Time to Challenge your perceptions on Glamour?
The world has changed a lot in my lifetime. I grew up in a world where women were women, men were men and hamsters were most definitely hamsters. The politically correct media has made it a ‘thought crime’ to even see the opposite sex as a ‘sexual object’, even if at our core that is all we all are. Men and women are simply overrated animals, which like it or not, need to be attracted to each other so we can put A into B and keep our bloodlines alive. I am a man and I like to look at the female form, it’s how I was programmed to function and will not apologise for it.
The media lies…
Now many would take the paragraph above and use it as proof I am some ‘female hating psychopath, who thinks women should all be chained to the oven in sexy lingerie and forced to be a mans slave’. This is what the politically correct media does, no matter what I say or do, I can’t ever be r
ight, for in their eyes I’m a vile straight, white man:- the most hated and despised of all this worlds creatures.
Well actually not that its anyones business, but the life I live is far from the male
chauvinistic cliche many would want me to live so they could put me in the box mark ‘arsehole’. I’ve been married to an university educated career focused woman for over 23 years, we decided not to bring children into this world as we believed there are far too many people here already. Over 17 years ago I gave up my ’normal’ job and have been a self-employed artist and full time house husband ever since…Yes ladies, I am a 21st century man :- I clean, cook, DIY, garden and my wife hasn’t had to lift a finger in years. She brings home the real money (for now) but in our relationship we both wear the trousers. I still see myself as a ‘proper’ man whatever that is. Yes I have taken sexy images of women happy to play a sexy stereotype, so ‘sad’ men can flush out all that backed up semen because lets face it that’s fundamentally why glamour existed. All the women I worked with were happy to do modelling and most found it preferential to doing some crappy 9-5 that pays poor and really is, to use their words, ‘demeaning’.
So, with that long winded opening out of the way, shall we begin…
When I was about 15 (1982) whilst standing in the school play ground with my group of friends, I was asked what I wanted to do when I left school, I answered just for a laugh and to impress, ‘I want to be a glamour photographer”. Little did I know that many years later that is exactly what I would do.
My first dip into the now almost dried up ocean of glamour was to start from a simple e-mail. It went something like this:- ‘I’m a model and I own a studio, I love your digital art and was wondering if you could turn me into a vampire’
Some weeks later, ill equipped and nervous as hell, I took photos of the model, turning her into a vampire. We were both pleased with the results. Over the coming months, I shot (with a camera not a gun) her model friends who all liked what I had created. Changing women into vampires and fairies was fun up to a point, but I had got a taste for studio glamour photography and wanted to learn more. And that is exactly what I did with the help of a guy called Martin who owned his own studio.
Once I had figured my F-stops and where to stick the ‘big flashy thing’, we discovered that I was rather good at getting the best out of normal women who wanted to look glamorous. Most of the women I met enjoyed having their photos taken and many wanted to do glamour shoots for all kinds of reasons. Some did it just for a laugh, some did it to spice up a marriage, many believed they could be the next big thing in glamour and be like that -‘Jordan bird’ they had seen on the TV with the big boobs and the loads of money, some even did it for empowerment, yes empowerment! They saw it as overcoming a social taboo or simply because they were told they were never good enough to do something like that.
I even worked with established models who just like my work and needed something different for their portfolios.
What kind of images did I take? Well all kinds really. From simple smiley portraits for Grans mantelpiece to the style you would find in top-shelf magazines up and down the land that would get Grandad all hot under the collar. Compared to what you can see on the internet every second of every day now, my stuff was tame and some would say lame. I like taking old school 50’s cheesecake pin up glamour and enjoyed the challenge of making ’normal’ women look and feel sexy. It was not always easy and sometimes near impossible. I seldom shot anything that would be deemed pornographic by most people, not because I had some moral objection just because porn is not very glamorous for me a unwrapped present holds little wonder.
While I guess to most men (including my younger self) the idea of taking photographs of scantily clad women all day would sound like a dream job, but ultimately that is what it became, a job. Full of all the stress and schedules of any other job. I was spending 12-14 hours a day shooting and editing photos and in the end it just wasn’t fun. It is over 11 years since I shot glamour and it seems like a different life. It was definitely under a different name, (why I changed my name).
I guess the highlight for me was seeing how one young woman who came to me wanting to be a model grew in confidence over the years of working together and finally actually made it all the way to the Playboy mansion. That woman also changed her name, she became Tommie Jo and I really hope being a top model is everything she always told me she wanted it to be.
I like to thank her and everyone I ever worked with for making a 15 year old boys dream become a reality. We have all moved on now, but it was fun while it lasted.