I love photographing women, and not because I’m some dirty old pervert, using their camera as a way to get chicks undressed, but because the female form fascinates me. I’m not a lesbian or even bisexual, I just think that as imagery goes, the naked female is incredibly beautiful naturally, and now with the rise of alternative fashion, it now comes adorned.
Continuing the journey of the female nude in art – the medium shifting to photography, the audience exceeding the lover and the subject exceeding the mistress.
“A woman’s presence expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and can’t be done to her.”
“She turns herself into an object… an object of vision: a sight.”
– John Berger, Ways of Seeing
I don’t think Berger’s comments on the presence of women should be conveyed negatively. The modern woman should intepret his observations as women being very much aware of their sexuality and sexual power, not that she should be presenting herself for to the standard of pleasure set by men, or indeed other women, or any observer.
I believe the images I make are a celebration of women knowing themselves and being able to share that for themselves. Indeed, a lot of the women I’ve photographed, who have never modelled before have noted how they felt “liberated” by the experience and much more confident in their skin.
As mentioned, I love creating these images, and I love showing the model the final result. She too is an everyday female, with hang ups, insecurities and wobbly bits, so when I receive their (often overwhelmed) positive feedback, it makes me feel like I’ve achieved something for her, not the audience. In a way, I feel like a better, less ridiculous, version of Gok Wan and his “How to Look Good Naked”.
I’ve also found that my confidence in myself has grown from meeting and photographing women. Not because I think I look better (my body is very fun house mirror after having a baby in June!), but because I’ve seen that every shape and curve is normal.
The Photoshopping I do is VERY minimal – the odd spot, and I NEVER change a woman’s shape.
“But where are the curvier, bigger women?!” I hear you cry, and my response is “Yes! WHERE ARE YOU?! Come, let me photograph you!”
- Currently Hanging: Female Nudes by Female Artists (slog.thestranger.com)
- John Berger Doesn’t Care About Women (irisvincent.wordpress.com)
- John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (lizyr3salford.wordpress.com)
- John Berger: Ways of Seeing Review (assortedscribbles.wordpress.com)