“The Problem That Has No Name”

November 1, 2014

“The problem that has no name”, as Betty Freidan so aptly wrote in The Feminine Mystique, described the ennui of the American housewife struggling with the sense of “something is missing” in the gap between their real selves and the images that the media and culture at large glorified and expected them to happily adhere to.

That paradigm shifted, of course, in the late 50’s and 60’s, and while many women joined the fight so to speak, and many  enjoyed the benefits, there was a silent segment of the female population who just missed the wave…who were terribly curious about what was going on around them, but due to a variety of circumstances (age, children, spouses, a mentality too steeped in the feminine mystique, etc) didn’t feel equipped to go off into this brave new world, and felt as though they didn’t quite belong to the new or the old at that point. Neither was a comfortable fit. I imagine this woman, with a foot in both worlds, her curiosity and craving for something unknowable – even to her…and I decided I wanted to try to tell that story in a series of images.

As usual, the ideal situation in my mind was not to be found with the time and resources I had at hand…and I actually almost canceled it the day before the shoot – feeling like I hadn’t had the time to flesh out all the ideas I had to fully do it justice, and struggling with finding the right location and additional models. I’m glad I decided to roll with the optimism and enthusiasm of the key model – because there are a few shots I just love so much. And really, these shoots are a luxury in the first place – to have people willing to jump in and play (in the midst of all of our normal work weeks), and try something that I never totally know beforehand how it’s going to go, is a gift. It’s all about the freedom of the creative process – trying things I don’t necessarily get to do with clients, given it’s time consuming nature.

So thank you, first of all, to my friend Carol, who was so gracious when I turned her small space into a complete circus. And thank you to the wonderful models, Gina (the main character – who did an awesome job), Lacee (hippy girl), and James (man in suit and hippy guy). And also to Mark, who generously lent us the awesome El Camino.

And a huge shout out to Cynthia at Boho Chic, whose incredible vintage wardrobe absolutely made this shoot. Do yourself a fun favor and go check out her shop!

And thanks to Pam Keller for the outstanding makeup.

So…here’s a little story

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