photographers, I do believe his photos are quite to the point; he has been commissioned to advertise shoes which he has achieved by making them the main focal point. Bourdin uses bright, eye catching colours to grab the viewers’ attention; in relation to colour theory he uses the colours that contrast and sit together perfectly.

This image itself has a pretty simple message, that Charles Jourdan’s shoes are worn by models, however the aesthetic of this image makes it very likeable, his target audience is clearly women however the use of a female model being portrayed in a sexualised manor will also target males who will then in turn purchase the products advertised. Bourdin has chosen to use a ‘perfect’ model, along with the black clothing connoting a sexual message.


Jessica Ledwich – Monstrous Feminine

“Punctum – the information contained in a photo which provokes an intense personal and emotional response”

The series of images ‘Monstrous Feminine’ were taken by Jessica Ledwich to reflect and exaggerate the struggles women feel they need to put themselves through daily to be considered the perfect female. Inspired by Barbara Creed’s book ‘The Monstrous-Feminine’, Ledwich has explored the view on women from what society expects to see from a woman and from the process which a woman goes through to meet these standards; Ledwich helps to show that all women have flaws, contrary to what they let the public eye see.

The series, this photo especially, definitely triggered an emotional response within me as Ledwich really touches on the reality of the female body rather than over-sexualising or glamourizing it. There may also be an emotional link with husbands/boyfriends/fathers who may watch women go through these struggles. After viewing these images I felt a mixture of anger and upset, as I feel women should not have to feel this however I know exactly how it feels to be put under pressure to be perfect.

Bourdin, G. (2016) Guy Bourdin – Louise Alexander Gallery. Available at: (Accessed: 3 October 2016).
Ledwich, J. (2016) Monstrous feminine. Available at: (Accessed: 3 October 2016).




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