(Note: “The Housewives” was a term I fondly coined in 2006 after I started getting shoot requests from private, individual women who became my clients. Many of the women who contacted me were married and in their mid 30’s and were doing the shoots as gifts to their husbands. 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 and the demographic has changed substantially over the years. 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.)
This is Elloise, one of my beautiful cousins. We shot one Summery afternoon in 2007 at Roodebloem studios in Woodstock, a time before I had my own studio. The shoot comprised of three different looks over about an hour: “Domina”, “Nurse” and a bedroom-y looking series in pretty lingerie on crumpled sheets.
I’ve selected a few of my favourites, with her permission, to share here.
This was one of the first times I shot with this super fun vinyl nurses outfit. I had the stethoscope in my collection from a time when a friend of ours had been in South Africa studying obstetrics.
Our shoot was kind of like a social get-together: during the same session I also documented her sister and a friend of hers. All four of us giggled and drank bubbly in-between piles of lingerie and lighting gear.
I asked Elloise about her sense of body identity during the shoot and now, since becoming a mother:
Since becoming a mom I am more self aware of my body but the cool thing is: I don’t care!!! I felt awkward about myself when we shot together for sure! Thats why I had to drink so much champagne!
I remember being very nervous when I walked into the studio to have the shoot session with you. The nervousness didn’t last long though… You were so professional, I felt at ease very soon. In fact, I felt as though I had been doing this sort of thing for years!
It turned out to be a really fun afternoon and the results were amazing! I still look at those photos! I would repeat the experience in a heart beat.