“We are, all of us, stars and we deserve to twinkle.”
I adore all things vintage – especially from the 50s and 60s. The wardrobe! The hair! The way women carried themselves. The way portraiture was composed… all of it!
Needless to say I was excited to come on board this editorial-style vintage/pinup project. It was my first time working with multiple models, as well as additional photographers. Each of us were allotted time with the model to conceptualize a look and theme.
One of the first things I noticed on this set was that I was the only female photographer. I found this interesting. It’s not surprise that this field of work is male dominated (as many fields are when you live in a patriarchal society), so I took moments in between while my models were being prepped to observe my fellow contemporaries.
The common thread that I noticed was this very interesting “male-gaze” tint to each of their work. All of the models I saw working with EACH of these guys were being posed “suggestively” and in some cases just straight up raunchy! And listen, there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you signed up for, but again… it was very telling the fact that each of my male counterparts were all filtering their looks and models through the same trite lens.
Let me be clear, this is not an indictment on ALL MALE PHOTOGRAPHERS, merely an observation of those with which I was in the company. Having witnessed this, I found myself presented with a unique opportunity to delve into my knowledge and bring my point of view to the table.
I decided I wanted to pay homage to this bygone era. I thought of the vintage posters I had seen of old Hollywood stars; the soft-focused portraits of the time that accented and drew-out ones beauty and embraced not just sexuality, but the sensuality of the female form; the oft inserted PLAYFULNESS and coyness that one would find even in a pinup centerfold.
This is what I chose to highlight in my photography. And with each new model I conveyed my concept and engaged their opinions as well. Together we came up with a composition that allowed them to feel comfortable, flirty and free to be themselves. I even challenged some to go beyond their comfort zone embracing their curves and forms and that’s where the magic happened!
In the end, I was very happy with the work I produced! Each model I spoke with felt very comfortable, enjoyed my cooky directing style and felt they got exactly what they had hoped for from the shoot.
After the shoot, I received feedback from one of the Creative Directors. They felt my work produced the best output from person-to-person and positively highlighted each model’s frame, features and personality – offering a beautifully diverse body of work.