I’m working on some thoughts for a fashion photography section for Matt Bamberg‘s upcoming book “Defining the Future of Photography“. These notes are really rough but are start for the chapter on “The Future of Fashion Photography”.
a) Models male & female alike will move towards an increasingly more distinct eurasian look as China’s middle class grows and western world brands look to have global international appeal.
b) Web sites like http://lookbook.nu/ have nearly made obsolete traditional fashion publications and have upset traditional power hierarchies and gatekeepers in the fashion world. Old models of advertising and distribution are being replaced with e-commerce, fashion blogs, and community sourced trends and fashions. Now is a bright time in history for emerging and independent creative photographers to get their foot in the door and launch their career.
c) Fashion photography industry thriving. when desktop publishing came around people theorized it would be the end of the graphic designer. Instead we’ve seen the opposite trend with professional designers being elevated to a class of creative elite. even in a day and age when everyone has a high-end SLR and Photoshop those with the best eye who are the most creative and master their craft will emerge artistically and financial successful as big advertisers look to penetrate new markets in our increasingly image dominated media environment.
d) Fashion photography cycles are speeding up. From design to production to marketing, distribution & merchandising… fashion trend cycles are speeding up. Thrust forward by advancements in each step of the supply chain and then accelerated further by digital photography technology, photo-sharing, online communities, the death of trade shows and exhibitions as primary industry networking functions. For the photographer this means you must have an increasing efficient work-flow yourself in order to keep up with the needs and expectations of fashion industry clients who are increasing moving at mach speeds.
What other emergent trends do you see? Androgynous models & designs. Photographers wrestling with new video capabilities of SLRs and trying to figure out how to work it into their business. Changes in our understanding of copyright, licensing & intellectual property.