One of the internal struggles I’ve had up until about a year ago, is; what is fashion?

Back in 2001 when I got “really fricken serious” about photography, I found myself trying to decide which genre of photography I should get into? Fashion? Glamour? Swim? Beauty? It was at this point that I decided a mentor was crucial and found one. The mentor I had was a glamour guy. I didn’t chose to shoot glamour strictly because he was a glamour guy, at that point in my career I had enjoyed the bluntness of glamour. I enjoyed not living with restrictions. This time in digital photography was when people went to specialists; swimwear models went to a swimwear specialist, beauty went to a beauty specialist and so on. It was awesome because you created a network; I’m the glamour guy, he’s the beauty guy and so on. If I got someone that wanted beauty, I’d recommend him, if he got someone that wanted glamour, he’d recommend me. As the economy started to tank, so did business relationships and everyone started shooting everything. The problem with this? People didn’t know how to cross-over so beauty from a glamour photographer became a half done glamour shot cropped (pretty badly at that) to fit beauty needs.

Today, everyone shoots a bit of everything but have their specialty. We have had to do this to make a buck. I am just as guilty as the next guy, although I tend to stay away from those who want fashion images.

A few days ago, I checked in with a mentor of mine and we were discussing life and photography. As I was talking to him, I remembered when he said “Beauty and fashion can’t be defined. I see beauty in almost everything, I won’t let some other f**king A**hole try and tell me otherwise” That had a profound impact on me as I was really at a point to where I didn’t know my head from my butt in the different genres. He told me that fashion isn’t the typical grey backdrop and flat images. I agreed with him at the time but in the back of my head, I thought it wasn’t exactly the case.

A few years ago another good friend of mine is a pure fashion photographer. He shoots everything with a bit of fashion flair which is totally awesome. He has fashion, NY style fashion ingrained in him and he’s a master of it. He is strictly of the opinion that fashion can only be shot with height appropriate models.

Today, I think the lines of fashion and glamour, etc are totally blurred. At the end of the day, I agree with mentor #1 that beauty is everywhere, but I agree with mentor #2 that fashion is for a specific height. If you go to FORD models and look at their site, you will see the print models start at 5’8″ and everyone else is 5’10″ and up. This is because clothes look better on people with long limbs.  Beauty doesn’t have to be crappy 1980′s close up’s and fashion doesn’t have to be flat, there’s a middle line and that’s what I like to tow.

Where are you  at in the great debate? Sound off!


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