Calling ALL female and female identifying photographers and models!!
I have worked towards building my platform as a place that celebrates working with what you’ve got, a place where humor, sincerity, and the bizarre, all combine to make, what I hope is, a fun little world. But, overall, I have created Thrifts and Prints as a safe place that emphasizes the self.
Since the camera is a tool available to anyone who can afford, or get their hands on one, that means anyone can be a photographer. And if everyone can be a photographer, that means not every photographer’s intentions are good.
To be blunt, the camera is being used as a tool to sexualize women, rather than emphasize women in today’s world of (mostly) young photographers and models.
A lot of young, start-up female models are looking for people to shoot with. Many find easy jobs with male photographers who are looking for the model to show some skin; providing an uncomfortable environment, and possibly not even tag the model on Instagram. Prior to these shoots, the model may even be complimented in a sexual way, rather than receiving a professional model inquiry.
“Women are for looking at”
Nudity in these photographs are done in a tasteless manner, photographs like these are taken in a way that tells the audience “women are for looking at”. Many models go into the shoot unknowing of the photographer’s intentions, why they even wanted to do the shoot in the first place. They don’t bother to give the model an occupation, a reason for existing in their photographs, other than the fact they have a body that will get the attention of an audience.
“Contrary to what a lot of people say who aren’t in the industry, modeling in itself is an art form and a performance”
I say it’s time we stop that. Models not signed to an agency, or that are just starting up, have no way of protecting themselves: putting themselves and their online appearance in danger.
I’m starting the hashtag #ourbodiesourart I encourage you to use that hashtag on your photographs that you as a photographer have taken, or photographs you’ve had taken of yourself that you feel like art in.
I want to hear your stories
Models: I want to hear your modeling “horror stories”. Share your experiences working with male photographers who have treated you as solely a body, explain how you felt, and what you wish you knew before going into modeling without the protection of an agency. I want your voice to be heard.
Also, send in pictures taken by photographers that have empowered you and emphasized who you are as a woman.
Photographers: Send in your pictures that emphasize female and female identifying models. Feel free to share your most empowering photographs. Tell me why you pledge, as a female photographer to create a safe space for your models and how you are doing so.
I’m hoping to create bi-weekly blog posts sharing your stories and photographs, but I can’t do it without your help in our small, but powerful community. DM me on my Instagram @thriftsandprints, email me firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject #ourbodiesourart), or share your stories/ photographs on your own Instagram, just use the hashtag #ourbodiesourart, so I can find it (I will ask for permission to publish on my blog).
As a small photography community of mostly young photographers and artists, our individual voices can make a huge difference. You, as the photographer are responsible for creating art with another artist, the model.
I pledge as a female photographer, and a photographer in general, to offer a safe, artistic experience for models that embrace who they are, not what they are; women are so SO much more than for looking at.
On that note: I’ve always been a huge fan of Man Repeller and the Man Repeller platform, these pictures from the NYC pride parade definitely brightened my day, check them out!