In general my attitude towards shooting is pretty simple. If it’s novel and interesting and somewhere I’ve never shot before then I’m ALL over it. At the end of the day, unlike most photographers, I’m really just in this for the sheer amusement of being somewhere different. As long as it doesn’t cost me a great amount of money or effort to be there then I’m “down” (as the kids said 20 years ago). So imagine how my mind reeled on Thursday night when I found myself at a male strip show.
So, initially and rather naively, I imagined that the women wouldn’t really be “INTO” this stuff. The old stereotypes run that men are simple visual creatures and women are… much more sophisticated and far too elevated to be drawn in by simple manly meatiness.
One of the most apparent people in attendance was a bachelorette. She was interested and engaged from the first second in the club. I love her expression here as if she’s found some grand treasure. And perhaps she has.
This young lady was celebrating her 25th birthday and her expression sums things up nicely. My photography lives and dies by the nanosecond as I try to capture the tiny timeslices of time that pass us all by so quickly that we don’t even notice. Her expression says to me … well, you tell me. What’s going through her head? It’s not all positive but it’s also not all negative.
At this particular gig I shot over 1100 frames. I trimmed it down to 215 by the end of processing but this, in my opinion, really captures the flavor of the event. Faceless hands reach out from the darkness to tuck cash into a chiseled dudes’s g-string as he looks down with interest. If only ONE photo turned out well from this evening and it was this one I’d be pretty damn happy.
Lot going on in this photo… firstly, this young woman was a treasure trove of expression. She was *SO* very clearly REALLY into the whole event. Even when she was sitting down and not in the thick of it she was fanning herself with her hand to cool off. This was obviously a very thrilling time for her. Then when it was her turn to get some attention I was half expecting her to faint away. When I first saw this photo in post I was rather shocked at the invasion of her VERY personal space as he invades the space between her legs. Then as I sat down to type this I realized that it wasn’t HIS hand that was invading her crotch. Can’t say I get it quite but it’s certainly a meaningful moment in time. The woman’s expression in the background is engaging as well.
So the whole thing consisted of four acts with four themes; each performer took it in turns to take on a particular persona and a small musical act was built around that persona. I don’t recall, honestly, what this act was about but I recall distinctly the dark and brooding nature of it all. The topic that I remember (perhaps falsely) is of a grizzled vet back from the innumerable wars that this country likes to become embroiled in. There’s always a story, shallow though it might be.
One thing in particular that I failed to understand was all this … well, for lack of a better word… man-handling. This dude’s a stranger and he’s clearly taken this woman’s well-being into his hands. She…. well… I don’t know. In this shot she seems to be very clearly not really enjoying it. If you look at other pictures of her (which you can find in the full photo set on the website) she seems game for anything. I truly wonder what the 100+ stories are of the attendees to this little party.
As expressions go, this one is gold too. This is another one of those pics that if it had been the only one that turned out well I’d still have been pretty damn happy. My only note of sadness is that I have no way to find the young woman in the photo so she can see herself… though I half wonder if she’d really want to see herself at all….
And we can close with some plain man-candy. These dudes have obviously gone to no small trouble to keep themselves in shape.
Drawing back a bit, this show was incredibly interesting in many levels. In the most basic way it reminded me of facts about the female gender that I had long forgotten. From a business perspective it reminded me to take a more aggressive stance with my work.
From my view of things these pics are absolutely brilliant. They’re not studio quality for sure but when you consider that these were captured on-site with no interruption of show and always staying out of the way of paying customers I think that I did amazingly. This is supported by the fact that someone from the organization scooped them up off the website within hours of posting. I rather regretted that I gave them away. This show has single-handedly caused me to revise my website pricing. This group raked in thousands last night. I spent 6 hours shooting and processing pics (which they will use) and I’m in the hole $3 for parking. That’s complete crap but it’s also my fault for not putting proper value on my time and talent.