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Old Dec 4, 2011, 3:11 PM   #1
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Default Being the Same is the New Original

I am sure when reading the title of my little rant, (not sure if that will be the case) you are probably thinking, "is this guy bi-polar or what?". Well, both my partner and myself have come to the conclusion, that in order to succeed in the Arts today and specifically as a commercial Fashion Photographer, you have to become as homogeneous as skimmed milk.

I have noticed the literal hundreds of pages of fashion spreads that look like they could have been done by the same photographer but were done by literally a cast of hundred or even more. They all look the SAME! Of course the styling is somewhat different. But the style is undeniably "Homogenized".

I would go as far as to say, that being different and original is no longer an asset, but a major hindrance to success, as most do not want to take the risk of not looking the SAME as everything else that is produced. It is in THAT sameness that the advertisers and most main stream magazines take solace in the continuity of what is acceptable and not disturbing.

There was a time in Fashion where if you were not original, your chances of getting published was rare. Now I am NOT saying that there are not incredibly creative individuals out there producing outstanding work. What I am saying, is that it is becoming more and more difficult for those individuals to succeed in what is becoming a very difficult metier to survive even under the best of conditions. Playing it safe has become the norm and those with enough courage to express something other than the drab porridge being doled out daily, risk being considered as artistic mutants worthy of surviving on the periphery of the Biz.

I guess, what one must strive for is a balance between being too avant guard and too mundane, if they wish to be able to look at themselves in the mirror and feel somewhat good about themselves.

Just to end this little rant on another Note and no pun intended, but the Music Industry, the Arts and Cinema all seem to be suffering a similar malaise. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel and I believe that once the economic nightmare that most of us are going through (that is other than the 1% that control 50% of the money) does end, that being creative will become an asset again rather than an inconvenience for those not wishing to shake up the status quo.

I am just wondering…How many shades of Gray are there? Or is that Grey?


Last edited by benjikan; Dec 4, 2011 at 4:42 PM.
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Old Dec 4, 2011, 4:09 PM   #2
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In my days as a Metrologist, it became apparent to me that when being evaluated by peers as well as those slightly higher up on the food chain, it was more important for my work to be the same as everyone else's, and not so much that my work was as correct as possible. If you're the same, everyone's happy, but if you're correct, then somebody else who was simply "the same" might be proved incorrect. So there's something to be said for being "the same".

But closer to the topic at hand, it seems to me that Fashion Photography is more about the Fashion than it is about the Photography. I think that designers are not likely to select photographers that might steal some of their thunder. After all, isn't the Fashion the product being sold? People don't pick up fashion magazines to shop for photographers. (... much.)
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Old Dec 4, 2011, 5:22 PM   #3
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Is this something that goes in cycles with the economy? When money is tight it might be that very few folks want to take a chance - designers, photographers, art directors, buyers, ... If even one in the chain won't take a chance, few chances will be taken.

One owes money and don't want to take chances. Knows that it will be real hard to get another job if this on goes away.
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Old Dec 4, 2011, 5:35 PM   #4
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Boundaries are there to be broken..... a "brilliant" idea usually starts out being ridiculed...
Dare to be different,I say....
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