Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I would like to introduce myself.

My name is Cwen, among other things. I have been modeling since July of 2007 - that makes it four years and two months. While I have never been signed with an agency or been featured in many publications, I would still call myself rather accomplished. I have a solid portfolio with a variety of genres under my belt, the strongest (according to me) being figure work. If there wasn't this lingering phobia of constant objectification, even subjectification, I could probably go somewhere financially and even popularly.

But I find shame in using my body exclusively to earn money, when I can't control the way people perceive the images I help create. Regardless of what genre I pursue, there will always be some creep wacking off to one of my photos somewhere at some point in time. I've traced some of my art nudes to erotic sites, so of that I can be sure. While I can normally shake that darker side of reality, I can't ignore the issue when the men (very rarely do I work with female photographers) in front of me are suddenly in half-shadow. I want to trust those I work with. I want to be respected. I want to use my brain.

I recently reached the point that modeling is utterly pointless. I'm either to rarely be respected as a human, or rarely respected as an artist. I'm to be approached by people to be underpaid, I'm to constantly lower my standards in order to make a mildly productive living. When I reached this conclusion, I also worry that I may have offended one of the few photographers I was working with for the right reason. This photographer made me feel human, made me feel interested in what I was doing, gave me hope in those around me. Everyone else I worked with that week smashed my perceptions, overworked me, and subjected me to the same trite compositions everyone is looking for. They broke me. I lost my joy in this part of the creative process.

If modeling can't be fun, why am I doing it? Though I'm on hiatus, I've shot a couple times since I returned from California (2 weeks ago). I enjoyed those shoots with familiar people. I felt challenged. I enjoyed the people I surrounded myself with. I could be honest. We produced greatness. I can't wait to share some of it with you.



  1. aww..... because of the anonymity of the internet, I can admit that I wacked off to one of your photos.

    I don't feel shame in it since your beauty is just the way I choose to release. I hope you can see past that and not think I'm a creep just because of my biology.

    You look like a girl I have some chemitry with that I just haven't asked out. It hurts a little to see your struggle as an artist. I wish you well.

  2. It's not my beauty. It's someone else's vision of me, not me. It's not biology that makes people behave that way. Biology didn't directly create the internet. It's people's decisions to sit down in front of a computer, choose an image, and have a go at themselves - at someone else's expense. Some people are fine with that and even get off on it; I'm not, and don't. Photographers and artists objectify, but in a way I can understand. Sexually objectifying me without my permission is disrespectful to my person, and the only thing making that knowledge bearable is the fact those people never contact me... Don't ruin it any further.

    And never ask me out.

  3. Hello Gabe, I'm so sorry to hear you've reached this point and that perhaps so many other models do as well. I shot with you at a workshop years ago and found you to be a truly inspirational artistic figure model, and remember you being very conscientious about poses you engage in and allow yourself to be portrayed. Now I'm sure a photographer or viewer could twist this around and perceive you in a way you never intended, and that is a challenge for all artists. Since your art is really an image of yourself, it's much more personal, and we can't control or know how anyone else will perceive it. While in many works the art nude has almost no popular perceived sexual nature to it, many blur the line and I find myself even torn sometimes between appreciating an nude image as beautiful art yet it could just as easily be seen as erotic and pornographic by others or myself. I have not seen any of your work fall into this later category, but again that's just how I perceive it.

  4. Well I'd like to thank you for being so bold as to do what you do and tell a story with what you have in front of a camera. Whether it be with your body or your awesome mug shots. You clearly know what you are doing as do the people you choose to work with.