Levy's, when shopping around for a photographer to shoot their baggy jeans campaign, will most likely not hire someone who shoots trendy/ultra hip photos. No, they will look for someone in touch with hip hop culture, someone who knows the ins and outs of it, someone with a portfolio that reflects that. They'll hire the ultra hip/trendy photographer to shoot their bootcut jeans campaign.
Why am I bringing this up? Well I was hanging out with a fashion photographer friend sunday night. She looked over my work and just ripped me apart. That sounds harsh, but it was actually good. No, i'm not masochistic. I need to hear constructive criticism. Telling me my images are wonderful is good for my ego, but bad for my career.
I now see how my 'fashion/glamour' portfolio has no rhyme or reason. It's all over the place. There is nothing binding it together, whether it's subject matter, content, style... It's just made up of random cool images of women. It would not get me work anywhere. From it, I could build 4 or 5 different portfolios.
You see, when I shoot fashion, I don't plan anything. I just find suitable subject matter, most often a hot girl. I look for a cool location and just shoot the model in a bunch of outfits. There is no planning, no content, no story, no thought put into it. I don't use make-up artists, wardrobe or hair stylists.
I could go on shooting this way for fun (which it is), but if I want to make money in this field, I will have to change my approach. I could look at what magazines I would love to work for and see what kind of photography they need. I could plan out my shoots and think of a concept, a story to illustrate before hand, something that resembles fashion editorial. What it comes down to is I need to put more thought into planning my shoots.
I witnessed a very interesting interaction saturday night. I was hanging out with an LA photographer friend. He was discussing a project with a client, a singer who needed photos for an upcoming cd. She would explain the concept behind a song and they would try to come up with ways to illustrate it photographically. She had done a lot of preliminary work researching photography styles she liked that could be applied to her songs. They bounced ideas back and forth for over two hours. It was fascinating to watch this creative process.
In the past, I have struggled a lot with taking a concept and translating it into a photo. I ended up just concluding that it was just not something I was capable of. Maybe it's time I gave it another shot.
SIDENOTE FROM LIVEBOOKS:
Thank you so much for having Jericho and I present for your class, I hope we were informative and helpful for everyone. Feel free to give out my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to any of the students with any further questions!