Nobody knows when (fashion) shootings can take place again like before – at the moment creativity is needed and shootings are done via facetime and zoom. This could change the way magazines and brands work with models and stars in the long term.
The corona crisis is acting as a trend accelerator – in the sense that it is reinforcing trends that were already there before. It is also changing the system in fashion, art and photography with undreamt-of speed and on different levels; even if nobody knows whether this will really be the case in the long term, whether it is just an exceptional situation now or whether real change will result from it.
Big effort, high costs?
One aspect of this is the photo shoots of internationally renowned fashion magazines, which are an important component of photography and the fashion system – they are even something like its core, where everything comes together, the creative people, the models and the stars, the collections, the consumer as an audience. They tell and record the history of fashion.
Of course, this cannot happen right now, and nobody knows when it will be different again. People from all over the world come together for big international shoots. Large teams of up to 20 creative people are no rarity, from photographers to catering and styling assistants.
At times, this had absurd proportions, because all those who could still afford to do so were pushing it to the limit, which would not have been decisive for the result. Costs were incurred for this and the lower links in the chain were again poorly paid (for example the assistants).
It was always the same procedure, and often it was the shoots that seemed the least creative that required the most effort. The intellectual core of fashion, creativity, fell by the wayside in these old patterns. So why did they still do it?
Out of habit, of course, that’s human, but also because an entire economic ecosystem depends on it. Many people did not want to say goodbye to that, although the whole effort seemed increasingly absurd, especially in terms of sustainability.
The new way to do fashion shoots?
In the current situation, however, true creativity and improvisation is required (read the article about the Berlin photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek and the founding of Connected Archives): Shootings take place via programs and apps like Zoom and Facetime. This shows that a lot is possible and that contemporary pictures can be created – without such large teams and without the countless journeys.
The British fashion magazine “i-D” had photography icon Willy Vandeperre photograph models of the hour such as Gigi Hadid, Adut Adech and Binx Walton for the “Safe + Sound” project. Italian photographer Alessio Albi has made a virtue of necessity and is currently making webcam photography his trademark – he is now represented by Condé Nast.
View this post on Instagram
How do we stay sane during this time? Separated by the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all never been more physically apart. Forced into our homes to self-isolate and live for an indeterminate amount of time in our own little bubbles. How do we stay healthy, or keep to any kind of routine? To reflect this current mood, we found out how some of your favourite fashion people from around the globe are staying safe + sound, in a new special edition i-D project by Willy Vanderperre. Hit the link in bio to see the project in full. [i-D SPECIAL EDITION 04 2020] . . . Photography by @willyvanderperre Editor-In-Chief @alastairmckimm Creative Director @lauragenninger @studio191ny Casting director @samuel_ellis Text @felixlp, @jacksunnucks Senior Social Editor @danilboparai Motion Graphics Designer @calseeum21
The Italian Vogue showed a shooting in its famous issue with a completely white cover a few weeks ago, which was done completely via Facetime; photographer Brianna Capozzi and stylist Haley Wollens gave instructions, the looks had been sent to them beforehand. The star of the shooting: Bella Hadid. The top model has now also photographed a campaign via Facetime, for the French label Jacquemus. Hadid is something like the star of the new way of doing fashion shoots today.
What significance do social media have? Brands and magazines must now rely even more on the personalities they photograph – how they pose, how they present themselves, how and what they post later. Now more than ever, the success of models and other influencers depends on how unique they think, what they stand for and how they appear in the (digital) public. All this is concentrated on social media, so at the moment mainly Instagram and Tiktok. It’s likely that this will become even more important than before.
Is there a new proximity? Careers of models like in the past, who simply have an interesting face, will no longer exist in this way. Where else would you discover them, if not on social media? After all, models today are supposed to show a certain proximity on social media – and always be a kind of ambassador for the brand or magazine they work for. Distance and elitist thinking are outdated, before already and now even more so.
It’s quite possible that it will go that far and that artificial intelligence and developers will create their own program that will allow photographers to shoot more in their own style from a distance. Many of the shoots currently look deliberately like a DIY aesthetic – this somehow expresses the shock of the situation and is perhaps just as well.
But people will also want to see glamorous, special things again, and not just pictures like the ones they see every day on Instagram. Maybe people want to dream, especially in times of crisis?
The fact that artistic images can also be created via Facetime or zoom has now been demonstrated by “The Cut”, the fashion edition of “New York Magazine”, with the new cover featuring the American actress Chloë Sevigny, photographed by the Austrian photographer Elizaveta Porodina. She called Sevigny, who lives and still lives in New York, for the shooting from Munich via Zoom. About her photos, Porodina said that she wanted to photograph them as timelessly as possible and did not want to focus on the situation of the pandemic. “It makes me feel at home anyway,” she explained, “as a time traveler, not trapped in a particular moment.”
Her pictures speak aesthetically yet clearly the language of a certain time: that of the 1920s, not only because of the colourfulness and dullness of the colours, but also because of Sevigny’s hairstyle and styling. The golden 1920s came after the Spanish flu, the last major global pandemic. Maybe the pictures of “The Cut” are simply a symbol of hope, the still distant thought of a better, different future.