liberty on a confetti covered street

Photography is not just about art, it is also about politics and power. What is represented and how it is portrayed is decided by the photographer. How it is seen and understood is decided by the viewer. But this communication is mediated in a social context that shapes interpretation and meaning. Consequently the photographer and the audience must pay attention to this context. Complex stuff!

After my Gay Pride posting a person sent me a message that cut to the heart of these complexities. She wondered why I had represented the men at the Pride Parade but not the 'female contingent.' She asked whether this was because I found it ‘difficult to capture in the realm of emotion or physicality’ or because of the challenge inherent in presenting ‘the lesbian ideal with dignity and respect.’ Insightful questions that read my mind because yes I do struggle with both of these issues. If I do not capture emotion and physicality I fail as a photographer. If I do not show dignity and respect to the subject I fail as a human being. The stakes are high in posting any image but especially ones from such a politically charged context as Pride Day. The writer presents me with quite the challenge!

Here is my answer to that struggle; a moment from that day not designed to capture ideals (because I am not sure what they are) nor designed to represent ‘the female contingent’ (because this was just 1/125 of a second and one aspect of that day), but a photo that I hope conveys with dignity and respect a freedom of emotion and physicality in a moment of public companionship that I believe all people should have the liberty to enjoy every day.

I bet you never knew photography is so complex! I hope I have got this one right. Well tomorrow I am going back to posting pictures of trees!

Oh - and feel free to comment - on the politics or the art.

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