I said "Every woman wants to be beautiful."
Sophie sipped her tea, gave me that look, and said, "Gender is a spectrum. I have some girlfriends who feel very feminine one day and then the next day, they feel more masculine. Yes, they want to be beautiful, but their idea of "beauty" is often different than what is seen in fashion magazines and what you're doing with glamour photography. They don't alway shave their armpits and legs. They would rather wear comfy clothes than heels and corsets. They might consider glamour photography as superficial, objectifying women, and reiterating society's un-natural or unrealistic definitions of beauty. These women wouldn't let a makeup brush near their face. Could/would you still photograph them in your glamour studio?"
A week passed by and I worried about her comment. Not sure what my answer was. Of course I could take a beautiful portrait of this women she described...but would it be a glamour portrait? Does glamour rely on the hair & make-up or is the attitude and connection through the camera enough (thus making the hair & make up superfluous "icing on the cake")
One night after yoga, I went out on a dinner date with Amanda, another lovely friend, and I shared these thoughts with her....
A big smile appeared on her face and she said, "Gender is not black and white. It's a spectrum. Some days a woman might feel kinda girly and others she might feel more like a tomboy. We don't always fit into these perfectly defined gender boxes. There are some days when she doesn't want anything to do with makeup and other days when she wants to feel like a glamour queen bombshell.
You, as a glamour photographer, are there for her on the days when she wants to celebrate her version of femininity at its positive extreme. Ultimate femininity is the experience you offer. All women are welcome, but not everyone will be interested and that's ok. You aren't trying to cater to or please everyone. You are simply a service provider with a specific clientele: women who feel like being pampered, playing dress up, wrapping themselves in pretty things, and celebrating a day trip to the feminine end of the gender spectrum.
What do you think?