Tuesday, 23 June 2015

POV | Mediocrity And Cronyism

Photo © This Cannot Be Mine. Take It...Steal It!
A reasonably well known travel magazine branding itself as "the multi-platform travel media brand that inspires and guides those who travel the world to connect with its people, experience their cultures, and understand their perspectives', and  published in San Francisco, recently featured on its website a bunch of photographs made of India by the creative director of a fashion-lifestyle website.

It is virtually impossible to make a bad photograph in India, but these were really bad. They were more aptly described as 'snaps' by photographers who know their craft. And their captions were even worse....but these might have been the work of clueless copy writers.

Here's the thing: many talented upcoming and young travel photographers would love to be featured in this magazine...but may have an uphill struggle to get their work considered by the magazine's photo editors.

But the 'creative director' of a fashion-lifestyle website had not trouble in getting her ridiculously mediocre photographs seen and featured.

So why feature mediocre photographs on the website of a seemingly professional travel multi-platorm?

One of the answers probably lies in old fashioned parasitical cronyism.

The fashion-lifestyle website appears to have over 500,000 Instagram followers, while the creative director's Instagram is followed by over 100,000...the later being almost double that of the travel magazine's followers.

So in a possible bid to enhance its audience, the decision-maker(s) at the magazine may have gritted their teeth, and featured these talentless photographs. 

Of course, there may be different reasons...such as friendship, or whatever. It could have been as simple a reason as the creative director returning from a shopping trip or honeymoon or holiday to India, and asking her travel magazine friends if they'd publish her stuff.

It happens all the time, and I understand how such things work in the real world, but I also know that in this particular case, the photographs really suck and reduce the value and respectability that this travel platform tries to achieve. And the way to enhance a travel magazine's value is to publish thoughtful, compelling, beautiful photographs by talented photographers who take pride in their craft.

And pay them.