Staged Scenes or Fashion


These pictures came from a number of conflicting places.  They reflect the documentary tradition that looms across all my work. But also a desire to produce work that answered questions, as well as raised or reflected reality. At the time I was developing tight narrative techniques  at the London College of Fashion, with varying degrees of success. The struggle between the limited language of commercial fashion imagery and a deeper, story based work is constant throughout. See review below from eMagazine from 2007.


These selected images were taken between 2005 and 2007 using a combination of medium format film and digital capture.

"Joseph Kaler's photos seem like snapshots of life, or moments captured from a film. His models do not pose in glamorous worlds, but appear casually against everyday London backdrops. Kaler's photographic intention breaks with conventional fashion photography, a bold step once taken by Philip-Lorca diCorcia with his street photography for a renowned clothing manufacturer in the nineties. Joseph Kaler aims to achieve more than simply presenting fashion in appealing ambiences, he seeks to enhance pictures with a deeper content and emotion: seemingly authentic scenarios tell stories, arouse feelings and appear to document real events.


All the pictures in his latest series were taken in East London, a part of the metropolis that has been shaped by unemployment and poverty, but also by a special group of people that inspired Charles Dickens. Melancholy and hope still lie close together here, creating a unique atmosphere. In this environment, an emancipated, confident, young group of people with a new attitude to life has emerged. To Joseph Kaler, photographing East London in 2006 means concerning himself with issues such as the identity, nationality and sexual roles of young men."


Andrea Spath, E Magazine, 2007


© Joseph Kaler 2021