Why 'Morning After' Boudoir Photography is Absurd (NSFW)

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Why 'Morning After' Boudoir Photography is Absurd (NSFW)

A new “trend” seems to have rolled into the photography world. What is this trend? It’s called the “morning after” wedding photography session, and to me it's a little absurd.

So you already know my opinion on this subject, yet the rational part of my mind is still able to diverge the topic in two somewhat logical paths (even the path that I think is absurd):

1) If I were the bride and groom getting the images done, I wouldn’t care what anyone else thought because clearly I am are already vain in the first place. I obviously see the need to have photo documentation right after I’ve consummated my marriage. This is important - my ruffled and unkempt hair, smeared makeup, disheveled sheets, clothes strewn everywhere. My ass is hanging out of my scantily clad "bride" underwear. Now that is a work of art.

2) But let’s get real: Do I really need images of this? What is the point of having them? Nowadays the only reason us of this present generation take pictures of ourselves is to share online - more importantly, Facebook. Facebook is heavily, and somewhat unhealthily, ingrained in our lives- don’t deny it. It IS the ultimate scrapbook. Scrapbooking places we’ve eaten, friends we met, places we’ve gone, and epic parties that we’ve been too. We even use Facebook to validate marriage. Now all of a sudden the new trend is to document where and how many times we've had sex? I bet Mark Zuckerberg never saw that coming.

An article in Jezebel that originally discussed this topic references an image of Kate moss and her husband Jamie Hince. Despite my previous tirade, I have no problem with Kate moss doing this. I feel like the standard is completely different for celebrities, as they are in front of the lens 95% of their lives. It was probably impossible for them to keep the images to themselves in the first place because 1) they are narcissists at their finest and 2) they make money and remain in the spotlight by releasing the photos to the press.

In this video from Good Morning America, the bride states she plans to have the images framed and put up all over their room. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with doing that – your bedroom should be your sacred place for just the two of you. The room and all its decorations are just for you and your significant other. What I can’t grasp is why you would want something so sacred to be strewn all over the internet for your coworkers, perhaps boss, friends, and relatives to see. One of the couples stated they were so delighted with the results of the shoot, they posted the photos on Facebook and said they were going to show their children when they were old enough. You don’t want to see mommy and daddy gettin’ it on, why the hell do you think they want to see YOU doing that? They got the images taken because they want to show everyone how in love they were? Isn't that the reason for wedding photography in the first place?

I think some of these images can prove to be tasteful and sweet, but an image of you and your significant other lying naked all over the dining room table is way over the top. Just imagine your relatives getting a hold of this image knowing they’re about to come over for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m pretty sure they just want to eat their meal and not have to think about the two of you having sex all over the house. Sure, maybe in the image weren’t actually having sex but who is to say you haven’t before or will later down the road. I’m no prude but this should all be kept private!

 
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146 Comments

Christopher Hoffmann's picture

To quote South Park: "Really???? Really???? Really??????

As a photographer and as a potential client for this type of imagery, I see the value in steamy couples' boudoir photography.  Sex is meaningful and beautiful and moving in a way that very few parts of life are.  When I'm older and looking back, I want to remember this part of my life.  Isn't that the purpose of photography?

Maybe that should remain on brain memory, not a memory card. Having someone photograph you in these moments doesn't alter your "meaningful and beautiful" experience?

Because...you don't want me to?

I like having photos of the things I want to remember.

You do not like what Lauren said? Great.
Think it is opinionated? Awesome. So is all the verbal rubbish posted here.
What happened to discussing a post in an adult manner without personal attacks?
Oh, and to those who made comments about Lauren having some sort of personal
agenda etc, most of what you read every day is written in a way to either
persuade or inform. This is called news. An objective view does not exist.
Granted, sometimes it is not as observable as here, it is there nonetheless.
Content analysis bit of semantics and some semiotics. Take the time to learn a
bit about writing and you will start noticing it everywhere.

Lauren, from a photographer who does not shoot weddings at all (I am a photojournalist
and do the death and mayhem stuff), I reckon this is not such a terrible idea.
Maybe it will add another service and hopefully a bit more money to every
wedding photographer. Think a few lenses and that trip to some photo stuck to a
wall. That said, I can see where you coming from regarding the bit about it
maybe staying in the bedroom. I do not think I would be comfortable or inclined
to look at my sister-in-law all over my brother on some bed. Does that make me
a prude then? mmm....I do not think so. Does it make me someone who makes a conscious
decision about what I want to see? Yip.

Bring on the next one. Make it about how you hate another new photography
trend. I'll sit somewhere in a hole where the internet usually do not work and
have an interesting read about something I have not seen before.

Actually an opinion piece, by it's very definition, is NOT news. Some "news" outlets seem confused about this.

Christopher Hoffmann's picture

All news today is op-ed... IMO

Chris, I don't know if I'd say all of it is but definitely more than it should be.
In the past op-ed pieces were clearly differentiated on the news and in newspapers and that doesn't seem to happen as much any more.
And as I stated below I don't have a problem with Lauren's piece or with FStoppers running it (even though I don't necessarily agree with her).

News is an opinion. The opinion of the photographer/writer/editor. The moment a writer/photographer/editor makes a decision to include something but exclude another he/she decides what is seen/read - thus an opinion of what happened/will happen. Turn the camera around/change word choice/run story/don't run story  and it can be quite different.

All 'news' outlets do this. Some more, some less. There is actually no confusion in this.

I didn't say that news was not an opinion. News is supposed to be, to a high degree, objective but as you point out it is filtered (even unconsciously) through the individual who chooses to make the images or write the story. The decisions they make are based on their views of what the story is, their experiences, their morals, etc. So news can never be truly objective even if that is the primary goal.
I agree with you on that and I agree with most of your original comment.

I stated that an OPINION piece is not NEWS.

It's an opinion. Plain and simple.
There are definitely news organizations that throw a heavy dose of opinion out there under the guise of news. As the political system gets more polarized in the U.S. it seems to be happening more. I'm not saying this happens at most news outlets but there are some. I would say that either those organizations are confused about this or truly don't care.

And I wasn't bringing up this point to say that Lauren's piece shouldn't have a place on FStoppers. (However, they could possibly have had someone write a counterpoint to her opinion.)

Sorry about the late post but I just noticed the reply on the Disqus tab.

I personally like the idea, and see nothing wrong with it.

Lauren, 

Congratulations on having an opinion and stating it plainly. I'm amused in a bothered kind of way at the responses that tried to relegate your position on the subject as conservative, puritanical or moral. They seem to be blind to the hypocrisy. By hurling labels at you because you took a position on a subject that *they* didn't agree with, they embody the very bigotry they thought they were accusing you of. Your article wasn't about any of that, and so what if it was. 

You're allowed to have an opinion.

Thank you for embracing the privilege of having a voice and expressing it. Thank you for not defiling that privilege by confusing it with a popularity contest. 

Please stay involved in the trends in photography industry.
Please continue to form opinions that are your own and expressing them here.
Please dont give in to those who only want to read ideas that reinforce their own, and in turn want to shout you down into their group-think.

-Mike

Jon-Mark Wiltshire's picture

Gotta say, personally I think this genre is a bit strange and wouldn't do it myself, but how are these sexualized, semi nude images being shared online or on facebook any more "offensive" than the millions of other sexualized, semi nude images being shared online or on facebook? Why is it suddenly more inappropriate when it's within the context of marriage? If you're going to push for a standard, at least be consistent with it and speak out against all publicly shared sexual images, or none of them.

/confused

David Vaughn's picture

I think it's because a lot (maybe most?) people see a difference between being photographed looking sexy and being photographed having sex/after having sex. And with these particular images, even though they aren't really graphic or anything, there's still a suggestion of sex that makes third parties uncomfortable.

Joe Tallsalt's picture

I remember the outraged that surfaced when SOPA was a hot topic and it seemed everyone screamed, "no censorship". By attacking a form of photography that some people might see as a form of art isn't that just another form of intent to censor? 

I fully respect your right to your opinion and thankfully we have this thing called the 1st Amendment so bravo for your work regardless of the fact that I do not share your opinion.

KGB's picture

First the "trash your dress" photography.

Now the "morning after" photography.

You know the "wedding night" photography is next.

The sad degeneration of wedding photography continues it's ugly chase for ca$h.

I am thinking the point being of this topic is that "morning after" photography does not belong to "wedding photography" genre? If it is so - than its ok, its your opinion man. 
But who you are to say: "It’s not good for photographers, for viewers, or for those in the image."?
Yeah, try to tell that Araki Nobuyoshi (i wonder if you heard of him) or to Terry. 
Why not "morning after", it may not belong to "wedding photography", but it definitely belongs to "realism". 

"The room and all its decorations are just for you and your significant other. What I can’t grasp is why you would want something so sacred to be strewn all over the internet for your coworkers, perhaps boss, friends, and relatives to see."

Yeah, why do self-portraits? Why do nude self-portraits? Why portrait naked wives as in Araki`s series? Or why do what Antonio D`Agata does?

I mean you can take it on facebook or people who like to show-off and show there stuff on it. But don`t take it on photography... don`t narrow it down. 

Unfortunately, stupidity is part of "realism", too. Does this make it "art"?

Aah, you see - this is a matter of definition of word "stupid"?  Does it have anything to do with the topic of conversation? lol
Actually I think that this pictures says about "human" so much more than any "staged" wedding photography, but i never said that "morning after" pictures are art... i said that it is too much to say that "it is not good for photographers and viewers" 

My point was that not just anything is "real" or "human" must be photographed or shown. And if people "stage" so much pictures of them with clothes on, imagine how much they'll want to stage pictures with them "semi-" naked and in such intimate positions.

I had 5 messages today from clients about this.  They all thought it was absurd.  I would have to agree.  I work too hard to be a photographer who creates timeless, beautiful images.  I think this is a fad and I am not jumping on board.  

Almost eveything that is involved with the  marriage and wedding process is aburd. Their are only two exceptions, the cocktail hour(s) and when they serve the wedding cake. I agree with Lauren leave the porn to the professionals, amateur porn is both ugly and boring,.

Wow guys, what's with the nasty comments? Chillax aye, it's an article, and I thought it was funny. Just chill! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion's and just because someone's opinion doesn't seem to align with your's it doesn't mean you should shit on their parade aye.

I wasn't aware that this kind of photography is done, and now I know, it should all be burned. Burned I say!

To summarize the "beliefs" of the biggest part of the commentators:

1. Being paid is the supreme criteria.
2. If it's "part of life", it must be photographed and even posted on Internet. (I wonder what is not "part of life"?)
3. The only wrong thing in this world is to have an opinion about what others do. But when someone commit this supreme sin, you can (must) have an opinion about him and knock him down.
4. Other than the above, there is no right or wrong.

sandervanderveen's picture

I bet Mark Zuckerburg is the biggest prude with his FB censorship! :-D

Bengt Luthman's picture

Jeezzuz what a freaking outrage. The staff on this site does a hell of a job to bring you great material, and at the first sign of something that is not what you expect, your head starts to spin and your asses start to talk.

I think that it's great with more opinionated texts on this site and not just the bts and news, it makes for a more complete product.

It's like when Canon or Nikon release a camera that isn't perfect for your specific needs, then you think it's a piece of crap. If you'd think a wee bit further than the length of your own moustasches you'd see my point.

Christopher Hoffmann's picture

Interesting article Lauren. Can't wait to see more!

Not keen on the article - comes across as an over opinionated tirade.

Anything that is extra business for photographers is good right ?
What do we care if they're narcissists. I'd guess the same for people who do an engagement shoot.

I have mixed feelings on this one and to be fair will share them both.
I will agree with Laurens' opinion because that is how I feel, but at the same time if someone wants to go do this and there is a photographer that is willing to do it all the better. My take on that is I will never take a job that I don't morally agree with. Money to me isn't the end all in the world and I am not willing to drop my standards just to pay the bills, I would get a second job over doing something like this. Mind you I also will never shoot a wedding :P

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