Rihanna's Vanity Fair cover is the latest stage in a photographic tradition that can be traced back to the Demi Moore pregnancy cover in 1991. The framing is carefully calculated in its pretend intimacy, both off-duty and on message. "Caught" so that you get a sense you are getting a peek into a private moment, though in a way that has been entirely choreographed.
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That snap set a new standard for managing the public pregnancy reveal. It was the first of an entire series of high-concept maternity photoshoots released by the singer. Beyoncé, Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, and Gigi Hadid all had similar shots.
The artist's use of social media as an exercise in image-building is part of a larger trend that sees stars using the medium to communicate with their fans and build brand awareness.
As for Mr. Diggs, he says part of his success lies in the fact that he doesn't shy away from showing his subjects in their natural light.