Glamour Photography by Jay Kilgore

A good photographer is a VOYEUR!

That’s right, I said it.

Any photographer that is worth his or her weight in gold, is a voyeur.

Now when I say voyeur, I’m not talking about the creeper that looks into your window when you’re changing…well..some might, but not my point.

Photography is about capturing the essence of the person, or at least I feel that way. It’s not about capturing the person as WE feel they should be captured, but capturing them the way they normally are and how they’re most comfortable. I have witnessed hundreds of photographers tell models; “Turn this way, now suck in your gut. Now drop your chin, throw your shoulders back and give me a lips parted look while ‘smiling’ with your eyes. Keep your legs bent but pelvis thrust towards me” Holy crap thinking about that gave me a headache!

Before we go any further, lets look and see what the defnintion of a voyeur is’

However, in today’s society the concept of voyeurism has evolved, especially in popular culture. Non-pornographic reality television programs such as Survivor and The Real World, are prime examples of voyeurism, where viewers (the voyeur) are granted an intimate interaction with a subject group or individual. Although not necessarily “voyeurism” in its original definition, as individuals in these given situations are aware of their audience, the concept behind “reality TV” is to allow unscripted social interaction with limited outside interference or influence. As such, the term still maintains its sexual connotations.

The term comes from the French voyeur, “one who looks”. A male voyeur is commonly labeled “Peeping Tom”, a term which originates from the Lady Godiva legend. However, that term is usually applied to a male who observes somebody through their window, and not in a public place.

Most people think of sex when it comes to voyeurism, and yes, this is where the ideal mainly comes from. However, as the wikipedia post illustrates, it has evolved into more than just Peeping Toms. Photographer friends; how many times have you said “Just pretend I’m not here” or “The lens is an extension of my eye” and things of that nature? I’ll bet everyone has said it as it comes with the job. I’ve said it and meant it. Why? when the lights come on and the camera starts clicking, most people tend to freeze up or act for the camera. Those photos are obvious in nature and usually offer nothing good to the photographer, art director and everyone else on the set. Instead, having the person act natural and being themselves offers us a glimps into their private lives. Something most photographers are purveyors of. Need more proof? Models, how many times has a photographer said “Give me a look like you’re looking at Brad Pitt” or some other hot actor guy? They want to elicit a look that is reserved for when you do see Brad Pitt or Colin Farrell. They want to see something different than what you’re giving, hence they are voyeurs.

I am a true voyeur through and through. I love seeing people be normal and themselves. Part of my connection is getting past how THEY think I want them to act, and having them be themselves. When people break past that barrier, that’s when photography and connection begans. I’ve had many photographers tell me “I’ve been shooting X for x-years and I can’t get those looks from her!” That’s because you’re not eliciting those looks from her!

Agree? Disagree? Sound off!

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Top! All images and videos © 1999-2018 Jay Kilgore Photography, LLC unless indicated. | 2257 info
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