A rough count of the people who have been good enough to be photographed for this project so far revealed a degree of sexual discrimination. Not through any policy on my part of course, but nevertheless there have been more men than women featured.
Strange really, since you would think I would favour shooting beauty rather than the beast, yet I seem to find more of the latter. Having reflected on the reasons for this I’ve concluded that it is a consequence of attitudes to being photographed.
Unless I have a particular topic in mind for the day I never go out looking to capture images of one sex over another, and I will generally approach anyone who I think will make a good picture. The fact that more women than men have declined my offer may well play a part, but how much of that has conditioned me to expect a masculine “yes” and a feminine “no”? If that is the case perhaps I’m giving off some air of negativity to women that exacerbates the situation.
This week though I have been fortunate in photographing some beautiful women who can help to redress the balance, and even then there has been a spectrum of responses. Men who I approach tend to say “go for it” or words to the equivalent and stand upright ready for the shot. When I photographed Jo on Monday, surprised as she was that I had asked to photograph her at a bus stop, she was prepared to move and pose to suit me. By contrast when I shot Sita on Wednesday, although she knew me well and was keen to pose as requested, her nervousness made her a far less compliant subject.
Today I experienced two different attitudes. Hayley is a photographer’s dream. She’s slim, attractive, wanted to be photographed and was comfortable enough in front of the camera to take direction easily. How could I fail to capture her beauty? (Actually with more time, and the option to try some different locations to counter the bright sunlight I might have got more, but that’s not really how this project works).
I met Hayley at the school where Gill my wife works as she was there for some practical experience and I was running a short session on photography for some of the pupils. I don’t know her well, but I can’t wait to photograph her wedding next year based on working with her today. She’ll be stunning and a dream client.
I was a little early arriving at the school so waited a few minutes in the school office where I photographed one of the school administrators as she was answering the phone. She was too busy to pose, but had no fear of the camera. Unlike Hayley her attitude was one of tolerance rather than enthusiasm. Still got a nice picture of the old “Trouble & Strife” though. Guess which is which? 😉