One of the first times I’ve seen normal, regular women taken through a professional photoshoot was on a British TV show “How to Look Good Naked”.
A woman is photographed nude, and a large photo of her is projected in a public place (think perfume ad), where passers by provide their opinion of a woman in the shot. [Are you getting a panic attack yet?]
Women look fantastic, and the feedback is glowing. Not only that, but they also get a chance to strut the catwalk. With a bit of catwalk training beforehand from Gok Wan, the flamboyant host of the show. “Boobs out. And walk!” “Good girl!”
A little condescending? Perhaps.
Yet I still love the premise.
There is no 60-day extreme bootcamp training involved, and no host comes to the woman’s house to clean out her fridge.
No dieting. No surgery.
A bit of TLC. Lipstick. And a great testament to what great lighting, and proper undergarments (hello, right size bra!) and dressing for your shape can do.
You can check out a bit of the final reveal below:
“Darling”, Gok Wan coos, “you look sensational. Like a completely different person!”.
Ok, maybe you may not want to look like a completely different person.
This may not be your cup of tea.
Maybe you are against nude photography.
Maybe you are just terrified as to what would happen if these photos ever ended up in the wrong hands.
And, yes, of course, if you are really motivated, you can turn this into a feminist argument. Devaluing women, treating bodies as an object, and on and on the merry go round. I can go there, but do pour me some red wine first, will ya?
This one you can play with. After all, you do not have to wear make up, and you can do a shoot in your favorite pair of jeans. And nothing else. HOT!
Maybe you do not to look like a completely different person. Unless you do.
It’s a photoshoot.
It’s ok to look like a completely different person. Then again, I’m an entertainer. I like to change faces. Looks. And yes, this is written from that very perspective, from that bias.
But people should judge me by my personal qualities! Not how I look.
Maybe they should. But they don’t.
However, please go ahead and wear your sweatpants to a job interview. Maybe, your potential employer will indeed be blown away by your personal qualities. [I do have a male acquaintance who’s been arguing for years that showering is optional, because people should like him for who he is. Maybe they should. But they don’t.]
There are usually two ways women end up in front of a professional photographer – 1) they start to model, 2) or they get married.
For the rest of us the experience of professional photography is often limited by having a stiff portrait taken for your passport. And maybe an annual family Christmas photo. Shudder!
No need to wait for Jesus to be born (again) or for your significant other to put a ring on it.
5 REASONS TO DO A PHOTOSHOOT
1. It makes you the centre of attention.
Have you ever asked yourself why a wedding – the ceremony, the dress, and everything that goes with it – is often more important to a woman than her male partner? At her wedding, a woman gets to be the prettiest girl in the room. Often, for the first time in her life. I say, why wait for a wedding? Camera! Lights! All eyes are on you.
[Gay weddings are a bit different in that respect, although there is usually still one person who is more into the whole wedding thing. :)]
“But, it’s vain!” someone points out.
Yes, yes – one of seven deadly sins. You know, I never really agreed with the list to begin with. While I agree with gluttony and greed… listing lust as a sin? Please. May I remain a sinner forever. Amen?
Besides, wrath really helps with chopping wood.
Vanity is an excessive belief in one’s attractiveness to others or excessive admiration of one’s own appearance.
The word, thus, has a negative connotation, suggesting unjustified arrogance.Somehow, given the success of the original Dove campaign, I doubt that women’s excessive belief in their own attractiveness is a widespread problem in North America.
The job of a photographer at a photoshoot is not to lie. It is to document. It is to tell a story.
2. It’s educational.
Have you ever thought that being a model is a bit of a joke? I mean, what kind of job is it, really, to have your picture taken all day long?
Try posing in front of camera for an hour or two. It’s freaking exhausting. Also, realizing how much editing CAN be done by a professional photographer is very eye opening.
Here’s one of my favorites:
3. It’s creative.
Come up with an idea. Plan an outfit or a costume. Brainstorm poses, look for inspiration, examine other photos. It’s like putting on a play where you are the director, the playwright and the actor in one.
I have loads of fun getting ready for a photoshoot – thinking about the outfit, looking at inspiration photos, tending to minor details. It can be a really fun way to spend an afternoon. And, no, you don’t necessarily need a professional photographer either. Recruit someone with an iPhone. And, go!
4. It can be a testament.
To your training. To your hard work. If you’ve been working your butt off (literally!) for the past week, month, year, why the hell not capture the result?
It is a testament to the fact that you are you. Today. What a radical idea. Worth celebrating!
Every woman needs to have at least one photo of herself, that makes her smile and say: “Damn, I look hot (in that dress, in those heels, with that axe. Urm…)”
5. It’s fun.
With the right photographer (and a friend or two in the background for emotional support), you get to go out and play. In front of a camera. You get to toss your hair back. Stand on your head. Laugh hysterically. Lift heavy things.
And, no, it does not have to be nude.
But what a fantastic title, if I say so myself. You read this, didn’t you?
YOUR TURN: What would you ever do a photoshoot? Why? Why not?
Photogenically yours, Solo