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This is the Blog of Michael J. Bambuch, photographer originally from Boston, Massachusetts now in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The democratization of...part 2

Alright, I promised part 2 a couple weeks ago. You get busy. Sue me. Blogging is something that doesn't come naturally to me. I think writing does but the effort to actually sit down and blog those ideas is quite difficult.  Let's recap. If you have no idea what I am blabbing about, that's okay! I don't either but you may want to read part 1. Just scroll to the bottom of this and click on the link entitled "The democratization of photography..."

Though, I'll attempt a small recap here. After letting some of my thoughts stew for a while I have come to the working realization that today's "photographer" is a product of a couple things. First, an access to inexpensive gear that actually does magical things with little to know understanding of how it works. Iphones, love them or hate them, are magical at taking pictures that could not be dreamed of by the casual picture taker 20 years ago. The same goes for the sensors in today's digital slrs. You honestly have to have to be Helen Keller to not take a decent photo. I take that back. Helen Keller probably would have been bad ass at photography. Secondly, social media has connected every yahoo in this world and given them a soap box to display their work. Good or bad your echo chamber is going to promote your ego no matter what you do. I was going to say thirdly but maybe there is no third. These two things have changed the landscape forever. They have created the eternal guy or gal with camera or GWC. A literal community has been created for people to fester and share their shitty work. With that being said yes, talent will always rise to the top. Giving more people the chance to do something will possibly yield more creative people to be creative but it just creates noise. Noise and competition. Noise, competition and a climate that makes it harder for the consumer to choose. Is this a small enough recap for you? 

With the advent of the best buy photographer something else was bound to be created, the model. Just like photography, in the past, you had to have some sort of effort. You had to have some sort of education. Now, you just need to be decently, and sometimes not even that, attractive and have instagram.   

Just an editing note. I stopped writing this last night as I became increasingly frustrated by the tone and sentence structure of what I was trying to say. I will re attempt now.

Anyone can be anything they want to be, on the internet. Just look at Youtube. Practical celebrities have been made out of talented and talent-less dolts alike for turning on a webcam. Wait, webcams aren't a thing anymore are they? The "Model" is no different. I'll get this out of the way first because someone will probably throw it back in my face. I have no issue with the actual hard working profession of models. I know people in the industry and they work 15x as hard as I do. They are true chameleons and artists bent on making something worth displaying. And no, you're not a real model just because you've been signed to an agency. That definition has been radically blurred. 

Anyway, someone I've spoken to on a handful of times always repeats this phrase to people coming up in the industry as "models." "You are not the photographer's client." I like that phrase a lot. I don't know how true it is anymore but I want to believe it.

Where do models come from?

Suddenly, this influx of Best Buy Photographers appear.

I am struggling here. I feel like everything I am writing is pure bullshit. Bullshit in the sense that it doesn't matter. I'm focusing on a small subset of a very large population. In the end, it doesn't matter for me. Sure, it makes it a little more difficult for me to rise above the noise but Larry with his Canon t3i who wants to shoot pictures of girls removing their tops and calling it art isn't going to affect me. I can sum up a lot of what I want to say by writing a few words. Not going into the reasoning as to why I feel a lot of the men and women that go into this realm of internet modeling are bs and cheapen the business.

This all creates a strange relationship of cause and effect. Photographers, in some instances, prey on the looks of people. You've had your picture taken by a person who owns a half decent camera and you're a model now. Look your photos have more resolution and contrast than your iphone! Guys and gals start to believe they should be modeling and should be charging. Charging who though? More photographers. Personally this becomes a little sick. Remember that quote, "You are not the photographer's client." Though, willing men, yes male photographers, allow this to happen. They start paying models for their time. They pass models around like weird perverted friends.

Man every time I write a sentence I feel the need to defend everything I'm saying because I have friends who do this. I know well respected acquaintances that work their ass off modeling. I just hope they know I'm not talking about them.

I'm talking about the guy or gal that is told repeatedly they are good looking and should model. They find the closest dipshit that will shoo them so they can post on their instagram feed or facebook of how attractive they are. They are just a pretty or handsome face. They don't learn. They don't grow. They don't respect people's time or understand what it means to take care of your body and self. They don't deserve it.

Sure they deserve the chance to be whatever they want to be but it needs to be earned. Look I'm not the judge of what's earned but I know someone who wears the title but doesn't deserve it. Hahaha, and I just said, I'm not judging but I'll judge anyway. Typical Mike.

I feel like this whole post has crashed and burned. I might delete it. My mind has trickled off into other tangents. I might post it with a disclaimer. It's an unfinished thought. If you're a photographer or model that blatantly disagrees with me, please let's talk. 

Michael BambuchComment