I guess the thing to do is define “Sexy” of which Merriam Webster declares the word as an “adjective”
- Sexually suggestive or stimulating: erotic
- Generally attractive or interesting: appealing
Erotic: 1. Of, devoted to, or tending to arouse sexual love or desire <erotic art>
It is suggested that the word “erotic” was first used in 1651, but the word “sexy” was first used in 1925 of which I find it hard to believe. But since I was born in 1960 it is okay with me because I have known of many things and events in my life time of which I can call “Sexy”.
Yet I am asking the question “Who is allowed to be sexy”, it may seem elementary on my part yet it is necessary to make clear the need to provide protection for those who are not legally of age to be exposed or displayed in a way that is clearly “Sexy, sexual, or erotic”. So my question excludes those who are underage.
“Who is allowed to be sexy”… it may surprise some of you and maybe even infuriate most of you, but to me Marilyn Monroe was not that beautiful of a woman, oh yes there were some shots of her that were very sexy and yes appealing to the eye. But given the right preparation many women can be seen the same way. But what she did so well for the time she was on the world stage was to push the envelope and walk on the edge in front of a society that was not so comfortable with a woman being and living publicly “Sexy”. She on purpose wanted men to see her in a very “sexy” way, and she wanted women to embrace their “sexiness”.
If you were to look at some of her photographs she would at times be considered fat and out of shape by many of us today. But wrap her in sheer fabric and a few jewels (which was her last photoshoot), put her in Diamonds (they are said to be a girl’s best friend) or allow her to stand over a metal object with wind that blows her dress up and expose a pair of granny panties (by our standards today) and be the first to do so and she is declared “SEXY”, an “ICON” or even a “SEX SYMBOL”
“As a photographer I can tell you I am a fan somewhat of Norma Jeane Mortensen (aka Marilyn Monroe) not because I consider her a sexy woman, but because she was bold enough to express how she felt about being sexy.”
Sexy is not a figure it is a feeling, an expression and sometimes it is something a woman or a man may want to express in a photographic way, read it carefully “Photographic”. The problem is that there are times when the motive and intent of those who view your photographs or attempts at displaying your sexiness can come under their judgments.
Some 22 years ago I visited Europe for the first time and was amazed at how they viewed nudity and sexuality as a culture. French television would display images that we had not gotten the clearance from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to display here in the United States. The beaches where covered with women who were at a minimum topless as if it was the norm, and it was. Even Spain which had recently come from under the rule of a Dictator was expressing there “Sexiness”. I saw it for myself.
But still today in our nation we have a problem as a whole with a woman or a man expressing what they view as “Sexy”.
So my question is “WHO IS ALLOWED TO BE SEXY?” If the person fits the role model of what society says is “Sexy” with the “Perfect Body”, appealing images, etc… are they allowed to display “Sexy”. If they are paid thousands of dollars or if they pay a professional, Hobbyist or nonprofessional are they allowed to express photographically what they feel is “Sexy”?
My view is clear if of age and legally about to abide by the laws of the land anyone who wants to express that part of their personality identified as “Sexy” should be allowed to do so, and do so without the judgments of those not comfortable enough with their own body images, or psychologically bond to a different way of thinking about the subject.
It is hard for me to expressed to you the many woman I have photographed that have said how beautiful they felt after expressing themselves in front of the camera and having completed the photosession to see the images produced them having expressed what they were feeling internally.
Just a few days ago this thought can across my mind as I was talking to another photographer on my way to put up some ink for my printers. We had not seen each other in over 2 years. The last words we had was when he had an accident and had injured his back. Within minutes we were talking as if we did not have that long of a break in our relationship. One of the subjects we discussed was how we seem to always talk so much longer than planned when on the subject of Photography. Photography is the glue that bonds us together; freely sharing ideas and concepts without fear of “giving away secrets”.
I must say that I have been part of many organizations or group of people, but for some reason photographers tend to think “I must keep my secrets about photography to myself, or someone will be better than me!” Esprit de corps – A common spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to a cause among the members of a group.
I so agree with the Professional Photographers of America Code of Ethics (PPA Code of Ethics http://www.ppa.com/about/code_of_ethics.php )
I, as a requirement for admission to and retention of membership and participation in Professional Photographers of America, Inc., agree to strive at all times to upgrade and improve my knowledge and skill of professional photography, marketing and related areas. In all my dealings with users of photography and the general public, I will:
1. Strive to present all photographic services in surroundings and in a manner which reflects the highest levels of professionalism.
2. Use the highest levels of honesty, professionalism and integrity.
3. Not use any marketing or competitive practice which violates any Federal Trade Commission, or other Federal or State regulatory agency rule or regulation, or Federal or State statute or any decision of any Federal or State Court; and
4. In all dealing with fellow professional photographers, students and others who aspire to be professional photographers, I shall share the knowledge and skill of professional photography.
5. Support efforts for and assist in the education of all interested persons the general public in the art and science of professional photography.
All points are of equal importance, but 4 and 5 are the ones most photographers do not understand… we should:
1) SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL OF PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
2) Educate all who are interested in the ART AND SCIENCE OF PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
I recently celebrated my 52nd birthday and a Pastor friend of mine scheduled breakfast with me. While in conversation with Albert he made a statement to me “You know whatever you are involved in you were born to teach”… so true.
My goal is go to the grave having done all I can to help train, teach and develop those I come in contact with. Knowledge is given not for you to keep it to yourself, but to give it to someone else. Let it be said about you when you are no longer on the face of the earth…because of Him or Her I am better, they taught me something… he or she helped me.
Just today I had a fellow photographer express concern about a photo posted online, they said “that looks just like your style”… it was a very nice sexy boudoir image and she was right it was done in the style I would have presented.
My reply was this… “We are very close friends and this shot is a common theme for this type of capture…. He did a great job”…
They replied… “Yes, indeed… he did a great job!!!!!!!!…. Interesting, you do not mind others (even friends) shooting and editing just like you do?
My reply…” We should inspire others in a healthy relationship… he has helped me in many ways as well with great knowledge about lighting….”
They replied “Oh… now I understand…. learning from each other… the styles will progress and will eventually be different. Thank you for the clarification.”
I may be wrong but I think I can share my workflow, technique, etc.. and you will never see what I see in my mind’s eye, that is what makes us different and my style Is part of who I am, what I have experienced, the places I have been… it is the core of my soul. And just like a finger print it is what makes me different from everyone else.
Photography should bring us TOGETHER!!!!
I was sitting in my office thinking to myself; if I had to give up one of my physical abilities what would it be?
My hands? No I would want to have them to drive and hold my camera. They are nice to have when I want to prepare something to eat, hug my wife, children and grandchildren. And they do have so many other useful and meaningful purposes.
My Feet/Legs? No! I so enjoy being able to get around without the assistance of nothing more than my Cadillac Deville; just for me nothing is sexy about a wheelchair or cane #IJS
My Eyes? Nope cannot be a photographer or graphic designer without the ability to see… and there is no app to download to overcome that… well at least not yet…
Brain operating correctly? Never! The capicity to think clearly and creativily is what keep us sane… Nothing worse than a brainless wonder… Walking around without a clue.
My Voice? If I had to make a choice it would be this ability. Why because I would still have the ability to learn sign language and the ability to write, or type and maybe even to give voice to what I write or sign.
But most of all I would still have the ability to give speak to the world through my photography.
By way of what I see and create with thought provoking images from my lens. Powerful images within photography have the ability to speak to those who view them. They say something to them, paints an image in their Cerebral cortex which arepericing and penterating; and at times will evoke powerful emotion in and from them. If anything this is the one thing I seek to do with my photography – GIVE IT A POWERFUL VOICE!
I often stop to think about what the effects of my photography will have on those who I photograph and those who view my captures. I would like to be able to tell those who view them the story behind the photograph. Some of the most awesome captures I have, were candid shots; they were moments frozen in time for all to see. A split second freezed frame and the emotion and beauty of the photo is there for other to see and awe over. I resently read a blog of my photomate Leighton DaCosta http://ldacostaphotography.wordpress.com/ where he highlighted a great blog entry by Scott Bourne http://photofocus.com/2011/01/07/five-ways-to-know-your-photos-arent-cutting-it/ all 5 points I honestly could relate to, because I have for 5 years now employed them into what I do as a photographer. But point 5 was one that made me laugh out loud. 5. Your Photos Aren’t Cutting It if you yourself haven’t spent any real time studying the work of other successful photographers.
It is for a very important point.. I know I know we all want to think that we are able to develop and create something new, but the fact of the matter is everything that can be done has been done. The real challenge is to DO IT BETTER…
I would like to add a point to it: 6. Your Photos Aren’t Cutting It if it does not evoke strong emotions from those you photograph and those who view it! DO NOT SETTLE FOR “AVERAGE” IT WILL DO PHOTOS. WORK UNTIL YOU GET THE TYPE OF PHOTOS THAT HAVE POWER TO THEM…
That being said I guest I would have to develop an article that says 6 ways to know your photos are not cutting it…. but then someone would come up with reason number 7…
Specail thanks to Scott for starting the dialog…..
I have had a lot of thought about this subject over the past years. As I look at the images of other awesome photographers and some not so awesome (but we all have been there) and compliant how far the finished capture is from what game off the camera. I think we have to be careful to not be totally dependent on post processing techniques and software. I am a Photoshop guy and I do enjoy presets and Actions. But I NEVER allow my ability to do post correction to effect the way I capture the shot. My goal is ALWAYS get it right from the camera.
I must admit there are times I have to fight the urge to smooth the skin, or apply a filter. I believe the best shots are those we get straight from the camera. Marketing and clients desire sometimes means we have to add all the bells and whistle; however there has to be an outlet for that which is straight from the camera.
I had a photographer buddy who sent me a link to view the work of a photographer he had just discovered. He was on the phone about 20 minutes after he had sent the link. “He man have you looked at this dudes work?” I replied.. “I do not know what his photography is about, but he is an awesome Graphic Designer.” If you are a good Graphic Design you can make also must anything to awesome.
We must keep in mind when viewing some images that you will never obtain that look for a capture straight from the camera… it is the process of Post Processing…
1. Gordon Alexander Detroit, Michigan by Model Mayhem Mentor and the very first Professional Photographer that moved me to Excellence http://www.facebook.com/#!/gordon.alexander
2. Marlen Adams – His Graphic Design is on point and he is the reason I am a Photoshop Guy and Trainer http://www.facebook.com/#!/mrmarlenadams
3. Maya Guez - The Baddest Female Photographer National and International
Visual Artist, Photographer, Art Director, Photo Editor, Make up Artist Manhattan : NY
4.Derrick Brown ex Navy guy one of the Nations Sexiest shooting Photographer and Astist (Dallas / Houston Tx) http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1136233855
5. Alex Manfredini Miami Fl one of the General of Glarmour Photography / Training in Photography his lovely and talent Wife is one of his Make Up Artist…
6. Roland Smith one Orlando’s finest Photographers http://www.facebook.com/#!/rolandsmith
One of the must read for all photographers….
I often tell my Bride and Groom the importance I place of the day of their wedding. With the advent of portable cameras and camera phones it is difficult to ensure exclusive coverage at such events. Everyone wants to take pictures for their family members to see and or for their online page etc…
At a wedding in Savannah Ga on October 10, 2010 one of the guest asked the Bridesmaid a question, “Who is that guy with the hat on, he keeps getting in my way?!” her reply, “You mean the guy who is the official photographer for the wedding?”
How often it is that people forget that at most wedding somebody may be paid to capture moments of such an important event. Years will go by, but the moments frozen by my lense will continue to give years of smiles and even laughing out loud.
Proper lighting, angles and a creative eye is what I provide to my clients and awesome wedding day captures as well as stunning post work to make sure they will have frozen moments that causes them to say WOW!
So when you are at the next wedding or event; please be on the look out for the man or woman who just may be the people hired to capture those moments frozen in time…. AND MAKE SURE YOU STAY OUT OF HIS/HER WAY !
I am still amazed that people really think they should be able to come to a professional photographer and get better prices than they would going to places like the mall or other established retail photography sources.
Where do I start? How can I explain to the customer what it takes to be very good at what most people think anybody can do? With the advent of camera phones, pocket cameras; both which provides the takers of the photo instant satisfaction of seeing what they have captured…
I am equally amazed at how creative I can and am when it comes to photography; for more than 35 years I have considered myself more of an intellectual (geared more to the reading, leaning and teaching side of life). I love to read but only inspirational, motivational and non –fictional sources. I look for things that add to the quality of my life and the lives of those around me.
I started photography out of a love for the formation of clouds; the sky is what turned me on… it still has my attention. After learning how to repair a jet engine for the Navy, I thought to myself one day… “If I can repair a jet engine I should be able to build a computer.” So I learned how and started building my own personal computers. Years later I got certified to diagnose, repair, built PC’s.
Then I started learning more about computer programs from the standpoint of how to use them. While serving as a Navy Career Counselor I had to produce reports for the Commanding Officer, Department Heads, Chiefs, and Leading Petty Officers. Harvard Graphics was a very popular program with the Navy as well as Word Perfect and later Office Word. I had some of the best reports because I made it easy for the reader.
In any case years later this would allow me the skill set to be of help to a photographer, who is responsible for me being a full time photographer now.
So now I am a fulltime photographer and because I have developed my portfolio I very rarely have to shoot for free (TF – Time For I.E. PHOTO, CD, PRINTS) for the purpose of developing my portfolio. Yet as photographer there are times when I see someone that I want to photograph… but that is my choice.
So how do you put a price on years of experience and keeping up with new technologies? The hours of training, reading and testing out processes and theory? I am typing this blog entry and watching a photography training video – multitasking at it best.
So here is the punch line… when you contact a photographer telling him or her about how much you like their work, and ask for the price of a photo shoot, event, or headshots; do not insult them by telling them how over priced their rates are. “You will do better to say I cannot afford that at this time”, or “That is more than I am able to pay.” The COST is based on a lot of other factors…
I like this quote because it applies to many things in life.. but most of all it is a solid principle in PHOTOGRAPHY..
Make sure you are not just clicking away because your camera can shoot at a fast speed. I often have to remind my subject that THIS IS STILL PHOTOGRAPHY.. so be still… dont move just because I have not fired the button.. I may be waiting for focus, or for someone to pass by in the background.. a fly maybe in my view that I do or do not want in the shot.
Every great photographer should have a sense for what is about to happen.. when shooting outside I am listening and feeling for the effect of the wind.. why? Sometimes the wind will provide you with a one in a million shot. Hair slightly blown, a dress kissed with a touch of movement, the model looking away for just a moment.. NOW THAT IS PHOTOGRAPHY
It is the job of the photographer to capture what is seen 99% of the time.. that is what makes for your personal style of Photography.. .every now and then you may luck up on a shot, but for the most it should be your skill and style that is protrayed in the photographs that you capture… THEY WILL KNOW IT IS YOURS WITHOUT YOUR LOGO BEING ON IT… but make sure you put it on there anyway…. LOL
Not sure how long WordPress as been around, but I am glad it is my turn to discover it. I guess it is Duggie Houser all grown up. Yahoo 360 on Viagra …lol An outlet for the many thoughts and experiences in my life… Hello to everyone I am W James Hunter Retired Navy Chief, Husband of 30 years, father for 29 years and Papa for 9 years. Ex Tae-kwon-D0 Instructor, Public Speaker/Motivator/Minster (heading back someday), Full Time Photographer & Graphic Designer (CEO of MJ Images Photographer & Graphic Design), Croporate Training (and damn good at it!)
I will be blogging about my views on life (I will be 50 yrs of age May 31, 2010 – only for the grace of God), my life lessons, and for sure my photography…
My favorite quote … “The fear of failure will always exist, if you want to be a success you must take the risk!
W James Hunter (US Navy Retired Chief Career Counselor) Sep 92 ©
Ok I have to go for now, need to learn more on how to make this look and feel more like me…. MJ Out!!
checkout www.modelmayhem/13085 for a selection of my photographer work.
and on facebook as well W James Hunter