Lego girls to the front
A fortnight ago I challenged myself to embrace my inner riot grrrl, and to post only photos of female Lego minifigures on Instagram using the #legogirlstothefront tag.
When she talks, I hear the revolution
In her hips, there’s revolutions
When she walks, the revolution’s coming
In her kiss, I taste the revolution
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
Did I accept the challenge? Yep.
Did I struggle photographing only female Lego minifigures? Somewhat. It wasn’t necessarily the subject matter I struggled with, but I found myself second-guessing my shots. Not the actual shot, more how it might be perceived by others. I guess I was more mindful of how a photo or a caption might be construed. As I was doing this as a nod to a feminist artist, the last thing I wanted to do was offend anyone, especially any women, with an ambiguous shot or accompanying caption. Not that I’ve wanted to do that in the past!
Did the challenge of using female subjects change the way I photographed? Maybe? I haven’t really had a chance to go back and look at the photos I posted over the last fortnight. But something was different about the way I shot the past fourteen days? I don’t know what it was, but there was definitely something different in the way I approached shots and ultimately what I ended up with. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something softer, gentler, more measured, in not only my approach (I didn’t curse nearly as much setting up shots as I usually do?) but also in the resulting images I produced. I’m not suggesting that shooting female subject matter made me softer or gentler, or that females are the softer and gentler sex, not for a minute. Look at the inspiration behind this challenge, Kathleen Hanna, and her “girls to the front” attitude. Kathleen could hardly be described as soft and gentle.
Yet, over the fortnight I feel that my planning, my processes and ultimately my photos derived some female qualities. Maybe these qualities aren’t apparent to all, yet there was undeniably some tangible deviations in the way I approached taking photos of Lego and the outcomes. Something that I hope stays with me. Something I hope I can nurture and grow.
Rebel girl, Rebel girl
I know I wanna take you home
I wanna try on your clothes
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
Did I enjoy challenging myself? Hell yeah! Not nearly as much as I enjoyed seeing others embrace the #legogirlstothefront tag and join in though. Here’s a selection from 150 or so posts that popped up on Instagram over the past fortnight.
To everyone who put their Lego girls to the front, thank you for joining me in celebrating strong women, both plastic and not.
Thank you for this challenge, it was nice to see so many LEGO girls being given the spotlight. I’m somewhat fascinated by your idea that you approached photographing the women of LEGO differently. I will be interested to see if you reflect on this experience in say 6 months?
Hopefully more people will join in the tag going forward. I have a few more images to post and will continue to use it. Of course it would be helpful if LEGO would actually give us more women to work with. This latest mini figure series is a disappointment when it comes to more female character to work with.
Thanks again Brett!
Thanks Shelly. I too am fascinated that it happened! I’m still trying to put my finger on exactly what changed and how, but I do hope, when I figure it out, it stays with me.
I am also interested in the changes to your approach and outcomes. Perhaps it would be an interesting way to reflect on this by gather up your girls to the front series and then comparing it with your previous (and most recent) 14 photos containing female figures.
If you are open to it, it could be interesting to let other people try and explain any changes they see as well. I would love to talk more about it and I bet Shelly would as well.
How I can this