Hang around the wedding scene long enough and you will see a plethora of photographic trends and photo must haves the wedding industry convinces you that you need in order to validate your love. I mean, its not love right? Unless you cram 12 photos onto a double page spread of a mass produced wedding storybook that is apparently unique to just you two.
Where do I begin?!
Engagement shoots, save the date cards, photographic invites, wedding websites, first look shoots, storybooks, personalised thank you cards, photo-booths. If the £ 6 Billion a year wedding industry is good at anything, its convincing couples their love is not love without spending at least 10% of your wedding budget on photography.
Where brides are applauded for harnessing the power of photography , the sex worker is lambasted. Sex workers are accused of gentrifying sex work through Photoshop and Lightroom presets. Brides are applauded for adding a sweet romantic vintage tinge to their images.
We are in the midst of a photographic revolution and that explosion of photography and digital media is now. With democratisation, photography is an accessible medium that transcends class and cultural boundaries. Except if you are a sex worker. If you are a sex worker, photography is weaponised against you. Shame on you for being part of and taking advantage of the democratisation of photography.
Feminist Current published an article called Whoreburbia. In brief, its about the so called photographic gentrification of sex work. The use of photography to hide the apparent reality of sex work. Its not surprising that I disagree with Feminist Current and at some point in time will discuss the article further. As far as I see it, Whoreburbia is not the gentrification of sex work through imagery. Its the whoring down of middle class brides though boudoir bride photography. A photographic mocking of the lower class whore.
Bet you don't know what Boudoir Bride photography is?
Boudoir bride photography burst onto the wedding scene in 2007 and brides lapped it up. Shot seductively in coy poses wearing lingerie and elements of their wedding day (veil, bridal shoes, flowers) strategically placed to protect the virginal brides modesty. Printed, framed and presented to the husband on the morning of the wedding. Sexy but hardly x rated, no because that's what whores do. Sex worker imagery is risqué and tasteless and the act of desperate women in need of money but boudoir photography is apparently very classy, and timeless. Just a little sluttish but not an actual slut.
Nude photography that is middle class not whore class the ”My husband is not marrying a whore" mentality. The photographic equivalent of a marital cock tease. Implied nudity not actually nudity, god forbid a bride is seen as a sexual being. God forbid a husband sees his wife to be naked before the wedding day. Its the wedding industry, like the fashion and lingerie industries appropriating elements of sex worker work personas, the lingerie shot and saying its okay to be a little bit whorish. Just this once. You are getting married but this is the only time you can be a socially acceptable middle class whore. Its a special occasion after all.
Boudoir bride photography is middle class women saying its okay to be photographed nude, as long as those nude photos are not on the internet and are not integral to the sale of sex online. Its brides playing the whore for the camera and for a blissful evening of wedding night fucking.
If the author of Whoreburbia suffers from post sex work career choice regret then I suffer from post boudoir photographer regret. I am embarrassed to say I spent most of 2007 and 2008 photographing these shoots.