Women Are for Looking At by Riley Halliday
Photographer: Riley Halliday (thriftsandprints.com, Instagram)
At first glance the title of this series is somewhat aggravating, “women are so much more than just outward appearance” you think to yourself. In that case, you are right. Women are so much more than beauty, than a body and a face, however often times female and female identifying models are conveyed in a very sexualized way in front of the lens.
I wanted to make this series with stereotypical “girly” coloring: pinks, iridescent pearls, and pastels, however the black and white images convey a creepier, old school sci-fi type theme. The pearls on the models face sit in such a way that they appear to be bandages from a plastic surgery procedure, however the model wears very natural makeup.
As a female photographer I feel it my duty and right to portray women in a powerful way, a way that is not to please the gaze of men, but to rather make audiences think, even if this is just an audience of one. This series was inspired by my anger and first hand experience with male photographers who see women’s bodies as a means of getting more likes, followers, and comments. More literally I was inspired by old 60’s sci-fi, think “The Twilight Zone.”
I shoot with a Canon Rebel t3i with a Sigma Art lens. These photos, like most of my portraits, were taken in front of a colored paper backdrop set up in my garage. I’m 18 years old working a minimum wage job, so I have to work with what little I’ve got. The model is actually my twin sister. I have no photo or styling team, for this series I styled the wig and laid the pearls on the face of the model.