Photography by numbers

Tuesday 21 February 2012


REPORT BY Alison Taylor

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but what do you call it when the “bloggerazzi” descend in packs to get the same shot?

“I stopped a girl from going about her business, set up the shot, and then 10 people with cameras appeared out of nowhere and started snapping over my shoulder,” says seasoned street photographer Darren Hall, who shoots for i-D and W and whose work appeared in this year’s Taylor Wessing Prize exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. “It’s important to have respect for others and their endeavours.”

With record-breaking numbers of photographers – sometimes as many as 50 – detaining the fashion pack at every venue, this surfeit of snappers is having a noticeable impact on traffic flow this season. But what’s the creative cost?

“It’s like photo plagiarism,” says one fashion editor, emerging from the fray in the courtyard at Somerset House. “I worry that people aren’t seeking out unique, original stories, which is what London Fashion Week should be about.”

It’s certainly a hot talking point. “There’s a danger of making an already over-saturated genre of photography boring,” adds an eavesdropping stylist (sporting an eminently photogenic scarlet cape). And that’s not a good look, is it?

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