A Disturbing, Long-Time Trend in Editorial Photography

very true

Photofocus (old site)

I haven’t spent much time doing editorial photography. With that disclaimer, I still believe I have enough knowledge about the subject to have formed a reasonable opinion about its trends. And it’s the trends I find somewhat disturbing.

When looking at the portfolios of editorial photographers, particularly emerging editorial photographers, everything looks pretty much the same. It’s not a new problem. This has been going on for decades. It’s natural for photographers to emulate what they see in successful print. But this goes beyond that. This borders on imitation: not downright copying mind you, but imitation, which although nuanced, isn’t exactly the same thing.

Even more disturbing is the fact that much of this work is contrived. Pictures are out of focus because “that’s cool.” Pictures have polaroid-style edges because “that’s cool.” Pictures are strongly backlit and in fact blowout because “that’s cool.” When pressed, most of the photographers doing…

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