Seeing all those amazing photos of perfect lives and perfect bodies on Instagram can make us feel jealous. We know that they’re posed and even fake, yet they can still make us feel that we’re not good enough. Because of this, Instagrammer Sara Puhto has built her Instagram account around body positivity and much-needed reality check. She shares side-by-side photos of herself that show just how big the difference is between real life and posing for social media photos.
Recently, I wrote about Rock Your Ugly, a fantastic, empowering project by photographer Waleed Shah. He would interview people about their insecurities and ways of dealing with them, and then take their photos to follow the story. Reading all those stories from guys and gals who came out and spoke about their insecurities, I wanted to participate myself. But there was one obstacle: I am located in Serbia, and Waleed lives and works in Dubai, 4,000 kilometers away from me. However, we had an idea: why don’t we do it via Skype?
Posing via Skype is not exactly a standard thing to do, but in this situation, we had no other option. So, Waleed and I agreed on a date and time for the photoshoot. There were so many challenges and setbacks, but ultimately, we ended up with something great! It was both the coolest and the strangest photoshoot I’ve ever had. In this article, I’ll share what it was like from both perspectives: the model’s and the photographer’s.
I don’t think there’s a person who’s completely free of body insecurities. However, many people get so occupied by their “flaws” that it becomes a real struggle. These can, in turn, lead to eating disorders and all sorts of mental health problems.
UAE-based photographer Waleed Shah wanted to explore other people’s body insecurities and hear their stories, as well as share his. From this idea, an amazing project was born. It’s called Rock Your Ugly, and it shows real people and shares their stories. They talk about their insecurities and how they’ve faced them and beaten them. And of course, all this is followed by beautiful black and white portraits.
Photoshopping female bodies has been a question of many debates. Getty Images, one of the largest stock photo agencies in the world, has just changed their rules concerning this issue.
According to their new rules, along with the submission of the images, you’ll also need to declare whether the model’s body size and shape have been digitally manipulated or not. If they have, you shouldn’t submit the images.
Imagine exercising your butt off, entering the bodybuilding competition, only to later find out your photo was omitted from the contest gallery because you’re not “perfect.” This is what happened to Jana Roller. She worked hard for two years, lost 140 lbs and entered her first bodybuilding competition. However, when she browsed through the gallery of photos from the contest, she realized there was no photo of her among the other contestants from her category. She contacted the photographer to ask shy her photo wasn’t included, and received an unpleasant answer. The photographer assumed that she’d be embarrassed by her body.
I read a couple statements today by photographers who will not show plus-size clients in their portfolio because they don’t want to attract plus-size clients. And I have to give my two cents on this, because well, it’s what I do.
As photographers, we meet people where they are. We photograph skin with all its beautiful shades; we photograph people in love; we photograph those beginning their journey in life, and those, like the elderly couple with all their glorious wrinkles, who are just finishing it.
Sometimes an idea, a thought, a life changing moment is so complex it seems impossible to put into words… well this is exactly that. I sit here as if in front of a blank canvas, unsure how to truly explain everything.
For the last 9 months I have struggled with my postpartum body. Unlike with my first pregnancy, in which I bounced right back and in fact liked my body more, with my second pregnancy I barely recognize this new body I’m living with. My abs are separated from my pelvic bone to my sternum, I have an umbilical hernia in need of repair, and I’m currently in physical therapy due to back problems stemming from my abs being weak. I have stretch marks. I have sciatic nerve pain in my bottom. All this came out of left field after my perfect first pregnancy.
If you feel that magazines show beauty standard that is hard to match up to, you are probably right, aside the massive photoshopping that sometimes goes into the image creation process, the models are being aided by flattering lighting and calculated poses. Both of which have tremendous impact on the look of the human body.
Photographer Gracie Hagen chose to challenge that practice with Illusions of the Body. She does so by exposing us to two different exposures of the same person. In one exposure, the person is beautifully lit, and its pose is crafted to perfection. The other exposure is juxtaposed: horrible lighting and bad pose. The result help the viewers to understand that even the prettiest of persons are getting ‘some help’ in their magazine photos.
We asked Gracie a few questions, which you can find after the jump.
[The series is full frontal nude, so only hit the jump is you are not offended by frontal nude.]