Before we go any further (and, indeed, as a way to postpone working on the couple hundred photos from a shoot last night. PROCRASTINATOR… AWAY!!!!) I just want to get something off my chest and on the record.
If my official professional photographer profile ever resembles this image, even in an ironic “jokey” way? I want you to do me a favor.
OK, maybe you shouldn’t do anything quite that actually drastic but the emotion is real. Even before I joined a Facebook group for open shoots and TFP photography, I would see this style of photo on a regular basis and now? Hoo boy. There it is: middle aged white guy with some scantily clad model draped over him like a stole or, occasionally, being ogled because, hey, he knows hot women.
I mean, that’s what he’s selling, right? This image isn’t about his skills as a photographer but his virility and his really… big… lens! Cue Robin Thicke. Or rather… please don’t.
Because like Robin Thicke, it’s creepy as fuck and I am flummoxed every time I see any variation on it. Hell, one member of the group can’t post an image from a shoot without at least one picture that’s of the model and himself, gurning like some kind of pervy comic logo because, hey, CHICK!
This is some low level Terry Richardson bullshit that says less about talent and more about the photographer’s ego, clinging to the edge of the frame and the model’s body like a lamprey.
And while I know he didn’t “invent” this crap, he’s the most recent poster boy for it and, as such, I don’t think he’s much of an inspiration as either a photographer or as a good person. At all. Fuck him.
I really don’t want to sound like a scold… much. But I think this kind of thing is creepy on a deeply profound level. At a time when there’s a growing conversation about toxic masculinity and this expectation that a lot of men (most? all? I’m not going there for now) expect women to be fawning and grateful recipients of our ego squeezings (aka cat calls, harassment, etc etc etc), is this the image you really want for yourself? To say “Hey, I get to touch girls I sort of know!”
Fuck that noise. You’re making us look bad. And on a purely artistic level that is ideally separated from the political and cultural value of these images, you look like a fucking hack!
Spare yourself. If you can’t spare yourself, spare us.
And if you ever see me pulling this shit? Well…