Sunday, September 24, 2017

"an ongoing debate between street style photographers and influencers . . . came to a boil at Milan Fashion Week"

It all began on Thursday, when a group of 30-something street style photographers met to organize an “unofficial union.” Their goal, as outlined in a statement obtained by WWD, is to stop to “disproportionate gain being derived by the influencers” and to “no longer be viewed as a passive entity in the equation of this industry.” In other words, “The Photographers,” as this anonymous group calls themselves, argue that they need to be seen as an invaluable part of the equation; they’re done watching influencers profit off their images, with no compensation or acknowledgement in return.


In a recent article titled, “The Big Business of Street StyleBait,” the blogger Zanita Whittington told Refinery29 that street style is a “huge part of [her] business.” She explained that these photos help boost her reputation as a “style authority,” and a single New York Fashion Week season could yield as much as $100,000.

Some bloggers and street style stars hire their own photographers, but most of the time, they’re relying on the photographers outside of shows — some of whom are being paid by magazines, and others who are also working for free to kickstart their careers. These photographers run after influencers for the chance to be featured on their Instagrams, and the influencers know this, with some then turning it into a game of cat and mouse — as well as a competition amongst photographers. This is exactly the power dynamic that #NoFreePhotos is trying to dismantle.