June 9, 2012

Notes from Look3: Ferrato, Addario Quick Takes. Lynsey's Aisha.

Axel Rose Ferrato

She told these girls to stay away from the guys in the band. Later that night, after hearing that Axel Rose got these girls to take their clothes off and had taken their pictures, Ferrato scared the hell out of him about liability (“have you heard the name ‘Roman Polanski?’), made it clear he couldn’t be doing that anymore, and then they destroyed the film together.

Rhianna Ferrato
“I really am angry with Rihanna.”

Things have gotten better in Afghanistan, especially for women.  That’s not saying there isn’t a long way to go, but it’s better.

The beginning of Lynsey Addario’s presentation involved a whole series of “then-and-now” images drawn from many trips over the years.  This second shot is terribly blurry but she juxtaposed a photo of a secret girls school under the Taliban with one made recently of the same-aged girls at a free and bustling public school and also a photo of Afghan girls graduating from college.

Addario Actress

The actress, Trina Amin, likes to just ride around, singing loudly behind the wheel. You’ll notice the male gaze in the background.

I also photographed Aisha. This was taken eight months before the (other) photo made the cover of TIME.  She told me her story over an hour-and-a-half. I really didn’t know how to capture here. It was hard for me when that TIME came out. I had been unable to do anything with the photo for so long.

UPDATE:  I posted this as a comment below but I thought I’d add it here, as well, since the post is a little schematic, especially if you’re not up on the photographers or their bodies of work:

As someone who has fearlessly and unselfconsciously documented both human sexuality and the sexual exploitation and abuse of women, Ferrato photographed Rihanna after she left her abusing partner. In the q-and-a after her talk/interview and standing in front of the image, Ferrato was expressing disappointment that the actress returned to her relationship. (It would have helped if I had put her comment in quotes, which I now have done.)

Regarding Lynsey, my treatment here might have been a little “inside baseball” but I tried to relate it as she expressed it. It has to be disappointing to have shot a subject and then see a colleague get a huge amount of notoriety for a photo of the same subject shot at virtually the same time. I should add, Addario’s image is much more stark and unadorned than Jodi Bieber’s.  If you sawthe Bag post on the Aisha cover, I was pretty critical about the way they did her hair and clothing.

Lastly, I have some real reservations about Ferrato’s decision to help Axel Rose destroy the photos he took of the girls. I imagine she felt she was teaching him a lesson, and perhaps chose to believe she was modifying his future behavior. I’d think that was a stretch though. And what message does it send to these girls, and women in general, that she would destroy these photos versus holding him accountable as one more male using his power and fame to exploit not just women, but girls and minors in this case.

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus