Yesterday (1st November) saw the release of the first episode of Nigel Barker’s new show in conjunction with Adorama – entitled Top Photographer. Released as a web series through Adorama’s YouTube channel, this is the first, 25-minute episode, and you can watch it right here!
The first challenge involves an action studio shoot with US Olympic Fencer Miles Chamley-Watson. What’s interesting about the format of this show is the eclectic mix of photographers, with several exclaiming straight-off that they rarely - or never - shoot studio ("I’m used to shooting pretty girls in moving dresses!").
The five hopefuls must first select between shooting with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Aided by Nigel’s personal first assistant, Toby Sprague, they are then each given 30 minutes to shoot their subject, whilst their peers wait outside.
The episode covers everything from set-ups, lighting, and the importance of interaction with your subject. It’s interesting to see the different approaches each take, with some of the photographers getting stuck in right away, whilst one decides to spend the first 15 minutes setting up.
Interestingly, and unlike in Nigel’s previous foray "America’s Next Top Model," contestants seem to get to personally select their final image, but must display it in its raw form, with no additional post-processing. They then face Nigel and the guest judges (in this episode, sports photographer David Bergman and producer Ben Lyons), before a winner is announced and an elimination is made.
The contestants seem likeable, and rather importantly, it feels like this show can appeal to both the casual and professional photographer.
You can watch the very first episode below:
What were your thoughts on the show? Is it a winning format?