From fashion designers to chefs and even journalists, it seems like any profession could be turned into a reality TV game show. In an upcoming series that’s currently being produced in the U.K., it’s style photographers who are the contestants, according to Amateur Photographer (via PetaPixel).
Under the working title “Back to Front” and produced by the Back to Front TV company, this nine-part reality TV concept will see 11 photographers tasked with a new challenge each week (with the help of two mentors), eventually paring down to three finalists who will vie for a chance to shoot a cover for an unnamed fashion magazine and a gallery exhibition – typical reality TV formula that’s familiar to anyone who watches such shows. The show is sponsored by the Royal Photographic Society and will be hosted by a yet-to-be-named prominent photographer for Vogue.
“Each episode will be produced into an educational and thrilling challenge for contestant and audience alike,” the producers wrote in a statement.
The producers will hold a casting call soon, but said that any interested photographer “across any level of skill” are welcome. Applicants will be asked to submit their best image, describe why they want to take part, and, if shortlisted, attend a workshop on how to use a high-end medium-format camera and lighting. There’s no word yet on which network will air the show.
This isn’t the first time photographers have become reality TV stars. VH1 has a short-lived series called “The Shot” that also focuses on fashion photography (the concept for the “The Shot” is almost similar to “Back to Front”), while a show about street photographers is apparently in the works. While many of these vocation-based reality TV shows can be entertaining – hence their popularity and why networks continue to make them – and gives outsiders a view into the profession, the game show aspect, in many ways, cheapens what are serious jobs. But “Back to Front’s” producers say the show will actually promote photography. “We hope this collaboration will deliver tremendous value for the creative arts in Britain through the contemporary medium of photography,” show creator Haider Mannan told Amateur Photographer. Do you think it’s job exploitation for Nielsen ratings, or a realistic opportunity for anybody who wants to enhance his or her career?