Friday, March 08, 2013

Are the Morality Police Losing Their Grip on Photography Websites??

I was a recipient of a bulk email today from a well-known photography website in which they're pimping an ebook on boudoir photography. Course, they had to sort of apologize for doing so although I'm pretty sure they won't be sheepish about accepting the money they'll be making off sales from the book.

In their email, they wrote: "This is sort of a new one for us, we have never mentioned a deal on boudoir photography before (please avoid if you are offended by boudoir photography). But many readers have requested articles on it."

Oh? You think many readers might be interested in articles or an ebook about boudoir photography? You suddenly fucking think so?

I say "suddenly" because...

I've authored three ebooks on photography. And I've done pretty damn well with them. But this particular website, along with a number of other big and well-known photography sites, previously declined to be sales affiliates of mine because, as they all told me in one way or another, they have readers who might be offended if they hawked an ebook on glamour photography. (BTW, I could tell you all the differences between boudoir and glamour photography in about a paragraph or two, probably less, but that's not what I'm writing about today.)

Anyway, in response to those websites who rejected me, I politely proposed, "Well then, don't sell my glamour ebook, Guerrilla Glamour. Just sell my other two ebooks: Guerrilla Headshots and Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography. Those ebooks are entirely "G" rated."   (My glamour ebook being, at worst, "R" rated, at least in terms of some of the photos in it-- none of which being "X" rated.) But they still declined, citing the mere connection between those two ebooks and my glamour ebook -- that connection, I suppose, being me, the author -- might be enough to offend or put off some of their readers.

You spineless, ball-less, fucking douche-bag wimps! I did not say to any of them, although I certainly wanted to say something along those lines.

In today's email, the website went on to state: "Although boudoir photography is as old as the camera itself, it’s only in the last decade that it has become a popular and legitimate art form that many women seek out as gifts for their spouses. Many photographers have made a lucrative career out of it and portrait photographers often offer it as a secondary service to supplement their income."

Here's some 411 for you websites who pretend you're such total experts on photography and photographers: Much like nude photography, boudoir photography has not only been around since photography has been around, it's been a legitimate art form throughout all that time, not just in the past ten years.

On the plus side, perhaps the self-appointed Morality Police and their church lady cohorts are finally losing their juice with these big photography websites who pretend that certain photographic genres -- genres which are also as old as the camera itself -- aren't things that many, many of their readers might be interested in learning how to shoot? 

Okay. I've gotten that rant off my chest. The pretty girl at the top is Kayla. (You can click it to enlarge it.) I snapped that one of her, as well as the one below (and more) a few nights ago. It ain't boudoir. It ain't porn. It's glamour. Nude glamour. BTW, if I modified the lighting a bit for the shot below, instructed the model to avoid eye contact with the camera, and processed it black-and-white it would pretty much qualify as an art nude. And I'll bet there are many, many photographers who would love to learn how to shoot models like Kayla in the glamour, boudoir, and/or art nude genres who wouldn't feel "offended" or put off by some vanilla photography site selling instructional ebooks on how to do so. Maybe those websites should focus their marketing on the masses instead of worrying about the asses?


Ashley Karyl said...

The world has gone completely nuts Jimmy and it's probably better if I leave it at that before I start on my own rant...

What worries me more though is the way that law makers are now seeing themselves as morality police and it's extending to all kinds of media including books like yours. Only yesterday we discovered the EU will be voting next week on a plan to "eliminate gender stereotypes" in advertising and the media. I guess they want us all to dress like a bunch of North Koreans.

Bill Giles said...

I guess that money trumps morality. There are plenty of people who feel that nudity in any form is wrong, but the problem is the people who feel that it's OK for me, but not for you.

Winston Cooper said...

If you ever get "aroundtoit" I would be very interested in knowing your take on the rules defining nude,art nude,glamor,boudoir,etc,etc. In one of your earlier post you mentioned breaking the rules but you have to know the rules to break them.

Thanks for a very informative blog. I follow it and learn from it.

mkhealey said...

Nice article/blog Jimmy. Amazing how many people have become "morality experts," and how their views change as their pocket book shrinks. (did I say pocket book? I'm dating myself)

Jay said...

Hello friend,

Honestly, I'm not sure how you're surprised by this? In this day in age when everyone is a photographer, instructor, and or guru, I've seen far worse things.

I was looking to share out studio space so I can stop transporting my gear and came across this lady who has space and it was nice. We met and she loved me and begged me into her space. A few days later she emails me and says "Are you going to shoot porn? I've seen some of your images and while they're nude, I don't want porn shot at my space" I wrote her back and declined her offer. Now days nude is porn? All these years I thought porn was penetration. Guess I learned something..from a very closed minded old lady.

Don't let it get you down my friend, it's their loss not yours.

jimmyd said...

It seems to me even Facebook has loosened their morality codes. Some time ago they kicked me and my fan page to the curb even tho I never posted a pic that violated their Terms of Service. But lately, on my personal page, I've posted quite a few pics with similar content and there's been no complaints.

Wayne said...

from my limited point of view much of this "morality policing' comes from and/or is encouraged by various religious organizations which enjoy IRS 501)c)3 tax exempt status. It is also interesting that as a requirement for maintaining or having this status these organizations may not engage in any type of political action, something which they do rather flagrantly.

considering this is anyone willing to join me in a legal action against the IRS to compel them (the IRS) to enforce there own regulations against these organizations? It would be interesting, but I do not have the money for the probably protracted legal battle which is likely to result.