Mes photo recents ~ More than T&A

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Blog post soundtrack: Bohren & der Club of Gore – Prowler

A few things have been bothering me lately.  As most of you probably know, I do female-focused portraiture that includes boudoir, outdoor lingerie, fetish-themes, and striking head shots.  My original direction was boudoir-specific, but I’ve since dumped that idea and have begun to expand into other realms. Anyway, my aim is to provide beautiful photography of empowered women, or women seeking empowerment.  While I’m very happy with with my current progress, I’m a bit irked by things that have begun to crop up.  Specifically, how many of the male half of our species enjoy reducing the imagery to comments on breasts and butts.  I’m not photographing rears and busts specifically. No, I’m setting a mood, creating themes, and asking each subject to dominate the camera… so I’d hope it would be obvious why reducing it to body parts is extremely annoying.

 

As you can probably imagine (or maybe you can’t. Whatever the case…), I’ve already had to start worrying about quickly deleting inappropriate comments, despite not having been going in this direction all that long. Some people even have the audacity to request access to private albums of models/clients’ photo shoots (invasion of privacy much?). I can only assume that this will get worse as things move forward.

 

 

For those of you who have an eye for photography, you might note that my work isn’t even highly sexual. Sensual – yes, but overtly sexual? I think not. I tend to make a point of capturing women in poses that make them look mysterious, confident, thoughtful, or powerful – in a feminist light. It might be hard for people to wrap their minds around, but my photography is for women, not men. Yes, that’s right. Just because something is feminine and sensual DOES NOT mean its intended for men.

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I know a lot of people will say things like, “What did you expect?” or “Just ignore it” or “Who cares?”. With regard to what I expect … while I’ve actually come to have low expectations of people, I still do wish they would interact at a slightly respectable level. As for the ‘who cares’ angle – let me just say that many of us do.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a youtube tutorial (for construction DIY a lot of the time) with a female speaker only to find a slew of sick comments like “nice tits” or “hot rack”. These comments will in most situations always be inappropriate so, excuse me while I take offense to these things! It clearly doesn’t matter what sort of art or incredible information we’re trying to share, or what amazing feat we’re doing. The only thing that seems to matter to many people  (men in particular) is what our bodies are like, or how our faces range from 1-10. It’s tiring. Very much so.

I know a solution won’t come overnight, next week, or even in the next five years. I’m too realistic to fantasize such things but I would like to say that if you find yourself summing down people/places/things into body parts, it’s time you stop. I mean, really – no one ever comes off as intelligent with of that sort of mindset.

Till next time,

M

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Visualizing and Illustrating Feminism

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Well, it would make for a nice change, no ? :)

 

Recently I’ve been making a point of trying to publish my art in different places. As a result, I’m now to produce imagery for a particular publication that is currently developing an issue focusing on feminism.  I’m quite excited about this. This topic is obviously quite important to me. Why is that? Well,  if you really need an explanation it’s because duh - I’m a woman.  I am so very tired of seeing people post things like, “Why do we need feminism?” or “We’re fine, we can work!”. Women with these opinions are clearly don’t get it. Although it’s 2014 women still have to deal with a glass ceilingconstant harassment,  misogyny, and continue to be the primary targets of abuse (1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime [source] and 1 out of every 6 women in the US has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime [source]). Until these things have changed, feminism is extremely important in my book.

So how exactly does one illustrate  “female power”?

I already make a point of making my female characters look serious, and depict them as “looking down” at the viewer. The latter is a technique I often employ as a general suggestion of power. But this alone doesn’t exactly get the idea across. Sure, it could be because I don’t use extreme perspective. If I did, it might communicate this more directly. But the real answer to my question is that an image needs to have several elements communicating this theme to make it truly speak.

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This image, unfortunately, does not communicate female strength. :/

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Attempting to rejoin the world of blogging

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Original photo by Sheilah Wilson

 

Although I’ve seemingly fallen off the grid with regard to blogging, I’ve actually been blogging – only secretly. I think I’ve written several posts but every single one of them was on the subject of deleting my blog and my reasons for it. Seeing as I’ve never once publicly published these entries, I starting to get the feeling that I don’t really wish for the demise of my blog. What I seem to want is to figure out exactly what it’s here for. Because at the moment it feels extremely aimless.

I’m well aware of the benefits of a blog. So I’d really like to figure our how to properly put together posts that actually have worth and feature my love of darkness, art, photography, and feminism. So far, this seems extremely difficult.

A blog is nothing without substance or conversation, and imagery alone will not do this.

- M

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Bisous Bisous Bisous – My current obsession

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Blog post soundtrack: Robert Palmer – Simply Irresistible 

This blog post has been in the queue for around 2 months. I kept telling myself I should take pictures for it, but as time passed it became rather clear that, that just wasn’t going to happen.  It’s a bit ironic that I, a photographer, am too lazy for self portraiture even though I could probably put together really awesome imagery. I’m constantly scheduling photoshoots with others… so what’s my problem? It’s pretty lame. Have I ever mentioned just how much of a pain I find outfit photoshoots to be? Strange, I know. You’d think I’d be into them.

Anyways, I’ve had quite the red lip obsession this summer.  For the past few months I’ve gone about collecting a mass array of lip-related objects, made a few, and gone wild with a variety of red lipsticks. I was never one to collect things of such a specific design (other than my teenage obsession with Aliens), so the turnout has been quite interesting. It’s injected a slight bit more color into my wardrobe.

The following are on my “red lips” wishlist:

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1. Saint Laurent Lips Long-Sleeve Dress  2. Saint Laurent Lips Georgette Tie Blouse

4. Three Natural Cherry Kiss Lollipops   5. Sexy Smile Red Lips Brooch

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Farewell Lauren Bacall ~

tumblr_lmg9lc2SNn1qk8j87o1_1280I have to take a moment to say farewell to one of my favorite film noir beauties. Her face has long made appearances in my drawings, her voice made me feel more comfortable with my own less feminine voix, visually her entire appearance has always enchanted me. Even as she grew older.

 ~* Good bye Lauren Bacall, you were and will continue to be a constant source of inspiration for me. *~

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Keeping Inspired

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Blog post soundtrack: The Legendary Pink Dots – Golden Dawn

Do you remember what it was that drew you to fashion originally? What clothing first set your heart ablaze? I ask because I’ve known many people who, much like myself, have either lost track of their loves or have been on the verge of forgetting. I know this sounds strange, but it’s actually quite easy. If you listen to enough criticism and or feel pressured to fit into the common mold, this sort of thing happens with frequency. Case in point: the many bright, bold, fashionable folk who later dump their fondness of self expression as they begin to age for fear of “looking crazy” or standing out. This is why I love Advanced Style so much. But I digress…

The first time I thought “I LOVE her styleMrs-Addams-_-morticia-addams-10949280-350-593” was in response to Anjelica Houston’s portrayal of Morticia Addams (yes…how predictable of me). It didn’t occur the first time I saw The Addams Family  (I was too young and brainless to understand such things), instead it sunk in at the age of nine when the movie was continuously rerun on HBO.  In terms of style, I found it really difficult to reflect my love for all things Morticia until a new girl came to my school who always dressed in black (took place around the same time). Every day she wore a black sweater with black shoes and jeans, yet no one knew why.  I fell in love with the look, as simple as it was, and wondered why I hadn’t thought of it myself.  It goes without saying that I very quickly decided to copy her. Someone eventually asked her why it was that she only wore black and her response was, “My dad died.” But of course! She was doing this because she was paying homage to the dead. Being the morbid child that I was, I thought her reason made it all even cooler. So there I was,  finally with what I thought to be a nice and simple way to tap into and express my inner darkness before even being a tween. On a separate yet still related note,  I also can’t forget to mention the film noir beauties whose style I often admired, but their looks didn’t take to me personally till I got older.

Although Morticia’s limited ’90s goth style isn’t exactly what I relate to in current day, she will always be on the list of my personal feminine ideals and she serves as a general basis for all that I love in fashion. Namely dark garb, form-fitting silhouettes, and bold makeup.

08699e342465dd4fdd1773fc3a0216a2Throughout my high school years, post-initial Addams Family inspo, I awkwardly tried to mimic what I came across in magazines and film (of the darker variety). Visually I was a mixture of goth and punk, and eventually moved into cybergoth. All quite amusing really, but I was really in search of something I could really feed off of.  It wasn’t till I came upon Helmut Newton’s fashion photography that I really came to connect with something. My adoration of his work is not news by any means, but someone I haven’t yet mentioned (on this blog at least) who I learned of through Newton is Thierry Mugler.

Thierry Mugler is/was a powerhouse. A designer, stylist, and photographer who frequently collaborated with Newton, he has long been inspirational to me as someone whose interest goes far beyond the lens. Far ahead of his time, he produced gorgeously silhouetted garments and fantastic, even wearable, avant-garde designs. His work was a visual melange of ’40s fashion, lingerie, fetish wear, and futuristic designs. His design prime was around the mid-’80s through the ’90s but you can probably imagine how unappreciated his genius went (especially since no one ever knows of him for anything other than the perfume “Angel”). Often dismissed and referred to as “sexist,” he went little regarded by fashion editors and critics while in fact much of his work portrayed strong silhouettes, unique designs, and powerful femme fatales. The Mugler house met its unfortunate fall during the late ’90s. However, to this day his designs have been a source of inspiration for many.

I’ve long been a fan of Mugler’s amazing work but for a long time I’ve neither had the body for such amazing garments, nor means, nor gall. I’m now at a point where I want to freely embrace and show my fashion inspiration. But as you can imagine, it’s rather expensive and difficult to find wardrobe like the following:

Thierry Mugler

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Until the day I’m able to take some millinery classes, garment construction courses, do the photo shoots of my dreams, and tailor my life so that I might be in my own little world full of nothing but dark beauty, I’ll have to struggle along and constantly remind myself of what it is that I want, what I love, and frequently expose myself to all which I find inspiring. That way I might be able to continue to harness the strength needed to strive for it and remind myself why I landed myself in this here place.

tumblr_n3hdqudKFt1so84eqo8_r1_250Till next time,

M

 

 

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