A person of note tells us what they’re watching, listening to and more…

By Phoebe Frangoul

1 April 2024

Known for his highly stylised, vibrantly coloured fashion photography that often references film noir, pop culture and art history, Miles Aldridge’s iconic images have appeared in glossy magazines and many major exhibitions, plus he has collaborated with artists such as Gilbert & George and Harland Miller. He is famed for primarily shooting on film, and his latest book, Please Please return Polaroid: Special Edition (£470, Steidl) explores his faithful dedication to analogue processes.


I was around 14 when punk exploded; seeing the Sex Pistols perform Pretty Vacant on Top of the Pops felt like a piece of me. It was a moment of separation from my father’s [renowned art director and illustrator Alan Aldridge] influence, which included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Cream.


When I started working in the mid 90s, you would rock up to the studio with five or six CDs that would be played on repeat, so an album would be embedded in the memory of making images. I associate Queens of the Stone Age with a particular period of my work; earlier it was Smashing Pumpkins.


At the moment I’m reading Alex Danchev’s Magritte: A Life. Magritte is one of my heroes. He has this wonderful way of presenting images that are shocking but incredibly everyday; deadpan.


My favourite film is Federico Fellini’s . It’s incredibly stylish, with phenomenal photography. My work often has cinematic tropes – I always wanted to be a film director but got distracted by photography.


The best room I have stayed in was the presidential suite at Le Meurice. Early in my career I was working for Vogue Italia in Paris; they gave us the space for a shoot but stipulated ‘you are not allowed to sleep in it’. When we were done, I waved everyone off and stayed the night. In the early hours, the fax machine went off and scared the hell out of me. The idea that I was in this expensive room illicitly was playing on my conscience.


I’ve seen some of the best shows of my life at various Gagosian galleries around the world – it’s such a smart institution. Gagosian has this love of photography; one of the best shows I saw in the London gallery was ‘Avedon Warhol’, just a great idea.


If I could bring back one trend it would be shooting on film. Digital methods are easier to use, but it’s a shame: what makes photography such a special art form is the element of mystery – when there’s film in the camera you don’t know what you’ve got. When I started, every photographer had their way of shooting; a certain type of film processed in a certain way, and all these tricks made the visual world more beautiful.


This year, I’m looking forward to making a short film. I’ve wanted to make a film ever since I saw Stranger Than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch aged about 20. At 59, I haven’t quite made it yet! There have been a few tries, but this latest script feels the most serious. 

A person of note tells us what they’re watching, listening to and more…


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