During our last trip to the LACMA on March 31st, 2017, my mentor Kristin and fellow mentees Natalia, Metztli and Textli dove deep into fifteen images from the archives that were made by female photographers. All of the images were new to me with the exception of the image by Diane Arbus. I enjoyed looking at them and holding a dialogue on their possible hidden or not so hidden meanings. I learned that female photographers have been challenging the mostly male dominated field since the beginning, which to me is powerful because it proves that photography is for those who want to convey the world that they experience, regardless of class and gender.
My favorite image was Self-Portrait in the Mirror at the Lodge by Nan Goldin. This image was my favorite because it was truthful and I really connected with it on a personal level. For the most part each image made me feel a unique way. Some of the images like Diane Arbus’ Russian Midget Friends in a Living Room on 100th Street, NYC made me feel curiosity, while the image The Hispanic Project by Nikki S. Lee slightly frustrated me as I felt it was culturally appropriating Latino culture without showcasing appreciation.
Other images such as Imogen Cunningham and Twinka, Yosemite and Nude with Hat Shadows sparked the conversation on how nudity in images doesn’t have to showcase a provocative vibe. Women photographers can celebrate the female anatomy and not dehumanize and objectify it, as may be the case with some male photographers.