No Pain, No (Fashion) Gain – Fashion Photography

We all look at the pretty fashion photography advertising models wearing the latest edgy outfits and looking fierce, happy, luxurious – it’s so simple. What we seldom wonder is what goes into the photography to make this actually seem that way.

You may curse those heels that you’ve been wearing for near on 3 hours at your friend’s latest party, but think for a second, those models that look so happy and tall have to often wear those same heels all day. Often not the right size and then asked to jump, strut and maintain a composure that will make the average consumer want to do the same. Blisters and blood after a 10-hour shoot day is not uncommon, and yes, they do get paid, but that’s not what this is about. The fact that we force ourselves into outfits not meant for our bodies, shoes that will surely leave us limping for days after, it is the fact that we want THAT look. So we replicate and tolerate that pain.

What if the photoshoots actually showed the feelings the models were experiencing wearing the latest fashion trends? Can you imagine? You’re flicking through the catalogue of your local swimwear reseller, admiring the scenic photography, when you notice the girls have blue lips, goose-bumps and mostly hugging themselves to keep from suffering hyperthermia. This is one part few realise, but swimwear is often shot in winter (or towards the end of it) to allow time to prep marketing for summer.

So yes, they’re rolling around in cold sand, cold ocean water and looking like it’s the best summer-day of their lives. Then quickly, once the camera stops, wrap the heat blanket around them before the next outfit. The struggle that goes into making their lips not go from blue to black and their skin from changing to a grey colour is quite real. Then again, photoshop will now come to the rescue to turn our little frosticle into that hot beach babe.

The opposite, although not quite as harsh, are the winter garments. Sweet woven wool, scarves and photos of pretty people in front of a raging fire place. The bliss you feel when you’re sitting in your cold clothes in a frosty room looking at these photos is not what the models felt when this was shot. Shot in summer (again, the opposite season) it’s often a warm day and you’re packed into layers and layers of warm clothes, a beany, some warm boots, and oh wait, we need that fire place roaring. Now you have the setting for passing out due to heat exhaustion. Ah fashion – how we love thy fickle ways.

Fashion is tough. It’s not all Onesies and woolly jumpers. It makes you wonder why don’t we just wear clothes that everyone will feel happy and comfortable in all the time. Well, I guess then we’d all be walking around in Pyjamas…until someone decides theirs needs to be a little sexier than the other person’s and strap on a pair of 6 inch heels….and there we go again.

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