Tuesday, 21 March 2017


When I quit the mag, I didn't quit altogether.

My lifelong love affair with fashion photography didn't just go away.  I was disillusioned by the magazine industry, yes.  It, like all creative industries, absorbs naive young creatives into its pulsating mass, churning them, choking them and then spitting them out spent with not a dime in their Zara pocket.  I too was penniless, but I wasn't spent.  I knew I had barely begun.  I needed time and space to make things happen and that is why I pushed myself off the employment edge into the freelance abyss.

For years prior to the free fall I tried to orchestrate what is termed 'test shoots' in the business.  It is when aspiring photographers, models and hair and make up artists come together in their spare time to work not for money but for pictures.  Every participant needs a portfolio and it is the only way to get one.  Unless, of course, you are 'rag royalty', in which case people throw opportunity, guidance, clothes and equipment at you (I am talking second generation fashion aristocracy like the Jaggers, the Depps, the the Ferry's, the Beckhams, the Cawdors and various other Vogue familias).  Nepotism is and will continue to stifle originality and diversity in the industry.  Yes, I am angry at the injustice that celebrity merits more respect than talent!  Not in my world!

Back to testing of a different kind; the experimental fashion shoot, a tricky affair because everyone involved has non flexible day jobs.  Thus everything must be planned and organised in lunch hours and evenings for a weekend shoot.  It takes determination, drive, patience and energy.  Time is the first challenge.

The second is putting together a team that is reading from the same concept page.  On a magazine editorial shoot, the fashion director/editor commissions photographers, hair and make up artists and models directly from creative agencies for each individual shoot (though once a 'dream team' is established, it will often stick together).  The editor goes through stacks of portfolios to pick people who fit the bill.  It is after all their responsibility to ensure that the magazine is faithfully represented by all involved.  You won't find an Elle shoot in Cosmo, and vice versa.  The style must match the target audience, the house style if you like.  In this respect the mag is the employer and the crew the employees who follow the lead of the fashion director.

On a test shoot, however, nobody calls the shots, not even the photographer.  Everyone is on an equal footing.  It is thus crucial that everyone is working towards the same goal.  There really is no I in team when it comes to testing!  From the outset everyone must fully understand the desired goal and stick to the plan, otherwise it is wasted effort and opportunity.  And creative agencies plus fashion PRs who will not do you any favours in the future.  The pictures must be got!  The best way to communicate this is to put together a mood board, illustrating the vibe and style of the shoot.

And here is my mood board... Oh yes, did I mention I AM DOING A FRIGGIN SHOOT!  So who wants to come along for the ride?  I am looking for a make up artist and a hair stylist.  Hit me up with examples of your work if you are interested!  I also need a van to transport the wardrobe/equipment and for models to change in.  No date confirmed as too many variables at this stage, but will be May, weather depending.  Location will be East Cornwall

Photographer Tim Walker
Photographer Martin Bailey

Photographer Willy VanderperrePhotographer Mikael Jansson

Photographer Bruno Dayan

Photographer Matt Henry

Photographer Harriet MacSween

More challenges and updates next week!

And don't forget to check to check www.Rebellishment.co.uk for new stock on Fridays ;)

1 comment:

essay service reviews said...

Your way of capturing art is just amazing. There is so much depth in your work. Yeah please post some more updates. I hope to see your more illusionary work.