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Glamour & Fashion photographer from London, ON, Canada

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

For Your Consideration #2 - Labiaplasty

I began reading an article on the blog Anne of Carversville regarding the use of the term "vajayjay" vs. "vagina."  Which I suppose could be a debate for a later time.  But as you might expect, the article points out the fact that North American woman are still not comfortable discussing the subject and have adopted the term vajayjay from the TV show Grey's Anatomy.  Further along in the article it mentioned a topic I didn't even know existed.  I guess I'll have to renew my subscription to Cosmo so I am more informed on these matters.  The topic was Labiaplasty.  Which is the practice of performing cosmetic surgery on the labia majora/minora.  Some of these surgeries are being performed on woman for reconstructive or corrective reasons.  However, the article indicates that this surgery has become more popular in the last 30 months and most of the procedures are being performed for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons.  What does a labiaplasty look like you ask?  Here is a link to a clinical franchise that specializes in the procedure and has 18 locations in 12 states in the U.S.  There are 16 surgeons on this page, each with their own before & after photos, just like a line-up at Jenny Craig.  The obvious irony here is that although American woman apparently cannot bring themselves to use the word "vagina," there is enough of a demand for these cosmetic procedures to justify this one company to have an 18 location franchise across the entire country.

I'm a glamour photographer and a man.  Which means I work in a world that is synonymous with aesthetics and vanity, and probably shouldn't be talking about vagina's or vajayjay's for that matter for fear of not only being called a hypocrite but having a bunch of feminists jump down my throat.  I am neither condemning nor exonerating this practice.  I only present it here for your consideration.  But as with many types of cosmetic surgery, I have to wonder who these procedures are really being performed for?  Are they for the woman themselves to improve their self esteem, or is it the pressure of the beauty conscious world we live in to have a perfect body?  I suppose it really shouldn't be all that surprising.  First it was faces, then breasts, you can get butt or ab implants, and now you can have a perfect pussy too.  Oops, I mean vagina. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Save it for Facebook

Every once in awhile, I come across a model portfolio on sites like DeviantArt.com or ModelMayhem who are including personal photos of things like their kids, or their dog/cat. This boggles my mind. Not to sound harsh, but I don't care how cute you think your kids are or what your trendy little chihuahua looks like in his new Christmas sweater. Post that stuff on Facebook or open a flickr account and invite your friends and family to view them there. These online portfolios are supposed to help generate interest in people working with you as a model.  It's a way to sell yourself and showcase your talents and your aesthetic.  As a photographer, if I am researching you as a perspective model and I see photos of your kids on your profile, it makes me think you are not serious about modelling and that you don't have a solid grasp of what the industry is about.  It's great that you love your kids or your dog and that you're proud of the photos, but it does absolutely nothing to exhibit your talents or assets.  It's called a portfolio, not a family photo album.
     

A Year in Review

Here are a few highlights from this year and some of the amazing people I have had the opportunity to work with.  My sincere thanks to everyone involved including the models, wardrobe designers, MUA's, hairstylists, and anyone else who has helped or supported me in any way to make it possible for me to do what I do.

Incorrigible
Forsaken
High Class
Feel My Beating Heart
Dana
Beauty in Motion
Reveal
Rapture
Fire
Sweet Heart

Faint Whispers
Placid
For more portfolio images, please visit me at:

www.adamgaverluk.com
Model Mayhem
Deviant Art
Flickr

All images on this site are copyrighted unless otherwise stated and may not be used without the expressed written consent of Adam Gaverluk Photography.

Copyright ©2010 Adam Gaverluk Photography.
All Rights Reserved.


Friday, December 24, 2010

A Hard Lesson Learned in 2010

I learned a hard lesson in 2010 on my journey to become a better photographer. During a period of several consecutive months, I had three former models (and consequently former friends) all contact me and 'demand' I remove all of their photo's from my various online portfolios.  Sadly, one of these women was not only one of my closest and dearest friends, but also the person I considered to be my muse.  The reasoning for the change of heart was varied an included; possessive boyfriend's, changes in morality, and believe it or not, even Jesus was a reason given.  In all three of these instances, the women involved failed to recognize the time, effort, passion and expense that was put into these collaborative works.  If I am not able to use them due to their sudden change of heart on the matter, I am forced to bare both the emotional and economic expense of wasted time and effort.  And I bare these costs alone.  I feel there was also a failure on the part of the models to understand that they are the subject matter of the work of art, but that does not entitle them to dictate to me as the artist what I do with each piece, especially when there was an agreement and understanding by all parties prior to each shoot.  If I were creating a sculpture or a painting based on a posed model, would they still feel they had the right to make the same demands?

I suppose it's fair to say that I am partially responsible for my own troubles. Working with inexperienced models can be problematic. Especially if they are younger and haven't had the foresight to see how modelling may affect them in the future. And working with models who generally are only involved for the ego boost, but aren't serious about modelling, about promoting themselves or about promoting me as the photographer. I've also never been a big fan of release forms. To me there's something intrinsically negative about starting off an artistic endeavour with someone by handing them a legal document. I realize that things like this are just part of the bigger world we live in, and that I have to protect my own interests. Or at least... I realize this now, in hind sight. It's unfortunate that the good natured trust I once began each of these new creative relationships with, has now been replaced by a consent form and a signature. 

The summer was painfully slow and relatively unproductive creatively. I miss the relationship, comfort level, trust, and companionship that I shared with my muse. In short, I miss my friend.  As I entered into the Autumn months, I had the opportunity to work with a few great new models and broaden my talent pool a little further.  As an entirely self taught photographer, I spent a great deal of time reading and teaching myself the craft both technically and creatively.  I find it interesting that there was never any mention about the roller coaster ride of ups and downs that would follow in this strange art form.  I have made a conscious choice to work with people as a subject matter and even more precisely, to work almost exclusively with female models.  I've often had a hard time understanding how many photographers choose plants or wildlife or landscapes as their preferred subject matter.  To me the female form is an never ending source of beauty and inspiration.  But I suppose it's also fair to say that a plant will never stab you in the back, wildlife won't accuse you of being a pervert, and a landscape will never not show up for a shoot.  Despite all of that, I will still choose to ride the roller coaster.  I love what I do and that's enough for me.


Looking forward to 2011

Monday, December 20, 2010

For Your Consideration #1


Reblogged from: Anne of Carversville


December 17, 2010

Four in 10 Americans Believe in Strict Creationism

Belief in evolutionary origins of humans slowly rising, however

by Frank Newport
PRINCETON, NJ -- Four in 10 Americans, slightly fewer today than in years past, believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago. Thirty-eight percent believe God guided a process by which humans developed over millions of years from less advanced life forms, while 16%, up slightly from years past, believe humans developed over millions of years, without God's involvement.

1982-2010 Trend: Views of Human Origins (Humans Evolved, With God Guiding; Humans Evolved Without God's Involvment; God Created Humans in Present Form)
Read on at GALLUP

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Photographer Never RevealsTheir Secrets

Today I came across a Journal entry from another photographer who suggested that the sharing of information and techniques amongst people in the artistic community should be improved in order for the art form to grow.  

I think one of the issues specific to Photographers is the advancement of technology.  The quality and simplicity that is available these days is nothing short of threatening.  People can buy a decent DSLR, download a pirated copy of Photoshop or Lightroom from bit torrent, and install a 3rd party plugin that will allow them to create pro quality effects in a single-click that 10 years ago would have taken me a lot of time and effort to produce.  This has narrowed the gap between the people who have put in a considerable amount of time to perfect their craft, and the wannabe posers looking to pump out images as fast as possible in an effort to proclaim themselves as "professionals."

Obviously there is no substitute for the artistic vision needed to take the image in the first place and the skill of the photographer handling his/her instrument.  But if everyone could paint with the same skill and creativity as DaVinci or Picaso, their work would cease to be special.  I would be happy to share information with someone to help them out or swap techniques with another established photographer, as I am sure would a community of magicians for example.  But there are always going to be those special tricks that you will keep to yourself, the tricks that you have spent a lot of time perfecting.  If everyone can do the same technique, it looses it's uniqueness and in some cases, the artist will loose their individuality.

The other obvious reason for not sharing, is if your photographic endeavors are also your main source of income.  It clearly doesn't make sense to show all the other photographers in your community the special way you process wedding photos if that is what makes you unique to that genre. 

Lets be honest, photography has never been easier or more accessible than it is right now.  And in an art form where technology plays such a huge roll, and the access to information is so easily obtained, true individual style will become more and more difficult to achieve and maintain.  Only a minority of photographers will reach that status in their careers.  The value of a few unique individuals making an impact by preserving their specific techniques outweighs the convenience of the whole community sharing in that knowledge.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We should be ashamed... and we are.

I recently heard a rebroadcast of an episode of "Definitely Not the Opera"on CBC radio were the general discussion was on what happens in society when we make the "private" public.  The last part of this segment was one I found particularly interesting where they discussed and interviewed a former teacher from Austin Texas who lost her job after it was made known to the school administration that she had posed nude for an art photographer.  I would encourage anyone to listen to this segment of the broadcast via the link I have posted or simply type her name, Tamara Hoover, into Google or Wikipedia and read about her unfortunate case.

This incident only servers to reinforce the negative and shameful way in which we view our own bodies in North American society.  These attitudes and misconceptions about nudity and sexuality belong in the past with the burning of witches or the belief that the earth is flat.  In a world where we can build the Hadron Particle Collider and recreate the big bang to view how our universe may have once began, it is astounding and baffling that with this incredible intellect, we cannot wrap our heads around the fact that nudity and sexuality are not the same thing.  Yet they are continually treated as such.  You need only look at ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian cultures to see that this was not always the case.  As a species, we where once able to look upon ourselves and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of our own bodies.  We once were able to take that appreciation for our own magnificence and express it in art and sculpture, and then display these incredible works in public places without causing riots, mass orgies, or damaging the public psyche.      

In the case of Tamara Hoover, I fail to understand how her posing for a photographer was somehow going to damage her students either mentally or emotionally or was in any way a reflection of her abilities as a teacher.  It was in fact the students that rallied behind her in support and in an attempt to reverse the school board decision to terminate her contract.  So what is the message that is being taught to the students in this case?  Be ashamed of your body and of your humanity?  That nudity in any form is intrinsically wrong and that it will insight sexual deviance?  Don't ever express yourself creatively or be comfortable in your own skin, because one day you might loose your job over it?  That's a hell of a lesson to teach the entire student body in one shot.

Sunday, November 21, 2010