Model: Brittany
Model: Betty Ann

A Festivus Rant

I was reading a blogrant on one of my favorite sites (Hypebeast) today and it really got me thinking about the state of fashion and fashion photography. One thing in particular really irks me…lookbooks. This is what Hypbeast writer Gary Warnett had to say about lookbooks:

Skinny dudes with side partings walking around a park in Obey hats, Vans Eras and chinos! Now I hate your store even more. And that Penfield lookbook of the cheery couple? Lame. If you haven’t got an original idea for your showcase of styles, don’t bother. Lay them flat on the ground. Maybe you can put them on a tramp or something if you need a model. Every store seems to hold the same homogenous collection of brands and demand from imagination free dudes who still have the gall to look down on Superdry is at an all time high. Hire a proper photographer while you’re at it, and spare us the behind-the-scenes of the preview of the video of the lookbook too.

Is it a plus point if the people in a lookbook are just dressed like the same old dickheads you’ll see in any chino hotspot? And people still seek stylist credits for that? Amazing. This is what happens when Streetwear Dave consults for a project and brings his fellow Streetwear Daves into the fold. But seeing as taking an Instagram shot, writing a tweet and getting dressed in the morning could be enough for somebody to claim that they’re a multifaceted creative with photography, journalistic and styling experience, nothing should surprise you any more, and at the current rate, nothing is liable to ever surprise you again.

And it’s not just in menswear, but in all fashion, lookbooks are getting lazy and cheap. Where’s the creativity people? I see one more in-studio shot lookbook with a girl or guy against a painted, chipped brick wall and I’m choppin’ heads. One of my favorite lookbooks was from Shwood Eyewear. They took their “models” (who look like the best of friends really) and set them out on some fun adventures. Some of them were on the beach, some of them riding in cars and some of them hiking through the woods. How hard is it to do something like this? (The answer: NOT THAT HARD. I do it every time I shoot). Seriously if it’s that hard to get someone to shoot outdoors for a more interesting lookbook, get me to do it! I’ll gladly shoot it for you! To quote Tyler, The Creator: “How Many Shoots Have White And Black Backgrounds. Why Can’t We Go Outside?”

Janelle - Scranton, PA
Janelle - Scranton, PA
Film photo from my shoot with Janelle - Scranton, PA
Another shot of Janelle because everybody liked the last couple - Scranton, PA
Janelle - Scranton, PA
Photo from a couple summers ago with Elise - Kingston, PA
Livin’ the dream - Wilkes-Barre, PAPhoto Credit: Ian Donnelly 
Betty with Giorgio and smoke - Bear Creek, PA