So further to the reflections I’ve done over the last couple of weeks I have decided to change my project back to one of my original ideas; to document and reflect female UK surfers, to compare with the media stereotype of what a female surfer looks like.
I have thought long and hard about this, and debated a lot whether to continue with inland/coast or revert to female UK surfers. But ultimately I felt that I needed to go with my gut instinct, as it were, and try to do a project I felt had more of a future.
I reached out via a Facebook group of female UK surfers to find participants for my project. Initial response was good, a lot of people seemed to be interested and have volunteered to take part. I arranged to meet some this weekend in Cornwall, and also in the next few weeks in Devon and Wales too. I think a cross section of locations in the UK will help to give a wider view of female surfers rather than just looking at one location.
I also have a surf photography workshop booked in December as I might include surf images rather than only portraits in the project.
I also may look at comparing images I take with images from media of the “stereotypical” surfer, as well as researching more on how women are represented in surfing, from magazines as well as in advertising. I saw a photograph recently posted by Stephanie Gilmore, a professional surfer, on her Instagram in which she has a cut on her leg from a surf session, I then saw the same image on her sponsor’s Instagram page in which they’ve photoshopped out the cut – another way in which advertising is trying to push the image of the “perfect” “beautiful” surfer – below.
Original image from Stephanie Gilmore’s Instagram page[i] (with cut on shin):
Edited Roxy image from Roxy Instagram page[ii] (minus cut on shin):
[i] https://www.instagram.com/p/BbCMaQFH5Ko/?hl=en&taken-by=stephaniegilmore (Last accessed 04Nov2017)
[ii] https://www.instagram.com/p/Barfsi3lKoM/?hl=en&taken-by=roxy (Last accessed 04Nov2017)