HEY PHOTOGRAPHERS: Stop bitching about models becoming photographers.

Seriously, enough.

Bella Hadid, still from a BTS video of W Magazine shoot.

This is a response to this article by Emilia Petraraca writing in W Magazine entitled:

BELLA HADID, GIGI HADID, AND KENDALL JENNER ARE ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS NOW.
Supermodels are increasingly deciding to go behind the camera, as well as in front of it. Is Instagram to blame?

The gist of this article is that some supermodels now, instead of solely modelling, are being commissioned to shoot editorials for leading brands and magazines. So is Instagram to blame? Sort of..

The tone of the article is pretty cynical:

Perhaps they’ve decided that if they can take a winning selfie, why wouldn’t they be able to turn the camera on someone else?

This is nothing new, Emilia is kind of repeating what some photographers already bitch about, which is along the lines of: who the fuck are they, they’re not photographers, it should have been me.

Emilia’s view isn’t uncommon. There’s loads of this kind of thing knocking about. And the perfect example of this kind of bullshit is how some folk reacted to Brooklyn Beckham shooting fragrances for Burberry.

From the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/30/sheer-nepotism-brooklyn-beckham-burberry-shoot-angers-photographers

And here’s the same thing from the Daily Mail. I won’t link it because I don’t want to give them the oxygen of clicks, but here’s a screen grab.

Here are a few choice comments from the comment section. Here’s the ‘top rated’:

jillyarmeen, Kilmarnock, United Kingdom, 8 months ago
Ridiculous. His mummy and daddy have probably bought him the best camera money can buy but that doesn’t make him a photographer, that makes him a rich kid with a good camera who likes taking photos.

And here’s the ‘worst rated’:

Tricky V, Hamilton, New Zealand, 8 months ago
Good for him — at least he is doing something with his teenage years. Everyone has to make a start in their career. Sour grapes leave a nasty expression on one’s face…

Okay. Let me help you with this. Here’s why Kendall Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Brooklyn Beckham got hired.

1. SOCIAL MEDIA

Alrighty then. This in some ways is the most obvious.

Brooklyn Beckham has (at the time of writing) 8.6m Instagram followers, largely made up of younger followers.

Vogue has a UK circulation of 220,000.

Gigi Hadid has 24m followers.

W Magazine circulation was in 2012, 460,000.

Kendall Jenner has 67m followers.

LOVE Magazine has a readership of 400,000.

I think we’re starting to see a picture developing here. Aren’t puns great.

Mate. If I was running a magazine, I’d be donating kidneys to get them to shoot for me.

2. ACCESS

How do you take beautiful photographs? You stand in front of beautiful things. Brooklyn, Gig, Kendall — they’re all already in the room. It’s much easier to get these guys papping for you than a ‘real’ photographer, because they already have the access.

3. THIS ISN’T ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using their lack of ‘talent’ as an excuse is not valid. These editorials are about advertising, and if getting a celebrity to shoot it is how you do it, so be it.

And anyway…

4. THE SHOTS WILL BE GOOD NO MATTER WHAT

There are so many built in safeguards in massive shoots like this. Look at the Gigi shoot. There’s a massive fuck off team behind her, with stylists, makeup artists, assistants, wardrobe, lighting designers, location scouts…. Not to mention the best talent in the world stood in front her. It’s impossible to fuck this up.

Seriously take a look at all those people.

Okay photographers. Let me address your concerns.

1. DREW, THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO LIGHT

Have you ever been on set with a top flight photographer? Do they light their own shit? No. They have a massive team of people helping. Sure, they’re involved in the process and have an intimate knowledge of it (check out Art Streiber’s Instagram for some amazing examples of this), but they also have a team.

2. HE’LL HAVE NO CLUE OF THE PROGRAMMES, THE CAMERAS, OR PHOTOSHOP

This is a direct quote from photographer Jon Gorrigon. See above, Jon.

3. I LEARNED MY TRADE AND OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS LEARN THEIR TRADE BUT HE’S NOT LEARNING HIS TRADE.

You think that Kendall Jenner wants to become a pro photographer? Probably not.

4. IT’S NEPOTISM

In a way, but is it the worst? How come you’re not kicking off when Jaden Smith gets cast in a film? Or Norah Jones is winning Mercury Music prizes? So what, you’ve never got a gig from your parents? Or your friend?

5. THEY HAVE NO TALENT

I think we’ve already established that decisions like this aren’t taken on a talent basis.

It’s not like they were looking at Portfolios and he got down to the last two. The magazine wanted access you idiots. They weren’t there looking at their shots like ‘hmmm, I like the lighting’.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

Look, I get it. People work hard, and it’s frustrating when people who appear to have no talent get given stuff on a plate. It can be annoying. But guess what. There’s fuck all you can do about it, so stop whining and get on with it.

There’s an automatic backlash when social celebs start doing stuff that requires a skill, and they appear to have no skill in that area. But to say this fundamentally misses the point.

SKILL is why YOU get hired. Not why THEY got hired.

So is Instagram to blame? Sort of.