(Please note: “The Housewives” was a term I fondly coined in 2006 after I started getting shoot requests from private individual women. The folder in my archives is still called this and so I’ve stuck to it, in part just for the irony. Most of these women are not “housewives” at all, but strong independent and forward thinking women who I have had the honour of documenting. All are private commissions, some I’m still in contact with, others I’ve totally lost contact with, some have become friends, some may wish not to have their real names used, others don’t mind, some may have their faces obscured for privacy reasons, others have generously shared their experiences of being photographed. When posting under “The Housewives” it means I am choosing some of my favourite images from one of these shoots publishing them here along with my and or her experiences and memories).
I got a mail from D commissioning another shoot during 2008.
We had worked together one year previously when I shot her in Johannesburg after she’d heard my talk on TalkRadio 702 in Gauteng about the nude commissioned shoots I was doing in Cape Town.
This time, the shoot was based solely on inspiration from her husband (it would be a gift to him again) and thus it differentiated hugely from any other shoots I had done in the past since most of my work was created from the feminine perspective and not from that of the male gaze.
The shoot we did together in 2007 had been mostly shot in a makeshift studio space set up in their home. There was only one look , a “strip tease” theme, wihc was shot using D’s home itself as the backdrop.
I think that the relationship created between the fantasy of seeing his wife in as the subject in the image and having her placed in their own home, was what inspired most of the 2008 shoot.
My husband loved the first pictures we took and wanted more. He commissioned the shoot and even researched the poses we did. (Do not ask how!) Do you not remember we got a set of instructions from him!!
The whole shoot was styled around their home and the resulting images are definitely defined by her partners ideals or fantasies. We shot three “looks” during the day, one in the kitchen, one in the outside entertainment area and the last one in the pool.
The images are very voyeuristic and an interesting study in approaching the subject of femininity from the male perspective specifically.
They are not a style I ever shoot in actually and defining what sets my style apart from this one is a hard one. I can instinctively explain it as the difference between the male gaze and my approach to image making of women (which comes from a more feminist perspective). At the same time the images are also just simply intimate and belong to this couple and their relationship.