Friday, July 2, 2010

Girl Photography Is About Emotion

The amusing part of girl photography is the blatant and immediate thought the two words provoke when used simultaneously. Girl photography is often associated with pornographic material. While pornography is usually limited to women (because pornography dealing with small children is both obscene and objectionable on all levels) in this connotation of photographing 'girls,' the truth is girl photography is about photographing females at all ages, young and old.

Kim Anderson and Anne Geddes are two extremely artistic photographers that are very well known for their pictures featuring children and adults. For Anderson, girl photography involves black and white photographs, which use their stark nature to contrast with the warm subject, usually a child or children. In Anderson's photography, the children may be dressed up in a type of period clothing or simply garmented in comfortable, modern clothes. The clothing has less to do with Anderson's photography than the children and the setting. The contrasts of Anderson's style with similar work is the focal point of Anderson's camera is on the warmth that radiates from the child, often giving the child color in the midst of the black and white panorama.

Anne Geddes, known very well for her pictures of infants, uses girl photography in still a different fashion. Her subjects, often very tiny toddlers or babies are dressed up, posed or caught in candid moments. Geddes photography is in equal parts about the child and the setting. Geddes may use a baby-sitting in an oversized champagne flute with a party hat on or a sleeping infant, cuddled up in a pet bed to equal effect.

For both women, girl photography is about evoking emotion and less about recognition. While the subjects of their photographs may be known faces, chances are good the recognition factor is limited to the families of the subjects. Emotion in girl photography can make the audience smile widely, laugh or even frown. In some of Anderson's works, the subject of the girl photography doesn't necessarily smile, but rather looks pensively elsewhere. It is in these thoughtful, candid moments that it transcends simply photographs and becomes an art form.