*Now that Manuela and I are photographing special Celebrating Marriage sessions, I thought it might be a good idea to clarify some of the things written here. The pictures I refer to in this post were not pictures meant solely for a husband, but pictures meant as publicity shots for an artist. The inappropriateness of these pictures was not in the clothing choice or posing alone, but the clothing choice and posing as it pertained to the intended audience. Portraits from our Celebrating Marriage sessions are intended only for husbands and wives to share, and are not displayed anywhere on our website or blog.
As I go through the first stages of my life as a photographer, I am navigating through some difficult choices and having to make some difficult decisions. Photographers are often put in the unique situation of creating artwork that is based, not on the artist’s vision, but that of the subject. It’s a difficult path to tread and I’ve made some mistakes. I’m certain they wont be my last.
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I am a Christian. You know that I keep the Old Testament Commandments. What you may not know is that I have what many might say is an “extreme” practice of modesty in my own personal life. I wear head coverings. I don’t wear pants (except when on a photo shoot, in which case pants are a whole lot more modest when I’m crawling around in the dirt, chasing a two year old!) I keep the hem of my skirts below the ankle, and the sleeves of my shirts below the elbow. These are practices I have adopted in my own life, something I have felt led to do.
Why am I mentioning this? Because, as I said before, photography is an art form where the artist is not creating work according to his/her own vision, but that of the client. Family photographs are much different than wedding photographs, which are much different than “glamour shots.”
Lately, I am asking myself the question: How do I adopt the vision of my client without compromising my own convictions? I’m not saying that I shouldn’t photograph a woman in a tee-shirt and jeans, but could I shoot an ad for Victoria’s Secret? Obviously not.
As a dear friend wrote to me: “Photographers have a lot of power to direct the eyes and the mind. I think fundamentally, that we shouldn’t distribute pictures we wouldn’t hang up in our own home for our husbands and sons to see. A Christian shouldn’t distribute images that encourage men to lust.”
I apologize to all of you who have seen pictures of this type in my portfolio. I apologize for putting them out there for your husbands and sons to see. Above all, I apologize to my clients. *I* am the one who had responsibility for setting up the shots. *I* am the one who posed them in ways which were not wholesome. I have no excuse and I’m truly sorry to those of you who have been effected by my transgressions.
As I navigate this new territory, please forgive me if I make mistakes. Please forgive me if you look (or have looked) at my portfolio and have seen something inappropriate (and if this happens again in the future, I would appreciate you bringing your thoughts to me.) I will be praying as I muddle through this new experience and ask that your prayers be with me, too.