Editorial Science 2.0

What is it about fashion photography that we love so much? There is definitely something that attracts us, not just in the recent years but for more than half a century. It might be the cruel and harsh reality we live in that makes us look for beauty and aesthetics around us. It might be our escapism addiction. Whatever it is, seems like we’re not even trying to stop it.

I’m not sure whether fashion magazines sell due to their editorials and clothes they show or due to something else. I can only speak for myself, and in my case, it is definitely the luxurious and stunning pictures that attract me. I used to think it was the photographer’s work, but it actually isn’t. The stylist of the shoot is the key persona. Stylist comes up with a story to tell, chooses the place, clothes, make-up and all other details that count. This job seems like so much fun to me, I can’t even believe someone would pay you to do that! But they do.

In Croatia, there are several glossy magazines (as we call them) but none of them with big production or sales. I mean, how much can you really sell in a country with 4 million citizens? And if half of them are women you get 2 million potential buyers. And then, if you take into account that at least half of them are either children or pensioners, you end up with a significantly smaller market. So there isn’t much profit in this business in Croatia as I see it. Still, we have excellent editors, stylists, make-up artists, designers… I mean the whole fashion scene is really good and they’re all trying hard to be excellent. There are many obstacles and as a result we have simple, two-dimensional and not that much arousing editorials. I’m not saying people have no ideas, they probably don’t have the budget to support their ideas.

So if you really, really want to be a stylist in Croatia, what can you do? I think I will try to contact some of the people who work for our magazines and ask this very question. I just want to see what it is like in our harsh, recession-hit reality.

Here are three editorials I’ve picked up to compare with several editorials from Croatian magazines. As you can see, none of them are that spectacular, but photos are magnificent, models are crème de la crème and clothes are top designers. All of them are simple but well done:

Then we have two editorials from our magazines. I love the clothes they’ve picked but photos are plain and I dare to say boring. They present the clothes and that’s it. Where is the magic? Where is the mystery or abracadabra? Is this due to the small budget?

I hope I won’t get anyone angry but I’ll play with these photos a bit and see what happens if you just change the setting and background of the shoot. These photos lack layers and they only tackle our sight when they should try to arouse other senses and make us imagine what they smell like, what they sound or feel like. Here’s what I did:

If the pose and the message was more provocative or the setting more intriguing, wouldn’t the whole shoot seem better? I mean, if the model I cut out of the other editorial and put into these pics took the poses of the models in these pics, I believe it would all be more believable and more inspiring. But then again, I’m not an expert…

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