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Katie Spring
Photography II
Ms. Carney
Period 8
Angus McBean 
Angus McBean was a Welsh photographer who was born on June 8, 1904. He grew up in many different places due to his father’s job as a mine surveyor. This constant change in scenery made way for Angus’ interest in photography to develop. His interest soon grew into a love when he studied at Newport Technical College. He was quoted saying that he was “fascinated by the apparently magical properties of the process”.  Once he graduated college he sold a  solid gold watch from his grandfather in order to purchase photography equipment. His dedication to his craft only grew as he became more comfortable with and confident in his abilities. 
In 1925, after the death of his father, Angus moved home with his mother and began working at a department store. He learned how to restore furniture and other priceless antiques. During this time, McBean focused on his own photography at night. He got his first big break in 1936 while being commissioned to create masks for the play “The Happy Hypocrite”. The director, Ivor Novello was impressed with the beautiful reference photographs and further employed McBean to take production photographs and later portraits of the young star Vivien Leigh. This catapulted his career and made him one of the most sought after portrait photographers of his era. 
 His career took a brief hit when McBean was arrested for “lude acts of homosexuality” and sentenced to four years in prison. He was released in the autumn of 1944, and fully regained his former esteem after the second World War. However, post-war his style changed drastically from his pre-war style. He became much more traditional and clean as opposed to the surrealistic and creative portraits of Vivien Leigh. He went on to photograph some of the most influential public figures of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s like The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. McBean’s central focus was contributing to projects like “French Vogue” and exploring different sides of portraits.  He remained a critically afamed portrait photographer long after his death on his 86th birthday. 

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This photo is extremely simple and clean while beautiful and real. 


The symmetry of this image is very visually pleasing and creates a central focus and unity. 

This illustrates a perfect example of the more creative and surreal side of McBean’s photos. 

This photograph is iconic and speaks to the level of skill that McBean possessed to create such a long lasting image of style.  


This demonstrated both of McBean’s prevalent styles and combines them into one beautiful image. 

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