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Image ou e-mage ?

29/03/2007 - par Mark Tungate

Iwas recently talking to a friend of mine about the explosion of street photography on the Web, also known as photo-blogging. Maybe you've noticed this phenomenon. It's basically about amateur photographers with an interest in fashion taking pictures of well-dressed people in the street, or at parties. The classic examples are The Sartorialist (http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com) and Face Hunter (http ://face hunter.blogspot.com). These two have become stars and are courted by fashion magazines.

Until very recently, the only people who did this kind of work were trend trackers working for bureaux de style or fashion industry websites like WGSN. They were also the only people who had the courage to approach complete strangers and ask them to pose for a photograph. It takes more guts than you'd imagine : try it and you'll see what I mean. The interesting thing, though, is that most people say yes. Obviously they're flattered that the photographer admires their dress sense.

Once the amateurs realised this, the barriers came down pretty fast. Now the trendiest districts of the world's cities are full of strangely dressed people taking pictures of one another for their blogs. You can spot them in the Marais at the weekend - usually around a bar called La Perle. I believe it's changing the comportment of city inhabitants : now, anybody vaguely stylish almost expects to be photographed. In the morning, they dress for a new form of urban theatre.

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