(An open letter)
I am a self-portrait photographer looking to network with models in my area so as to expand my portfolio and gain experience working with other models. I have a serious interest in the aesthetics of the human body, and I like to create thought-provoking works that challenge people's preconceived notions about gender and sexuality. My work is undeniably taboo. But I do not "peddle smut". I am keenly aware of all the different rules about what is appropriate in different contexts and on different websites, and am diligent about following the rules - because you can't network with a deleted profile. I want to have confidence that I will not be discriminated against because I do have an association with works that are taboo, and because I currently occupy a niche, since I have not yet had the pleasure of shooting an endless lineup of young women in makeup and lingerie. I would also hope not to be categorized as an amateur just because I take self-portraits. I do not have a lot of expensive equipment, and I do not have room in my tiny apartment to set up a studio. But I am very serious about what I do, in spite of my limitations (which I am hoping to expand by gaining experience working with other models), and I want to create technically proficient, but also emotionally and intellectually stimulating works of art. I'd like to think that my art speaks for itself, but sometimes people tend to jump too quickly to conclusions.