“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Exposing 40 has taken a bit of a leap across the decades this weekend, but if this blog is about celebrating our bodies as they age then this woman is an example to us all. The wonderful Eye turned 60 this week so I’m delighted to share some photos I shot back in the autumn.
Happy birthday Eye, may your sixties be a decade of celebration and one in which you now thrive. Xx
“Ooh, that would be a fun one to try and do for mirror week,” I think as I scroll through Tumblr.
Twenty four hours later, a bit tipsy and full of sausage casserole, I’m nearly choking myself by balancing a mirror on my windpipe. Not all my ideas/inspirations are sensible but articulating them is always hilarious!
Photo by Exhibit A.
So, after a super fun week of tributes it’s the fourth and final week of February Photofest. For my final theme I’m going for mirrors. Mirrors are something I use so often in my photos they have their own tag on this blog. You can see all the photos I’ve ever included mirrors in here.
For Throwback Thursday’s re-edit I’m hopping over to Honey’s place to a photo I took of her in summer 2015. I’ve re-edited the third shot down (also copied below) so all that remains is a whisper of nipple.
The final photo of my week of tributes is @19syllables helping me out with a Francesca Woodman shot. Woodman took her first self portrait aged 13 and by the time she committed suicide in January 1981, aged just 22, she had a body of some 800 images, many of them nude self-portraits.
As an artist who died young and without having given hundreds of interviews about her life and influences, there is much speculation about who the ‘real Francesca Woodman‘ is. She however is said to have influenced Nan Goldin, who in turn is said to have influenced Tillmans. I personally do not see the similarities between Woodman’s delicate other-worldly black and whites and Goldin’s harsh and gritty captures but I can see echoes of Goldin in some of Tillmans’s work.
Those linkages weren’t intentional in my choosing of the photographers to focus on this week – I just chose my favourites who I knew had a big back catalogue of nudes I could rifle through! I hope you’ve enjoyed my week of tributes and the little mini essays. It’s felt completely self-indulgent and I’ve loved every minute of it!
Last summer I was photographing a friend in my flat when she grabbed one of my old cameras from a display shelf and starting posing with it. She didn’t realise she was channeling a shot by Robert Mapplethorpe, one of my favourite photographers, and one that Exhibit A and I had recreated just a few months earlier. Tonight I watched a fabulous documentary called Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures and remembered that I hadn’t yet shown off this sumptuous shot.
@Kinky_Gent first expressed interest in participating in E40 back in spring 2016 when he was over in the UK for work and we met for coffee. Our paths haven’t crossed since so I’ve yet to photograph him myself but in early December this self-portrait appeared in my DM with a question about whether it was of possible interest for the blog. Yes, it most definitely is of interest! As soon as I saw this weekend’s prompt I knew I wanted to save this shot for today – after all, what is more routine than pulling on our underwear?
Although I’d messed around with wearing a girlfriend’s knickers many years ago, and not in a particularly kinky manner, during 2017 I experimented more and more deliberately.
A special lady knew of my curiosity and shared an interest in men wearing lingerie. Neither of us are into full transformations or cross dressing but rather discrete wearing of knickers and stockings in private or under everyday dress. With her to encourage me, I explored this more and more in 2017 to the point where she kindly gave me these Marks and Spencer specials from her collection, which had a visible impact as you can see!
It surprised me how many women enjoy the idea of men wearing (their) lingerie and it’s certainly made me wonder how many more are open to that. Usual vanilla depictions are often of a wife being appalled and running for the divorce lawyer – I’d be curious how many would actively encourage their men to try it?
To that special lady – thank you so much for what you brought to fruition last year, let’s do more in 2018!
I have a guest post for this week’s Sinful Sunday, from this man. I love this little homage to how brilliant technology can be. I’m certainly enjoying what technology is offering he and I, and it’s enabled him to influence one or two of my previous photos, but this is the first post written by him. I’ve had this photo for a couple of weeks and was always planning to use it this weekend but when I earmarked it for today I hadn’t realised it was also her birthday weekend, so welcome to Exposing 40 and happy birthday! Xx
Ones and Zeros From Afar
Technology is amazing. Technology allows us to stay in touch and communicate with people across the globe in unique and different ways. Utilizing technology to say I’m thinking about you and appreciate you is where things get tricky. The very access and convenience that technology provides can at the same time emphasize the disconnect between two people in two different places. A free moment for one person may for the other be a frantically busy day. So what do we do? Instead of bothering those we love and care about, we fire off texts that accentuate the bullet point nature of our lives.
This is the situation my wife and I found ourselves in a little while back. She had back to back conferences and was out of town for a week. On my end, this meant being solo-dad to my two girls; managing work, school, extracurricular activities, and making sure we all ate too! After about day three or four it was clear that my wife and I just weren’t connecting. The phone calls and texts made clear that we were operating on different planes of existence. Even when we both had a down moment, her excitement to catch up was met with my desire to lay in bed and mumble incoherently.
Ever the astute one, my wife realized that words were not going to improve the situation. The next afternoon, she excused herself from her conference, took the elevator to her room, undressed, took a picture, and sent in off to my phone. No words, no emojis, just her sending a sequence of ones and zeros from afar to say I love you.