Earlier this month, Prada and Adidas launched their third Re-Nylon collection into the Metaverse, Gucci did so through a collaboration with Superplastic, the world’s top creator of digital collectibles, Balmain and Barbie’s collaboration features Barbie avatars. Louis Vuitton has already created a video game app featuring 30 NFTs and Burberry partnered with Mythical Games to launch its range of digital toys.

With NFTs and the Metaverse changing up the fashion business in 2022, we cannot help but think: Will there be any room for capturing ‘realness’ in a world where digital fashion is rapidly coming to the forefront? We spoke to three of our favorite fashion photographers, here’s what they have to say!

Mixed art experience

Lebanese photographer Sandra Chidiac thinks that the pandemic was a catalyst that has caused a lot of photo projects to take place remotely; stylists and art directors are doing their job from a distance, photographers are creating virtual photo shoots. But again, this is just the beginning. “The change will happen gradually. We are heading towards a fully immersed experience in an augmented reality world. We are already witnessing the rise of some virtual models such as Shudu, Lil Miquela, Zoe Dvir… I guess in a few years, fashion photography as we know it today will become what analog photography is to us today: a vintage medium that we will still use from time to time but it won’t be mainstream. Let’s think about it: TV screens and the 2D experience will be replaced by 3D, projections, holograms, augmented reality… Photography is a 2D art. So, most probably, we are heading towards something that is a mixed art experience where photography will integrate 3D and animations; imagery will be very often computer generated,” says Chidiac.

“Global digitalization

Egyptian fashion photographer Amr Ezzeldin thinks that, while some are going all in with digital, others, himself included, are searching for ways to return to their roots, they’re slowing down and adopting vintage photography techniques, like shooting on analogue film, to give some meaning and value back to the image. He says, “You can clearly tell the difference between the rushed, random shot and the one that tells a story. But in few years we will have to deal with global digitalization and be part of it. I wrote my responses to you with a digital pen, something I’d never thought I would do. Same goes with everything else, you get used to it. NFTs and the Metaverse are the future market for photography. In my opinion, we need to embrace it, not fight it, so we can direct it to the right track. We need to think of how we can be part of the movement in a meaningful way in order to protect our art.”

With  the industry shifting towards digital and the Metaverse in general, we cannot help but think: “What kind of media are adverts in the future even going to use?

Commercial value

Last, but not least, Egyptian-Lebanese photographer Toufic Araman believes photography is on its way to becoming some kind of pure art form, where it will be liberated from commercial use. As in the 1900s, painting lost its commercial application when photography appeared, so photography will lose its commercial application when CGI and the Metaverse become mainstream. Why would you shoot a dress on a model for a look book when you could have it scanned and be worn by different body shapes and Meta models? Photography will lose its commercial value and photographers must adapt.

Araman adds, “NFTs, on the other hand, will help photographers solve a two decade old dilemma of how to protect the copyrights of their images when they appear online and how they are used, and when. It seems it will be possible in the near future to track images online through NFTs, limiting illegal usage and photographers can finally get paid for online use.”