Saturday, August 13, 2011

SlutWalk DC 2011

The journey to the event began well before the march took its first step.  I had a maddening effort that morning at getting my cameras back.  The cameras had been in for repair, which particularly bothered me in that one of those cameras was only 2 months old & was already damaged; and even then: Canon wouldn't honor their warranty.

And also: for several days I'd been trying to work with FedEx to receive the cameras back... and to put a long story short: they'd been behaving very much like UPS usually does.  It was a pain trying to either get the packages delivered while I was home or to get them delivered to the local FedEx branch.  I ended up physically chasing down their delivery truck -- on the phone with the driver -- as it made its runs along Mass Ave.

To think that only a month ago I'd had such a high opinion of both Canon and FedEx.

I arrived out of breath after chasing down the FedEx truck and then dashing almost nonstop to Lafayette Square.  Finding the group had already moved on, I began a jog south across the Mall -- losing a couple pounds of sweat in the process.  The day was comparatively cool, but the humidity was of no assistance.  Intermittent rain did help, but drenched some wonderful signs, makeup, and only made it feel a bit more brutal when the atmospheric spigot turned off again.

This was a bit of a tricky event to photograph, as having grown up among the rather puritanical Amish of Pennsylvania: my mind was jousting with itself between the thoughts of "I shouldn't hesitate to photograph these ladies because they're here to show their pride & I can help to showcase it" versus "I should not photograph these ladies especially at an event like this; I don't want to look like a creeper and I don't want my photos to end up being salivating fodder for every horny man on the internet".

This subsequently resulted in me being rather timid the whole time... particularly in that I actually asked many of the women for permission.  Usually I prefer more candid shots as it gives a more authentic look, but I felt a bit too off-kilter to do as much of that this time around; hence the asking for permission.

I also only took a few photos of those wearing the least, as I just felt too uncomfortable standing there with a camera focused on their body when I'm at an event all about deobjectifying the female form.  Though at one point I did laugh with a participant when I asked if I could take a photo of her chest... one of the few times I could do that without getting slapped.

(to be fair: there were also plenty of men in attendance & participating; but I didn't feel nearly as reserved photographing them... in general, men simply don't carry as many sexual connotations)

There were some powerful stories shared on the stage spanning quite the gambit of scenarios.  While I didn't agree 100% with everything (then again: I *never* agree 100% with *anything*), it was nonetheless a great event and it was nice to see the comradery between stage & audience.  The early rain may have drenched makeup and soaked the ink on signs, but it certainly didn't dampen their spirit.

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