Emma Watson and Vanity Fair

I want to write about this as the backlash it received blew me away…

I have been watching and reading the Harry Potter’s for as long as I can remember, Emma Watson was always an inspiration. I mean who wouldn’t want to look and like her!! So 2001 6year old me goes to see what at the time is the most magical thing I have ever seen excuse the pun.

And what amazes me is 16 years later we are in denial that Hermione Granger grew up. We are in a day in age where all we do is make kids grow quicker, put the toys down and pick up the IPhone. emma-watson-tim-walker-march-2017-ss09.jpgI am apparently part of the minority who found this Vanity Fair cover tasteful and artistic, not revealing and shame worthy. She is 26 now not 10! And the criticism she received on this was enormous. The belief of gone is little Miss Granger and she calls herself a feminist… Yes she outgrew her school uniform. She is one of few celebrities trying to make a change. Feeling comfortable and empowered by her body does not lose her these titles, it embodies them.

“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is, Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my t—s have to do with it.”

 

I could not agree more with what she has said, her views on equal pay have nothing to do with her breasts that are not even on show. How does it differ from the male celebrities we see shirtless all the time. Or the Kardashians and their constant no clothes plastic surgery look. Emma Watson is a perfect example of elegance and poise, and she showed this in a classy beautiful artistic way. With the smallest cleavage reveal since pre-Kardashian sex tape!

I for one respect her, she has grown and many of us grew with her and can appreciate that fact. Our generation should be more sad that the current generation will know her as Belle NOT Hermione!!

Planning my last shoot…

Because my last shoot didn’t go as well as planned, I have decided to to another I did not want to have to shoot again. But this shoot I have decided I want to use it to add more images to my final photo book.

But this time I wanna change up the way I photograph her ideal side. Instead of the more body focused voyeuristic style to it, I wanna brighten the colours and do a genuinely pretty shoot. I want to make this shoot more fun and will be including props in this one as I haven’t done before in this project. I want to see if I can incorporate a fun side to the ideal, but only use a maximum of three images in the final edit.

I don’t feel anymore would work and am unsure if the last shoot will fit into the narrative I am trying to make. But either way I think if the shoot goes how I want to then I would like to use them as a final print for my work exhibition. I still want to be able to show her in a way that isn’t over sexualised, more beauty shots and vibrant colours.

Keith Lovegrove- Pageant: The beauty contest.

This work looks at the behind the scenes at all varieties of pageants, he has collected work from all around to create this book. It is almost his the good, the bad and the ugly. He shows us the world we hear so much about but don’t really see as much as we think we do. From the tears to the backstage horrors.

He shows us the world of vanity and backwards morals an opinions. But leads it into the alternative pageants, the best lady boy or drag queen!

So focusing on the whole book and looking at every one’s different definitions of idealistic beauty, he shows how everyone’s ideals are different from others. He wanted a well rounded view on this world of glam and glitz in all it’s forms.

We live in a world that is based on who looks best, and pageants are an extension of that. He has captured this idea of beauty in it’s most exaggerated form and how women strive to be Miss Universe for example. But why is it we only ever pay attention to the big end pageants, why do all the others get so ignored. And he shows all sides of it he doesn’t want any of them going unnoticed.

Project Re-Write…

After my recent tutorial my project has been thrown out. And now am left confused as to what my project is really about now. My tutor after seeing my work for many months and knowing what it is about decided he did not like what the work was about anymore.

The idea of who she was, who she wants to be and who she really is now isn’t the basis for the work. But rather now I am to play with the ideas of too many photos of Jess like capturing her in every way. Or break it down into images she both likes and hates and then ones I like and hate. Which to me is going to get repetitive as we have very similar taste in the images.

So going to my second tutorial with my other tutor I spoke about the problems I was having. And had narrowed down my Images with approximately 5 images from shoots I have done so far. This brought my images down to 64.. Not the ideal amount. And then to be told to get rid of half of them again.

To me I feel like I am wasting my images, which I know isn’t the case as even I would not want to look at a 400 page edit. That would be mad, I just realise I have to be critical and get rid of images that won’t help me in anyway. Just because I like the image does not mean it will fit into the sequence.

Latest shoot.

My latest shoot did not go quiet as planned. If I try not to criticize my work too much I believe I set my expectations very high after my previous shoot. I have ended up with a lot more to think about than I thought I originally would.

From being to critical I had dismissed the whole shoot, that is until my tutorial and then looked through the images a lot more without adding to much attachment to them. And I found there was actually work I can use after all. Though in my next post I will talk about the recommended project re-write I have been told to take much to my disapproval!

It has been interesting to think about why Jess doesn’t like the work for her reasons and why I wasn’t feeling it for mine. But I think it goes back to it was not looking how we expect to see it on social media. The work we have been producing looks like things you see from fashion style companies or celebrity photo shoots. And because of this I believe that is the reason we didn’t connect with this work as well as with previous shoots.

Ideally this was planned as my last shoot. As it has worked out it will not be, having looked through the work and now knowing there is gonna be shift in the key themes. I have decided to do one final shoot in the coming weeks. Only once I have worked out the parameters for this new change that is going on in this project.

Research into Erwin Blumenfeld.

I looked at this photographer as his work isn’t that well known but he has created some interesting portraits all in a very abstract way. They are quite surreal and have the look of work done by Salvador Dali in his paintings and photographs. He has distorted the body so it looks fake and like a mannequin.

I wanted to look at this photographer to see how people distort the body and represent it in many different ways. Although I haven’t done any work to match this I found it interesting to look into. He has clever use of color in comparison the the black and white which makes his images so much more bold and interesting to look at.

It has a retro sort of feel to it, with the pin-up girl style to the female models. Like the image of all the heads, it creates the idea that all women are the same. And detachable but it relates to the work that women are a kept commodity. He makes the women look plastic and false.

Rainbow makeup

In this next shoot we experimented with high key fashion ideas. Taken from a mood board created by my sister in preparation  for this shoot. We wanted to look at something more vibrant and different from what we have done so far. This stays with the idealistic theme and adds  more variety to the work.

These also not yet edited show the raw image that will soon be altered to match with the ideal version of who Jess wants to be. Which for my research will show the progression of who she wants to be in comparison to who she is in my other work.

All these images will slowly get selected down to create my final photo book and 3 main prints for my exhibition.  I want the idealistic images to all be unique and vibrant. Just so you know what is beyond the ordinary and without the same realistic quality as the location style shots. I want to make her stand out in a unique way without any certain narrative to this section, just her in almost an individual identity with each studio shot in a new way that has her in one idealistic way in one way or another.

Coloured shadows

After my last shoot I wasn’t sure where to go with this one. So that is when me and my sister decided to collaborate on this one. I have needed more work belonging to the section about her ideal self and this shoot was dedicated to that idea about idealism.

This shoot was designed by Jess she picked colour and posed how she wanted to. We wanted to work on something that was about body image but very different to what we see in the everyday and past sections of this project. The contrast that comes through in my work now has shown me the development that I have been waiting for.

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16933412_10210227178090750_871544733_nThese images that are not yet post produced have began to give  me an insight into the flow of the work. It is helping me to plan where my next shoot is going and how I want to present my work for my Final exhibition.

In the two images I have included the first looks at a more voyeuristic approach to the work. The female body in an over sexualised way which in modern social media is not uncommon now.

And the second image is one that has been seen before but we recreated finally after many mistimed attempts!! This image is almost symbolic for how she can be feeling in the last few years I have photographed her. It aligns with the idea of confusion and speed everything seems to move at that period of a persons life, Which is why I used the image.

Ideal me.

Looking towards the middle section of my work I am wanting to show my sister as her ideal self. Incorporating what she wants to look like with ideas from what we see everyday. This section of my project is very influenced by her, she can be in control of the studio based practice.

We have been focusing a lot on body image and how she thinks she should look from lighting to poses we have considered many angles. I have been setting Jess tasks for the upcoming studio session to create mood boards and pick her own theme for the shoot. I want her to have the control over how she wants to look.

If she has control over the shoot then it really is about how she wants to look. It will shape to her body ideals, and how she wants to be seen and presented. Although this is a photo of Jess this isn’t her identity it is of her not about her.

She can put herself into whatever identity she wishes to have and it doesn’t matter she creates her own narrative of the idealistic self she chooses to portray. In this situation she can be vain  and all about her body image. It’s her desires for herself she chooses to share with the audience which adds to my idea of every changing stages of her life.

The Kardashian makeover.

The Kardashian women and unrealistic body goals…

Today we are exposed to a constant stream of body ideals that are next to impossible to achieve. The most famous out there would be the Kardashians who are famous for the tiniest of waistlines and the biggest curves in all the right places.

The Photoshop behind the majority of this families success has led to girls body shaming in an effort to look like the latest Kardashian trend. It’s true what they say money really does speak, and if we had the money we would all turn into a Kim K look alike.

They encourage girls to objectify themselves even on social media all the girls post the most revealing images and in some bare all! Now that we can buy their waist-trainers, makeup and clothing line we want to be them. We don’t care about the amount of money it will cost the physical and mental dangers to ourselves. They aren’t just trend setters they are a trend in themselves.

Because they have created this perfect narrative on their Instagram we copy it. Although we slate them for how fake they are that even their ‘natural’ selfies are Photo shopped yet we do our best to recreate the look. Because of what we see it means me just can’t seem to be happy with what we do have ourselves. Now it is all about being self-obsessed and who’s Instagram looks the best.