Fashion photography: a genre that was once a soul quenching experience has now coagulated into some other form
of sickness that everyone seems to be coughing up. What killed fashion photography? Was it the over-saturation of
hipster Terry Richardson-esque photos? Perhaps it was the cloning of millions upon millions of Scott Schumans? OR
MAYBE it was the advent of websites like Tumblr, Pinterest and LOOKBOOK that created more cesspools for jovial
narcissists to parade their flaccid egos around. I’m not sure, and quite frankly I don’t give a fuck.
In the end, it all came down to one important factor: Green; Paper; Moola; Cash Money. Whatever you wanna call
it, money is what fuels the fashion photography genre in more ways than one. Without money you can’t buy new
outfits; No new outfits, no new photos; No new photos, no new views; No new views, no more jerking off to how
many new views you have. That’s basically how it goes – kinda.
Though money is often the catalyst and the detonator, the reason why I quite fashion photography was because it
became an endless ladder. You would put in all this work (buy lenses, cast models, scout locations, post process,
etc) and in the end you were left with the reality that all your creative efforts were pooled into making one
simple thing: an ad. That’s it. At the core of fashion photography, it’s all about the clothes. Fuck your lenses,
the seminar you took at night school to learn about f-stops and ISO and your crappy, cross-eyed model that you
picked randomly from Model Mayem – the end product is just a slate of meat wearing a change of clothes.
It’s a little depressing, isn’t it? All that work for a photo that you have very little emotional connection with. It might
be composed and exposed well but it’s not like you’re gonna frame the damn thing and put it atop your mantel. So
that’s what I was dealing with when I was at the stub of my fashion photography scene and that’s why I turned to film.
You see, film isn’t just a hipster gimmick that’s used in a “hur-dur, look at me use old technology!” kind of way. With
film – particularly polaroid – I get a sense that my photos are MY GODDAMN PHOTOS. I shoot a roll of film, the roll
stays in my room for 2 damn months, I develop it, I get lazy to scan the shots, then maybe I post a few. But it’s this
sustained, prolonged process that makes it kind of… personal. It makes you feel like a vagabond as you live from roll
of film to roll of film. And once it’s all shot, you get this sensation that you finished a mystery novel, scaled a icy
mountain or shat a massive dump. It’s refreshing.
Well… my experience tends to be a bit more “positive” than his.
Also unlike digital, you can pick and choose the shots you want to share and which ones you wish to keep for yourself.
Actual prints and negatives that sleep on your nightstand, forever alone, never seeing the pixelated world. You can
shoot pictures of your dog, a shot of your balls and even a hooker at a bar – the possibilities are endlessssssssss!!!!
In a world where sharing millions upon millions of photos instantly has become the norm, it’s wonderful being able to
keep some secrets to yourself. With this mystery comes the feeling that you can shoot without worrying about getting
perfect exposure, or whether or not someone on 500px will think you did a good job or not. All that matters is that
connection you share with that frame. That is all. It’s just you and the image. And while the DSLR users and strobe
shooters are slaving over post-processing and perfect exposure, I have the luxury to ride my bike though an empty
parking lot in a restricted business, with a Polaroid Land Camera 230 swinging around my neck, and I get to
photograph the world with my eyes and with my heart. Frame. Shoot. Move on with life.
Polaroid Land 230