Fashion house Burberry outraged photographers who worked their butts off to become pros when it invited Brooklyn Beckham, 16-year-old son-of-David, to shoot its latest fragrance campaign.
Leading photographers say the decision devalues both the skills and training of actual professionals, with the label announcing the news on its Instagram account, encouraging fans to follow the shoot live via the hashtag #THISISBRIT.
But not before little Brooklyn could make the announcement on his own Instagram feed, posting this on Friday:
Fashion photographer Chris Floyd told The Guardian that Burberry’s decision to employ the inexperienced Beckham was a “devaluation of photography” that failed to show respect for hardworking photographers who do this for a living. The 47-year-old, who’s most renowned shots include portraits of celebs like Stephen Fry and Paul McCartney, also said Brooklyn’s leap into the big leagues of pro photography “goes against everything his parents represent”. “David and Victoria Beckham represent sheer willpower and graft. Especially her, she’s climbed that mountain all by herself,” he added. “They represent hard work and then their 16-year-old year son comes along and it’s sheer nepotism. He hasn’t done it from hard work, which is counter-intuitive to what his parents represent.”
Making Polaroid selects of @LivMasonPearson @BrooklynBeckham for #THISISBRIT A photo posted by Burberry (@burberry) on
Floyd did admit it was a “clever” decision on Burberry’s behalf, given the kid has almost six million followers on Instagram, but said it had nothing to do with producing good photography.
“Part of me takes my hat off to Burberry and says that’s clever, but the photographer side of me says for god’s sake,” Floyd told The Guardian. “Brooklyn Beckham’s got however many million Instagram followers, that’s what’s attracted Burberry. The people his age are Burberry’s target market or the future target market.”
Jon Gorrigan, a photographer who has worked with Esquire, Grazia and the Observer and with models such as Alexa Chung, told The Guardian he expected Burberry would have the entire setup ready so that all Brooklyn had to do was click the button.
“He’s obviously not going to be doing the lighting, he’ll have no clue of the programmes, the cameras or Photoshop,” Gorrigan said. “It’s going to be so well managed – he’ll have the best hair and makeup, the best models, the very best equipment, so that the chance of any risk is greatly reduced.
“It infuriates me because I learned my trade and other photographers learn their trade but he’s not learning his trade. I can understand why they’re doing it, getting the younger generation interested in Burberry. It definitely annoys me. Names sell, don’t they?”
He’s the second golden child of the Beckhams to work with Burberry, with little bro Romeo appearing in the label’s 2014 Christmas advert that drew 11 million views within 48 hours of launching.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the snaps to come out of the shoot so far, and if he has in fact done all the work and taken these shots, they’re not too shabby at all.
A photo posted by Burberry (@burberry) on
A photo posted by Burberry (@burberry) on
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