The Power of the Female Gaze
Hypnotic and bewildering, a sideward glance that is both furtively powerful and discreet. How can that be? I recently watched the documentary on Princess Diana - “Diana: In Her Own Words”, on The National Geographic Channel - and was reminded of the power of “The Gaze"
Diana was grand and beautiful, but she held a shy sideward gaze that captivated a Prince, A World of Humanity, and The Heart of People. She had you from the start. From the first shy glance. It held mystery, and allure, and promise of a hidden compassion that dwelled beneath. As a photographer, I am always interested in the gaze of my subjects. It reflects a moment of realness. A moment where my subject is at home. One where we meet and separate at the same time. It is the women that I photograph that have an unusual reaction-or look as we say. I have cast and photographed thousand of models for worldwide commercials and print campaigns and they are so use to being sexy in front of the camera when a man is photographing them. When I photograph them, I find that they are more natural and carefree laughing and flirting with the camera itself or imagining who will one day be viewing this image. I take a beat, until I get the reaction I need. The shift of power from photographer to subject changes rapidly. It’s a constant flux. The sexy vibe is there…different. Very different then say, a pose of a model from a shoot with Helmut Newton, Nan Golden, Cindy Sherman, Mario Testino, Bruce Weber, Ellen Von Unworth, Lillian Bassman, Louise Dahl-Wolf (Of course these are exceptional photographers with exceptionally noticeable styles). However it made me think of the intent and the editing of my captures. More importantly it makes me think of The power of the female Gaze.
Our society is so obsessed with photography- no secret..just take a look around. Sexy images abound..however not all are truly sexy in the real sense. Some just fake it. I’ve come to realize that just as I am looking for truth in Art and Beauty..The Beauty of The Female Gaze and power is just that..you can’t fake it. A photo may only capture a portion of truth..but the fragment of true is in the moment.
That Gaze that started it all