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.