Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ Category

Chicks with Guns – Seeing RED

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Photo Assignment: Chicks with Guns

Seeing RED

 

You don’t kill animals. You harvest them

You don’t kill animals. You harvest them

 You don’t kill animals. You harvest them.

Not The Obvious Choice: If you think about it, I’m a very odd choice to shoot a project like this. I didn’t speak the language of outdoor sports, especially hunting! In my experience, affinity matters. For instance, I was once up for a commercial account for a golf accessory business. I didn’t get the account simply because I didn’t golf. Everyone that worked on that account had to be a golfer. In retrospect, that made a lot of sense. How could I possibly add anything to a golf shoot if I didn’t know the first thing about golf?

Now we come to “Chicks with Guns” : I’ve never hunted and have only fished on occasion. I’ve always lived in the city. Truthfully, I’ve never really understood why people liked hunting. It seemed barbaric to me. And based on where and how I was raised, it made sense for me to think that way.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

A Different Kind of “Shoot”: I fancy myself a wannabe video producer. Since the middle of last summer, I had been traveling to Maine every weekend, working on a peripherally related spec video project to flex my producer skills. When a client asked me to shoot a calendar for The Maine Sportsman Magazine, I didn’t hesitate! I thought, at the very least, the project would subsidize my gas expenses.

I also knew this type of project is why I got into the business of being a photographer in the first place. I wanted experiences that were both outside my sphere of knowledge and/or outside my comfort zone. And besides, this was the Miss Main Sportsman Competition—“Chicks with Guns”! What could be wrong with a photo-essay like that? Little did I know I was in for the learning experience of my life!

Jodi Jennings Haskell - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Jodi Jennings Haskell – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

I’m A Liberal from Connecticut:  “Hi! I’m Steve Marsel. I’m a liberal from Connecticut, and I’ve never fired a rifle.” Though I never actually said that, those words rang in my head during each call I had with the finalists of the Miss Maine Sportsman Competition to introduce myself for an upcoming shoot. Their way of life was alien to me: hunting, fishing, stuffing. Words not found in my daily vocabulary. But when I opened my mind and put my preconceived notions to rest, what I discovered about these “alien” people taught me a great deal about myself and my world view.

Britt Humphrey - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Britt Humphrey – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Ballots, Businesses, Bears, Oh My!: This project came at a critical time in the state of Maine. A binding question on the November ballot might have banned the use of bait, dogs or traps to hunt bears in the State of Maine – forever! Animal-rights groups had been streaming in money from out of state for months. The “bear-baiting” question was on everyone’s mind.

Carly Chapman  - Finalist 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Carly Chapman – Finalist 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

I discovered that thousands of people made their living in Maine as registered guides. For those of you who don’t know, a registered guide is “any person who receives any form of remuneration for his services in accompanying or assisting any person in the fields, forests or on the waters or ice within the jurisdiction.” There are more than 4,500 registered guides for hunting and fishing in the state. More people than I ever imagined.

Tiffany Waldron - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Tiffany Waldron – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Against the Odds:  Old school hunters were dying off, and sporting camps and lodges found it difficult to make ends meet in the modern world. For one, the competition for American sporting activities is staggering, leaving hunting and fishing desperate to keep up. For another, gas prices (until recently) had been increasing over the past few years, which really put a crimp in many businesses. It became harder and harder for sporting camps to remain viable businesses. So many of their customers drive from other states.

Georgette Kanach - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Georgette Kanach – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

What the average person doesn’t understand about the hunting industry is how many people travel from out of state to hunt and, more importantly, the economic stimulus their travels provide. Hunters and fishermen that drive up from other states usually stop along the way at the Kittery Trading Post or L.L. Bean or the like and spend money. Of course, many of those hunters come for the bear hunt.

Barbara Plummer - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Barbara Plummer – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

A registered guide told me that even prior to election day, when the referendum would finally come to a vote, hunters, who would normally leave there trophy bears with taxidermists in Maine, were taking their bears back with them to their home states. “Why?” I asked him. He explained that the out-of-state hunters didn’t know if they would ever come back to Maine. Even before the first ballot was cast, the state was losing money.

Linda Mercer - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Linda Mercer – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Both Sides of the Coin: Then there’s the larger issue, which is the really big educational concern for me. Most Americans have no idea where their food comes from, and many just don’t care. They think it’s cruel that hunters bait bears in the woods and shoot them. Perhaps these people think that their meat appears out of thin air on a piece of Styrofoam wrapped in plastic. “Blue-state” Americans (seemingly) refuse to make the connection with the food they eat in restaurants or put on their tables and where the food actually comes from. And I must admit that I was one of those liberal blue-state people. I thought that hunting was cruel.

Bethany Terstegen - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Bethany Terstegen – Finalists 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Let me make something clear: the bears in the woods have a much better chance of surviving than any animal waiting to be killed in a slaughterhouse somewhere, such as farm-bred cattle or chickens. The animals we line up in narrow stalls without giving an inch to turn their neck—they stand no chance of surviving! I think that my liberal brethren never think of that. The reason they don’t think of it is because they don’t want to.

Alyson Randall - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Alyson Randall – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Hunting and fishing in America is a birthright. It’s how this country was settled. And it is narrow and shortsighted to think hunting and fishing as simply cruel and unusual punishments. Especially when you consider the slaughterhouses and huge corporate farms that treat animals cruelly as a matter of course day-in and day-out. Where is the uproar for the rights of those animals? No one seems to care.

 

Starley Cashman - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Starley Cashman – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

A Look from the Other Side: You’ve probably heard the old saying, “A mind is like an umbrella: it functions best when open.” (Lincoln) That’s how I hope to approach every experience in my life. I want to keep an open mind so that I see both sides of as many issues as possible. True, I am a liberal, from a blue state, but the past few months have educated me. I now better understand where guides, hunters, fisherman and the like are coming from. I force myself to rise above the hypocrisy.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to pick up a rifle and start hunting tomorrow or next year or possibly ever. I’m not sure hunting is for me. But I learned something. I learned that I didn’t understand the issue of harvesting animals from the point of view of the people that were using them. My new friends gave me a new-found appreciation for what those individuals are fighting. I’m glad to engage anyone on this topic and speak on both sides of it. But I think that after this exposure, I’ve been informed and transformed. “Chicks with guns” turned out to be a very educational project for me, and I appreciate the opportunity to have experienced it.

 

 A very special thanks to James Eves for his generous spirit and gifted skills retouching these images.  Thank you my friend!

And to  Rhen Wilson for his superb editing skills.

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All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
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Our Bravest: A Salute to Veterans

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

 My Photo Session with Disabled Veterans from Our Bravest

Our Bravest Composite FullBehind the camera, my own assumptions and comfort zone can be rattled. In honor of Veterans Day, I offer this story about one of those occasions.

 

An Unusual Pitch

The project started out as so many do—a pitch over the phone. In early spring of this year, a long-time client, Theresa Fisher of CCA Global in Manchester NH (whom I really like!), rang me up and ran through the typical pitch I’d heard a least a dozen times. But my ears perked when she mentioned a “public service project.” I’ve made a point over the years to seek out public service projects, but my migration from still photography to television has spread me a little thin.

I was already primed to agree when the client sweetened the deal with a few more details. I can’t recall the entire conversation—my ADD/multi-tasking brain can only absorb so much—but a few choice phrases stuck out:

“—Fourth of July weekend—”  “—see the fireworks—” “—in New York City—”  “—put you up in a hotel—”

Theresa knew exactly how to whet my appetite. What self-respecting photographer wouldn’t say yes to this?

However, it was only after an emphatic “YES!” that I came to terms with what I had just agreed to. The realization hit me square in the face. I’d signed on to shoot portraits for an organization called Our Bravest, a non-profit that builds Smart Homes for catastrophically injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In other words, the types of veterans Our Bravest works with include burn victims and double and triple amputees.  I had never heard of Our Bravest.

As I set the phone down, my heart sank.

Exposing My Discomfort

You might be asking why the sinking heart. What was my issue? To be honest, lack of exposure. I’m not from a military family. No contemporary of mine is or has been in the military. I’ve never even met anyone disabled.

My mind raced, envisioning the injuries, the scars, the missing limbs. I’m squeamish to boot. I’m the kind of person who switches channels and looks the other way whenever I see something upsetting. I can’t even get my blood drawn without averting my eyes.  So imagining the day of the shoot, meeting these veterans…it made me – uncomfortable – to say the least!

But what could I do? There was no way I could reject the client’s offer. Theresa (Senior Vice President,Visual Merchandising and Branding) has always been a great supporter of mine. I’d committed myself to the project, and that was that.

 

Shifting the Focus

On an early Saturday morning in New York City, the day of the shoot for Our Bravest, my assistant Alex Mateo and I set up a studio in a function room in the hotel. I brought Alex because he’d done a tour of duty in the Air Force, and I thought someone on my team should have something in common with today’s subjects from Our Bravest.

When the first man to be photographed appeared, he rolled into the room on a motorized wheelchair. My heart quickened, and my equipment felt heavy and slick in my sweaty palms.

When I’m anxious, I become super efficient. I try to control everything I can, while I can, knowing that at any moment, I could lose any semblance of control I tried to cling to.

As the veteran, a triple amputee, approached, I felt that control slipping away. I hardly knew what to say, but the veteran didn’t need an introduction. As if sensing my nervousness, he introduced himself with an apology. “Sorry I’m late,” he said, slapping the arm of his wheelchair playfully. “This thing only goes about eight miles per hour. So traffic was pretty tough to get through.”

Without warning, I burst out laughing. And so did he. It wasn’t even that funny of a joke, but that wasn’t the point. The point was this man, who had gone through so much, used humor to snap me out of myself.

I had been so caught up in my own uneasiness, I didn’t bother addressing the truth. America’s veterans are us. We’re all the same. I didn’t need Alex to share something in common with them to make the day run smoother. We all share similarities, be it art, family, or a little self-effacing humor.

Any discomfort I had entering the studio dissolved immediately. For the remainder of the shoot, good banter and wit united us, and my empathy for the men and women who sacrifice themselves for this country blossomed. The resilience of the human spirit transformed me, and, thankfully, I will never be the same.

 

Special thanks to Theresa Fisher at CCA Global, Frank Siller and Paola Tornabene at Our Bravest for this great opportunity, James Eves for his great retouching, and Alex Mateo for his steady support, and Rhen Wilson for his superb editing skills.  

 

Steve Marsel Studio | Steve Marsel Stock | Steve Marsel Galleries| Boston Corporate Portraits| ICE HOLES on Facebook

All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
Steve Marsel Studio Blog | Contact Us

 

 

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and race in America. By Jim Buie Photography by Steve Marsel

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

In the 55 years since Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a city bus, sparking the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott,

America has made remarkable progress in the area of civil rights. Segregation has been outlawed, doors have been opened for minorities

to integrate into the mainstream of affluent American society, and whites have been freed from the guilt that comes from racial oppression. Who could have imagined in 1955 that the United States would one day have an African American president?,

Original Photography by Boston Advertising & Commercial Photographer Steve Marsel

Photograph ©2011 Steve Marsel

The victory of Barack Obama demonstrated that racial prejudice, as well as distrust and division among the races, have diminished considerably in the last half century. His election was a redemptive moment for the nation.

And yet, two years later, his presidency seems more transitional and less transformational. For many blacks, the American Dream remains far too elusive. Thanks to the Bush years and the Great Recession, many African Americans are worse off economically than were their parents. The income gap between whites and blacks has GROWN in the last 30 years. Racial discrimination endures in education, wages and employment. Indeed, a class divide has developed in the black community: middle class African Americans say they share values more in common with middle-class whites than they do with the underclass of poor blacks and whites.

African Americans still represent Obama’s strongest base of support. Just as John F. Kennedy broke a social barrier in becoming the first Catholic president, Obama broke a social barrier in becoming the first African American president. Just as anti-Catholic bigotry dissolved into insignificance after the 1960 election, it seems likely that bigotry against African Americans will fade with the generations that lived in and perpetuated racial segregation.

But much work is left to be done — especially in the economic realm — in making Martin Luther King’s dream of racial equality a reality.


Steve Marsel Galleries Blog Guest Blogger Jim Buie

Jim Buie

Guest blogger Jim Buie grew up in a small town in North Carolina during the turmoil of the civil rights era, which pricked his conscience about the social injustices he observed locally. He went on to a six-year career as a newspaperman, where he profiled Klansmen, met Martin Luther King Sr., Andrew Young, and Rosa Parks, among other “greats” of the civil rights movement.

More recently he served as a communications consultant to the North Carolina NAACP.  Mr. Buie is teaching English in central Turkey where he also writes articles for international publications.  His most recent book “Teacher of ‘Our Town’,” Jim explores his mother’s experiences as a teacher during the racial integration of her public school she taught at. He blogs about civil rights and current events at www.jimbuie.com.  Read more about civil rights on his blog .

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.

Actual text of the speech by Dr. Martin Luther King to kickoff the Montgomery Bus Boycott December 5th, 1955
We are here this evening for serious business. We are here in a general sense because first and foremost we are American citizens, and we are determined to apply our citizenship to the fullness of its means. We are here because of our love for democracy, because of our deep-seated belief that democracy transformed from thin paper to thick action is the greatest, form of government on earth. But we are here in a specific sense, because of the bus situation in Montgomery. We are here because we are determined to get the situation corrected.

This situation is not at all new. The problem has existed over endless years. For many years now Negroes in Montgomery and so many other areas have been inflicted with the paralysis of crippling fear on buses in our community. On so many occasions, Negroes have been intimidated and humiliated and oppressed because of the sheer fact that they were Negroes. I don’t have time this evening to go into the history of these numerous cases.But at least one stands before us now with glaring dimensions. Just the other day, just last Thursday to be exact, one of the finest citizens in Montgomery – not one of the finest Negro citizens but one of the finest citizens in Montgomery – was taken from a bus and carried to jail and arrested because she refused to get up to give her seat to a white person. Mrs. Rosa Parks is a fine person. And since it had to happen I’m happy it happened to a person like Mrs. Parks, for nobody can doubt the boundless outreach of her integrity. Nobody can doubt the height of her character, nobody can doubt the depth of her Christian commitment and devotion to the teachings of Jesus.And just because she refused to get up, she was arrested. You know my friends there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression. There comes a time my friends when people get tired of being flung across the abyss of humiliation where they experience the bleakness of nagging despair. There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amidst the piercing chill of an Alpine November.

We are here, we are here this evening because we’re tired now. Now let us say that we are not here advocating violence. We have overcome that. I want it to be known throughout Montgomery and throughout this nation that we are Christian people. We believe in the Christian religion. We believe in the teachings of Jesus. The only weapon that we have in our hands this evening is the weapon of protest. And secondly, this is the glory of America, with all of its faults. This is the glory of our democracy. If we were incarcerated behind the iron curtains of a Communistic nation we couldn’t do this. If we were trapped in the dungeon of a totalitarian regime we couldn’t do this. But the great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right.

My friends, don’t let anybody make us feel that we ought to be compared in our actions with the Ku Klux Klan or with the White Citizens’ Councils. There will be no crosses burned at any bus stops in Montgomery. There will be no white persons pulled out of their homes and taken out to some distant road and murdered.

There will be nobody among us who will stand up and defy the Constitution of this nation. We only assemble here because of our desire to see right exist.

My friends, I want it to be known that we’re going to work with grim and firm determination to gain justice on the buses in this city. And we are not wrong, we are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong, then the Supreme Court of this Nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a Utopian dreamer and never came down to earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I want to say that with all of our actions we must stick together. Unity is the great need of the hour. And if we are united, we can get many of the things that we not only desire but which we justly deserve. And don’t let anybody frighten you. We are not afraid of what we are doing, because we are doing it within the law.

There is never a time in our American democracy that we must ever think we’re wrong when we protest. We reserve that right. We, the disinherited of this land, we who have been oppressed so long are tired of going through the long night of captivity. And we are reaching out for the daybreak of freedom and justice and equality. In all of our doings, in all of our deliberations whatever we do, we must keep God in the forefront. Let us be Christian in all of our action. And I want to tell you this evening that it is not enough for us to talk about love. Love is one of the pinnacle parts of the Christian faith. There is another side called justice. And justice is really love in application. Justice is love correcting that which would work against love. Standing beside love is always justice. And we are only using the tools of justice. Not only are we using the tools of persuasion but we’ve got to use the tools of coercion. Not only is this thing a process of education but it is also a process of legislation.

And as we stand and sit here this evening, and as we prepare ourselves for what lies ahead, let us go out with a grim and bold determination that we are going to stick together. We are going to work together. Right here in Montgomery when the history books are written in the future, somebody will have to say “There lived a race of people, black people, fleecy locks and black complexion, of people who had the moral courage to stand up for their rights.” And thereby they injected a new meaning into the veins of history and of civilization. And we’re gonna do that. God grant that we will do it before it’s too late.

More info at http://www.thecorsetcenter.com/.

Your 2010 hangover is now officially over. Make 2011 your happy new year.

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Without even knowing that 2010 was the Year of the Tiger, I’m guessing that you will nod in agreement when I propose that we all need a warmer, fuzzier 2011.  That must be why it’s so pleasing to announce that next year will, in fact, be better—at least according to the Chinese zodiac. The Tiger of all hangover years—AKA, the year rife with cholera, oil spillage, and loudmouth tea partiers—will make way for the sweet, fluffy (preferably dwarf-angora-lop-eared ) Year of the Rabbit on February 3, 2011!

Original Photography by Boston Advertising & Commercial Photographer Steve Marsel

Photograph ©2011 Steve Marsel

So what should we all meditate on this year to make it a good one? Rest. Peace. Tranquility. The year proports to be languid and leisurely with a carefree and slightly indulgent air. Time to play nice and spoil each other. Do I smell gourmet cupcakes? Just don’t take it too far–procrastination will also loom. Railroad your diet, and that emergency bootcamp class will surely harsh the mellow.

Good taste, art, and culture will receive a bit more emphasis in 2011, as will personal development and slow, steady growth. Perhaps the most charming quality of the lucky rabbit year is that love, romance, and family life are well-starred. You will suddenly realize what it all means to you–how very lucky you are to have what you have and be surrounded by such amazing people, too.

While strife will still surround us—it can’t magically vanish, after all—the Rabbit favors peaceful solutions to life’s problems and much needed diplomacy. Last year may have left you feeling that all is lost, but chillax, hope is very much alive.

So enjoy yourself, entertain your friends, and take it easy! While you’re at it, have a coconut water – you probably need the electrolytes.

Lisa Miller

Guest blogger Lisa Miller was born in the Year of the Rat or the Jack Russell Terrier—she can’t remember. She is living and writing in enjoyable relative obscurity at the end of a driveway and the edge of a river. In true Rat fashion, as long as she doesn’t have to work in an office, Lisa will write anything you want at any time for money–anything.

Additional thanks go to the very talented Stylist Donna Laviolette Model – Amanda Wilson, and Retouching by James Eves Photography by Steve Marsel

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.

 

Deranged Chic Original Photography by Boston Photographer Steve Marsel

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Kate Moss lead us toward Heroin Chic, Mary-Kate Olsen brought us Shabby Chic and the newest obsession du jour is Deranged Chic.  The idea is that if you can wear the soaring 5 inch Christian Louboutins (and can afford the soaring prices), then any night-time-show the paparazzi capture is tres chic. Therefore; Rehab is tres chic. House arrest is tres chic. Insane asylums, tres chic.  (continued below photo)

 

Original Photography by Boston Advertising & Commercial Photographer Steve Marse

Deranged Chic Photograph © Steve Marsel

What are we to think of a society that values {seemingly} fame and beauty over career achievement, responsibility, and family?  My leading ladies (Nicole Richie, LaLohan, Paris Hilton, and the comeback of the century… Britney Spears) were shipped off to jail, rehab, house arrest and mental institutions.  Of course, nobody of the contemporary generation feels that people these fabulous deserve to be on lock down of any sort.  They play their roles in the American Dream, walking the red carpet and entertaining the rest of us with their 4:00am photo shoots in cars with other celebutantes! Miley Cyrus is 18 this week…   Who else can’t wait to see what’s in store from the newest young thing??

C’est la vie..

Elyse Lightner

Guest blogger Elyse Lightner is a twenty something, candidate for a masters in art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York City. Her internship with Steve, worldly  travels and obsession with museums have lead her to pursue a life surrounded by art and all things beautiful.

Additional thanks go to the very talented Stylist Alicia Barrett, Styling assistant – Elyse Lightner, Model – Ashley A., Hair By Darren Le,  Make-up by Elizabeth Moon, and Retouching by Emily Scalici. Photography by Steve Marsel

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site. As a end note, see these best generators for the money in our lastest review here.

 

 

What does color mean? By Kristen D’Amour

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Look in your closet – what colors do you see?  Why did you choose those colors for your wardrobe and would it change if you were in a different part of the country?  If you are in Boston, it’s likely hues of black and brown started overpowering your closet once the temperature outside dropped.  If you’re in Southern California, your closet is probably full of white and other light colors.  Why is this?  And how does color affect how we feel?

 

 

The main reason why people in cooler climates wear dark clothes and people in warmer climates wear light color clothes is pretty straightforward – it comes down to balancing our own body temperature’s with the environment outside.  Dark colors, like black, absorb heat, keeping us warm in cool weather whereas light colors, like white, reflect the light, keeping us cool.  The color you wear is also affected by the culture around you. For instance, Miami is heavily influenced by Latin cultures, where bright colors are popular, so clothes there are usually in shades of orange, yellow, bright blue and purple. (continued below photo)

Photograph © 2010 Steve Marsel

On a psychological level, how does the color you wear affect your mood?  Research on this subject is limited, however some evidence suggests that color influences the pituitary gland, which controls hormone levels and thus our moods.  There have also been studies about the affect of certain colors, like a 2008 University of Rochester study in which photographs of men and women wearing red were considered more attractive than in other colors. And around the world, colors have different meanings.  For example, in America, white means purity and happiness, making it an obvious color choice for wedding dresses.  However, in eastern cultures, white symbolizes death and is worn to funerals.

This is all consistent, for the most part, with what you see from the fashion and merchandising industries.  For fall/winter, black is usually more prominent on the runway and in stores than bright colors, which are seen more in spring/summer collections.  This all results in why a closet in Boston looks quite different from one in Southern California.

 

Kristen D’ Amour

Kristen D’Amour is the Founder/Owner of the clothing menu, a fashion blog and online boutique that supports independent fashion designers.

Special thanks go to the very talented Stylist Terry J. Wheaton,  Make-up by Jeni Teran The incredible retouching of  Mr. James Eves, and Photo Editor Raquel Vidal. Photograph by Steve Marsel

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.