Assignment five: Photography is simple
This assignment asks me to capture a series of 10 images showing a subject multiple times, but each time the subject is shown in a different unique view. For this, I want to re-visit portraiture as this is the genre I am most interested in, but challenge myself with a niche not yet attempted. I hunted out a variety of willing models for a semi-nude glamour style photoshoot. The reason for this subject, is to push my emotional boundaries as a photographer. I am nervous, I want always to appear to know what I am doing in front of the model, but this is new for me. I need to get past any insecurities with giving direction for these photoshoots.
I feel this subject is something I can empathise with through the whole process. For instance, I had such a willingness from models to take part in this study, I suppose it shouldn’t be so surprising that women are eager to show off their ‘assets’ and feel worthy of a picture in their naked form. It’s a secret a lot of women have perhaps, but English culture keeps us prude and private. So, far atlas 2 of my models have mentioned their ‘imperfect’ bodies due to having children, this doesn’t bother me, but it obviously bothers them. I knew before hand that this would be mentioned, if not some other complaint of imperfection and insecurity. I imagine if I had asked a man to strip off for a photo, the answer would either be yes or no. But, for a women, well maybe we can be convinced, all we need is reassurance. It doesn’t mean women are naive, but more its a greater need for praise and confirmation. History has put women down for so many years as inadequate compared to men, only suitable for child bearing. Yet, a women body is built for that kind of undeniable strength. The curves and proportions, the way a women carry fat and muscle compared to a man is for more admirable in so many ways.
What is it all about?
I want to capture my models form from different angles, but always showing that unique form, the curves, the balance. I am considering shooting in black and white as I want the photos to be as raw as possible, no distraction for the intended meaning. The message I want to convey is ‘marvel’. Like how we are confounded at how the world produced birds, able to lift themselves above the clouds, not by magic, but by pure strength and build. A bird is built with a perturbing chest and tiny feet, so that it can float on air, support its weight and remain in flight. Women is built with wide hips, a strong spine to support reproduction. The curve in the waist is balanced by the then broadening of the shoulders to support the head. I want to show people how remarkable a female body is, like that of a bird or a starfish, built for purpose as sexist as it sounds, different to man, strengths over men in other ways.
This assignment to me, is all about showing the ‘new information’ that a woman presents. We are complex creatures of the world, so different to men, still over-coming so many barriers and fighting the fight for our rights and respect. Yet, despite all this the female form is such a device, a control over men, in many ways, more so than the male body over women. I remember reading in an interview with Paddy McGuinness about the show ‘Take Me Out’. He laughed about how when they had changed the show around for a special version if it, they made it so that 1 women would be showing in front of 30 men (usually the other way around). Unlike the original version where the women would be very choosey and reject the man based on tiny flaws, the men would keep their light on for the women 95% of the time. The joke being that if she was female and had a pulse, they wanted her. This is a great representation of the power women hold over men, although purely sexual, it is still a power. Men have held power for so long…why? Personally, I think a combination of fear, physical domination and manipulation from the higher power collaborative of men, and now we are realizing this irony. And today we see a huge percent of the female population hold the more prestigious careers, compete in sporting events, display great physical strength and other tremendous accomplishments.