The Problem of Women’s Portraiture

Today, my 61st birthday, with a brand new IPad gift from my family (tucked safely away in a box beside me here in the dark) I do hearby begin an official blog. After years of writing–on envelopes, stickies, scribblers and overworked* journals–I am beginning by reposting (is that stealing?) the best piece I’ve read in a long while. Why? Because of its truth, its timeliness, its necessity and its redemptive power. You’ve set the bar very high, my daughter, but in doing so you have freed and challenged me…Thank you.
*Why can’t I get the word “bejewelled” accepted by auto correct?? Ha, this works too–ironically with more honesty.

Mitzi Starkweather Photography


So I’ll go with what I know. (Write what you know, that’s what they say.) I know self-image and how it relates to women’s portraiture. When I started doing boudoir photography six years ago I found myself diving into these problems pretty quickly– it was unavoidable. And after evenings and days and weeks of feeling crushed by their weight, I am writing about them now.

What if I said to you, woman, who do you want to be?

Present-tense. Not future. Who do you want to be now? Because there is no neutral when it comes to existence. There is no “I am not being anything” (more often disguised as  “when I am [something]…”

There is passive being and there is active being. Passive being is ruled by fear ; Active being by confidence.

So, the question remains: Who do you want to be?

We answer readily when the…

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