**NSWF** Is this photo too 'spring break-ish / girls gone wild' for pro use?

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Ilovemycam

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Is this photo too 'spring break-ish / girls gone wild' for inclusion in a professional portfolio?

ArtSlant - 'Princess of Ross County...in the Style of Cartier-Bresson's Rue Mouffetard Paris 1954'



In my professional life I deal with 2 main types of audiences. Museum curators-directors and special collection rare book librarians.

The libraries never complain about a thing and are grateful for anything I give them. On the whole they are a pleasure to deal with.

The curators and museums on the other hand are a closed, sometimes snooty and a very difficult and unpleasant area to deal with.

I happen to love my play on Cartier-Bressons Rue Mouffetard Paris 1954. But I wonder if this pix is a little too 'spring breakish - girls gone wild' for the curators / museums.

What do you think?

Is it anything to be ashamed of for inclusion in my professional portfolio?

Bear in mind I am not a commercial / studio / set up photographer, I am a street and documentary photographer, so judge it in that light. (I also may work on the clouds / overall photo, this is a rough draft.) If you are not familiar with my work, the nudity is not out of line with my other photos. They are just in a different style than this photo.

Thank for your feedback
 
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480sparky

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Looks more Sturgis than Spring Break..... women are too old and lots of hairy old men in the background.
 
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Ilovemycam

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Looks more Sturgis than Spring Break..... women are too old and lots of hairy old men in the background.

Not Sturgis...but you got the idea. I love the guy on the right in front of the RV.
 

amolitor

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I have to say that I am a little baffled by your reference to Rue Mouffetard. The points of similarity are fairly superficial, and your photograph simply isn't very interesting. There is no story beyond the obvious, there is no sense of ambiguity, there is nothing left for the viewer to fill in from his or her own mind. It's a cheap snap of an attention whore, with some effects plopped onto it to make it look like it might be something.

I've told you this before, but I will repeat myself. Museum curators are not in the business of breaking new artists. That's not how it works. Museums collect and preserve what has been already deemed Important by the powers that be, which these days are largely operated by an informal collective of galleries and collectors. The museum curators are involved to some extent, they go to the same parties and so on, but the museum is simply not going to buy, or even take for free, or even take when accompanied by a large bundle of cash work that's not already considered important and worth collecting and preserving.

Your work has not been deemed important and worth preserving by the powers that be, therefore your ability to place that work in museums is going to be very very limited.

As to why your work has not been deemed important and worth preserving, well, that's because in the first place you're not talking to the right people at all, and in the second place your work isn't very good. If it's anything, it's "vernacular photography" which has its own set of processes and so forth. Interestingly, it's often not made by the artists, it's collected and organized by the artist.
 
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Ilovemycam

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I have to say that I am a little baffled by your reference to Rue Mouffetard. The points of similarity are fairly superficial, and your photograph simply isn't very interesting. There is no story beyond the obvious, there is no sense of ambiguity, there is nothing left for the viewer to fill in from his or her own mind. It's a cheap snap of an attention whore, with some effects plopped onto it to make it look like it might be something.

I've told you this before, but I will repeat myself. Museum curators are not in the business of breaking new artists. That's not how it works. Museums collect and preserve what has been already deemed Important by the powers that be, which these days are largely operated by an informal collective of galleries and collectors. The museum curators are involved to some extent, they go to the same parties and so on, but the museum is simply not going to buy, or even take for free, or even take when accompanied by a large bundle of cash work that's not already considered important and worth collecting and preserving.

Your work has not been deemed important and worth preserving by the powers that be, therefore your ability to place that work in museums is going to be very very limited.

As to why your work has not been deemed important and worth preserving, well, that's because in the first place you're not talking to the right people at all, and in the second place your work isn't very good. If it's anything, it's "vernacular photography" which has its own set of processes and so forth. Interestingly, it's often not made by the artists, it's collected and organized by the artist.


Thanks for the rundown. As you know so much about museums, you must know that it is near impossible to talk to the 'right' people until you and I have already made our mistakes. That was what I am trying to determine with this photo...if it should be included or not. You are correct that the TPTB have not taken me under their wing. Irrespective of that fact, I have still managed to get into a number of permanent collections around the world. I continue to promote my work and will do so.

But getting back to my photo, Do you think the curators would look at this photo as just 1 out of 20 and dismiss it if they did not like it? Or would 1 rotten apple spoil the barrel?
 
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Ilovemycam

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I have to say that I am a little baffled by your reference to Rue Mouffetard.

I had the same thought.

Baffled by your reference to Rue Mouffetard?

I'm baffled you are all baffled? Very clear if you compare the shots. Of course different subjects and times, but same theme. (Also look at Helen Levitt's girl carrying milk bottles.)

What do you think about the question I posed. In or out of the portfolio?

(BTW, your 365 project is impressive. I could never stick with such a regiment.)
 

tirediron

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OP: As this image violates TPF guidelines for posting in the regular galleries, I have removed the link. If you like to become a supporting member (a mere $25/year cost) then you will have access to the NSFW gallery in which your image can be posted.

EDIT: After some discussion with the rest of the moderating team, it appears that I was mis-remembering a discussion from some months ago. The OPs link has been replaced. Apologies to the OP and happy viewing everyone!
 
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Ilovemycam

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OP: As this image violates TPF guidelines for posting in the regular galleries, I have removed the link. If you like to become a supporting member (a mere $25/year cost) then you will have access to the NSFW gallery in which your image can be posted.


OK, maybe the members that have seen the photo in question can add their comments to my OP question. Sorry for the problem.
 
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Ilovemycam

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Vernacular photography?

To be accused of being a vernacular photographer is a pretty low blow. Vernacular photography = snapshot photo. My photos are not snapshots.

Even then, the Wiki says...some curators have begun to exhibit vernacular photography.
 

jwbryson1

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OP: As this image violates TPF guidelines for posting in the regular galleries, I have removed the link. If you like to become a supporting member (a mere $25/year cost) then you will have access to the NSFW gallery in which your image can be posted.


Crap. :smileys:
 

amolitor

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Vernacular Photography isn't just snapshots. It's snapshots viewed in a particular, and somewhat interesting, way. It's snapshots as a window into society, or something like that. One picture is never "vernacular photography" a collection of them might be, if it's well curated.

Your pictures have the potential to be such things, but they'd need to be collected and organized as a portfolio. Individually, to the best of my ability to discern, your pictures say nothing and mean nothing. That's just one guy's opinion, but I do try to pay attention. As a grouping, they might conceivably comment on something, or document something, or say something, or be something. I cannot judge, since you only show us the same handful of pictures over and over, and I am not feeling any particularly strong meaning in them.

They strike me as the snapshots of a guy who likes tits, over-processed in a ham-fisted way to make them look "arty".

With more breadth to the collection, and some organizing principles, there might be some social commentary possible. I'm not seeing any clear ways down any of the other roads to acquiring meaning. You haven't got a shred of ambiguity or narrative beyond the obvious in any of these things. Nothing, almost literally, is left for the viewer to do with one of your individual pictures. That makes them boring. Apart from the tits.

ETA: Anyways, to answer your question directly: It's too spring-breakish, but not because of the tits. Art is all about tits. It's too spring-breakish because it's shallow and trivial.
 
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Ilovemycam

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Vernacular Photography isn't just snapshots. It's snapshots viewed in a particular, and somewhat interesting, way. It's snapshots as a window into society, or something like that. One picture is never "vernacular photography" a collection of them might be, if it's well curated.

Your pictures have the potential to be such things, but they'd need to be collected and organized as a portfolio. Individually, to the best of my ability to discern, your pictures say nothing and mean nothing. That's just one guy's opinion, but I do try to pay attention. As a grouping, they might conceivably comment on something, or document something, or say something, or be something. I cannot judge, since you only show us the same handful of pictures over and over, and I am not feeling any particularly strong meaning in them.

They strike me as the snapshots of a guy who likes tits, over-processed in a ham-fisted way to make them look "arty".

With more breadth to the collection, and some organizing principles, there might be some social commentary possible. I'm not seeing any clear ways down any of the other roads to acquiring meaning. You haven't got a shred of ambiguity or narrative beyond the obvious in any of these things. Nothing, almost literally, is left for the viewer to do with one of your individual pictures. That makes them boring. Apart from the tits.

ETA: Anyways, to answer your question directly: It's too spring-breakish, but not because of the tits. Art is all about tits. It's too spring-breakish because it's shallow and trivial.

OK, fair enough. I appreciate your comments. I can see your a deep thinker. So we may view photos very differently. I can see this from your comment...there is no sense of ambiguity, there is nothing left for the viewer to fill in from his or her own mind.

I don't do that much thinking about why I like a shot or not. It either hits me or not. It is overall a great shot or not. Sure we can look at all the components, subject, lighting, focus, effects, color, contrast, desat, nostalgia value. But once the photo has to be dissected it ruins it for me. It would be like having sex and at the same time having to run down and dissect all the physical components that make up the sexual pleasure. Only an over thinker would do that.

Maybe that is why your not a street shooter and you favor still life. You think way too much to shoot on the fly.

Going back to my pix that was deleted. There was a photog next to me trying to get the shot. Before he even got the cam up to his face she shut the door. She was just a tease. I got the photo, but he didn't. I put some pride in that, so that is why the photo has some extra value to me over the tit value.
 

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I'm baffled because I don't see the connection between a drunken girl showing her breasts and a little kid carrying bottles of wine. Is it because they're both 'naughty'? I just feel like if I have to work that hard at trying to find a connection, then it's perhaps not as strong an homage as you might have thought.

Regardless, I wouldn't include it for the museum folks. If you hadn't got the nipples, I might have thought differently. The viewers' imagination would be more engaged because they'd have to imagine what happens next. This surely would be obvious but everyone would get to think of it on their own in their own way. I feel this would have provided more of a commentary on the scene, letting us not only think of whatever image would come to our heads but maybe it would also lead us to wondering about what happened before or what prompted this girl to start opening her shirt? But leaving nothing to the imagination leaves me with just the thought that you got a picture of someone's breasts.

It kind of reminds me of Coco Chanel's directive, "Less is more." I understand your pride in the shot because it represents your skill and timing in getting such a fleeting moment. I personally just wish you'd captured it half a second earlier. Not because I'm a prude and have anything against seeing breasts, but because I think it would have been a stronger image if it implied rather than showed all. Maybe then the HCB reference would be clearer (to me, anyway.)

(And thanks! I gave myself that 365 challenge to help me be consistent in other things in my life, to help stay disciplined. It's been a lot of fun.)
 

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Missed another picture...
 
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