Art Education - Photography
Sports had always been an important element throughout my life, from playing a sport myself to watching Sunday night football, Monday night basketball, or going to a Sunday afternoon baseball game. Throughout my childhood, I was always encouraged to try new sports. Growing up I played soccer, volleyball, powder-puff football, dance, and pom-poms/cheerleading. Outside of sports, I loved to dress up and go shopping, but as I reached middle school and especially high school, I felt I couldn't express both sides of my personality. I felt I needed to identify with a "group" at school and had to choose between showing off my athletic side, or my girly side to fit in. I had to stick to the status quo. As I have grown, I began to wonder "Why do we have to choose between the two?
This photographic series is known as Athletes & Princesses. I created this series to communicate that you do not have to choose between being an athlete or a princess, you can be both. Athletes & Princesses was also created to communicate gender roles within sports. The sports world is thought of as a male dominant field, in today’s world women are thought to be encouraged to make a mark in the sports world.
The response I received from the beginning of creating this series was that every girl could relate to the series with her own experiences. A conversation I had with one of the girls who participated in the series was "I love to wear pretty dresses and shoes, have my hair and nails done, but at the same time I love to go outside with the boys and jump in the mud".
Athletes & Princesses showcases several portraits taken in a studio setting with artificial lighting. Each portrait displays a young woman dressed in a beautiful gown of their choice and tiara. Their "princess" outfit is accompanied with sporting equipment. A portrait in a series showcases a sixteen-year-old who loves to model and play soccer. In the portrait she is wearing a gold dress, against a light grey background, sitting in a pose with her soccer ball and cleats. All the photographs in this series communicate to young girls that we can do it all; we do not have to choose between the two.
Each portrait is displayed in color and edited to have high key lighting. The high key lighting creates a light and airy feel to the series. Due to the pandemic, this series will not be printed right now. It would have been printed as an 11x14 on glass, the glass print allows the photographs to be displayed elegantly. The goal of this series is to be elegant as a princess, but as tough as an athlete. Athletes & Princesses is a series that I hope will be eye-catching and give meaning to any little girl that sits in any of the models' shoes.