I am sure when reading the title of my little diatribe, (not sure if that will be the case) you are probably thinking, “is this guy bi-polar or what?”. Well, both Frédérique and myself have come to the conclusion, that in order to succeed in the Arts today and specifically as a commercial Fashion Photographer, you have to become as homogeneous as skimmed milk.
I have noticed the literal hundreds of pages of fashion spreads that look like they could have been done by the same photographer, but were done by literally a cast of hundred or even more. They all look the SAME! Of course the styling is somewhat different. But the style is undeniably “Homogenized”.
I would go as far as to say, that being different and original is no longer an asset, but a major hindrance to success, as most do not want to take the risk of not looking the SAME as everything else that is produced. It is in THAT sameness that the advertisers and most main stream magazines take solace in the continuity of what is acceptable and not disturbing.
There was a time in Fashion where if you were not original, your chances of getting published was rare. Now, I am NOT saying that there are not incredibly creative individuals out there producing outstanding work. What I am saying, is that it is becoming more and more difficult for those individuals to succeed in what is becoming a very difficult metier to survive in even under the best of conditions. Playing it safe has become the norm and those with enough courage to express something other than the drab porridge being doled out daily, risk being considered as artistic mutants worthy of surviving on the periphery of the Biz.
I guess, what one must strive for is a balance between being too avant guard and too mundane, if they wish to be able to look at themselves in the mirror and feel somewhat good about themselves.
Just to end this little rant on another Note and no pun intended, but the Music Industry, the Arts and Cinema all seem to be suffering a similar malaise. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel and I believe that once the economic nightmare that most of us are going through (that is other than the 1% that control 50% of the money) does end, that being creative will become an asset again rather than an inconvenience for those not wishing to shake up the status quo.
I am just wondering… How many shades of Gray are there? Or is that Grey?