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 mindful of, or have tried to be mindful of, is how people, athletes in particular, are portrayed in imagery.

Sadly, that isn't often the standard that usually gets one's work 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, I would never allow my daughter's image to be disrespectful or degrading. I would say 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 delivered to the client, let alone appear on a social media channel of mine. Of course, the exception would be imagery designed and styled in a specific direction, such as a boudoir shoot.

We need to do a better job as creators and companies, and the STV is setting an excellent example of this principle. No one should decide for an athlete if the image is too sensitive to publish.

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

We have to do a better job respecting athletes; having standards about how athletes are portrayed is a good start. When we see a viral post on social media that essentially focuses on a specific body part, particularly when it comes to women, that should be a motivating start to change. Movement and how the body moves is beautiful, but it can be harmful if shared in a degrading light.

As creators, some of you need to do better and be better. You're not only showing what type of person you are, but you're also creating an optic for an event or client that they may not appreciate. Honeslty, one that they should not appreicate.