Street style photographers are increasingly moving from behind the lens to in front of the camera–think Garance Doré for Net-a-Porter or Hanneli Mustaparta for Louis Vuitton–and garnering more attention for their “brand” than their photos.
But Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil has mostly avoided this trend, despite finding success shooting for Style.com and collaborating with Club Monaco–and it turns out that’s intentional. “I have zero interest in being photographed!” Ton recently told website The Talks. “For me it’s more about the work.”
Ton dished about the downsides to being a fashion “blogger,” the people he tries to avoid photographing, and how he feels the industry views people like himself.
On feeling judged by print media:
Yes, absolutely [magazines look down on bloggers]. You can sense it when you’re going to the shows. You feel like they belittle you in a way. Not intentionally, but you can feel like they’re thinking, “Oh, you’ve cheated the system. I don’t feel like you earned your spot here sitting in the show.”
On who he likes to photograph:
I always find the people that don’t want to be photographed are the most desirable. There are more and more people that are just coming to the show to be photographed and not even to see the show. I find them less interesting and those are the people I try to avoid.
On how he feels about being called a “blogger”:
It’s hard… It does feel kind of weird having the “blogger” title. I mean, yes I do have a blog where I upload photos, but I don’t actually actively blog where I write things and I form an opinion and I put it out there. I basically just take pictures. There are negative connotations to being a blogger.
For more from Tommy Ton, check out the full article at The Talks.