Italian Vogue Unveils Photo-Free Issue Because Photo Shoots are Bad for the Environment – Mag features drawings instead
Italian Vogue‘s first issue of 2020 will feature zero photography in order to “send a message” about sustainability. Instead of photos, the issue is illustrated by artists, avoiding the “traveling, shipping entire wardrobes of clothes or polluting in any way” involved in a typical Vogue photo shoot.
The issue was announced prominently on the magazine’s Instagram, complete with an all caps caption which reads, “NO PHOTOSHOOT PRODUCTION WAS REQUIRED IN THE MAKING OF THIS ISSUE.”
In an article on the Vogue website, the Italian magazine’s Editor in Chief Emanuele Farneti outlined the kind of environmental impact that they were hoping to avoid by cutting photography out of the creation of this issue.
One hundred and fifty people involved. Twenty flights, ten trains. Forty machines available. Sixty international expeditions. At least ten hours of lights on continuously, partly powered by gasoline generators. Food waste from catering. Plastic to wrap clothes. Power to recharge phones, cameras …
The above are approximations based on the production involved in the eight stories comprising Italian Vogue’s September 2019 issue. And apparently, the list goes on…
“This month we wanted to launch a message,” says Farneti. “That creativity – which has been a cornerstone of Vogue for nearly 130 years – can, and must, prompt us to explore different paths.” Paths that do not include cameras, camera equipment, or photographers.
The decision to eschew photography from a fashion magazine will no doubt raise some eyebrows and ruffle some feathers. Photographers are used to being replaced by robots or royalty free stock or ever-more-affordable newcomers to the industry, but they don’t often have to compete with traditional artists or painters.
Of course, after this statement piece, Italian Vogue will go back to business as usual, but the message they sent—that photography is unsustainable and bad for the environment—could well have a lasting impact on a culture that already undervalues photography and photographers on a regular basis.