Lena Dunham–More than Just a “Girl”

By Matthew Bamberg / Jan 11, 2014
Lena Dunham wearing a black Calvin Klein Bodysuite for a V Magazine Photoshoot

Photograph by Terry Richardson

What would you say in 2010 if you were asked if Lena Dunham would be big star? My bet is, not likely. At the time she had just finished making her movie Tiny Furniture.Back then Matthew Bamberg was researching the future of photography for his book, New Image Frontiers: Defining the Future of Photography. At the time Dunham’s team was publicizing her movie, making it known to the world that twenty-somethings in the United States were drifting aimlessly. But there was more to her madness than that. Laura Dunham was no normal “girl.”Bamberg found that she had just finished filming her first film, Tiny Furniture, an award-winning powerhouse of a film about a self-indulgent millennial, one that caught the author-photographer’s eye not because of its topic, but because of its novelty as a film made with a simple camera. The prediction about Dunham being a powerhouse came true in 2014, as she makes headlines all around the world.Lena Dunham is smart, very smart. She was the one of the first to make an entire movie with a dSLR camera. That in and of itself is notable, more notable, perhaps than the theme of her movies or all that talk about appearing in them in her birthday suit. The camera–a Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS –was novel at the time, a camera that could take video in high definition, and one that end up making her a big star.

Dunham should be lauded, not for her fame, not for her nudity and not for her lifeless former life. She should be seen as a keen woman innovator, a technological wiz-kid. Appearing in television shows will be the least of many bold innovations in the future.

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).