HerUni Talks To Photographer Todd Anthony Tyler
August 4, 2012
By: Carolina Are
Todd Anthony Tyler is regarded by fashion insiders as a pre-eminent photographer and art director. Known for transforming models into icons, Tyler operates a successful photo studio in Shanghai. He has made a career shooting for the most elite fashion magazines such as Vogue China, Harper’s Bazaar China and Elle China. HerUni chats with the Canadian-born photographer, who is gearing up for his role as judge in the premier cycle of Asia’s Next Top Model airing this Autumn.
For AsiasNTM, Tyler will work along with fashion director Daniel Boey (creative director of the first Asia Haute Couture fashion week), model mentor Joey Mead King (Cosmopolitan Philippines TV Host), runway walk coach Adam Williams (choreographer and catwalk coach for Australia’s Next Top Model) and host Nadya Hutagalung (MTV Asia VJ). The winning model will sign with Storm Model Management in London as well as receive a cover shoot with Harper’s Bazaar Singapore.
When asked about the production of AsiasNTM, Tyler says there is definitely a bit of a reality TV learning curve and “finding the right gel” with everything involved. But what are his expectations from the show? He says: “I expect a fairly high production value along with a good display of quality Asian designs that interject the world of fashion into reality TV. I would like for viewers and fans of Tyra Banks’ Top Model franchise to be entertained as well as perhaps learn a thing or two about fashion, the attributes that make up a top model and what goes into fashion photography.”
For Tyler, fashion should be “empowering” for an individual. He says: “For me, fashion is a vehicle for stimulating conversation, projecting ideas and promoting a positive lifestyle that includes both solid and sustainable physical and mental health.” Tyler believes trends in fashion will always be there to keep the industry interesting. He says: “Fashion trends will reflect the base trends in society in terms of what is acceptable and desirable of the times.”
Tyler thinks that fashion hardly has a bad influence on people’s perception of their body image. “Fashion is so subjective,” he says. “There are certain groups of women that are more directly influenced by what they see on catwalks and fashion magazines and this will always be the case. Some people enjoy following the trends and others find the current trends are not the right fit for them, but still enjoy fashion and creating a personal style.”
However, the photographer agrees with the exclusion of anorexic models from the catwalk. He says:” I would never support the promotion of an unhealthy lifestyle and if a model is putting her health at risk to fit into a sample size that is just ridiculous.” Nonetheless, he sympathizes with models that are naturally thin, yet receive criticism for their size. He adds: “As a man, I personally prefer a woman with curves and fuller proportions. “ Tyler says:”When I am shooting, I am not a big fan of Photoshop and I like the models I photograph to be as is in post-production.”
Tyler finds himself “shooting high-volume” in China. He says: “I shoot thousands of frames of images every week for magazines, fashion catalogues and advertisement work. My studio is on a constant roll, juggling 3 to 5 projects at different stages at any given time.”
To wanna-be fashion photographers, Tyler says talent is essential to develop a career, followed by an interesting perspective and some business sense. The latter is for him the downfall for most photographers: “They fail because they have no idea how to run a business,” he says.
Tyler says: “You will hear ‘no’ a lot, but you have to keep shooting and networking until a door opens.” That’s why, for him, perseverance is essential in photography. He says: “When I first started out, I had written on my wall above my work area ‘never retreat, never surrender’: Perhaps a clichéd mantra, but one that reflected that I would never quit and no one was going to stop me.”
Image Credits (in order of appearance): Todd Anthony Tyler Fashion Photography, Photo by Todd Anthony Tyler for Prestige Indonesia magazine, model Polina P with Esse Model Management, L’Oreal Professionnel Paris Glamour 2012 campaign photographed by Todd Anthony Tyler, Photo by Todd Anthony Tyler for Fantastics magazine, model Polina P with Esse Model Management