Weekly Photo Challenge – Humanity

I love exploring the marginalized in our society. We go about our suburban lives, never giving them a thought, or, when we do think about them, it is with pity. I wanted to make them beautiful. This is a photo I took in a series on strippers.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Humanity

Art History – Pin-up

I’ve recently had several requests for pin-up style photo shoots. Pin-up is like no other kind of model photography I’ve ever done. Not only does the photographer have to know what they’re doing, the model has to be completely committed to the style, while also knowing how to move and pose.

A model knowing how to pose sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s really not as simple as that. Most women that have asked me to do these photo shoots have been regular women, not models. You can be a sexy, beautiful girl, but if you’ve never modeled before, don’t start with pin-up.

Pin-up style requires exceptional knowledge of how your body moves and how it looks from all angles. It’s all about exaggerated angles and extra, extra femininity. It’s not at all comfortable and you will be exhausted when it’s all over.

Leading up to a pin-up shoot that I will be doing this week, I wanted to refresh my understanding of the style, so I did some research. I was discussing what I learned and what I would be doing at the photo shoot with a friend. I said that I would be doing a 40’s style pin-up shoot. My friend said, “Pin-up isn’t 40’s. It started way before that.” I didn’t believe them, so I went back to research it more.

Sure enough! Pin-up started back in the 1800’s. Back then, it was much tamer than it later became.

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Pink Shoot at Metrolina Greenhouse

Every year, the Lake Norman Citizen does a special issue dedicated to breast cancer survivors. They pick a local business or attraction where they do a photo shoot with local women. Last year the location was the Peninsula Club. We were honored to be asked to take the photos for that event. (You can see the photos from that day HERE.) This year, we were over the moon to be asked back to participate for the new issue. Thank you to all of the beautiful women who joined us at Metrolina Greenhouse! Here are some of the photos we took. (You can view all of them HERE.)

Metrolina Greenhouse

Metrolina Greenhouse - Pink Shoot

Metrolina Greenhouse - Pink Shoot

Metrolina Greenhouse - Pink Shoot

Photography Etiquette – You Can’t Take Photos Here

My husband and I (who jointly own and run Rebel Youth Photography) have vastly different ideas about where you can and/or should take photos. He’s a law abiding Eagle Scout, while I’m a rebellious artist. I have no problem ignoring “No Trespassing” signs, putting myself in dangerous situations and risking getting arrested to get the perfect shot. My rebellious attitude gives my husband heart palpitations.

Just for fun, here’s a list of the places I probably shouldn’t have taken photos:

Crack Houses - I was searching for a subject for my documentary photography final in college. I wanted to take photos of the underbelly of society, so I went to the worst neighborhood I could find. I took a guy along with me for protection. My strategy was to park in the middle of the street, leave the car running, hop out, grab the shot and quickly get back in and drive away. While I was implementing my plan, a cop drove up and started questioning me. He asked me what I was doing and looked at me with confusion when I told him I was creating art. Finally, after shrugging his shoulders, he told me that I shouldn’t be in that neighborhood and suggested that I leave. (Where was the brave fellow who was supposed to be protecting me? Cowering in the floor of my car!) I can’t show you the amazing photo I took that day of a lonely chair in front of a falling down crack house because shortly after that my hard drive bit the dirt. Instead, I will show you a photo of the subject I settled on for my college final. Strip clubs!

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Strip Clubs - I had a roommate that was a stripper. I asked her if she would take me to the club where she worked and introduce me to the manager. Then I asked the manager if I could do my college final at the club. He told me that it was fine with him as long as I obeyed some simple rules. I had to get permission from each and every girl before I took her photo, and I wasn’t allowed to take photos “on the floor.” Fair enough. I already knew some of the girls through my roommate and they were eager for me to take pictures of them. They introduced me to the other girls and told them how awesome I was. Most of them agreed. I found that the daytime girls were much more agreeable to me taking photos of them than the night time ones, so I mostly went there during the day. The girl in the photo above was named Gidget. She was on methadone and would fall asleep in random places. I’m including this in my list because WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!?!? I would never consider doing something like this now. Don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing experience. But it was just 2 blocks away from the crack house that I was asked to leave just one week earlier. Continue reading