If you don’t already know the work of Sally Mann then I urge you to lose yourself in her site for a while – her work is really very beautiful.
She is best known for her Family Pictures series, which features her children playing in the family’s remote summer cabin. It caused controversy at the time as her children are naked in many of the photos and she was accused of promoting child pornography and reneging on her parental responsibilities. She has said that when her daughter saw her own photograph with modest stickers applied without Mann’s consent she asked her Mum what was wrong with her. I also really love her Proud Flesh series which captures the changes in her husband’s body as his muscular dystrophy progresses.
The photo I have chosen to pay tribute to today is at the bottom of this post and is from her haunting Faces series. This was actually a pretty quick and dirty shot, lipstick hastily applied and the photo snapped on my phone before I hopped in the bath and edited it using the Snapseed app. I deleted my features using the ‘healing’ function. I couldn’t get the shadow of my nose right so I decided to lose it altogether and create the definition and shading with my jawline instead. I then used the Lens Blur function to create the out of focus look.
My week of dark and moody outdoor shots is over so let’s have a week of colour. And it’s Valentine’s week so let’s go red! We kick off the second week of February Photofest with Throwback Thursday I’m going for the colour version of this shot, first used back in January 2016.
For about eight years from ages 18 to 26 I wore this lipstick (Bourjois Rouge Bordeaux) virtually every day. I wouldn’t even be able to guess how many tubes I bought over the years. I had a meticulous process for applying it so it rarely budged. If it did I could reapply it perfectly without a mirror, sober or drunk. At university this friend used to call me Blow Job Lips!
But then I went travelling and having perfect red lips in the mountains of South America and on the beaches of Australia and South East Asia seemed ridiculous and I never got back into the habit after returning to London. I still have a tube of the now-discontinued colour but these days it comes out maybe two or three times a year. But when I wear it I still love it!
It was only a matter of time before I delivered up a homage to Man Ray for a certain friend in NYC, wasn’t it?
I have a mirrored bedside table, which made capturing the reflected lips pretty easy, but I have had quite a play around in post production. The first two are my interpretation of the sepia-toned original and a colour version of it. The second two use reflection but have a different composition.
Which do you prefer?