I’m firmly convinced that we’re living a strong moment of change in photography, not just because of the digital age that we have been living in the last years but mostly for the mix of that digital technology with the internet. I’m talking about the democratization of photography since today everybody that has a smartphone in his pocket is a potential photographer with a direct connection to internet that allow him to publish the pictures real life.
Today there are lots of photographers who think that anything you do with a smartphone is not photography because you are not able to manage all the technical variables that you can in a professional camera, but from my point of view managing a professional camera perfectly does not makes you a professional photographer, it takes a lot more than the technical part to consider yourself as one.
Nadar, the french master of portrait photography said: “”Photographic theory can be taught in an hour, the basic technique in a day. But, what cannot be taught is the feeling for light. . . . It is how light lies on the face that you as artist must capture.” So Photography goes beyond the technical knowledge, which of course is really important to master, but the most importat is to have clear idea in your head and your heart of that vision that you want to show to the world. Being a photographer is not just making amazing separate pictures everyday, it takes much more than that, you have to be able to create a lifetime consistent work to consider yourself as a professional photographer.
Being that said, if you have a clear vision of what you want to express to the world through your photography, the media that you choose to do it is just a tool, you can pick the tool depending of the type of public, work or client you want to reach and here is where the decision of using a smartphone is an additional option that we as photographers have today, which is also great for us! I’m convinced that rather than mentally going against the waves of change, we have to surf on the top of them and see this tendency as an opportunity and not as a treat, smarthphone photography is an additional tool to put your work out there in real time.
So I had the idea of doing a fashion story with a cellphone and life found its way to connect me with that opportunity. One day I received an email from the owner of Chronoshooting who contacted me in June 2014. They are a new company which developed an app for smartphones dedicated to photographers (professional, amateurs and instagramers). The app encourages photographers to shoot series of 9 pictures inside special street courses they have created around the world to compete in a original way against other photographers inside the app.
When they contacted me to collaborate, I told them my idea about shooting a fashion story with a cellphone to post the pictures immediately on Instagram and also use them for their app. They loved the idea immediately and proposed me to shoot with a Nokia 1020 (41 megapixels camera) attached to a Profoto B1 lighting pack, which I immediately accepted.
The experience was deeply interesting for me since the beginning because I had to explain everybody that the story was going to be shot with a smarthphone, which I thought was going to be a difficult issue to find the team willing to do it, but it was a great surprise to find out that everybody (fashion stylist, make up artist, hair dresser and model agency) was amazed with the idea and ready to collaborate without asking any further question.
We did the shoot in collaboration with Elite Model Paris and a great and motivated team in a sunny saturday in one of the courses of Chronoshooting at Le Marais . The launch of the app was the past June 24th 2014 with the opening of an exhibition at Le Galerie Thierry Marlat in Paris where these pictures along with all the series of other photographers that collaborated with the app were exposed during 2 months and here is the result:
Chronoshooting also did a backstage video of the shoot were you can see how we shot the series:
My personal conclusion of this experience is that photography, internet, social media and cellphones will get closer and closer everyday to work in the same field, we already see a lot of examples in documentary photography were photographers like David Guttenfelder from Associated Press wire service documents North Korea through his Instagram.
I´m very sure that fashion will not be the exception, we already see what happens in the fashion shows around the world when thousands of pictures from the backstage of the show go live to social media or as recently Mario Testino did by document the last Fashion Week haute couture 2014 in Paris by doing the Mario Testino´s Couture Week Diary for Vogue Paris.
All these are signs to understand where fashion photography, internet, social media and apps are going now and in the near future, for now, here is my small contribution to the start of this new age