Polaroids occupy a special place in photography, all the more so since the development of digital techniques. The instant print and absence of editing tools allows these one-of-a kind images a beguiling realness: In no other photographic medium does the moment find its material form with such sincerity and such speed
Throughout his career, Helmut Newton
used polaroids not just for their poetics but as a crucial tool for testing lighting and composition before a shoot began. Many photographers threw these tests away. Luckily for us, Newton kept his, allowing his widow June Newton
to assemble this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at some of his greatest shoots
, from the classic nudes in Milan to latex-clad shots in St. Tropez.
With images visible folds or handwriting, these snaps from the seventies, eighties, and nineties are akin to the preparatory sketches to masterpiece paintings
. Offering fascinating insight into Newton’s creative direction and process, they stand as works of art in their own right, and as a historical testament to a bygone age of fashion photography