Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.
For the past couple weeks I’ve been interning in Somos under the wing of the director of Circo Beat — the Peruvian socialite section of the magazine — La China Uehara (as she’s known best around Lima). From fashion shows, to private parties, weddings and even clubs — my goal was always try to learn how to get the perfect picture. And I had taken some good ones, but never of the right people, that was because on my own, I was a nobody. That’s when I came to realise that it is not all about the picture.
As I began spending more time around Oscar Chang — one of Circo Beat’s PR managers as well as their main photographer — I began to realise the small amount of time he took in actually photographing the event, which was only 20–25 minutes per event, maximum. On rare occasions he’d take up to an hour if we were going on “tours” — which consist of going to a bunch (usually five to six) of different places in the same night.
Slowly I started to realise how socialising and entertaining the blue bloods was a huge piece of this world. It was while talking to Mario Hart, Nathalie Vertiz, Gerardo Privat, along with all of the other socialites, though strangely dreadful, that I realised that becoming their acquaintance was essential when it came to getting the pictures we needed to meet the standards of the magazine. And, to get these pictures, we needed to keep them happy, we needed to be their “friends” — and that’s what we did. Keeping their glasses full and having a lighter in hand was especially advantageous, as well as knowing about their lives and the latest gossip going around. They lived in a world much like mean girls, but their little world was more of an anarchy, where everybody was on their own and fighting, behind designer dresses and suits in a very condescending way, their way up to the top.
The key to becoming part of the socialites is meeting people, and not just meeting anybody, but rather meeting the right people; the ones with the most power, the ones trending, the one with the most money and the “branded ones”. As you kept on stocking up in the amount of contacts you had, the more power you were provided with, up until — as a magazine or a photographer — you reached a status much like Somos’, where nobody who is a somebody will ever ask you for an ID if they know what’s advantageous for them, and therefore you’ll never have to have one. So now, tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you can be.