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During The Pandemic, Models Get a Digital Makeover(VogueBusiness)

The March 2020 cover photoshoot of Vogue Italia featured a cast of models never before seen: Ida, Teresa, Helga, Anastasia and Stevie, all created by photographers Mert and Marcus, who digitally merged and manipulated the images of multiple participating human models.

The experiment was intended to examine the real and the artificial, says the magazine’s creative director, Ferdinando Verderi. That project ultimately served as a prelude to what has now become necessary: using digital tools to rethink on-model photography at a time when traditional photo shoots are on pause.

No longer a novelty, images that are made through a combination of model and machine are proving to be remarkably prescient. “The entire system is blocked,” says Nicola Scagnolari, co-founder and CEO of London-based digital modelling agency Ubooker, whose clients include Theory, Margiela and Diesel. “This will fast-forward to a solution that we would have arrived at in a few years.”

Employing models in innovative ways

Ubooker, whose roster includes more than 1,200 models, is introducing remote photo shoot capabilities that allow clients to book models who will remotely produce either a professional photo shoot or influencer-style shots wearing clothing shipped from the brand. This work is made possible by video sessions with stylists, photographers and makeup artists or models who live with photographers and other creative talents. Ubooker also offers photo retouching and editing. Ubooker is already in talks with the Estee Lauder Companies to use this service.

Already, some brands are using shot-at-home images to e-commerce sites: Free People has tapped employees and influencers such as Alyssa Coscarelli to model clothing, with many images created during a March campaign for people to share how they were wearing the brand at home. Reformation recently added new products to its e-commerce catalogue using shots from “friends of the brand”, says founder and CEO Yael Aflalo. Aflalo says that moving from its in-house photo studio to photos taken remotely was a “natural pivot” and positioned as a new way to interact with the brand’s community.

The full article read on the Vogue Business

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