June 30, 2007
In my fashion research, the old editorial director of Fairchild Publications once said in an interview that the only difference between a fashion photograph and an art photograph would be that the former includes credit (or shopping) information.
I've been avidly reading magazines since I was 10 and obsessed with borrowing issues of YM and Girl's Life from the public library every month. But until I started really going behind the scenes at fashion and beauty magazines myself, I was rather naive about how the genre operated. I always thought, for example, that when a magazine featured someone in their home that the home always looks the way it does (it's normally somewhat to completely propped), with all the amazing accessories and styling. Also, I assumed that the clothes people wore were their own - which is (in 99% of the time) not true!
But the biggest concession to the commercial nature of magazines in my opinion? Beauty credits! I remember in high school trying to "copy" the look of many a Seventeen cover girl...and it shocked me to find out that beauty credits are normally advertiser friendly rather than honest. Basically, the make-up artist does their magic with whatever products they have and like (or get for free as they might be sponsored by a make-up conglomerate). Then, the credit is given to whatever company or companies the magazine wants to keep happy...
What do you think about this? Has everyone but me always known about this practice and I'm just naive?