Legendary Harper’s Bazaar Art Director Alexey Brodovitch would always commission photographers with the same brief; ‘Astonish me!’.
At he moment, it feels like the brief given to most photographers is ‘Can you do it like that?’.
On one level, it makes complete sense, how else do you get the third party, the client, to write a cheque without showing them existing imagery to give them an idea of what they are paying for.
But it’s also insane, the most difficult part of our business is stopping passers by.
And at this point in history, the queue to engage the public’s attention has never been longer, so the need for astonishment has never been greater.
‘Astonishing’ jumps queues, ‘different’ gets waved to the front, even ‘odd’ will get preferential treatment.
Anyone calling the images of Scottish photographer Alan David Tu astonishing are unlikely to be sued.
It’s similar to nobody.