Photo District News released their new photo magazine for women –aaaand they blew it. There is so much that could be done here –women are outnumbered in photojournalism still and the field remains male-dominated, effectively closing many opportunities for women. The hazards of being a female photojournalist are particular (ehm, Lara Logan, Lynsey Addario, etc.) and it would be great to have a publication talk about these issues in a smart, comprehensive way. But this is not that.
Now, I have to say, it is very well designed. And, yeah, some stuff in there is buyable (because that’s what women love too, oggle at shit all day + shopping!), like the handbags; I would just use them all the time, because they have tons of pockets, like most camera bags, and because pockets are overall awesome.
BUT. I still hate it. With all my being. Specially because it’s not for women —it’s a blend of Cosmo, Seventeen and some photography magazine. It’s part of trend of girlifying everything, and it’s getting ridiculous. Photojournalism is one of the few places in journalism (hell, anywhere) where a woman doesn’t have to worry about makeup and “cute accessoriez”. She doesn’t have to worry about being observed, because for once, she is doing the observing. For once she is not the object of the male gaze, and for once she can dictate the terms on how women, and men, are portrayed. Nope, says Pix, can’t escape that shit. Anywhere.
Then comes the issue of actual photography and actual photographers, an actual craft and profession that shouldn’t be disrespected with this kind of nonsense. I’d always learned that as a photographer you don’t want to stand out, you want to be invisible, and that this makes your photos better. Ehmm, anyone who’s shot anything professionally knows this is true. But this Pix BS (what, Pixie dust? really?) is doing the complete opposite. If women photographers start heeding this advice, and start SHOWING SOME SKIN (bleeghhh) their photography will suffer for it. You’re the photographer, not the model –you don’t need to look like one.
As a photojournalist myself, I think, Who the fuck has time for this when you have to worry about having all your lenses, batteries charged, extra cards, getting your subjects to trust you, actually shooting well, etc., etc.? You’re trying to cover a freaking war in freaking Libya and your lens covers are supposed to match? No. I loved going for something with pockets/100% practical/gives zero fucks, when dressing to shoot something. This is what you’re supposed to look like when you’re a badass and you’re doing your goddamn job.