Feb. 10th, 2009

joreth: (Nude Drawing)
I noticed something interesting today.

So, as many of you might know by now, I am showing one of my photographs at Nude Nite, an annual art show that celebrates the human nude. 

But, what seems to escape many people, is that I am showing a picture I took as a photographer, not a photo *of* me nude.

Is it just me?  When one of my friends says their art will be displayed somewhere, I automatically assume they mean that they are the artist, not the subject, especially if they have a history of creating art in the first place.  But, most of my friends are men.

So, I emailed and texted everyone I could think of who might be interested to let everyone know about the showing this weekend.  I said "one of my photos will be shown at Nude Nite" followed by time/location details.  I work as a camera operator for a living.  I used to work as a portrait photographer for a living.  I currently sell stock photography and I am almost never without my camera on my hip.  I also carry samples of my work with me on my iPod and I have shown this particular photo before to most of my coworkers and friends, as well as several other nudes I've taken in the past, and non-nude photos too.  You'd think this would make people assume that I'm the photographer, not the subject. 

Now, it's true that I'm very open and explicit about my sex life, and I'm very honest about posing for [livejournal.com profile] tacit's symtoys site.  So that *could* be causing some of the confusion.  But when I show pictures of parties to my co-workers, I'm never in them because I'm always the one taking them.  On the rare occasion that I am in the pic, I'm never nude.  I make this very clear when my coworkers/friends teasingly ask me to skip ahead in the party pics to the ones of me naked.

If [livejournal.com profile] bonedaddybruce  or [livejournal.com profile] james_the_evil1  told me that one of their photos was being shown somewhere, I'd assume they were the photographers, even though I actually *have* some photos of one of them nude from a party (and no, I won't share, I was asked not to).  I believe that anyone else I know who heard from them that "one of my photos is being shown" would also make the same assumption.  So, is it because they're male and I'm female?  All 3 of us make money from our photography in some way (or try to) and all 3 of us are known amongst our friends for always having a camera with us.  And all 3 of us have shown up in party pics in various states of disrobement and/or sexual content, and all 3 of us have been known to participate in openly explicit sexual conversations (among other things).  Now, perhaps the two of them do not discuss their sexuality with their coworkers like I do, but many of my coworkers are also friends and my employers are not prohibitive with regards to personal lives and discussion content.

So I'm finding myself peeved at all the responses coming in that assume that I am the model in the nude photo.  I'm annoyed because, although it can sometimes be flattering to hear that someone desires me, I really prefer to be admired for my accomplishments, and photography is one of the skills that I work at and I'm rather proud of.  I want to be known for my camera skills.  I may not be great, but I am good (and I'm better at video and film camera skills).  So it irritates me that, when I mention "one of my photos", the first thing people think of is a naked picture of me, not a photo I took as a photographer.  I make the assumption that it's because I'm a girl, and the very "common" minded guys I work with think that only women pose nude and men take the pictures.  That is my bias showing through, but I can't help wondering if my bias is really that far from reality?

Why would everyone assume that a professional camera operator and hobby photographer who happens to be a decent-looking female is the subject of a Nude Nite submission and not the artist?  Is it really just because I'm a girl?  Or does my open sexuality and sex-positive attitude really completely overshadow my job skills even to my coworkers who work with me and see me running a camera on a daily basis?

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