Nigel Barker and Adorama announced back in July that they’d be kicking off their Canon-sponsored reality series. After five episodes, tonight concluded the first season, in which one of the five hopefuls landed the first ever title of "Top Photographer." Was it worth the watch?
After challenges consisting of action sports, fashion, and landscape, the final two contestants – Roxy Rodriguez and Scott Borrero – were given free reign of New York City and, besides a time restriction, were free to shoot who or what they pleased. Whilst Roxy was praised for having a signature style and for not being afraid to bend the rules, Nigel and the judges (which in this episode including supermodel Coco Rocha and Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Style, Joe Zee) concluded that Scott was the all-rounder. His confidence and professionalism were highlighted – as was his improvement throughout the process.
Reception to the show has been relatively favourable, and by Nigel’s own admission in his exclusive Fstoppers interview, the team are very much monitoring the audience reaction in the hopes of using the feedback to shape a potential series two. Filtering through the Youtube comments, a number of the comments indicate that viewers felt the format of the show was flawed somewhat. Rather than eliminating one contestant every episode, many pointed out that it would be far more beneficial if all five of the hopefuls moved through the challenges week-to-week, having a wider range of their work assessed. After all, the first eliminated hopeful Andrew Kearns is, by his own admission, no studio photographer, but ended up faced with a studio shoot on the very first challenge. Allowing contestants to remain in the process would allow a fairer chance for them to showcase their specialties.
Overall, the series shows a lot of promise, and it's always interesting to see a reality show that is photo-centric. Whether there will be another series is yet to be determined, but in the meantime, this writer will be looking out for Scott's exhibition - hosted by Nigel himself - which serves as one of his prizes for winning.
Was Scott the right winner? Would you like to see a series two, and if so, what would you change about the format? If you haven’t yet caught the final episode, you can view it below.