The Ladies’ Entrance…

I have a very simple rule when it comes to photography … if I ask someone to pose for me, and I have plans to enter that photo in competition, I pay that person for their time and ask them to fill out a short model release form.  The person can use the photo for his/her modeling efforts and/or his/her social media outlets.  I consider that a fair exchange.  Yeah, I could do the “TFP” – “Time For Prints” – or I could tell the model that I’m offering “exposure” for their work.

Horse manure.  You can’t buy groceries with exposure.

Last week, I asked one of my friends, a model named Muse, if she would be interested in a half hour’s work as a photographic model.

She agreed.

So let’s get this started.

Ladies’ Entrance, 70 North Lake Avenue, Albany. BlackBerry KEYone camera phone. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Back in the day, the Capital District’s bars and taverns had separate entrances – one main entrance for men, and one smaller, discrete entrance for women.  Troy’s old South End Tavern was one such eatery with gender-specific entrances.

Another place – this one on North Lake Avenue in Albany – still had an old “Ladies’ Entrance” sign over an old alleyway.  The sign may have been neon-electrified; from what I can tell, that neon disappeared a long time ago.  And the sign itself often disappears in spring and summer, as foliage from a nearby shrub covers the alleyway.  But like some vintage advertising Brigadoon, the sign appears for just a few short months.

Which gives me plenty of time to get this photo.

I set up an appointment with Muse for a modeling assignment.

The idea I had was to show the “Ladies’ Entrance” sign as a symbol of so much that has been achieved by women in the decades since that sign first illuminated that alleyway … and how much still must be achieved by all of us – women and men – today.  Maybe we all have come a long way, baby … but only if you’re smoking Virginia Slims.

So here’s some of the photos I created with my model Muse.

 

You’ve come a long way, baby… Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.
Barriers. Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Then I went to the black and white views.

Struggle Against Misogyny. Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

One more …

Ladies make their own entrances. Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

After the photo shoot concluded, Muse signed some artist release forms … including one additional form.

See, the New York State Fair requires that any photos who show a person with a recognizable face must agree to an artist release.

And i think I’ve got one of these images that will hopefully make its own entrance to the Harriet May Mills Art Center in August … and hopefully break the #syracurse.

What say you, dear readers?  Do I have an entrant in this list?  Let me know in the comments below.