16-Year-Old Brooklyn Beckham Is the Official Photographer Behind the New Burberry Campaign

With his brother, Romeo, the face of numerous Burberry campaigns, Brooklyn Beckham has now been spotted working on the other side of the camera for the famous fashion house. The teen, who last year was reportedly working in a West London coffee shop for £2.68 an hour, is the official photographer behind Burberry’s latest fragrance campaign, entitled "This Is Brit."

In a move that is sure to divide opinion, the 16 year old has been entrusted with leading the latest campaign, something he announced last week on Instagram. Having only revealed his passion for photography as recently as last year, Brooklyn posted about his excitement to shoot the ad alongside a black and white photo of himself with a camera.

Shooting with a team in London’s backstreets, the son of David and Victoria Beckham favoured a Guerilla-style approach with minimal equipment.

The shoot was also streamed live across Burberry’s Instagram and Snapchat accounts, including several previews of the final results:

What are your thoughts? Is this an insult to photographers who have been perfecting their skills for years? Or as someone with close personal connections to the brand, is Brooklyn the natural choice? Let us know in the comments!

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42 Comments
Michael Comeau's picture

Well, when I was 14, I got a job in a restaurant because my Mom knew the manager.

In all seriousness, photographers are going to bitch and moan like crazy about this, but it's pointless.

There will always be people with easy access to great opportunities.

This has been going on in every industry since the beginning of time.

Casey Morton's picture

Why shouldn't he receive the job? If he gets the job done, then I don't see any problem with it at all.

David Vaughn's picture

I think it's because it seems to be a PR stunt over a legitimate professional venture.

If it makes Burberry money then kudos, since that's the name of the game and it's gotten articles written about it, but otherwise it just feels like another celebrity getting opportunities because of their celebrity.

Part of me realizes it's just smart business. Another part of me thinks this just minimizes the public's perception of the hard work required in this profession.

But the truth is that it's basically a benign non-story. This has been happening since forever. It's not a special case.

Casey Morton's picture

Yeah I agree about the publicity stunt actually. You make a good point there. I just wish I had those connections!

Lyondhur Picciarelli's picture

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Brandon Ericksen's picture

If the Kid has skills, then I say congrats. Shots look good to me *laughs*

Nick Dors's picture

What's wrong with it? Captured the typical London style if you ask me..

Terry Henson's picture

Check his Instagram.....not a single worthy photo before this shoot. In other words he had high dollar "assistance"

jon gibb's picture

"Is this an insult to photographers who have been perfecting their skills for years?" Perfecting something will always fall short of doing something!!! Kids got close ties, that helps, he also has great social media presence of 5.9 million people, bigger plus, and looks like his work gets the job done. Kids killing it and doing something right, good for him and sure this wont be the last home run.

Chris Adval's picture

They're using his social media presence from the sounds of it now, from your explanation, and it makes sense totally, the brand is very smart for deciding a photographer who has 5.9million followers, its a no brainer, especially if he does a decent job without a team of experienced professionals. Even if the images were not professional looking, they'd still get tons of eyes on their product and brand... but the photographer was good enough and had the huge deciding factor of a social following.

Terry Henson's picture

Check his Instagram.....kinda shite mate lol

Lane Shurtleff's picture

I agree with both Dan & Chris's comments. Also, with all the experienced "help" he received during the shoot, I'm sure his pay for his work was FAR below what Burberry would've paid an experienced fashion photographer. This was totally about Burberry using celebrity to get free advertising and promotion.

Luis Aguirre's picture

Lane S. is spot on. They're leveraging his social media following. The majority of his Instagram followers are most likely in Burberry's demographic. It doesn't matter how good or bad his stream is. In advertising it's about your demo and how many eyes in that demo are going to see your brand. Was he paid? Even if paid a decent rate, Burberry is still getting a bargain. Brands pay 10s of thousands for magazine ads with much fewer viewers. Even if only a third of his audience sees the images, it's a bargain.

Pete O'Brien's picture

Credit to him. He's had a camera in hand for sometime now, so if he's practicing every week and he so happens to have the contacts, great. Amazing opportunity and we'll hopefully see him grow. It won't hurt to see Photography have an internationally recognisable face, who know how that will benefit the industry for the established and the aspiring.

Tyler Newcomb's picture

Good for him, but not something to get upset about. 16 year old Tyler Newcomb shoots photos for a rock climbing gym. It's mostly because I was most enthusiastic about the gym and the content, and I have better than average photos. I think this is kinda the same case. His photos aren't ground breaking, but they are better than most people can do, and he knows people and likes photography. Only difference is hw knows more people and more powerful people than I do.

Nick Pecori's picture

This is very similar to Michael Jordan's son, Marcus, who is now in fashion and working with Air Jordan. Marcus gave basketball a shot just like Brooklyn did with football. But both sons are now finding interest in the art & fashion world. They grew up around it because of both of their father's success in endorsements and advertising, so they're naturally drawn to it. Best of luck to the kid, it's who you know.

Chris Adval's picture

We don't know if he did well or not, I'm sure he had tons of people helping which can make a weak or inexperienced photographer look fantastic. Great models (provided for the photographer), makeup artist, hair stylists, location scouters, retouchers, and from the looks of it who knows he may have this is or not, but I think he did, and simply just showed up with his camera/lenses and shot. To get that luxury you gotta prove yourself to a ton of people/industry and such, with great reputation before they invest such teams into you and your production. Doubt he set it up all on his own. And I'm not digging on him, he knew the right people at the right time, which sucks for everyone else who didn't get that luck. Yea some may say it was all skill, but it wasn't photography skills, its networking/people skills that got him there, which many will say its now part of a photographer's vital business skills. And I congratulate him for those skills and perfecting them, no age is required, just practice.

Tommy Nguyen's picture

You know, I just took a gander and his IG feed and none of his pictures reaches the post processing quality of the ones shown here. I think he had a lot of help doing this shoot and Burberry is riding his famous last name into the headlines. He's a lucky kid.

Vladimir Byazrov's picture

Obviously Burberry shamelessly using his parent's fame to promote their overpriced sht, When things like this happen in Russia, it doesn't feel too wrong because Russia is a medieval country where all good opportunities go to privileged kids. But Westerners should know better.

Patrick Melon's picture

after reading tommy's comment, i checked it out and have to completely agree with his position that the photographer's other images on his IG account have no value that comes even close to what happened with this burberry shoot. if the talent is there then once again who is anyone to say that someone doesn't deserve such an amazing opportunity. i wouldn't be selfish enough to say that i should have done this but i know of many other 16 and younger photographers with large social media followings that consistently post some of the most amazing work i have ever seen. so yes, i do see this as somewhat of a slight to serious talented photographers, and i'm not even talking about the ones that spent 'years perfecting their craft' as the author postulates. just people that make better work generally.

Igor Butskhrikidze's picture

nice shots!

Joakim Drake's picture

This is sort of the same argument with models vs celebrities. Why should the celebrities get covers but not the perfect looking models?

Or maybe why does the singers in boybands suck at singing, but still get fame. But the background singers with their perfect voice who basically do voice over for them remain in the shadows? I could go on and on ;)

Nick Dors's picture

I like the shots and style. Think Brooklyn got massively assisted, but still..

Dave Kavanagh's picture

I'm sure nepotism played a big part in him being selected but then again it looks like he did a decent job, so why not.

Nick Pandev's picture

I do not mind and especially if he did good job...but on the other hand things go in direction where whoever has more followers gets the job:) and depending on the product - the add campaign has wider and bigger impact.

Anonymous's picture

well, it's both side profit.

Jordan Randall's picture

Compared to his other stuff it seems like he didn't do much more than push the shutter here, but as far as him getting the gig in itself, nothing new there.

Drew Pluta's picture

Wow such a huge blind spot in the commenters! This is about the gutting of professional positions across the board. He got the job because of 2 factors. His "it" kid pedigree and his social media numbers (thanks to the former.) This is happening in virtually every industry. Lazy and incompetent marketers are looking blindly a social as the #1 factor in hiring. Skills are maybe somewhere in the mix sometimes. It's an attack on the identity of the working class. It isn't good enough anymore to be skilled. The elite are coming for your high status working class credentials so that they can appear to be "normal" and worthy of respect.

Deleted Account's picture

This is absolutely the smartest post I've ever seen on a photography related website. TOTAL RESPECT!!!!!

(just a head's up for those that are unfamiliar): Pierre Bourdieu, a french sociologist, wrote a book on photography where he described how the lack of respect for form and craftsmanship meant that professional photographers were mostly made of up people from privileged social backgrounds. People from the lower social backgrounds need a merit based foundation in order to compete or else they lose to the upper classes simply because they don't have the social connections. The bottom line is that any photographer from a working class type of background MUST defend form and craftsmanship in the profession otherwise he will lose out to pathetic hacks like this Beckham kid.

Rick Taylor's picture

I've noticed a big trend over the past few years in fashion photography, and these seem to fall right in line with that trend; the aim seems to be photos that look like they are just casual snapshots that could have been made by anyone. I saw some photos of one of the high-salary models in Chinese Vogue not long ago, and the lighting was so bad that they looked like they were the test shots of the ambient light before the main lighting was added. On instagram, there are some extremely popular photographers who seemingly make no effort to get even decent lighting. It's as if it's considered boring if it looks like it was done by a pro.

michael buehrle's picture

atleast he is using a real camera and not an iPhone. that's in his favor.

Terry Henson's picture

Yeah...a freakin Leica......not privileged at all lol.

Terry Henson's picture

16 yrs old and he has a Leica........
The struggle is real.

Dan Ostergren's picture

I don't think it's all that unheard of for young/ new photographers to land big jobs like this; it's all about knowing the right people or being seen in the right place. Surface Magazine does an annual "Avant Guardian" issue every year, where they take submissions from young/new/unknown talent and then publish the winners in the Avant Guardian issue of Surface. It's launched the careers of lots of now well known photographers. http://www.surfacemag.com/about-avant-guardian/

Judging from who his parents are, this kid must have a very well connected network. Regardless, his photos are gorgeous. I think he deserves it as much as any other photographer out there who wants to do this kind of work.

Anonymous's picture

As a photographer, I think it's insulting. As an MBA, however, it's quite smart of Burberry for the following reasons:

1. He is a Millennial, and they are probably trying to target that crowd with this campaign
2. He has a fairly impressive social media reach, which, at least in some people's minds, is the end all, be all these days
3. People are talking about it and there really is no such thing as bad publicity, at least in marketing
4. Just about anyone can talk decent photos with a team doing location scouting, styling, and setting up all of the lighting, gear, etc., and doing post, plus it's hard to take bad photos of attractive models
5. Associating a celebrity with just about any product is gold, particularly with fragrances. If you compare sales of Kim what's-her-name's perfume with some generic Calvin Klein or something, you would be shocked by how much more her perfume sells.
6. Speaking of Kim ___, her Selfie book was #1 for months in Amazon's "photography books" section...

Finally, I would prepare yourself for a lot more of this as photography evolves and celebrity culture maintains its (very profitable) death grip on our culture.

Anthony Tripoli's picture

People keep mentioning how much better these images look than the rest of his instagram, but the difference between being a solo shooter/retoucher and being a shooter with a great team of assistants and digital tech accompanied with a great retoucher(s) can make a huge difference.

The only photographers who are going to whine and complain about this are photographers without any real experience. Networking is a HUGE part of this industry... He was just born into a well networked family, so he got a leg up, but it doesn't mean you can't work hard, put yourself out there, and end up in a similar position.

Simon Randall's picture

So why has Mario Testino published a shot from Burberry's spring summer 2016 campaign ?
The whole thing is an excellent piece of marketing.

Jack Alexander's picture

The campaign Brooklyn shot was for a Burberry fragrance. I imagine Mario Testino did the latest clothing line

Phil Newton's picture

But that's the whole point Pete. This would have been frowned upon probably even 10 years ago. But this sort of brand interconnecting is huge now. And this kid isn't going to turn it down is he! It gives him something to do. It's win win for everyone. They get access to his huge database of followers, which are probably their new target market, he gets to display his work and market himself as a pro photographer. I'd be surprised if Burberry didn't hire a pro team to 'advise' him, or a good creative director to create a specific shot list, but it's marketing gold here.
People want to subscribe to a lifestyle, and that's what big companies are tapping into.

Jim Cutler's picture

TWO thoughts on this and I'm going to reverse myself with #2. First 1) If he's good, why shouldn't he do it even if he got the job because of star parents. Remember back when the terrific photog Joey L was really, really young and totally killing it with great work. I'll bet he got the hairy eyeball from other pros when he took jobs. Joey deserved the good things no matter his age because he's good.

Now #2: Totally true story on my word: A friend of mine edited top network TV commercials in NYC but was approaching 40 years old. He kept telling me his time was short because the agencies had a thing about age. He was a top editor of top campaigns. One day head of agency for a major pharmaceutical client said, "You know we've been thinking. Please find a 17 year old with no experience to come in and let him edit our next campaign because a 17 year old will see things differently." It had to be a kid who's never touched video before. This struck my 40 year old friend's fear to the core, it's what he was so afraid of. So they found someone who was 17 and who never even tried video on his phone before. The agency sat in on the session, and the edit was horrible because the idea was flawed in the first place! The agency gave up on the idea and made my 40 year old master-editor friend remake the spot and that's the spot that aired during the 2008 Superbowl. My friend folded his Manhattan editing house the next week and opened a successful Brooklyn pub. He just opened his second. But the question remains: WHAT if the kid with no experience, did a great job? Would we all hate him because he had no experience?

Carlo Valera's picture

Actually I believe that if he can get the job done, with a great result, then it doesn't matter if he's David Beckham's son or just a kid with a high amount of followers in Instagram. As some people here are saying, probably it was a marketing stunt by Burberry to use Brooklyn. But the pictures shown here look great (not just for a fragrance campaign, but overall), so I don't think their disrespecting anyone here. He's just a talented amateur photographer who got the amazing chance to shoot for a very important client in his first year. Let's just be happy for him, and keep working hard ourselves to get chances like that for us.