Change comes slowly to Japan’s world of photography, but it’s evident now that been a huge hormonal shift in the darkroom, if you will, that’s been going on for quite some time now. You just have to look at the titles on the photo magazine rack for proof.
Back in the day, when photography was a manly pursuit, each man, be he gadget freak or trainspotter, idol fan or amateur bikini beauty shooter, had his own niche title.
That hasn’t changed. But now sharing shelf space are mags and “mooks” (magazine books) like Mama’s Camera (seen on the right), Phat Photo, Love Camera or Cute Photographer, which are clearly directed at young women.
More shutter-snapping, gender whatever, is a good thing — if each clicker shares a unique vision of the world. But I am generally wary of these publications — and not because I suspect the majority of editors who choose the photos for them are men. Rather, I don’t like the way they set out to limit the objects in a woman’s world.
Open any one of these magazines up and you’ll find the same sort of pictures: cats and cupcakes, pastel-colored bottles of rinse and shampoo, daisies or one’s own fingers or toes. Could these really be the things girls are made of? I’ve no way of knowing, but what these images have in common is that they generally are gathered from just an arm’s length away, often in the home, with the greater world out of the frame. Maybe these photos do show how many young female photographers see the world, or rather don’t. What’s more likely, they are what clued in young photographers, well aware of editors’ tastes, know will get published.