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Rankin: 'Selfies can be art if done right'

Rankin: 'Selfies can be art if done right'

Fashion photographer Rankin thinks selfies can be classed as art if approached in "the right way".

For the past 20 years, Rankin, real name John Rankin Waddell, has been photographing models, celebrities, and other famous faces for publications like Dazed & Confused and Another Magazine, as well as shooting music videos for some of the world's most famous musicians.

No stranger to the self-portrait, Rankin feels the trend for selfies, as popularised by reality TV star Kim Kardashian and models such as Kendall Jenner, and Karlie Kloss, can be viewed as an art form.

"Anything can be art if approached or appropriated in the right way," he told"But the problem is they are actually more likely to make you look homogeneous! Where portraiture should be revealing, selfies just make you more like the next person taking a selfie."

The UK-based photographer said for those keen on taking artistic selfies, they should focus on taking the photo from a slightly higher angle with a soft light. Or try a composition that is "more mysterious or experimental" and conveys personality as well as superficial beauty.

Of his career, Rankin shared that of all the A-list stars he has worked with German-born model Heidi Klum is one of the most surprising. He described the blonde beauty as "fun and super smart" as well as willing to really get involved in a photoshoot.

With regard to designers, Rankin added he is most inspired by those in the fashion industry that really push the envelope.

"I really admire anybody that can take what they love and make a business out of it whilst also staying creative within it. I love to shoot anything by Marc Jacobs, and I just love how funny Jeremy Scott is. Both designers have such a great sense of mischief and "pop" to their work," he said.

Rankin spoke ahead of the launch of nail brand essie's Colour Portrait Studio. The pop-up opens for one day, 17 May, at a secret London location. Lucky attendees will have their nails tended by an essie manicurist and their hair and make-up professionally done ahead of their own photo shoot with Rankin.

The photographer added that taking good photos isn't just about having top notch equipment on hand.

"There's a lot of brilliant equipment out there, but in the end, it comes down to the photographer and their subject," he explained.

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