Thinking about how controversial / acceptable photos of breasts can be depending on appearance or status of person.
Is expression/celebration of sexuality &/or exploring body acceptance issues photographically limited to selected types?
Quality over quantity: why not take several photos of the same tree? Can you not see the subtle shift movement in light?
I take hundreds of pictures of the same thing in nature because I wish to see differences & improve my photography.
I take the rare "tit pic" & partial nude of myself in exploration of self expression. It's not for shock value. It's me.
In a society that wants me to feel I'm not good enough to be as I am, I'm trying to find myself through my own lens.
What makes a photo artistic? Photoshop filters? Professional photographer? Accepted publication? Artsy props? Not of me?
Why take photos of my breasts? I want to see what the fuss is about. Out of the 100s of self portraits - I've posted 5.
These are thoughts provoked by a recent comment on LJ where I asked a question.
Thanks for reacting/making me ask more.
Why should photos of my breasts shock you? Going back to what I was original asking, why should they receive more attention than any other photograph of me? The fact that they do was simply my curiosity and prompted me to ask the question. What attracts the eye (even when a nipple isn't shown or a breast not revealed in the thumbnail image) that makes one photo more clickable than the next? In general, why is this so upsetting to people when someone questions it? (I am questioning it just as much as you are). You likely see photographs of women, tits and ass, innumerable times in a day if you are exposed to any commercialized media, let alone a convenience store rack. Are you offended by my body? The rawness? The lack of gloss? The freakish monstrosity of my chest? Should I be ashamed of myself?
Do you honestly believe that most of the views are people who just click for the shock, as though I was rotten.com, that it's a show? If so, and people merely look at them for freak value or to get themselves off, does this mean I should not take photos of my body? That I should be ashamed? That I should not be among the many who seek to understand and express themselves? Should my line be drawn where yours is? Am I asking you to cross my line? Out of all the people who are allowed to explore and expose their body, for whatever reasons, what makes me the one person you speak out against? Is it because I also take photos of trees (and too many of them?) Is it because I've also shown that I am not just a set of tits, but a person too? Is it because I asked the obvious question? Am I to feel worse about my body? Honestly, I'm visually 'clicked on' almost every time I leave my apartment, and that's with clothes on, baggy ones, too.
Perhaps I was looking for the honest opinion as to whether there was something else in those photos that caught the eye that my other self portraits don't. Am I expressing something more in them? Does it actually mean that the rest of my photographs suck?
(Apparently so, to some, because they are of trees. Just to point out, I'm, like, one of hundreds if not thousands of people on Flickr at the moment with photosets containing pictures of trees with autumn leaves. The same one from different angles. Slightly different casted shadows. Over & over, the same appreciated tree. Then there are all of them wacky folks who take the same pictures of leaves on the ground, leaves in puddles or strewn across lawns or held singularly in hand. It's a thing we do over here. We like our Autumn, our trees, our leaves).
Re: "You're opening yourself up to people having a distorted perception of who you are, and what you are about."
Of course, if one is only looking at photos of my tits, they're going to view me a certain way, yes. If that is all they are choosing to look at, in an objectifying way, then yes, that's true.
I already have a distorted perception of who I am, so I wouldn't be surprised in the least if someone else had one of me.
That said, if people are choosing to only look at that one side of me (my front) when there are thousands of other photographs showing there is more to me, let alone my journal entries, poetry / prose, youtube videos and other things I've shared online of myself over eight+ years - well then, what am I to say to that? If someone is choosing to judge me based on less than a dozen photographs out of everything else there is to see of me, then who is distorting?
In defending myself, I must also point out that I do not think I should have to deny expressing myself in that manner because of what others might think of me. Those photos portray just one part of who I am. A slice of myself, a section. To me, I don't see how that side should be any more disturbing than the other parts of me, where, if one has read deeply, there are darker things to see than my nipple. If someone looks at the few 'tit pics' and decides that's what I'm all about, is that my problem, or theirs?
Re: "As a matter of interest - why do you post naked photos of yourself? Is it a self-acceptance thing, and if so, why bear your soul (and more) for literally anyone and everyone to see?"
A long-time journal friend asked the same thing and I know that other people who care about are thinking the same.
I wrote an answer before to this question which relates to all of my self portraits, including the controversial ones ---
"I am on a quest to accept and understand myself and part of this will be done with photographs. Why is it that we are often at war with our bodies? Why do we even attribute the term 'war' to the physical form that carries our very being? I want to develop to the point where I no longer punish my mind or abuse my body for what it is not, but embrace it for what it is."
For my first "tit pic" (posted in January) I received quite a bit of feedback in a self portraits community on LiveJournal. The post sparked some interesting debate in the comment section and I encourage you to take a look at it.
I think the fact that my photo (and my body / self-expression) provoked people to share their opinions, as you did yesterday and as I have done in return, is well worth taking the photograph (and the chance) in the first place.