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Ethics of Virtual Photoshoots

By Skye Cross


While we are all getting used to the new “normal,” people all over the world have been getting creative with trying to keep their schedule as normal as possible. Despite current conditions, models have been working with photographers via facetime calls to capture content while still abiding by social distancing guidelines. Photographers and magazines have taken to social media to share how they have been able to continue creating content despite traditional photoshoots not being an option.


Vogue Italy shared their experience working with Bella Hadid via Facetime on their Instagram in mid-April. The photoshoot team recounts the experience as being a personal experience with Bella, being able to have a fitting on Facetime with Bella, where they were able to share opinions and ideas when it came to the shoot. The photographs captured during this FaceTime session prove that quarantine has not dampened the industry’s creativity.


Italian based photographer Alessio Albi shared that he started experimenting with FaceTime photoshoots in March. Despite being able to take breathtaking photos over FaceTime, Alessio admitted in an Instagram post that he missed the traveling aspect of his job. Many other photographers all over the world have been spending quarantine reflecting on their past projects reminiscing of the days of travel. Alessio and others have shared their excitement to travel and capture, once the travel options become available.

Tim Dunk is a photographer that has been able to capture a wide range of portraits through FaceTime. The photos he has produced range from bright and cheerful to ones with a more moody tone. In a recent article on PetaPixel, he shares with readers his process for using FaceTime to create professional portrait work. Dunk along with others share that to capture the highest quality photos during a photoshoot, they use their MacBook, while the models can typically just use their phones. Another crucial aspect during a FaceTime photoshoot is making sure that the subject has FaceTime Live Photos enabled as well as a device with iOS 11 or newer. With photographers adapting well and continuing their passions during these hard times, it shows that with the help of technology, photographers will be able to continue to share their talents with us in times we need it most.

One of the most popular projects that has been infamous for using FaceTime during photoshoots is i-D, who launched “Safe + Sound.” The project has featured models such as Binx Walton, Gigi Hadid, and many more who were photographed by Willie Vanderperre. By conducting such an intimate photoshoot with the models, they can capture the models in a setting where more of their personality can show through. By i-D creating a project such as this one, it has created a sense of unity among models and readers to show they are not alone during these times.


Photographers, such as LA based Sam Dameshek, have taken a liking to the new way of photoshoots through FaceTime. Dameshek has even mentioned in an article on NYLON that he plans to continue photoshoots via FaceTime even after quarantine because of how satisfied he has been with the results. Dameshek along with other photographers have described their experience working with models over FaceTime as a unique way to photograph because of the direct connection they have to the model.


With FaceTime photoshoots likely to be continued for the next several months, we will continue to see photographers using technology to innovate the magazine industry. With the cooperation of the models, it has proven that nothing can stop photographers from shooting beautiful images, even if they can’t leave their homes.


Skye Cross is an Editorial and Marketing Intern who specializes in writing pieces related to beauty, current trends in media, and social equality.

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