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Nipplegate - the funcrunch files

Nov. 12th, 2009 06:50 pm Nipplegate

For the last few months I've been handing out a business card for Funcrunch Photo that has a selection of my best concert photography shots (including several from this set) on one side, and this self-portrait alongside my contact information on the reverse:

Short shorts

I've gotten a lot of feedback on that picture, most of it welcome. But since I decided to put it on my business card, some of the responses have been borderline inappropriate, and some friends I've talked to about it think the shot might be too risqué for the purpose of attracting event photography clients. I don't really agree; I'm fully clothed, and not posed provocatively. When I hand people the card, if and when they flip it over to the contact side, I always say "that's a self-portrait". My point is that I'm not just showing off my body, I'm showing off my photography skills. I do primarily take photos of people, after all, particularly people who want to look especially good because they're performing or getting married, etc.

Still, when I need to re-order business cards, I'm considering replacing that photo with a more business-like headshot of me holding a camera. I'd really prefer to leave the one that's on there now though. Your thoughts?

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Date:November 13th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
I think it's great that you're now self-confident enough in your appearance that you're comfortable showing it off. :)
Date:November 13th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)

there's no denying it's a nice photo and you look pretty.

but think about it this way. would you present that shot on a corporate business card? of course not, it's not appropriate.

And when people are trying to decide whether to hire you, they want to see the business side of things. If I were hiring you to do my performance headshot, I'd want to know that my face would be more attention-grabbing than my nipples.

Could you crop it to a headshot?

Date:November 13th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
I'd probably switch. The concert shots give a good idea what the results would be like for that kind of event, so something that gives an idea of your range is good, but this doesn't seem like quite the same kind of photo you'd be taking at a quiet event like a wedding. Do you have a self-portrait that looks more like a wedding-type event (formal clothes, maybe outdoors)?
Date:November 13th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
I love that picture of you, in your original post. It grabs my attention every time. It says that you're self-confident, and sexy. But the message it sends has never been "I'm a professional photographer." If anything, "I am a great model" is emphasized.

It could be that I have a bias against vertical blinds.

I think you have better demonstrative photos in your portfolio. This one comes to mind:



Edited at 2009-11-13 03:48 am (UTC)
Date:November 13th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)
I have to agree that the picture that savorie linked is a better one for a photography business card. Ditto what others have said about the current photo emphasizing being a model more than being a photographer. A bonus of the mirror shot of you holding the camera is that, in addition to showing you *holding a camera*, it also gets a strong "ooh, clever" response that strikes me as a good one for convincing people that they want you to be the one taking pictures of them.
Date:November 13th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
I echo savorie's comment above. The photo she pointed works better in my opinion too.

Date:November 13th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
Bottom line, you want to be drumming up work rather than controversy. It sounds like the image is becoming the focus rather than "Hey -- funcrunch is a great photographer."

I think savorie nailed it: the nipple shot says "I'm a great model" when what you want to be saying in this context is "I'm a great photographer."

Edited at 2009-11-13 03:52 am (UTC)
Date:November 13th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
I'd replace the photo. You look great in the shot, and it is a lovely photograph. However, it is not nearly formal enough for someone who is looking for a wedding/bar mitzvah/concert/etc photographer. It's not just the nipples--it's also the shorts and t-shirt.
Date:November 13th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
I love the picture. Personally, I wouldn't use it on my business card, as that is a professional introduction. Then again, in my professional life it is generally inappropriate to flirt with co-workers. That being said, I wouldn't think it would be a bad one to have on a website or album...just not sure it is the first picture I'd want everyone to see. As I write that, I think that might be the key....the problem is that 'everyone' is a broad group. Some people will respond great to the picture, but *some* might not....
Date:November 13th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, I agree 'bout your body stealing the show, despite the really nice use of light and shadow, color and greyscale, form and formlessness, not to mention dynamic symmetry. Really cool, especially for a self-portrait.

But all that I notice after my eyes bug out cartoon-like and I pant a bit. ;-)