What better way to get back into blogging by writing a rant piece about a video I saw on UpWorthy. In a post titled, "A Dad Took These Photos Of His Daughter. They're Raising Some Eyebrows," we find a video about how a dad, who is a photographer, took photos of his daughter while they were on a trip. She is nude in some of them. He posted some of his favorites on Instagram and it started a controversy that inspired his exhibit and video about the situation.
This man's name is Wyatt Neumann. He is a pretty fantastic photographer. If you look at some of the photos on his site and in the video, you'll see that the moments he captures were ones where his child was carefree. Don't we all snap one or two of those ourselves of our children? Sometimes we post them. Sometimes we just send them to friends. As a photographer, he posted them because they were beautiful moments he wanted to share.
Then people started to say things about the photos, calling Wyatt sick and much more that you can hear in the video (I don't want to promote the negativity of it). Protesters of this even questioned the child which really is irksome. In one photograph where her hands are down her pants, do you think she is doing something? Why would you automatically think that? Kids do crazy things all the time. She may have ran outside like that and Dad said "Hun, look at the camera," and she may have been cold and decided to put her hands in her pants!
If we took a picture of our child taking a bath in the tub and they suddenly grabbed their crouch mid-shot, is it inappropriate? Or is it funny and innocent?
It's not like the man took his child and decided to pose her in 50 million provocative poses. She was acting naturally. I've seen parents dress their little girls in clothing that doesn't look appropriate because it looks too "adult" off the bat and some people don't bat an idea because it's a kid's version (which obviously covers parts and so forth). Any different?
Take a look at the video before we continue. I have a few questions that I would love people to respond to and start a dialogue with (which you can in the comments).
Questions: Had this been a woman photographer, would this had happened? Had it been their son and not their daughter, would there have been a different response? Do we automatically demonize men in situations like this?
If the father of my children was a photographer, I would be okay with photos like this because it's innocent. I would know him and his love for his children and his art. If it was anything otherwise, I would kill him. The only thing I would want is for him to run it by me because I am their mother and if I don't think it should go up, then it shouldn't go up.
Which brings me to this point: If Wyatt's wife is okay with the photos, no one else should care. Parenting is between two people if there is such a partnership in the family unit. If both parents feel that it's okay, why the grief?
They say that a child should have the right to consent to things like this as well. Which they should because it teaches them the freedom of choice. If they have been raised in a certain way, then their yes or no's will reflect on if they want something out there. If they have been taught to cover up or are scolded when they have been running around naked, then they may say "No." But if they haven't been taught that, then they may say "Yes" because they like the photo. They still may say "No" because they feel like it. But what parent is going to post pics if they actually ask their kid if it's okay and they say no? I'm sure if consent was present in the situation, he wouldn't have posted it based on what his daughter said.
His intention wasn't to take these photos and have this kind of exhibit; he was creating memories and wanted to share BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT ARTISTS DO! This came about from the Internet's response and what happened to him. ALSO HIS RIGHT AS AN ARTIST AND A PARENT.
I don't like the fact that the person who posted this on Upworthy says that he can't decide what to think in the description on Facebook. You think something. You expressed it. "Some of the images definitely feel creepy; don't get me wrong. I definitely was shocked when I first saw a couple of them." You showing bias and expressing it to your viewers before they even get to watch this. Poor sharing and reporting on your part Joseph Lamour. At least save that opinion for later on in the post if you have to have it. But that's another issue for another time.
Wyatt, you are a great photographer and dad. I hope that as an artist, when I have kids, that I can turn negativity into something powerful like this!
Thoughts, comments? Share them! Let's talk.
Til next time!