Beneath the Glossy
Yesterday I came across this post by Fashion Photography Blogâ€™s Melissa Rodwell, where she talks about being screwed by Flaunt Magazine. In her post, she talks about how she started her blog to make people aware of the real world behind the glossiness of fashion photography. She unveiled how editorial decisionsâ€”or neglectâ€”can ruin what began as a well-prepared, well-executed creative session.
Being relatively new to the freelance photographer world, I rely on seasoned professionals like Melissa to learn how this business works. For a couple years Iâ€™ve been steadily shooting a few commissions a month, on weekends and evenings (because I have a whole other full time job), and so far itâ€™s been a steep learning curve.
Recently, I learned that sometimes, no matter how professionally you execute a job, you donâ€™t get the credit you deserve. Literally.
I was commissioned a shoot with one of my favorite designers of Indian couture. This was the third editorial I worked on with the client, so she pretty much entrusted the creative legwork to meâ€”scout for a location and then book it, find the models, brief the creative team, and lead the shoot.
We had a great team that weekend: my friend Hilde Marie Johansen was the makeup and hair stylist. The models were Angie Stoneking and Vaughn Newman, two of my favorites and with whom I have collaborated many times.
We all worked hard for two days, to get the editorial shots the designer needed for a couple purposes. One was to run print ads, and the other was for an article the magazine was doing on couture for the popular wedding issue.
I understand why ads donâ€™t publish the names of the photographer nor the models and creative team.
What is disheartening is that the magazine neglected to credit any of the team that produced the photos for the article. Not one of us is credited. The photos float on those pages and yeah, thatâ€™s my work, but you donâ€™t know that.
And like Melissa wrote in her blog, the team looks to the photographer when things like this happen. They ask, what happened? Why? And it leaves some negativity that should not be in that relationship in the first place, a sliver of doubt that has small but sharp edges.
I donâ€™t understand, really, why the editors at the magazine neglected to do their editorial responsibility. Iâ€™ve worked with both CNNGo and the publishers at Readerâ€™s Digest and Seventeen magazine back when I was 19 years old. And one of the first things the editor goes over is how credit will be given in the publication. They ask you how you spell your name, so they can put it beside your creative work.
So, you know, I donâ€™t understand.
The next time I work for them, I might slip this infographic on how to credit, in the contract.
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