Fashion week is always a hectic time. This season I decided to really minimize my time and expenses at Fashion Week. In the past I would attend every show that came my way, but having been covering a few seasons, I’m at the point where I just want to cover the shows I really want to attend. If I’m not getting paid to cover the shows and I spend a lot of time, energy, and money taking trains and editing photos with little to no returns, then I’m going to go to the shows I want to or feel I can reap great gains from. Meeting like-minded people is always a bonus at those shows and events. And sometimes great friendships are forged without the intention of exploiting my talents.
I think we live in a time where people expect free photos at fashion week and other notorious events. It upsets me how this seems to be where things are going in the influencer and blogger sphere; people just want to take from you without contributing much of anything. Lots of photographers are more than willing to do that though because they see the opportunity – or they just haven’t yet learned. I’ve been there. For me, I’d much rather post the photos I love – when I want to post them; the photos of the people who truly inspire me and respect my time and talent; the people who will go out of their way to promote what I pour my blood and sweat into. I understand people followup about their photo. Which is fine – but I no longer want to bend over backwards for people who will not give me anything in return or even a courteous glance at my social media and my bio to see what I’m all about. And when they do post professional photos on their feed, sometimes there is no credit or it’s discretely tagged on the photo and not in the text description. After all, I am a professional photographer – so how I can I give away free photos and be expected to do that when I feel my efforts and time aren’t respected? And most certainly many wouldn’t do they same thing for me in return.
I’m at the point where I’m taking back my power. I’ve been taken advantage of so many times over the years. Last season, I attempted working with high level influencers with huge followings, but the two I contacted abused my time and money (it was a free shoot btw!! But i still paid for the travel to get there and spent my time waiting for them) – they didn’t plan their time accordingly, didn’t show up, and didn’t bother to cancel out of decency ahead of time. I’ve seen enough of that kind of personality in these sectors.. in many different sectors.. it’s not just limited to fashion. The personality “behind closed doors” so to speak. Everyone sees the beauty in the photos or on the vlogs, but that’s just the vain side of things and not many people see the lack of integrity and respect for others that these people and influencers hold. If only their following would know about how many people they stepped on to get to where they are, how much they made others bleed, and how much money these people promised to pay their crew and didn’t. That is the thing about beauty – beauty can be deceiving. Perhaps that’s why I’m here… to disrupt an industry. Spirituality and Fashion often seem to clash heads. One focusing on letting go of the ego and the other brings attention to it. Fashion can be very egotistical and vain. And I’m not all about that life.
So with that said, I’m going to do things my way. I’m going to reward those who are sincere and genuine – and because I want to give them the photos and not because they demand from me – unless of course they want to make a donation or pay me – then I’d gladly make their photos a priority ;D! And while being paid for photos isn’t always the fairest of trades with the time put in and the lack of recognition sometimes, I am grateful people respect my time and talent enough to pay me for my work. I’m going to post what I truly want to post – when I want to post it. This is me stepping back into my power. I’m not just a photographer here to take photos of others for free and to stand in the shadows – or work under someone and be their puppet when I can gladly charge them. I’m also here to influence a world of kindness, integrity, and respect. I want to share my story with the world as well. That means also me taking a stand in front of the lens.
So from now on, I’m going to post the photos I truly adore on my own free time. The photos i edited by my own free choosing. And post about the fashion shows I decided to attend because I Iook forward to seeing the new collections from those designers – regardless if I “gain” anything else in return. I’m doing it to make me happy.
With that said, these are my favorite photos of NYFW FW18. Please do check my upcoming posts for my own OOTD’s with other wisdom attached.