The mixed opinions of fashion bloggers are as multifarious as the fashion industry itself. The industry’s powerhouses range from Vogue editors to teen bloggers with killer bangs and a penchant for progressive feminism. And, recently, there’s a new staple of the fashion blogger world: the “beau-tographer.”
As Fashionista defines it, a beau-tographer refers to when “a man is fully employed by his girlfriend to be her full-time photographer. Some duties include: travel, editorial shots of outfits, daily location scouts, and consultations with the blog and business, among other tasks.” Read that again. Let it sink in. Now let’s continue.
I’m incredibly envious of these women, for their clothing, yes, but also for their ability to monetize their fashion photography. Why hadn’t I thought to employ my live-in college boyfriend to take photos of all of my outfits in actual daylight, and not just underneath the buzzing fluorescent light of my dorm room? I could be guest-editing Vogue, or sitting front row at Milan Fashion Week, or at least be buying so many extra meals at the dining hall with the money I made! (Okay, probably just the extra meals.)
Peeling back the layers of what the rise of the beau-tographer actually means outside of the fashion blogging bubble, it just seems like a terribly evil genius thing to do. These women are the Dr. Evils of the fashion world and their boyfriends are just their Mini Me’s, wandering around like toddlers wielding tripods and Nikons, hoping not to get sprayed with a water bottle if they miss a good shot.
What bugs me about this whole thing is there’s such a blur of professional and personal relationships, to the point that you have to make an announcement of separation to your fans if you break up. Not only do you have to explain to thousands of people why “it just didn’t work out” but you also need to assure them this will not hinder your professional life (which is actually your personal life. How meta.). It’s damage control that would be completely unnecessary if someone, somewhere, realized what they were doing as a blogger was legitimate and actually hired a real photographer. I understand the convenience of it, seeing as bloggers have to record their outfits and publish them daily, but it’s also an unnecessary conflict of interest. Treating your beau as an employee can only get you so far (and it will more than likely not get you laid).
It’s not attractive when your sexytime talk is about how much per hour, per blog post, your boyfriend is getting paid. Employing your own beau-tographer, however convenient, seems akin to driving on a five-lane, no speed-limit highway to Splitsville. But I still wish I had thought of it first.