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03-18-2010, 01:08 PM   #1
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The Politics of Fashion Photography Part 1

The Politics of Fashion Photography Part 1

As you probably already know, politics play a very important role in any profession. But as I am a Fashion Photographer, I thought I would discuss some of my observations in this arena.

There is a point in a photographers growth as an artist where their capacity to produce outstanding imagery becomes irrelevant and the Art of Politics comes in to play as the next important stepping stone to the top of the pyramid.

Why do so many incredibly talented photographers never experience the euphoria of shooting for a major publication or get "THAT" Ad Campaign. Well there are many reasons and one of the more banal is space. There is only so much space available on that plateau on top of the mountain. You might be thinking and wanting to ask, "well, who gets there and why?"

I will not be able to answer that question. I will however try to describe what does happen and some of the circumstances that may give you a reasonable shot at the top. I have climbed to the top on a few occasions and on my trip, I learned some valuable lessons.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is the following; there are some people who will NEVER work with you if you ask them to work with YOU! "Well, how can I work with them if I don't ask?" you are asking. They will have to discover you vi other means. How can you do that? Networking is a very important part of the route to success. An example would be, someone who knows THAT someone loves what you do and just happens to talk about you over lunch ad says, "Hey, I just saw this girls work on her blog and it is so different than anything I have seen and would be perfect for the theme of your next issue, or for the new direction your brand is taking.

Now, most of you already know this, but how does one make this happen with secondary sources? It is your job to know with whom those who are in THAT position are associated with those who might discuss what you are doing with them. That is where networking comes in to play and there are no set rues to how to play this game.

You must start YESTERDAY to do your research. Calling up VOGUE and saying I want to speak to Anna Wintour the Editor in Chief, will generally get you nowhere. You might get her secretary if you are very lucky, but I strongly recommend you NOT do this, as they get solicited ad infinitum and if they don't know your name, the gig is up. She will remember you the next time you call and it usually goes down hill from there.

Part of networking is how do I get the "Me, Me, Me, Pick Me!!!" out there and still give off the aura of, "I am Me and what I do is Unique and I Don't Need You" vibe across. How does one make themselves desirable?

To Be Continued in Part 2

Benjamin Kanarek Blog | Benjamin Kanarek Blog

03-18-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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I've heard an old Hollywood saying about the route to success: "It's who you know, what you show, and who you blow." I.e. networking, product, and sucking-up. I've also heard that applied to gallery arts, certain corporations, and politics. Yow.
03-20-2010, 04:52 AM   #3
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Business 101.

03-20-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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Ever hear of kickbacks? Even if it's a matter of just getting the art director stoned or laid? Or feeding him at the city's most revered restaurant?

It's how the world works, and with comparable photographers at comparable rates, one of the three above makes the difference.

Not to mention personality:

Regardless of your profession, how you market and present yourself is equal to what you can actually do.


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