A married couple, friends of ours, moved to California a few years back. Their kids had been in my youth theatre and the parents were among my first backers. We go a long way back. It’s been difficult to keep up with them so far away, but we catch up when we can through phone calls and instant messaging.

My wife was concerned that the wife of the couple wasn’t answering her calls; that she was hanging up on them when it rang. I messaged the husband to check in and gently inquired to see if there was a problem. In the middle of catching up on the kids, etc., I get this:

“Full disclosure. The reason we don’t communicate much is that old guys photographing young half naked women creeps me out.”

To which I answered:

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that. There is a community of photographers here that do that as a hobby. This latest one I shot is very pleased with her photos. To each is own.”  And the conversation continued on as if nothing had been said.

Frankly, my initial reaction was to tell him to fuck off not only with his ageism (and he’s a year older than I) but with his passive-aggressiveness — but I wasn’t ready to throw away a 30-something friendship. It’s not the first time he’s acted in such a manner, but he doesn’t often do so, so it was a bit of surprised. His younger daughter has actually liked many of my photos.

In the Lutheran church, there are, I believe, three different synods. The one the wife belongs to, and to which he switched from another synod, is vile. I sang with them as a paid performer and I had to divert my attention to my phone during the sermon to keep from being outraged. They also reneged on an agreement for my services in exchange for the use of their fellowship hall for my shows (they had a stage) and I made them pay up. They are homophobic and a bit misogynistic, not letting women in positions of authority. My friends, are quite liberal, otherwise, and have even argued against some of those stances with members of the staff and congregation; but they remain because “it’s her heritage.”

I make no apologies for my photographs. I like the human body and it’s been a source for artists, sculptors, and photographers for millennia. The young woman I last photograph just today posted one of the shots on Instagram, praising it.

What really galls me, though, is my wife being shunned.

This will be addressed.


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September 8, 2019

Ugh, sorry you’re having to deal with that.

September 8, 2019

@queenofegypt Thanks…

September 9, 2019

Question?  Shouldn’t your wife be backing you up?  Unless she is totally against what you are doing( I don’t think she is)  And what does your occupation have to do with your wife being friends with these people?  And for the record your work is not of “naked” women…..I think they are in better the perfect taste.

September 10, 2019

@jaythesmartone We are clueless as to why their opinion on my photography would color the wife’s friendship with my wife. My wife doesn’t like that I shoot full nudity at times, but even she liked the photos of this last model.  Hope I didn’t answer this twice. I appreciate that you like my photos.

September 10, 2019

@solovoice Question? Do you think if you got top dollar for your work that these people would say anything at all?  I can see you becoming really famous soon….

September 10, 2019

@jaythesmartone I don’t know, honestly. It has been suggested that I charge, but I do this for fun and all of the girls I’ve shot have posed for free. There are models who charge and I can’t afford them. There is a photographer in my group who does get top dollar for his portraits, but he is a far-and-away better photographer than I am. He’s got it down to an art and he does classic-looking portraiture, that is,  he dresses his models in costumes and such that have the look and feel of the old Masters painting. He, AFAIK, doesn’t do nudes. In fact, he once asked me how I got young woman to pose nude. (The answer is simple: you ask them).  I feel that with this last model, a few things came together for me and that I’m getting to where I want to be.  The biggest problem is everyone has a camera now on their phones and filters can give a look that looks good on the phone and on social media. They’re just not interested in having an 8 x 10 or larger portrait. I also don’t have a dedicated space in which to shoot.

September 10, 2019

@solovoice It takes people like you who will not worry about the money and just do a good job.  I just wish there were more people like you who just did this for fun.  Money is just so overrated….