Lillian Bassman is one of my photography heroes. She is so rad! Renown for her high contrast, dreamy fashion portraits, Lillian Bassman first started out as a graphic designer and art director at Harper's Baazar magazine in the 1940's. Working at a top fashion magazine in New York City, Bassman actually showcased many prominent fashion photographers of the day, which soon gave her the appetite to become a photographer herself. During her lunch hours, Bassman would frequent the darkroom to develop the images of her famous colleagues. In the darkroom she began to experiment with the developing process using tissue and gauze to bring selected areas of the photograph into focus and applied bleach to manipulate tone. She had a certain vision and style well before taking her own photographs! Bassman soon learned the camera and continued her own self-education in photography. Before long she was landing photo jobs with her magazine connections and became a very sought after commercial photographer in her own right. Lillian Bassman is best known for her expressive portraits of slender elegant models advertising lingerie, cosmetics, fabric, liquor and cigarettes of 1940's and 1950's America. Her images are ethereal, intense and just kind of lovely don't you think?