So I took some headshots today. I think they turned out pretty well.
So I took some headshots today. I think they turned out pretty well.
Another set from a few years ago. In case you haven’t noticed this is Rebecca. This time we’re along the north shore of the Picnic Point Peninsula. This particular location is my favorite on the entire lake. I’ve also shot here with William.
Way back in 2009 I photographed Rebecca. I’ve shown other photos from this session but there were a few outfits that I didn’t get around to.
I’ve put off writing this post, and the series of posts that will follow it, for about 4 or 5 months now.
It’s not that I don’t believe what I’m about to write.
It’s not that I know it will be a lot of work to get all the topics covered.
And it’s not that I don’t really want to get this out there.
It’s that I think that too many people are going to take it the wrong way.
This post and the ones following are about what I look for in a woman.
It’s not about all women. Many, probably even most, women are not what I am looking for. It doesn’t mean that most women are bad, or wrong, or inferior. Just different.
It’s not about how women SHOULD look. Yes, I’m going to talk about physical attributes. Yes, I generally have a specific type. No, that does not mean I want need or expect all women to look that way.
Most things that can be compared between two people (two women) I have a preference. Or at least an opinion. Generally I’m open to different things and not too tied to specifics. There are three things though that I’ve come to realize that I require in a woman that I’m considering for a mate or a serious relationship.
She must be attractive.
A lot of people are going to read that, put their own prejudices and ideas on it, and think I mean a woman needs to look a specific way. They’re going to call me shallow, a male chauvinist and a misogynist. Fine, if that’s the only way you can see that statement then it’s done it’s job. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who thought those things. But really think about how you choose a mate. Would you really want to choose someone who was unattractive? That’s what I’m saying. I need to be attracted to her. However she looks if the question “Is she attractive?” can be answered with a “yes”, what more do I need? And I’m certainly not saying that other people need to think she’s attractive.
She must think of herself as attractive.
Because if she doesn’t think she looks good, why should I? I’ve been around too many women who put themselves down, who are never satisfied, who can’t even accept a compliment. And that’s just draining. Yes, you could certainly take this one too far. I don’t want a narcissist, or someone with no desire to better themselves. But in general she should be happy with how she looks.
She must enjoy posing nude for me.
I think this one is going to be the most limiting. But it is very important to me.
From a leisure standpoint, photographing nudes is something I enjoy. And I enjoy it even more when I can share it with someone I’m in a relationship with. This is no different than someone who enjoys motorcycles also wanting their mate to like motorcycles.
From a practical standpoint, someone who knows what happens during a photo shoot should be less likely to feel any jealousy or fear when I photograph others.
Personality wise, women I have photographed nude have been more confident, independent, daring, open, and comfortable with themselves. All of these are qualities that I feel are important. I’m not saying that a woman who doesn’t pose nude can not be those things, but I have not met a person who has posed nude who doesn’t have these attributes.
This requirement will also weed out a large number of women who allow others to make decisions for them. There are many people and organizations in our country and elsewhere on our planet that feel that nudity is wrong and should be limited to a very small set of circumstances. For a woman to decide to pose nude, and possibly go against the wishes and views of her parents, family, friends, religion, public opinion, and even the law; shows a remarkable ability for independent thought and decision making.
So those are my three requirements. In the next post I will talk about what exact physical attributes I prefer.
My friend Kelly posted the video above today on her Facebook page. I started to write a comment on Facebook, but it got longer, and longer…..and longer. So I decided to write a blog on it instead.
There’s always been pressure on women to look a certain way, the Victorian era had extreme corsets, ancient Romans used makeup, the Chinese bound the feet, the Kayan Lahwi place brass rings around their necks. To imply that advertising is the cause of how women feel about themselves today is disingenuous. All of the above examples and many more were done decades and centuries before modern advertising. Before TV, magazines, before books, and I’m sure there were ways that women changed how they look before we even had writing.
Second, where are women in this? Is the speaker saying that women are so easily manipulated that a mere image destroys their self worth? That women and girls don’t know and can’t be taught that what they see in advertisements is not real? If the problems stemming from advertising are so inescapable why aren’t they more prevalent?
Third, “The person is dehumanized and violence becomes inevitable.” Um, no. While making a person an object may be the first step in violence against that person, I strongly disagree that it is inevitable. To agree with that statement you would have to believe that humans are violent against all objects. That because I think of a tree as an object I have to fight my natural urges to violently attack it?
You know what I think is causing all the self esteem problems in this country? It’s the dichotomy between what we show and what we do. We surround people with sex but then we tell them not to do it. That a women’s body should be looked at, but not touched, even by her own hand. If the only way you’re allowed to be sexual is through what you look like and what you wear, of course you’re going to take it to extremes.
We need to teach women (and girls, and boys, and men) that sex and masturbation are not bad things. That feeling good is not something to be ashamed of. That loving yourself physically is loving yourself mentally.
I think this last part relates to two recent posts by Katie West.
Keesh Lorraine is an amazing model in the Madison area. You can see some of her other work on her Model Mayhem site. I first contacted her about working with gold leaf, such as the ones I’ve done with Rebecca. We ended up going a slightly different direction doing outdoor nudes at Devil’s Lake State Park. While not the first time I’ve visited the park (many times as a boy scout), it was the first time I’d photographed there. And I hadn’t been there in quite a few years.
After stopping at the Visitor’s center for a vehicle sticker, we went to the south side of the lake to climb the east bluff.
In the far left distance you can see the lake, about a third of a mile away. At this point we’re about 200’ above the lake, though we’d only gone 75’ horizontally. I’d wanted to go higher, but, um, I’m not in that good a shape. So we stopped here and got quite a few pictures.
Yeah, it’s been more than a few days since my last post of Rebecca. But better late than never.
So it’s been a few months since the last update on my Robert W. Kastenmeier courthouse experience. After not hearing from anyone for about 6 weeks, on February 10th, 2010 I called the offices of Representative Baldwin and Senator Feingold. Two days later I received a letter with a number of pages from Representative Baldwin. Click the picture to read it full size.
In it she recaps what has happened so far and then says that her office received a reply letter from the Department of Homeland Security on January 6th. Would have been nice if they would have forwarded it to me when it was received.
Apparently the Federal Protective Service, part of DHS, provides security at the vast majority of US courthouses but not Kastenmeier, which is protected by the US Marshall service. The current U.S. Marshal told an aide to Representative Baldwin that he considered the case closed because of Judge Crabb’s letter (page 1, page 2) from November 5th. It should be noted the the Marshal the aide spoke to is Mr. Steven Fitzgerald, who is different than the one interviewed by Bill Leuders for his Isthmus article.
The letter to Representative Baldwin from DHS is below, click to see it bigger.
First, the letter reveals that the Federal Protective Service has “no record or contact with Mr. Zytkiewicz". Well, that’s good because I never gave anyone my name, they’d only know it from the letters.
It goes on to say that while FPS provides security for 800 courthouses, the Robert W. Kastenmeier courthouse is one of seven pilot facilities where security is provided by the U.S. Marshal service. Well, isn’t that interesting. How many parts of our government don’t know what the hell is going on with other parts of the government? First it was GSA, then it was DHS, now it’s the U.S. Marshal service with is under the Department of Justice.
The letter then goes on for almost a paragraph about the often repeated lie that terrorist use photography.
“Therefore, as a precautionary measure, FPS personnel may approach individuals photographing Federal buildings in an attempt to ascertain their reasons for photographing the facility, so as to protect against security compromises.”
This is just so ludicrous. Much better writers than I have written pages and pages about why idea’s like this don’t work. Just a few days ago Stephen Haynes wrote a wonderful piece about Security Theater.
Now the last sentence of the paragraph is very interesting. It may even be useful to photographers to print out this letter and carry it with them.
“Unless there is a reasonable belief that criminal or terrorist reconnaissance activity is involved, FPS guidelines regarding this issue prohibit FPS personnel from taking any enforcement action, including detaining persons or seizing cameras or film.”
Now, I’m not a lawyer, and have no legal training. But I do know that reasonable belief, and reasonable suspicion are closely related. Meaning that FPS personnel and law enforcement officers must have specific evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that you have committed, are committing, or about to commit a crime. I highly doubt that taking pictures of a public building, standing on public property, making no attempt to conceal your actions would lead anyone to believe you are a criminal.
So now I guess I write some letters to the Mr. Fitzgerald, the U.S. Marshals service, and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Tags: camera, GSA, Homeland Security, law, madison, Photography, Representative Tammy Baldwin, Robert W. Kastenmeier United State Courthouse, security, Senator Russ Feingold
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I’d like to thank Dylan the Executive Producer of Sly in the Morning. He converted the recording of my encounter with the guard into a WAV file and tweaked the volume so it’s easier to hear. You can find it here.
I’ve also received a follow up letter from Representative Baldwin’s office.
It seems that the GSA is not responsible for the security of federal courthouses, that task belongs to the Department of Homeland Security. So Ralph Conner, Acting Associate Administrator of the GSA has forwarded my letter to Phillip McNamara, Executive Secretary of DHS.
One interesting piece of trivia I found when researching the Department of Homeland Security was this organizational chart.
It appears that Mr. McNamara is only two steps away from the Secretary of Homeland Security, and Ms. Wiggins is only one step away. Since the Secretary of Homeland Security reports directly to the President I can’t go much higher.
Tags: Big Brother, camera, GSA, harassment, Homeland Security, madison, photo, Photography, Representative Tammy Baldwin, Robert W. Kastenmeier United State Courthouse, security, Senator Russ Feingold, Sly, Sly in the Morning
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