August 2009
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Month August 2009

Photos from the sullenest bbq ever

If anyone ever (still?) claims that photographs don’t lie, smack them upside the head. Gently of course.

I recently went to a friend’s bbq in Denver, CO and brought along a camera and one lens (Nikon 50mm F1.4). As most summer bbqs provide, the afternoon and evening were mostly full of laughter and smiles.

In editing my images from the day I decided I’d paint a different picture however. Instead of what you might expect a bbq experience to be like, I thought I’d make things seem a bit sadder, reflective. Here are some photos from the sullenest bbq ever.

Keeping it reals: The ongoing photo industry rejection of the showy

I was reading an Adweek article today on the recession’s impact on the future of advertising and came across an interesting quote by Martin Sorrell, CEO of holding company WPP Group. Discussing current consumer sentiment he states:

“They’re more concerned with heritage and authenticity than anything ostentatious and showy.”

This quote got me thinking about the photographic requests and expectations I see in the market today. Specifically, it seems that over the last two years or so, as the economy has slowed, editorial and ad clients are looking for images that reflect “authenticity.” Whether it’s grainy black and white photographs or that nostalgic film color feel from the 70s, 60s and 50s there’s a demand for images that don’t look like they’ve been photoshoped to death. Over stylized hyper-manipulated CGI-looking images have been moved to the side.

Not only are clients demanding more classic imagery, but photography award competitions like Communication Arts and PDN are mostly recognizing more traditional looking photography as well. As an example of this award and industry trend, all one has to do look at the presentation website for PDN’s digital imaging competition, Pix Digital Imaging Contest 2009. This award, which recognizes “excellence and innovation in digital photography, composites, retouching, CGI incorporation, and multimedia imaging” seems to mostly showcase work that feels traditional and not bedazzled.

When working, it’s important to be aware of industry trends while still staying true to your own creative voice. If you’re out there shooting and love the more stylized CGI-y stuff, don’t despair. The creative pendulum will eventually swing your way again.

Photo: ©2009 David Mejias