I came across the latest printed issue of I Love Fake magazine the other day. Big, thick, and instantly addicting, this brainchild of photographer Jolijn Snijders is visually exciting and I even read a little of the text. Although I haven’t found it at any of the newsstands in my neighborhood, at least one single copy was available at Barnes & Noble in Union Square (all the best magazines seem to be the hardest to find). Snijders started an online version of the magazine when she was still in art school. In its latest incarnation, she likes to celebrate and feature young photographers and subjects alongside more established ones.
When I look at her photography, and much of what she selects for the magazine, I have two thoughts as a professional: 1) This stuff rocks and makes me want to drop everything and start shooting ANYTHING; and 2) My photographer friends and followers would probably see much of this as badly composed, poorly executed, and juvenile work. In other words, bad photography. So, why is that? Why do we strive so hard to perfect our lighting, balance our color, compose to the nearest rule-of-thirds or Golden Ratio, and worry about every little blown highlight, DOF, and bit of noise we might notice?
The answer probably has a lot to do with knowing that we want to learn to control those things; we want to master the technical. That’s a good goal. But I think some of us might get stuck there. Snijders and so many younger photographers like her can actually create the latest slick look if they wanted to (and sometimes they’re hired to). The love and joy, however, is in the style they choose to really communicate with. It’s a language of raw imagery, simple lighting and attitude. When asked by Dazed Digital how she describes her style, Snijders said, “Raw, cinematic, makeshift, moody. What is also typical of one of my shooting’s is improvisation, using simple tools and joking around.”
What do you think of Snijder’s work?