Slim Aarons never fails to come in strong with those summer feels.
Slim Aarons is a photographer from Manhattan, NY, born in 1916. He joined the Army at 18 and ended up photographing World War II AND earning a Purple Heart. But, it wasn’t until he moved to sunny California where his main focus shifted into jet setters, socialites & celebrities ( those stems in the yellow hammock belong to French babe, Brigette Bardot). He’s like the OG paparazzi — minus the sleaze. In fact, he was far from it.
Aarons was the elite’s personal photographer. He got invited to all the parties and knew everybody. His M.O. was “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” Basically, he’s the ultimate Instagram Husband except you wouldn’t have to convince him to take your photo. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What made his work so interesting is that he never used a stylist or makeup artist. All his subjects were shot in their versions of au naturel and in the most luxurious habitats. I think that’s why I love his photos so much. They’re perfectly candid. And the vibrant colors and endless summer vibes are reflective of the time spent in that high glam, Hollywood life. He had a knack for catching the subjects at just the right moment and it’s refreshing. As an observer, I feel like I’m right there with him, behind the scenes. Nowadays, this era of sneak peek glam life is replicated in styled editorial shoots or reality TV shows. Which, if I’m honest, I love. I can’t be the only one who’s binge watched “KUWTK” or purchased apps just to get the latest scoop on their lives… right?! It’s experiencing another person’s world through a totally different perspective than my own. It’s addicting.
Eventually, Mark Getty, co-founder of Getty Images, would buy Aarons entire archive. Aarons sold it up once the generation moved into more tabloid filled media. He wanted the world to see his documentation of how society used to be, not what it turned into. Hmm, I wonder what he would have thought about it today. Would he have photographed our favorite celebs doing what they do best or would he sit back and let social media do the work?
I guess for now, we can sit back and enjoy HIS work.