Tag Archives: women

Holly Brave’s the Shave for Cancer Charity.


Today I had the privilege of going to the home of young Holly who was having her amazing hair shaved off to support others and raise money in the fight against cancer.

Amazing sacrifice for a young teenaged girl to do to raise money for the wonderful Macmillan Cancer Support charity.  Holly can be sponsored at the link below if you would like to help her raise funds towards her target.





The right print for the right job!

Many photographers offer a service to their clients where they have images on a disc, or usb memory stick, that they print for themselves.  There is nothing wrong with this – I too offer the images on a pen drive, but it does limit the chances of success of the client getting what they really want from the shoot and displaying it to it’s full glory on their wall!

When choosing a photographer to do some work does the client think about the initial price of the shoot above all else? Do photographer and client work together to produce something in particular?  Does the client have an idea of how they want the final product to look?  Would they know how to choose a reputable printer who didn’t leave them with faded images 2 years after purchase?  Does the photographer have experience of displaying their images in large gallery presentable format?

Take, for example, these three different formats of print taken from the shoot of Roxy in the milk bath recently.  The image below is an iPhone ‘snap’ of the images taken in overcast daylight.

All the prints below were taken from the same file, and all are beautifully printed by a premium printing company based in Germany.  They are expensive options for an art print  with the photograph on the right pricing up at approximately £1.20 per cm squared.  Doesn’t sound a lot but look at the arrow key on your keyboard and thats the approximate size and then add that up to the size of the product you want!  However as an art piece that is a respectable price and they are guaranteed for 5 years from purchase and ink colours (if displayed correctly) are guaranteed not to fade for 75 years!

All these products below are correct, and correctly printed.  The differing ‘looks’ are those individualities of the print style and choice of medium but you can see that the top left is a direct print under acrylic glass and is softer in focus.  The top right is super clear high definition print on gloss paper and defined and is slightly differently coloured, and the product at the bottom is mid way between the 2 above in clarity, but the effect of the print onto the aluminium itself gives it a different tone depending upon the angle it is viewed at.

What I am trying to say is that do you (whether you are the photographer or the client) know what is the best product for purpose?  Do you think that your photographer should be sufficiently qualified to guide the client in their options?  Would you pay top end for a qualified photographer who could guide your choices or are you guided by price?


Top left is a direct print under acrylic glass, top right is an HD print on gloss paper, and bottom is a direct print on aluminium di-bond.

Book Reviews

Literature Reviews

Leibovitz, A. and Sontag, S. (1999). Women. New York: Random House.

From pages 19 to 36 Susan Sontag writes about the images produced by Leibovitz for this book entitled ‘Women’.

In this passage Susan Sontag discusses the implications of making judgements on a photograph purely on the basis that an American woman is the person in the image.  Sontag discusses stereotyping, both historically and in the modern day, and the inequality of how male and female images are assessed.

These judgments are exactly the same as the general public make on a daily basis with every image that they see in the media.  Without even being aware of humans make decisions based on what a person is wearing, their pose and their bodily appearance and then use these judgements to decide what we feel their morals and lifestyle are.

One quote from the book that stands out to me is this one by Susan Sontag:

‘Nobody looks through a book of pictures of women without noticing whether the women are attractive or not.’ Women, (1999, 22)

Plus Sized Models – Just another set of unattainable ideals?

I have been researching media images of women and the effect that these have on self esteem with a particular interest in the digital manipulation that occurs in some images.  There are many reports available on the internet that have investigated the awareness that women have of digital retouching, with 85% in one report being aware that it takes place (credos, 2011). However, this does not take into account that this 85% may not include the most vulnerable members of society who are the very people who need protecting from the misconceptions manipulated images lead us to believe.

Previously I had always thought that the sway towards using plus sized models (whatever plus sized relates to) should be a good thing – shouldn’t it?  How could it be anything but positive – showing real women as they are – with all their curves and ‘jiggly bits’ so that we can see how ‘normal’ we really are … but alas things are never that easy in the media!

I was told about a practice of ‘padding up’ used by these plus sized ladies for fashion shoots.  Shocked and amazed that such a practice would be in place I have been looking more into this – and it’s not good news for my large sized friends!

The lovely curvy ladies we see wearing outfits we would like to buy in our fashion catalogues for the larger ladies are indeed slimmer models wearing pads to make them look bigger.  No wonder when we buy these outfits we don’t look the same … a size 16 lady generally has a size 16 (ish) waist (we all come in different shapes and sizes so this does vary of course) so that wonderful dress with her hour glass figure looks fantastic – I put it on and look like a sack of spuds!  Why?  Because the model in the image is a size 12 really and has a padded bottom and breasts to make them to a size 16.


Its something that I never knew about!  To be honest how on earth can we be expected to know – its kept quiet so that we, as consumers, have an empathy with the magazine/clothes company/catalogue and feel that these models are ‘real’ and we buy those clothes.  We have no idea that we are being duped and aspire to be just like them.  In my opinion it is sadly just another form of media meddling and does no more good than only showing the slim models.

Very few ladies have a genuine perfect hour glass figure, regardless of the size it comes in.  Fashion icons, such as Marilyn Monroe, were noticed because they are in the minority with their natural body shape.  Very few of the models shown have the figures that 95% of the female population are able to achieve (Sex Roles, 1999) – I feel we are being grossly misled.  Where are the real plus sized models?  Bring on those beautiful ladies that really are plus sized and stop playing mind games with peoples self esteem.

A current young female model who admits to using this practice of padding on occasion is Marquita Pring.  In this article she explains that sometimes she is not curvy enough for her clients as she is a large size 12/small size 14.


The article from the Daily Mail isn’t the only newspaper article that broaches this subject.  The Huffington Post also has articles by model Marquita Pring about the practice of padding.


Pring also has a current and often updated Instagram account that has many comments on it about the media ideals she sees towards the ‘perfect body’.  This account has feedback both for and against her thoughts on her posts which makes interesting reading.


Other plus sized models include Myla Dalbesio, who has recently starred in the latest Calvin Klein advertisements.  However, at 5’11” tall and a UK size 14 there are serious debates as to whether she really classes as plus sized.  Taking into account the models height I, personally, would say that this model is perfectly proportioned and is not plus sized.  This article in the Daily Mail addresses those very concerns.


I will be looking further into other models that come under the ‘plus size’ label.  I have found this site that looks interesting and will be following up many of these links.



Pretty as a picture, CREDOS, 2011

Gender differences in population versus media body sizes: a comparison over 4 decades, Sex Roles, 1999


I have recently been looking at video production.  This is in preparation interviews I plan to film for my Specialist Production about ‘Real Women’.  My production concentrates on how women are currently portrayed in the media and the self esteem issues that can be linked to this.  In my research I came across a website called ‘This Girl Can’.  How inspiring.  Really love the fact that each interview is so short, but action packed and full of positivity.  As a set they work really well.  Definitely something that I would like to draw inspiration from for my video interviews later this term 🙂


Boudoir Photography

In December I was commissioned to photograph a beautiful young lady to make a calendar for a Christmas present.  The shoot was challenging because it was the first boudoir shoot that I had undertaken without an assistant and I was completely responsible for the lighting, artistic direction and the comfort and wellbeing of my model as well as making the images.  Fortunately she was a super model and we made a large selection of different styles of image for her to use in her project with the use of props and clothing changes.