The real title of this should be, “Please stop objectifying women.”
Objectifying women has gone on for a very long time, but I feel like it’s gotten way worse in the age of Instagram and Facebook groups. It seems like the golden formula for success is to have an attractive woman with beautiful lighting, and that’s it. You’re then bound to get likes, comments, etc. It’s time that we, as photographers, start trying harder and stop reaching for low hanging fruit. We need to start coming up with creative ideas and reasons why a woman needs to be nude or barely clothed. And for that to happen, we have to really justify it to ourselves.
I used to know a guy who took photos of women just so he could eventually end up dating them. This is predatory. I say, “used to know” because I want nothing to do with him anymore. But this concept is as old as time. It happened before the internet. It happened with Model Meyhem. And it seems like this culture continues to prevail. The bigger problem is that we haven’t taught one another any better. Why? Why do we have to be the Terry Richardson and Jason Lanier types?
You’re probably saying I’ve done the same thing on this site in reviews, but that’s not always true. In my situations, I’m often asked by models to do this because we’ve built that level of trust. It’s about being good with your intentions. Many of them know that the images we’ve done will never see the web: they use them for their own reasons. I also have collaborated with models on ideas before. We’ve created storyboards and Pinterest boards where we develop about ideas. And I’ll only go through with something if there’s full, 100% consent. If I get a bad feeling in my gut, I’ll stop. I don’t want to be a terrible person, and I don’t ever want to it affect my career. Quite honestly, I’ve mostly stopped photographing models. It’s overdone, and I don’t have any creative ideas that require models these days.
Every analog Facebook group, Sony group, Fujifilm group, Godox group, etc. has images of women being objectified. Why do we have to objectify women like this for likes and praise? What will it end up getting you in the long run? All you’re doing is making the female photographers of the group feel awful, and to a certain point, you’re making the more experienced men feel creeped out.
Here’s an idea: photograph men. Try it. See how much different you treat them. It’s a fantastic experience to photograph men. Speaking from an open position of having conversations with them, they often need to try harder. I believe we should celebrate the idea of the dapper dude and the modern masculine persona.
We, as photographers, need to create work with substance or risk becoming easily replaceable. So guys, please, try harder. Hone your craft. Have meaning in your images. Don’t idolize the guy in his 60s who creates complete BS stories just to make himself look better. Create realities, not smoke and mirrors.