Self Portraiture Project

My self portraiture is something I’m working almost exclusively on at the moment. It is nearly all nude, sometimes distressing, but this is me expressing myself. If you find it distressing, please just don’t look. The more expressive work, or more explicit work, will only be available in the member’s area. This is one of the things that you are supporting if you sign up to the member’s area.


Self Portraits

The quote doesn’t go with the images but I like it anyway.

“Sometimes the most positive thing you can be in a boring society is absolutely negative” - John Lyndon (Johnny Rotten).

This self portraiture exploration is one of the projects you are supporting by signing up to my members area. Go here to sign up.

Fake Photographs

I normally retouch the skin of the people I shoot. I either smooth out or erase wrinkles, bumps, pimples, cellulite and skin texture. I think it’s important you the viewer of my images know that. You’re not seeing the human subject as they are in real life. .

Sometimes I also use the warp tool in photoshop to push areas in on the figure that are not socially acceptable - like areas of fat - I also flatten stomachs, thin out thighs and calves, change facial bone structure and push in the area above the hip to create a more socially acceptable S shape.

Why do I do it then? Because I photograph models and the images I make go into their portfolios which other photographers see. Most photographers want to shoot women who have flawless skin and the socially acceptable body shape. Agencies and companies who may hire the models for advertising also want the socially acceptable body shape, facial shape and smooth skin.

So in effect what I’m saying is that I’m sucked in to this ideal of the socially acceptable facial and body type for women. And this work I do with models is not me. Not only do I comply with it, I reinforce it by presenting my ‘adjustments’ for public view on an International scale. .

These images of Mona Gene had no skin retouching done by the way. I started to do it, to smooth some wrinkles etc and as I worked, I saw the beautiful emotion and expression Mona exhibited, slowly disappear before my eyes.

I’m losing respect for myself by doing this and certainly loosing respect for other photographers who do the same; which is virtually of them in the model photography game.

What do you think?

Model: @mona_gene_ . These were shot with no direction from me at all.

#itsfake #imafake #towardsthetruth#nonudity #nosexualinnuendo #artofportrait

Observations From Behind the Wall

More observations from behind the wall:

Many people in this ‘industry’ turn their noses down at the concept of ‘art’. Comments like ‘how can a blurred image of an unrecognisable subject, or a photograph of a telegraph pole etc. , be called art? Or there’s also the feeling that people who call themselves artists are up their own arses.

Art is nothing more than having something to say and having the guts to say it. So whatever visual form that expression takes, doesn’t matter. If you’re only looking at the visual, you’re missing the point. Look at the idea, the concept, think about what it means to you, inside and with an open untethered mind.

One of the great benefits, in a social sense, of art is that it has the power to potentially change the way some people will think about a certain subject because the subject matter has been presented in a new way, a way that hasn’t been seen before. The viewer can then see that thing in a new way - and maybe, their opinion of the concept will change slightly. So if you feel strongly about something, anything, then say it, and say it loud.

In regards to the model photography network, there are very few people who seem to be challenging the beliefs and motives of, well, anything. If you’re happy doing that, then all power to you, but please don’t exhibit reverse snobbery against those who feel the need to challenge, and to express.
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Model: @mona_gene_
Amsterdam, 2018

Censored, Packaged, Damaging Beauty

The natural version of the image can be found in the member’s area:
http://mikestacey.com/members-area/censored-packaged-beauty

Censorship of both the male and female body is now more rigid than we’ve seen in the last few decades - largely due to the sheer flood of nude and/or revealing imagery via social media. It’s a complex matter. We’re all aware of the social norm fo beauty and the pressure on women to conform to that - and we’re aware of the fallout - the damaging psychological outcomes. Censorship is one device that contributes to this by essentially “shaming’ various aspects of our bodies; genitals, breasts, nipples, butts and pubic hair.

I’m currently exploring this topic, both visually and otherwise. Here’s an interesting excerpt from an article written by Esther Young in ‘The Owl’; a student edited publication from Santa Clara, California. (https://santaclaraowl.com/). It addresses various concerns from a female point of view, whereas my interest is at a higher level, irrespective of gender.

‘Media’s treatment of the female body is a disappointing reflection of what this culture deems beautiful or ugly. In American culture, body hair is considered ugly and even trespassing social media safety guidelines. Even women’s hair removal product companies, though aimed at selling their razors and shaving creams to women, do not allow the appearance of actual body hair in their ads. This censorship conveys the message that a woman in her unaltered, unshaven state is unacceptable and even offensive. This upholds a double standard of beauty. While photos of bikini-clad women in their unaltered states are censored, naked celebrities photo-shopped to glossy, toned “perfection” are splashed across magazine covers and the same social media sites that censor nipples and female body hair. Women in their natural states are censored while photo-shopped images of the female body are used to sell and make profit, while promoting an unnatural and idealized standard of beauty. Meanwhile, ads showing men with pubic hair peeking out from the top of their Calvin Klein underwear are also freely displayed.’

Concept and Set-up: @staceymikephoto
Photographer: @shotbyminx

Photographic 'Art Nude' is Not Always Artistic 'Art Nude'

There is a large difference between photographic ‘art nude’ and traditional art nude (painting, life drawing, sculpture etc). One of the differences is the gender split between numbers of male and female models in each and also the gender split of the ‘artists’.

Photographic art nude is virtually all female models and male photographers.

These images are available as prints in my online store here.

Like? Or Like?

New years resolution. Don’t hit ‘like’ unless I have some comment to make about what I’m ‘liking’. I don’t mind if you do the same to me 😀

I’m not preaching or dictating. Every person is free. Almost anyway. Free to do whatever they want. This is just my take, which is that if I’m not moved enough to articulate why, then my ‘like’ is misleading and not worth it to the receiver. Do as you feel too.

#nonmillenialbrain #seekingmeaningfulcommunication #pipedreams?

Photo 29-12-18, 12 18 30 am.jpg