As I’m making these posts, and reading about and seeing more work which is similar from links people are sharing, I’m becoming clearer on the similarities and differences of this project.
One thing for example is that many of the other work out there are a more detailed, close up look at the vagina, and mainly in colour, whereas this project is black and white and photos are taken front on in standing pose.
I was quite clear from the outset that I wanted to create a book that challenged the status quo on one hand but was not too confronting (to the mainstream) on the other. A one step at a time kind of approach.
I am also aware that I am wanting to create a book which is beautiful, and beauty is a fraught subject when it comes to sexual politics. It seems impossible not to confront these ideas when working on a project like this as much as I want to keep things simple.
Can I create a beautiful book without projecting my idea of beauty on the subject of the images?
As a result of doing this project I have been hearing interesting vagina stories and always encourage people to share their story if they feel up to it.
Perhaps I can add some kind of “vagina stories” section to this site, or add them to the shoot blog posts. Let’s see what comes of this.
If you have a vagina story you would like to share, shoot me an email :) Same goes with cool vagina related links you come across.
Yes, I was nervous and excited when I clicked “send invitations” on the Facebook event I created, a couple of days after getting this site up and running.
This was effectively the first time I have gone “public” with this project. Not completely public really since I sent the invite only to Facebook friends, and only women at that. But it basically meant putting myself out there along with the project.
Initially, perhaps cautiously, the event was invite only, but now attendees can invite others they think might be interested.
Fortunately a very positive response popped up on the event wall within a few minutes and more have been coming every day :)
One question that arose out of a recent shoot was whether to keep the photos completely plain or also include props that might happen to be around, like flowers etc. Well, no final decision is made, but I’m inclining away from props to keep the aesthetic and focus uniform.
The second vagina shoot was done almost a month after the first and at this stage I was still not clear on how many to do.
My initial idea had been 365, like in the 365 photo project, but that practicalities of that seemed a little daunting, also from the point of view that the book, with photos on one page and text on the other, would come to over 700 pages and would make the book prohibitively expensive and generally huge.
I actually also corresponded with the 365 project website asking whether they would allow a project such as this and they said no.
101 has the added advantage of sounding like it’s an authoritative book about it’s subject matter ;) There is even a wikipedia entry about this phenomenon. Who knows, if the vagina stories take off this blog might end up becoming a bit of an educational resource !
I have set up this website and blog to give people an easy way to see what the project is about and to get updates in order to remain inspired.
In other words I am ramping the project up ! :)
To date I have photographed 7 of the proposed 101, with a few more in the pipeline.