Well I have internet, and am mostly moved in, so despite the impending holiday’s I will be back here writing. I had forgotten how difficult moving is, and with two people trying to negotiate and organize space, it becomes even more time consuming. I have even more respect for mom’s – I can’t imagine moving a household with 3 kid’s and their stuff. Well enough complaining, back to photography. One of the nice things about the holiday’s is hearing from people you normally don’t always keep in touch with. My first job in the photo world was at an agency, where I was lucky enough to meet some really talented and interesting photographers. Some of them were editorial/ad shooters, but many on the roster were 100% hardcore, old-school photojournalists. I have so much respect for people who are willing to shoot like that. My first love was photojournalism and it is not an easy time to be in the field. I have been very happy to see how well many of them have been doing these days. Nina Berman’s amazing collection of disfigured portraits of soldiers from Iraq had a great run at Jen Bekman. I remember the commitment Nina had, when no one was willing to criticize the war or publish negative stories, she refused to give up and got angry about it. And her commitment really paid off. Also, Jeff Jacobson released his book Melting Point and had a show last year, and as I recently posted Andrew Hetherington just released his new book (although he has left the agency.)

But back to holiday greetings, another Redux photographer, Q Sakamaki recently sent a hello email and I went to is website. I am so impressed by the commitment it takes to live the live of a PJ. To be willing to record stories with so much pain must take a toll. Q has put himself in some extraordinary places to try and capture these stories. One that I find the subject matter very compelling, and that relates to my work, is his story Lolita Syndrome in Japan

Some of the images are actually really funny until you realize that preteen female sexuality is being marketed in Japan and seems to be socially acceptable. Worse, that women have internalized it and are embracing it as a cultural trend. It reminds me of the Paris Hilton/Britney Spears ‘porno look’ that is popular in America. Try as I may wearing the Hustler logo on my ass is never going to seem empowering. But maybe that’s just me. It raises a lot of questions though, are these women doing this because it is the only way they can make money. Is it popular because it is a part of the culture, or does the imagery create the culture? Q, especially as an Asian man, I think is looking at a part of the male psyche that most men prefer to ignore or to put under the guise of ‘fashion.’

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