The After Hours book contains musings on Bradford and his work. Below are some excerpts.
Follow the Light by Andrew Gross
A city with a million images to capture. The city of Nick and Nora Charles of “The Thin Man” of tinkling cocktails and throaty sirens, none more sleek and sultry than Lauren Bacall, Bradford’s most “famous” subject.
They called her Baby, Baby Bacall a long cool drink of water. At his studio on 57th Steer and Madison Avenue, Bradford said, “Baby, me give a look.”
The look she gave him could have frozen sleet. “They call me ‘Baby’, you don’t.”
He shrugged. Just another hungry girl wanting to be paid.
As everyone knows, Bacall went to Hollywood, met Humphrey Bogart and became a star.
It seems Bogie wanted those negatives Bradford had shot of the young, nude Bacall.
He did not want the pictures printed let alone sold to any magazine.
Bradford to Bogie: “Tough luck.”
Bogie to Bradford: “I’ll pay.”
Bradford: “Now you’re talking.”
Within and Without by Rachel Bowers
Smith’s after hours portraits of the same models in the nude, showed a willing to rebel against society that drew women, their bodies and sexuality along strict lines. The nude photography was never exploitative, it was the simply the representation and appreciation of the female form. Even with that freedom, the photographs were taken largely in secret and away from the outside world that would likely shun the actions of both photographer and participant. Bradford Smith was the product of a society of traditional values, and yet his photograph showed that he lived both within and without the restrictions it placed on him.