Objectification | the act of degrading someone to the status of a mere object.

I read an article today regarding the Swiss Gymnastics Federation's ban on suggestive photos. (https://lnkd.in/eUhFJW4A)

As a professional photographer, one aspect that I've always been, or have tried to be mindful of, is how people, athletes in particular, are portrayed in imagery.

Sadly, often times that isn't the standard that usually gets one's work to viral status or exposure. I've never been one to focus on that component of my business but it's more commonplace than not.

As a parent of an athlete, under no circumstance would it be acceptable to use my daughter's image in a way that is disrespectful or degrading. I would say the same the same about one of my sons.

Because of that, I've always taken a stance that no image that may be considered potentially degrading or disrespectful will ever make a final gallery that is delivered to the client let alone make an appearance on a social media channel of mine. The exception, of course, would be imagery that is designed and styled in a specific direction, such as a boudoir shoot.

I believe as creators and companies we need to do a better job and the STV is setting a wonderful example of this principle. No one should make a decision for an athlete if the image is potentially considered sensitive in nature to publish it.

Companies and schools (collegiate and high school) need to hold their contractors to higher standards. Companies also need to protect their name and those competing in their events when they allow access to their events by outside press/photographers not officially affiliated with the event directly.

We have to do a better job respecting athletes and having standards in place about how athletes are portrayed is a good start. I've never seen a viral post on social media that didn't focus on a specific body part, particularly when it comes to women and that should be a motivating start to change. Movement is beautiful and the way the body moves is beautiful, but it can be harmful if shared in a light that is degrading.