I’m not one to bother with the world of celebrity…in fact, I make a point of staying as far away from it as I can, which is why I probably have the least used TV of anyone I know. However, through studio photography, I am finding that the world of celebrity is encroaching on my space. Each time celeb x changes their hairstyle, a good number of people in society quickly go out and emulate that look. Inevitably, some end up in the studio I’m based at, insisting on poses that they’ve seen their favourite celeb pose in for a magazine or whatever else medium that their photos are likely to feature on.
The irony is that those very same people who change their look to emulate a celebrity think they are unique, only to find 10 plus other people who have done the same thing, rendering all of them as clones of that celebrity and each other too. That mental space in their heads that leads them to believe in their own sense of originality is nothing more than a façade.
Am I being too harsh? I don’t think so. Sometime back, I had a client who towards the end of the shoot insisted on a Nicky Minaj pose. What the heck is a Nicky Minaj pose I questioned internally? She must have seen the confusion in my face because she immediately got down on her knees, leaned forward with her upper body while simultaneously arching her back and letting her rear end feature prominently in the air. As the shooter, I was to assume a low angle so as to highlight the heart shaped effect of her bum, ‘flowering’ in the air. Apparently, Nicki Minaj has popularized the pose. After the shoot, I decided to Google Ms. Minaj to get an idea of what she looked like…. up until that point, I had only heard of her. In a word, she’s positively pornographic, which pretty much goes for a lot of ‘musicians’ who appeal to those whose life aspirations are to be trendy and ‘sexy’.
One could accuse me of being old fashioned, but I have principles which refuse to be dictated to by the winds of modern, social sheepherding. All this of course makes me ponder on my ability to capture the essence of character through the lens… I’m yet to find the answer… but I dread the day a ‘Lady Gaga’ struts into the studio for a shoot.