On one of my last personal shoots of 2018, my beautiful wife pointed out to me something that I hadn’t thought much about. She said that I don’t always photograph my female subjects as intimately as my male subjects. To be more precise, I tend to make it more about the clothes and the female, rather than about the woman herself. It’s not like I don’t get personal with women I photograph, because I do. I would just tend to focus more on fashion because that’s what I was shooting for.
The female form and the male form (in general, the human form) are amazingly unique, diverse and simply beautiful. It was more of an act of self preservation, as in I didn’t want anyone to assume I was “that” pervy male photographer. Which is a ridiculous fear to have, especially if you know me. I honestly think it’s silly that we live in a world where it’s taboo to list off body parts. Penis. Vagina. Nipples.
Both men and women have nipples. They tend to work differently, but both sexes have them. Yet one is allowed to show them and the other is not. It’s silly. But this project isn’t focused on nipples (not entirely). I wanted to start a project that allowed woman to be free of the sexual constraints that are sometimes put on them in photographs. I want the woman in front of my camera to be as free and as confident as their male counterparts without being sexualized. I want to photograph the female form with intimacy and really capture the strength and beauty of each person that will give me the time and trust.
Some may say this is a political piece or that I’m jumping on the bandwagon of feminism, but it’s actually a little more selfish than that. A lot of it has to do with the fact that my 3 year old daughter is so uninhibited and unashamed or who she is and of her body. I selfishly want her to stay that way. She gets to see these strong beautiful women come into our home studio and be vulnerable but yet proud of themselves. I really hope that makes and impression on her.
The other selfish part is to help bridge the gap with a conversation. My hope is that by listening and talking about body positivity, both sexes can come together and talk about the inequality that’s still happening. Men for sure don’t go through what women go through, but I do believe we have the human capacity to understand. With understanding comes actual change.
So this is my year long project focuses on bridging the gap between masculinity and femininity. This is BTG.