Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rebel Without A Cause



When I found this faux leather jacket, I knew I wanted to do a shoot inspired by James Dean's look in Rebel Without A Cause (1955).  When I saw the gorgeous architecture of the Providence Public Library, I knew I'd found my location.  What better place to rebel than an institution for learning, right?




Since Dean's look is rough-and-tumble less-is-more, I went really basic here, pulling the color from Dean's jacket for the skirt. Only the blouse is vintage, but I think it really goes to show you don't need head-to-toe vintage clothing to put together an era-specific outfit.







By and large, I prefer to take my own photos, using a tripod. With few exceptions, I feel a lot less self-conscious doing self-portraits than with a friend taking my picture. Honestly, I get a little Ricky Bobby about it--suddenly I have no idea what to do with my hands.  What do I do with my hands?!

It's definitely not the most time-effective way to do shoots, but it works for me--or at least it did before coming to Providence.  I don't know if I was just spoiled by how hard it is to impress New Yorkers ("Lady taking her own photograph? Whatever."), but I've been really shocked at how people in Providence seem to handle photo shoots.  I've been hollered at every time I've gone out. While I was snapping photos of my Sew for Victory blouse, a stranger stopped in his tracks to watch me until I met his eye; during the tuxedo pants shoot, people shouted at me (dare I say heckled?); during this shoot, someone walked all the way up the steps to see what I was doing, and then spent the next 20 minutes staring at me while I worked.  I will say, it definitely helped with the rebellious, don't-mess-with-me mood I was trying to evoke, but man it felt weird. 

Sideways glances and brief stares are totally normal--I'm used to getting double-takes when I'm out and about--but we're talking lingering to the point of loitering.  I'm sure nobody meant active harm, but I wish people were a little aware of how it feels, as a woman by herself, to be confronted and stared at.  Honestly it might not be such a big deal, had anyone's tone been just kind or curious, rather than demanding and vaguely hostile.  The solution might lie in just not taking photos in the city center anymore, but it's sort of a bummer.  Getting a comment now and then, or a few brief stares, sort of comes with the territory of dressing out of the mainstream fashion, and I get that.  But I'm not sure feeling uneasy is part of the deal.

7 comments :

  1. I can totally see the James Dean influence. I've been on the hunt for the perfect biker jacket for months, but have yet to find The One. That situation sounds awkward. I'd be put off as well if a stranger hung around while I took photos. Hopefully you'll continue to find amazing backdrops that won't come with the creeps - Providence looks grand.

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    1. I was pretty happy to find this one, faux though it is! I hope to find some maybe less populated areas to photograph--the weather's almost nice enough to get near the water-- so I'm thinking that might solve it. Here's hoping!

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  2. Love this look! James Dean was one of my first loves of my life! And the library setting is brilliant as it has similar air to the Griffith Observatory in the film!

    Oh gosh, I totally know what you're talking about with photo shoots. Some days it doesn't matter, other days, especially with yelling happens, and I have had my fair share of heckling too, it's rough. I certainly feel uneasy at times. I haven't done any tri-pod pictures, 99% of the time my husband is taking the photos, which is great, but when someone else takes them it feels ten times more awkward!

    Anyhoo! Great outfit! :D
    oxox
    -Janey

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    1. Yeah I've gotta get used to having Kate take my picture. For whatever reason, it's just easier for me to play around with different expressions and poses when no one's around to see me looking ridiculous.
      And thank you!

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  3. great outfit!

    actually i feel uncomftable as hell if friends or the man are taking pictures of me ... when i shoot myself the tripod is my best friend. it's time consumeing that way but the tripod is not talking to me or laughing or even telling jokes ...

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    1. Exactly! It feels like all of a sudden I think I'm a model or something. I'd like to have a camera one day with a remote, but until then, I'll just run back and forth!

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  4. Love the Talladega Nights reference! :D I used to feel that way a bit, too, when I began doing outfit shoots. Thankfully Tony was great at suggesting how and were to put my hands (talented photographer that he is), so it didn't take long for me to stop feeling self-conscious about them most of time. I love that you take so many of your outfit snaps yourself, were it not for Tony, I'd be doing exactly the same thing, too.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* That jacket looks a million degrees of awesome on you!

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