Category Archives: gender portraiture

Describing the Project (in journal entry #1)

I keep searching for ways to describe the Gender Portraiture Project…today I decided to begin here. I’m fairly new to the blog thing, so I don’t readily think of this as a place to practice – this too will change….

My ideas for the project keep reorganizing themselves – I don’t necessarily change my mind, I just reprioritize.

Essentially, I am collecting stories, confessions, personas, looking at personal identity through portrait photography and language. Please see Project Basics for more details.

Today, most importantly, is showing dignity through portraiture and text or sound bites. How do we project ourselves into society? Do we change by circumstance or are we so well integrated, there is no need to be camelian like. Increasing exposure for gender minorities in a world of profiling, seems to be essential to our survival as a species. Simply eliminating one’s identity is not an option. Creating an intercultural dialogue for women is especially important since this is my life. Every time I meet a woman we talk about how we were raised depending on class and country of family origin. Family expecations are huge. Then societal pressures in family, education, job/career, peers, lovers, everyday public interaction while shopping and walking down the street – from those people we have never met, who judge us on first impression. I can not always tell what these impressions are based on – could be mannerism, dress, hairstyle, posture, speech…and so on and so forth….

Clair Dyptich

Claire DypticClaire Dyptic

This year, I started a new project: taking portrait photos of people suited up in their chosen gender personas. As it turns out, people have been exploring more than one gender – masculine, feminine, androgyne, and so on. It’s strange how we relate to stories of gender persecution, depending on hair length, skirt or pants, gesture, body type… while having a blast being ourselves, dressing up, and taking photos. It’s too bad we are so harassed by society. I am located in Philadelphia and am looking for more people to photograph. If you are willing to suit up and have your photo taken, please send me an email. You can bring your own outfit or work with me to make an original costume.