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News & Insight

Brooklyn Beckham’s Book Deal Lesson | Famous Last Names Are A Blessing & A Curse

By Brittany Smith on June 28th 2017

Uncle Ben said it best in the first film adapted version of Spider-Man circa 2001. The lesson was that with great power comes great responsibility. Growing up with privilege can definitely have its power, and it can also be curse.

Thank you so much! @christiesinc @poloralphlauren #whatiseebrooklynbeckham

A post shared by bb (@brooklynbeckham) on

Brooklyn Beckham, the oldest of the David and Victoria Beckham clan, is currently the poster child for this frame of mind in the art world with his new photo book titled “What I See”. What it is, is a candid and sometimes intimate glimpse into his celebrity life by a means of picture taking accompanied by underwhelming, curt captions. What it is not is a book of tack sharp images that demonstrates a mastery of the form. Respectively, the book is priced at £8.50 in the UK and approximately $17.61 in the US.

The backlash from critics is founded on the idea that an average photographer with his current skill set would never be handed a book deal. It could be argued that a phenomenal photographer with limited financial means and a less than sub par social media following would never be given the time of day by a publisher either. Having a famous last name definitely has its perks.

Brooklyn Beckham has millions of avid followers and there is no question that his book will sell. His loyal fans want to see the world through his (perpetually out of focus) lens and get an inkling of what his life must be like. There are much worse things that he could be doing to express himself.

“What I See” will most likely inspire thousands of youngsters to go pick up a camera. This is awesome and disheartening all at once in a world where quality is becoming less relevant and being replaced by social influence.

What professional photographers can hope is that Brooklyn will take this art form seriously, put in the time to master and learn to focus the high quality film cameras like Hasselblad and Leica that he is usually found donning in pictures on social media, leading the way for his fans to follow suit.

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Brittany is a fashion and beauty photographer who works between NYC, Montana and LA. She photographs the way she has always wanted to feel and believes in the power of raw simplicity. When not behind a camera she can usually be found at a local coffeeshop, teaching fitness classes at the YMCA, or baking something fabulous in the kitchen.
Instagram: @brittanysmithphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Arturo Ley

    Most people asume that individual talent determines alot of your sucess. I think its importart but only paired with a big and chunky and well established social, financial and cultural capital wich sometimes you born with.  Even with some of the greatest all of time photographers this is obvious; do you guys think that Sebastiao Salgado can be explained only by his skills? (no taking anything from him, im actually fan of his perspective and work) that man was a PhD in economics in a time and place only few people could do that, wich speaks alot of his previous resources before his photo era. Context matters and alot, and with context im referring to social, financial and cultural capital embeded in a particular time and espace. Sorry for my english by the way xD .. Greetings from México! 

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    • Brittany Smith

      Hey Arturo!

      To become a successful PAID photographer, you are correct that having all of those resources, especially the social influence nowadays, are necessary. I also think that business skills help to separate the “successful” from the “unsuccessful.” We can have all of the skills in the world and be the best photographer out there, but if we don’t know how to treat our art as a business and get in the public eye, we may not be able to get paid to do what we love.



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  2. Tim Evans

    You’re obviously not a Spiider-Man (note the hyphen) fan. Uncle Ben was the one who said, “With great power comes great responsibility,” not Aunt May (not Mae).

    Yes, I’m a proud nerd. 

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    • Brittany Smith

      Be a proud nerd. I appreciate it. :) I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and obviously, as noted by my misstep above, it has been too long since I have seen it.  What I burned to memory was incorrect. I will get it fixed.   Cheers!

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