The role of creativity
Hi Vlad. I’m actually unclear about your overall point or question. Were you amazed by the initial image, then felt let down by how common of an image it is? Or are you unhappy that such an image would come second in a contest? I’m not sure.
In any event, it should be common knowledge that these women in the pictures are women who live in Cuba (Havana) where people are generally very poor monetarily. These women (and some men) have learned that many tourists love this sort of novel image, and they’ve found a way to earn some money by their daily routine of dressing up, planting themselves in a downtown location (in areas where most of the tourists are) and asking for a dollar for a photo.
Their getup is colourful, tropical, exotic, and perhaps a little comical to our winter-worn North American eyes. If your point/question is that the photo required little to no creativity on the part of the photographer, then there may be a valid point in that, but there is some creativity on the part of the subject, and it’s an image which most people like to look at.
Once one has been to Cuba and got those sorts of shots out of their system and then moves on to more “real” shots of Cuba and Cubans, then naturally one will look upon such shots as low hanging fruit, but I have to wonder if these images are looked upon as “photographically pedestrian” simply because of their ubiquity. It seems that once something is commonplace, it is loathed.
In other words, if no Cuban women ever dressed up like this, yet one day one of them did for a few hours and you captured her in some photos, would you have been creative?
Everything in moderation, including moderation.