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The Straight-Up is a documentary style of photography pioneered by Terry Jones, founder and editor-in-chief of i-D magazine, in 1977. Taking its name from a West Country expression meaning 'tell it like it is', a Straight-Up typically captures a head-to-toe portrait of someone street cast with great personal style, often accompanied by a short question-and-answer defining their life, likes and dislikes.


In 1977, inspired by August Sander's social documentary portraits and Irving Penn's Small Trade series, Jones commissioned British photographer Steve Johnston to photograph London punks head-to-toe against a plain white wall on the Kings Road. Jones intended the pictures to run as a cultural piece in British Vogue, where he then worked as art director.[1][2] The photographs however were considered too revolutionary, so Jones ran the images in a book he was art directing called Not Another Punk Book, published by Aurum Press.[3] These Straight-Ups went on to form the basis of i-D, a hand-stapled fanzine founded by Jones in 1980.[4] As i-D grew from a fanzine into a fashion magazine, the Straight-Up style of photography continued, culminating in an entire issue of the magazine dedicated to the photographic style in August 2003 (The Straight-Up Issue, No. 234). Today Straight-Ups continue to be featured in i-D.[5] A number of other magazines[which?], newspapers[which?] and blog sites[which?] have since adopted the style.


  1. ^ "i-D magazine: Identity parade". The Independent. London. 15 October 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
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