Is it Possible for Fashion Photography to Survive the Pandemic?
Can Fashion Photography Survive the Pandemic?
Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on the state's arts ecosystem. Most small and medium-sized institutions rely primarily on ticket sales and private donations for revenue, while receiving little to no public funding.
Many artists work in non-creative jobs to help make ends meet during the global pandemic. Nearly a quarter have had to transition to digital work; while almost a third have experienced cuts in hours or have been laid off from their non-Creative jobs.
Almost 1/3 of artists have also experienced cuts to their non-creative employment.
Artist Relief fund provides financial support to artists who are unable to make up lost income. Almost a quarter of respondents reported they were ineligible for any financial supports, according to the survey. More artists have applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance than for any other program.
Even prior to the pandemic, the conditions for creating great fashion imagery had become difficult. Budgets were being slashed. A shoot that used to take two weeks was reduced to two days, and photographers were routinely tasked with not only producing an advertising campaign or editorial spread, but also with creating social media and behind-the-scenes content.
According to Solve Sundsb, a Norwegian photographer whose work has appeared in Love magazine and international editions of Vogue, Covid-19 has resulted in a “acceleration of what was going on before the pandemic.” Even established magazines, for example, expect photographers to contribute editorial work for free.
Glen Luchford's 1990s campaigns for Prada are beloved by the art world. He recently shot campaigns for Gucci and Rag & Bone, and his 1990s Prada campaigns were a highlight of his career.
"I'm not even sure that quality is required anymore," he said. "Those kids out there, looking at TikTok, are way more interested in someone appearing in 10 or 20 seconds and doing something really interesting on their phone than in something that is really beautifully lit"
The days when drama, elegance and craft were the most important elements in a picture have disappeared, says Luchford. There's something counterintuitive about representing perfectionism and elitism, he says. The requirement of creative work is increasingly to be a carrier for modern, if vague, notions of authenticity.