as a female photographer, does it ever make your job harder or do you ever feel like you aren't taken as seriously because you're a girl? i'm a girl trying to do music photography and i feel like bands just treat me like a groupie. just wondering what your experiences have been.
In the wise words of tourmomsays, “Act like a groupie, and you’ll be treated like a groupie.”
Frankly, being a female has never hindered my ability to play with the boys and kick ass at what I do. I work with a lot of different types of guys (those that respect women, and those that don’t), but none have ever disrespected me in my work because of my gender. And I think I can confidently accredit that to the way I carry and present myself. I don’t behave as if I crave male attention and approval. It’s not in my personality to be cute and flirty, and I don’t show up to shoots “undressed to impress”. I have a grand total of two close girlfriends, and then the rest are dudes. So I’ve become accustomed to “behaving like a guy”, so I don’t think guys are interested in treating me like a groupie when I’m dishing out poop stories.
I’m not saying you need to dress haggard and start burping and farting around the bands you work with (I still like to be attractive and know when to be professional and when to be silly), but if your presentation of yourself consistently elicits disrespect and negative vibes, then you need to reevaluate your image and your behavior if you want to be taken seriously. However, if a band you’re working with are just a bunch of sexist/womanizing douches, then move on and don’t work with those types of a-holes anymore.
As for the question of my gender making my work harder: I used to let feminist sentiments brainwash me into believing there was some glass ceiling in this industry that would prevent me from taking my talents to the next level. I was convinced that I wouldn’t be granted opportunities to go on the road or be placed in situations where it might be assumed I couldn’t handle it, being the “fairer sex.” But the reality is — or at least my personal reality has been — I wasn’t getting those chances not because of my lady parts, but because I wasn’t trying hard enough. I was too busy griping about how “unfair” it is for women working in a male dominated industry, rather than getting out there and busting through that imaginary ceiling.
Also, I should add: while I have yet to shoot a girl in a band, the majority of band managers, record label publicists, and publication editors I’ve worked with have been — surprise, surprise — women! So even if it doesn’t seem like it on the surface, there’s lots of girl power going on behind the scenes and I don’t think there’s any reason your gender should stand in the way of you getting in on the action.
Your essay on dbags was awesome - It is so very true. I'm going to show it to my parents as the easiest explanation as to what the definition is.
Also, just a thought, if you were interested in going to cornerstone, almost 100% you could get in with a 1/2 ticket or for free. Talk to one of your friends in a band or a client or something and you can get in with them. No doubt in my mind. I was able to get in last year with a media pass and only had to pay $70.
If you need some where/ someone to camp with and use a camp stove or anything. Your welcome to camp with a bunch of us.
Last thing - I read your interview for natural high. All I have to say is I wish I had a friend around here like you. I don't do drugs,drink, and am a virgin, as well as a christian. Where I live, it is what everyone does. Needless to say, it has been hard to abstain.
So thank you for your encouragement! And I hope to encourage you as well. :)
Glad I could be of service in providing educational material on dbags. ;)
I’ll definitely look into that. And thanks for the generous offer too! Like I said before, if I do end up going, I’ll let you know and we can arrange to meet up. :)
Rad! I think you might be surprised to find that there are actually many more people out there that share those same values. We just have to live our lives out loud so we can find each other.
I cleaned up my blog, added a filter so you can navigate my nonsense by what you’d like to look at (photography, illustration, web design, writings, or personal bloggings, etc). And finally fixed the Disqus comments! I’m excited (I know you aren’t), but I hope this way I can better actively use this thing and communicate with people. As always, thanks for following and checking out my stuff! :)
Thanks for sourcing your wallpaper. I really liked and now found more inspiration!
Also, just a thought, kind of random, you should come to Cornerstone! I know Illinois is pretty far but it would be a sweet road trip!
* That probably sounds creepy and it is not meant to be. Sorry :/
That blog is full of inspirational goodies!
Ha, not creepy at all! I’ve been wanting to go for a while now. A handful of my friends and clients who were either going or playing tried to get me to make it out last year, but I was already doing another road trip shortly afterwards. I think I’m going to try to make it happen this summer though. We’ll see. :) If I do, I’ll definitely let you know. It’ll be fun to meet some new people.
Haven't you posted a picture of your workstation before? I'm a long-time fan and I always have this curiosity of what your "setup" looks like because you must spend countless hours in front of your computer editing and creating. I just want to know "where the magic happens" haha
Nothing too magical.
ps. I totally tried to make this appear much cooler than it actually looks over here. Usually I’m sitting in my underwear, no makeup, surrounded by candy wrappers. The life of a freelancer is less than glamorous, haha. Don’t let Juxtapoz magazine fool you — we don’t all reside in trendy studio lofts and doodle on our Waccom tablets on Ikea desks adorned with our vinyl toy collections. (I wish!)
Corinne Alexandra lives her life as a voice of hope and aspiration to what she describes, as a generation that sees drugs as a “normal way to enjoy being young.” Not a fan of the false romance drugs leave on impressionable teens, she jumped on… (Read more)
I was recently interviewed by I Chose a Natural High, and I’m honored this awesome program was interested in hearing about my “natural high”! You can read the interview at the link above. But I also wanted to include my in-depth responses in case anyone was interested in some more background. Enjoy the novel below and please be sure to check out what Natural High is all about at naturalhigh.org.
Q: How would using drugs or alcohol keep you from engaging in your natural high to the fullest? A: Some people believe doing drugs “enhances your artist abilities”, but I don’t think I could be as proud of or involved in my experiences and my accomplishments if they were driven by some artificial substance rather than by my own creativity.
Q: Did you grow up around photography/design or what sparked your creative interest? A: My dad got me started on my first camera when I was about 13 and my grandpa was a photographer (both in the navy and as a professional wedding photographer), so he bought me my first set of hot lights with umbrellas and passed down all of his stands and backdrops to me. Aside from photos though, my life has been predestined to be saturated with art ever since I could even hold a pencil.
Q: Can you explain how Stuck with Pins started? A: Stuck with Pins actually came to be when I started a site to display my pixel dolls circa 2003. I then started playing with photography in 2004, then began doing t-shirt design. Then in high school, after photographing my friends and their bands, other local musicians wanted to commission me to take their photos. And with those photos, bands wanted to make Myspace layouts, so I took up graphic design and web development as well. The name “Stuck with Pins” has stuck (no pun intended) throughout this whole identity crisis I call my artistic career.
Q: What’s it like being on set shooting promo pictures?
A: It’s always an adventure shooting with me. Shooting “on set” doesn’t accurately describe what I do. That sounds too cozy and safe. No — my bands and my team are either leaping over ravines infested with rattlesnakes or picking deer ticks off ourselves; or we’re combating mother nature’s mood swings, having to run my equipment into the trailer and back out each time the rain clears, or sweating our fall clothes off in a random 90 degree thunder storm; or we’re fearing for our lives after breaking into an abandoned prison at night, or getting threatened to have the cops called on us, etc, etc. Sometimes I think the behind-the-scenes stories are better than my actual photos…
Q: It’s “rare” being talented, young, and not doing drugs or drinking alcohol. But being around the music industry, how do you not feel pressured by your fellow clients? A: The majority of bands I shoot don’t carry their party lives into their professional lives (not if they’re wanting to be taken seriously, that is). A lot of the guys I frequently work with like to use their Twitter accounts to let everyone know when they’re drunk, hung-over, or high, but I’m not personally involved in that aspect of their lives, so it doesn’t affect me. The bands I establish personal relationships with beyond our work are the ones I share similar values with. I’d rather hit up an In-N-Out Burger after a show and quote Arrested Development till 2 in the morning than get drunk with some underage scenesters at a house party and end up making out with the creepy bassist…
Q: You’ve been published in SubStream and Alternative Press. Do you think that level of success influences your choice to remain naturally high? A: Those are just small stepping stones to the bigger accomplishments I want to achieve. But they’re evidence that what I’m doing — staying clean and keeping my focus — is working.
Q: I’ve seen your blog on MySpace; it seems important to you to add integrity back into our generation. Can you elaborate on that? A: We don’t have enough young role models in this day and age. You can spend five minutes tuned into MTV and easily see that. My generation seems to think partying on the weekends, living for drama, and experimenting with the “romance” of drugs and casual sex are normal ways to enjoy being young. I don’t feel my generation is encouraged enough to explore positive outlets for developing and discovering who we are and what our true passions are. Instead, we’re fed false social “norms” by the media and pressured to conform to a certain behavior lest we feel like we’re missing out on something. There’s a generation of genuine young people that are pretty fed up with this. So I try to live my life as one of those voices, hoping to inspire others to join me.
Q: Has anyone helped or inspired you to live drug free? Who and how? A: When I was in 7th grade, I started going to shows, and with that, began seeing a little bit of the drug and party scene at a really early age. It never really appealed to me then, so when my friend, who was a huge AFI and Davey Havok fan, told me about “straight edge”, I jumped on the bandwagon. To me, it meant I could still be into the music scene, still be “alternative” and “edgy”, and still have fun and meet people at shows, without having to succumb to the negative aspects of the scene. With high school being some of the most confusing and peer pressure-filled years of a young person’s life, I accredit the straight edge lifestyle for getting me through it 100% clean, and with a handful of fun sober times to remember it by. I don’t claim edge anymore, but upholding that attitude then greatly shaped who I am now, and I still maintain the majority of those same values today.
Q: Why do you think you made the decision to live drug free and others don’t? What do you owe this decision to? What helped you make it? A: I grew up in a private Christian school up until the start of high school, and because I was a bit of a (wannabe) punk, I liked to rock the boat, question authority, and get in trouble for expressing myself. Most of my peers just listened to what they were told, accepted their parents beliefs as their own, and didn’t think much of individuality. So naturally — being so sheltered and impressionable — when they got released into the big bad world of public high school, the majority of them fell under the pressures of drinking, drugs, and sex. Whereas for me, my dad would drop me off at shows when I was 13 to “get it out of my system early,” and I got to explore what was out there while also discovering who I was and who I wanted to be. Also being a total brat and always wanting to go against what everyone else was doing, when I saw everyone was drinking, smoking, doing drugs, and loosely hooking up, I inevitably decided I was going to do the complete opposite. Because I discovered myself as an individual at an early age and valued making my own choices even if I was the only one doing so, I’ve never felt pressured to do or be anything or anyone that wasn’t truly me.
Q: Seems like most bands go out and party and still get the opportunity to take the cover of AP or to headline big named tours. Do you think you would be in the position you are if you did choose drugs/alcohol over your dreams? A: If I chose artificial highs over this natural high, I would have been wasting time that I instead spent doing what I love, developing my skills, and making connections within the industry. Maybe some people have been able to have their cake and eat it too, but eventually our vices catch up to us. And I’m not willing to take the risk of sacrificing my dreams and life goals for instantaneous pleasures.
Q: What is something you’re really looking forward to in 2011? A: I’m going to be going on tour in Europe with MyChildren MyBride and The Chariot end of March, and will be photo and video documenting the entire thing with my photog friend / best friend, Zach Andrews. I’m so incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to not only travel and experience the music scene in other countries, but I get to do it along side some really awesome people. So far, 2011 is looking pretty excellent.
Thanks for reading! And again, be sure to check out what Natural High is doing!