Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fashion World

So part 2 of my musings on [FAT] and the fashion world in general.

I think that the fashon world will always be a world where I'll be an outsider looking in. Never one of those movers and shakers (if they really are that). There are some things about the fashion world that are not 'me' and I will never be able to accept.

Let's start though with my interest in the industry. Many people say that I always maintain a level of being well dressed. I keep an eye on the world and create my own ideas of what styles I like and then choose the aspects I like to dress myself in. But the question is why? Why not just wear stained jeans and a t-shirt all the time? My reason is that I dress myself based on my personality and to stand out slightly from the crowd. I'm not that loud boysterous person who's the life of the party. So I dress well to stand out in my own way. I still don't dress flashy to seek attention - I still dress to match myself.

My other interest in the fashion industry is this. I have always been interested in organizations that have been given power by the masses. This is included in the church, in governments, in fashion. These are areas where we, the masses give a select few the power to make our decisions. So here we are, we have created and supported an industry that is a multibillion dollar industry. We have agreed to outlandish prices and over the top styles and parties and lifes based on clothes. This industry is now the one that dictates what is 'beauty'.

This is where in the problem lies. The views that the industry promotes as beautiful quite often conflict with my views. Fashion is about flawlessness where I find beauty in our flaws and uniqueness. Weight and dress sizes become unobtainable dreams. Thin is viewed as beautiful - unhealthy thin though. It supports unhealthy habbits in both the general population and those that model within it. It also bothers me how this world encorages people to belive that they can get by in this world by looks alone. It creates a state where people feel an entitlement to the spoils of the world without the work and sacrifice. In the few dealings I've had with 'fashion models' it's become quite obvious that they're not concerned about creating beautiful images or showcasing the clothes or creating something creative. They are much more concerned with what they get out of it. Many are not willing to accept that they may have to pay from time to time, and that photographers quite often front a much larger amout of money for a personal shoot than the model could ever imagine. Not all are like this, but a good portion seem to have this attitude (in my experiences).

This is why I like asking real people to model for me. I like to capture the imperfections in someone and show them as beautiful. For them it's about creating fun and interesting pictures much more than it is about building a book so they can walk the runway. I also love the idea of showing someone themselves in a different light. Too many of us say that we hate how we look in a picture - but when someone is given the full fashion shoot experience, they will sometimes see the beauty in themselves that others see daily. Light someone well, give them direction infront of the camera (other than the night club "smile" type picture), show them an image that has had proper color correction and post processing and now they see themselves differently. We rarely get the photo shoot experience after our high school grad photos have been taken, so this is a time to have fun infront of the camera in this environment.

So where does that leave me after all of this rambling? Why fashion? I enjoy shooting the fashion images because it's a field where you can be creative, where you can be outside the box in the creation of your images. For me it's about creating a beautiful image. I think I want to be telling stories in my photographs. I think I want to be shooting commercial advertising photography. So fashion is a door in - I hope. But I believe that I will always be an outsider looking in on the industry.

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