In the Age of the Influencer, there is arguably no skill more appropriated than photography. As long as you have an Instagram account with a million followers, you too can automatically be tapped to shoot major campaigns for brands and magazines.
And in a society where youth is coveted, the children of the rich and famous have been granted genetic privilege to build upon their inheritances on their own accord! Snarkiness aside, some of them are bound to have some visual talent, right?
Before you totally poo-poo the concept of the influencer, consider that The New York Times has approximately 1.6 million digital subscribers (Nov 2015), while our two photographers have a combined reach of 83.1 million people…
@brooklynbeckham; 9.2 million followers
The son of Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and football star David Beckham, was tapped at the tender age of 16 to photograph a campaign for Burberry. Armed with a phalanx of cameras that included a Leica R9, Canon DSLRs, Hasselblad film bodies, and more, Beckham’s shoot was livestreamed on Snapchat at Instagram, and Burberry released a teaser video.
@kendalljenner; 73.9 million followers
Kendall Jenner has carved her own niche as a top fashion model, capable of walking the runways at a statuesque 5’10” as well as lending her visage to famous brands like Calvin Klein and Estee Lauder. Her modeling experience arguably gives her a pretty good foundation for stepping behind the lens. This month, Love Magazine (Issue #17) featured her work in a 72-page spread(!).
It's FINALLY here, 110,000 applicants from all over the world, twenty five finalists and eight covers later; #loveme17 💝 happy 18th birthday 🎉💝 @ariannahicks. Arianna is our first issue 17 cover to be released, photographed by Kendall. Arianna likes singing, rock climbing, pole vaulting and lives in Toronto 💝🎉💝🎉💝and is wearing @burberry February 2017 collection 💕
Verdict: I have always contended that given a top model and stylist, nearly any photographer could produce competent images. In the case of Beckham, that is what I see. Competent images that have no personality nor edge. They are representative of the types of images you would get if you handed a 16-year old a camera and then had a commercial crew produce the shoot. (As a point of comparison, look at Sebastian Kim‘s work for Vogue that has a similar street vibe)
The 21-year old Jenner, on the other hand, has some nice images. It’s clear that she has more rapport with the models, and although I’m not completely sold with her angles, the images are a heck of a lot more interesting to look at. She could reasonably develop into a good photographer, but for the time being, she’ll make a lot more money as a model.
The gold goes to Jenner.