Every so often we get a pseudo celeb decide they’re going to become a photographer and round the globe, all the real, poor, actually having to work for it, 4 years at uni, unpaid internship before we got a real job, assisting creeps, working our tits off photographers just face palm ourselves into a concussed oblivion.
I’m no going to lie, for real photographers… this hurts us a little. Emotionally and economically.
The first time i remember being truly gutted to see a Celeb-tographer was watching ANTM and seeing Tyra Banks waltz onto an already set up photoshoot, with a camera and kit all helpfully laid out for her, picking up the camera (not even looking to check the settings let alone adjust them) and start shooting. I was shook. She clearly had no idea what she was doing and was point and shooting on a ‘here’s one i prepared earlier’ photoshoot. This isn’t the shoot i am talking about, but there a clip of Photography Tyra here.
There was uproar within the community when Romeo Beckham started being hired to shoot covers for big publications and released a photo book. Both were widely criticised by the photographic community on a social level and on a commercial level.
Romeo Beckhams work was artistically mediocre and technically lacking. That said, i don’t blame the kid for wanting to take advantage of his parents social standing to get a kick start in his chosen career. Nepotism is difficult to take for the ‘joe nobodies’ of this world, like myself, but it is a fact of life and we can’t hold it against someone wanting to take advantage of it.
So, this morning i was listening to Radio 2. Graham Norton had Derren Brown on as a guest. Derren Brown, the master manipulator and ‘hypnotist’. The one who has been previously held under scrutiny by the media for (to name a couple)…. a) hiring actors to pose as his ‘victims’, b) manipulating the general public into committing murder .
Derren was on touting his new photography book…. and i am going to be completely blunt…. it is a new trick. Derren is trying to trick us into believing he knows anything about photography. Maybe to the untrained layman, his interview on Radio 2 would have sounded legit. But i internally screamed my way through it. The man didn’t know a goddamn thing about photography. Neither did Graham, who thought that ‘the kiss’ was staged. (for the record it was not… and the poor woman being kissed didn’t even know the guy see link).
Not to mention, Derren has not sought to get releases for any of the people or places which he has featured in his book. Which even is he is using some loophole of public spaces to get runs the GDPR nightmare which is 2018, it is definitely morally questionable (something we should arguably expect from someone willing to manipulate people into pushing a stranger off a roof. )
In Derren’s interview with Radio 2, he clearly stated (paraphrasing here from memory) that he does not stage the images, that everything we see is completely natural, and that he is not seen by his subjects.
He also states that he always shoots in manual… which completely makes sense, if he were a studio photographer… or a fashion photographer…. but street photography doesn’t lend itself towards manual settings. It takeS too long to manually set everything up in naturally changing lighting conditions, and before you know it the moment has gone. Fair enough, Aperture priority or shutter priority… but the way he talked about photography it sounded like he just thought he should say the word “manual”.
After listening to the entire interview, which led me to believe that this man DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO PHOTO, i decided to read up a bit on his new found career. I found this article in Amateur Photographer magazine where Derren states he uses a 35mm or a 50mm lens. After looking at his shots i have to come to the conclusion that, either these people ARE BLIND, or the images are staged. The crop is so close to have been a 35mm or 55mm that he would have to be stood literally right next to them, photographing right in their faces whilst they, apparently blissfully unaware of the famous person 3 feet away from them fiddling with his manual settings, continue about their daily lives.
Come on…. Derren…. get a grip.