My wife isn't going to like this post.
She didn't like last week's Photo Friday, and it was safe for work. But she doesn't like that I attend model shoots.
She likes my photography, even helps me with some post production, because she works for a company that creates photo-editing software. There are two products that she works on, and I love them, and I love it when she shows me great effects.
But my dear wife, who I love with all my heart, doesn't like when I go to a model shoot. She doesn't like me photographing women she doesn't know. Especially, when they're naked.
"You're a perv," she has said. "It's so degrading to the women."
I love my wife, but I disagree.
I love women, but I'm not a pervert. I don't oggle the models. I treat them with the utmost respect, and when I'm looking at them through the lens, I'm focused on the composition of the photo and the lighting. I use their eyes to focus my lens, before I recompose the frame and shoot.
When I'm not working on images, when other photographers in the session are working, I don't stare at the model. If the photographer gets the model to pose in a way that I find artistically appealing, I'll make a note of it and try to recreate the shot when it comes back to my turn. But more times than not, I'm thinking of my next shot.
I don't believe it's degrading to women. The models of our photo group have joined the club to be models. They choose the theme, decide whether they are going to be clothed or not. They make it clear to the photographers what they are willing to do and what they are not willing to do. In talking with the models, I find them to be confident women who truly enjoy what they are doing.
I almost take exception to women who tell other women that what they are doing is degrading. To me, defining women by telling them how they should behave, when they have made a choice, is degrading.
Are women who model for painters or sculptors degrading themselves? For me, they are aiding an artist celebrate the beauty of the human body at its best: the female form. I cannot draw or sculpt. But I can take a photograph. I can see the beauty in women and celebrate it in photographic images. I like to think I take tasteful photos. I don't shoot porn. I don't bring a woman down to a base, sexual object.
I joined the photographer's model meetup group because I want to explore this type of photography. I love all forms of photography.
And if this means that I take a photo of a disrobed woman, I think it's okay.
As long as it's totally okay with them.
The last time I shot at a model meetup, the model, Fredau, was very much in control, pretty much led the shoot. She was professional, and a treat to work with.
And, as today's photo shows, she loved to work with cameras.