Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mixed Signals

It is not at all unusual for me to sometimes revisit photo ideas I've shot in the past. If anything, I'd like to believe that I am conceptual in my approach to the sort of photography I specialize in (nude and erotic self-portraiture). I have lots of great ideas for shots, and I am not always capable of producing a shot (or shots) that does that idea justice during any given photoshoot. Hence, I am inclined to make another pass at it sometime in the future. Alternatively, I might get a shot I'm pretty happy with, yet still find myself later wanting to revisit the idea, either to put a new spin on it, to view it from a different perspective, or just simply to turn my camera on it and see what else I might be able to come up with.

I created an image almost four years ago (goodness, has it been that long?) which I titled Mixed Signals. I was wearing a very feminine red dress, but because it is very tight, there were certain aspects of my anatomy hinted at that I felt resulted in the image sending out mixed signals - part feminine, part masculine. Of course, a lot of my photography does that, and often not even by intention, but by the mere fact of my androgynous (bigendered?) appearance. Well, the other day, I found myself wearing that same red dress again, and an impromptu photoshoot resulted in an image unique enough to stand alone, but very much in the same spirit as the previous one, to the point that I even wanted to give it the same title (and I rarely like to do that, as I feel it could cause confusion for the hypothetical curator).

I thought the pose and especially the placement of my hair came off very feminine. At the same time, my penis is very clearly outlined by the dress (even more so than in the previous image), in a very conspicuous, attention-grabbing sort of way. I like it a lot. Not just because I think the image looks aesthetically appealing, but because it's also sort of a huge "fuck you" to anyone who insists that people ought to conform to one set of gender stereotypes or the other. No apologies for my appearance or my identity here. Either take me as I am, or take a hike.


  1. This is such a sexy, powerful, important image both in visual appeal/composition and in intent/message.
    Thanks for revisiting that idea, and for doing what you do in general.