Tag Archives: color photography

Now booking boudoir sessions!!

Greetings fellow followers, it has been a moment since my last post. I have been working diligently to get this new prospect off the ground. My website has not been updated yet, but I wanted to share the news here with you first!

I am now booking boudoir sessions!!!

I will be traveling out of the country for the first three weeks of August, but am booking boudoir sessions for when I get back. You can reach me through my website Courtney Penzato Photography, at courtney@courtneypenzato.com, Facebook and Instagram @thelensbaby23.

Here are some samples of my most recent shoot with the lovely bombshell, Harpy Anna. Follow her Instagram @e.money.art. 

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Anti-Sexist Advertisement

My blog is traditionally a curation of my work, I also use it as a place to discuss things that concern me as a woman, an artist and a human being. Today I want to talk about sex(ism). Its rampant, despite the fact that this is 2017, sexism is everywhere. I experience it on a personal level as well as see people fall prey to it on a daily basis. I am here to tell you that we have had it. The idea of a perfect body, perfect hair, perfect smile, perfect smell, perfect image is false and absurd because we live in an imperfect world and without chaos, nature could not actually do its thing… However though this chaos comes order, and with this order comes imperfect perfection in all things.

Advertisements spread the cancer of sexism like Coca Cola sells high-fructose corn syrup. It is perpetuated with an idea of beauty that simply isn’t real and fueled by capitalism. Let me let you in on a secret, all bodies are good bodies. Period. Here is another secret, we are all human beings. We all poop, have body hair, experience pain and love and so on. Men have nipples because all babies are formed in the womb with the intention of becoming female, it’s not until later, when the sex organs develop that it is decided if those nipples will eventually become breasts. We are all feminine and we are all masculine, and however you feel the most comfortable is where you are meant to be.

In discussing body hair and advertising, here is a lesson on why and when women began shaving their armpits:

It wasn’t until 1915 that American women began shaving under their arms. The reason they did so was directly related to advertising! The sleeveless dress made its debut in the fashion world in a Harper’s Bazaar ad. Modern dancing and sleeveless dresses made objectionable hair out! And then of course, a flood of anti-armpit hair ads followed. Before long, being hairless was a thing and body hair (being human) was something to be embarrassed about. It was also was another way for marketeers to tell women how to feel about their bodies, and people got rich because of it. The idea that someone profits off of our insecurities makes me sick to my stomach, never should there be profits made on someones pain.

Lets take this a step further, what if there were no rules? What if advertising welcomed all types of people.

This is my anti-sexism advertisement.

 

 

 

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1/2

Getting back in the swing of things…

This self-portrait was taken in my bathroom. Backlit and intentionally blurred to capture a certain ambiguity on the human form. By removing facial recognition, I intend to create an anonymity with the subject and the viewer, hoping the work acts like a reflection of the person in front of it. The idea of one half of something, two parts that make one whole fascinates me. Duality exists in all facets of human experience. I pose as a metaphor for non-binary culture, the figure in the image could be my feminine side or it could be my masculine side. It is simply one half of the human form.

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Tiny Vignettes of Life

In continuation with my series of intimate portraits of plant life, I’ve titled this piece Tiny Vignettes of Life because I feel it is important, especially in the current political climate, to hold onto ones own humanity. This photo could be a tiny vignette into any one person’s day. Maybe while doing laundry on a rainy day in November, the way the light falls on drying plant hanging in a window catches your eye, so you take note. In fact, I was doing laundry, and the light did catch my eye, but it was January in Chicago, and snow had now been replaced by rain, even thunder storms. During a time when climate change is denied,  our education system on the verge of being privatized, the very real possibility of the DAPL being constructed, our civil rights at stake; loving our neighbor and embracing our empathy as intelligent beings has never been more crucial.

In this fast changing world, holding onto the moments that make me feel human have helped manage the stress of what is potentially to come. Cooking a communal meal, observing the light and how it falls on an object, participating in good conversation, watering my plants and reading are rituals of living. What are some of your rituals? What makes you feel human?

I’m interested in what you have to say. Please send stories of your human experience to courtney@courtneypenzato.com.

 

Ting Vignettes of Life

 

 

 

 

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Loud Mouth

In response to the thirty million people whole lost their healthcare overnight and to the fifty-five million women who will no longer be able to afford birth control. Women who are no longer given the simple human right to be in control of our own fucking bodies. The only thing that truly belongs to us, nothing was ever promised. We were never entitled to anything, other than what we were born with. Skin. Thats all. Skin. If we aren’t allowed to be the boss over our own bodies, then what can we control? In a time when abortions are next to illegal, overpopulation and a limited resource epidemic, climate change; more women are left without access to birth control?!  When you think about it, they are telling us that we aren’t allowed to decide whether or not we want children, suppressing our libido and keeping us in check. It is a mans world after all. We all better behave. To live in a country whose leaders don’t care about the safety and wellbeing of other people, says a lot about the place. It is clear that according to the current political structure, and perhaps for previous political structures, humanity is expendable.

Recently, I have begun taking self-portraits again. My self-portraits usually obscure my face, blur my features and fall somewhere in-between abstraction and narrative. In talking about gender without actually portraying gender, the conversation becomes about the neutrality of gender itself. Gender roles are learned behaviors, we don’t come out of the womb “knowing how to sew” if we are born with female genitalia. The same goes for people born with male genitalia, the genitals you’re born with don’t determine your gender either. Sometimes the universe gets it wrong. I always attempt to encompass my feminine and masculine energy into my self-portraits, because both are equally important.

In a culture where they tell you that exercising your freedom of speech is unlawful, be loud. Scream if you must, stand up and demand human rights. As a woman, living in a patriarchal society, where men tell me what to do with my body, determine how much money I make, what I should be doing with my life, whether or not I should bear children, get married etc, its important for me be bold, daring and unapologetic.

This is my loud mouth.

 

Loud Mouth

 

 

 

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You Are Here

sometimes we have to get

a bit lost

in order to be found

You Are Here

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Lavender at the End of Summer

As some of you may know, I have relocated to Los Angeles, California. I also have a new website, which you can see here, (www.courtneypenzato.com). In an effort to cope with my homesickness for Chicago, I have revisited some images I took towards the end of summer in my mothers backyard. I have posted from this series before. Portrait-like images of the plants she grows in her garden.

Picking up your life and moving over 2,000 miles away has an almost nauseating effect. The parallels between excitement and fear are almost impossible to distinguish. The feelings you get in your body when experiencing either one  are practically identical. My creativity has come to a halt, and has been replaced with creating a new resume and looking for a job. Allowing time to feel whatever it is this particular day or that. Learning my new environment, creating a space within myself to call LA home. It’s not as easy as I had anticipated, and I’m slightly embarrassed by my naivety in this regard. I was ready, so I thought. But home is home, and not even paradise can take that away.

The lavender flower is a spectacular plant. It comes from the latin word, lavare which means to wash. The cleansing properties it possess are both immaculate and divine. It is a time of self-destruction and rebirth for me. It is both painful and joyous at the same time. I reference the phoenix quite often in my writings, as I feel it is my spirit animal. I am the phoenix, yet again. Like the flower shown here, it has lost its lustrous purple/blue color and has become dry. However, when springtime comes again, so will its essence. One attribute that remains with this plant through the midwestern fall season, is its scent. The most powerful of all the senses. It is both soothing an healing. Calming and relaxing.

Lavander is a totem for my transition.

 

Lavender at the End of Summer

 

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Spider

In reference to some older posts titled, My Chastity Belt and Spider Plant and I, I’d like to take a minute and talk about the spider. To me, spiders are absolutely fascinating. I once went to watch the sunrise on top of this old landfill turned forest preserve near my house. The sunset was divine, and the mosquitos were the absolute worst. On the long walk back to the car, I stopped and noticed a spider weaving its web in the brush. I sat and watched that spider for what seemed like hours, but was only a few minutes. How simple its life, up early working, building its house, in a what was pretty misty morning. I was in awe. I completely forgot about my seemly silly life, always rushing here or there, doing this or that, yet not really doing anything. Somewhere, little spiders are diligently working just building their house. I remember feeling wasteful in this moment. Wasting my time and my energy on things that didn’t really pay off, that weren’t for the greater good. I envied the spider. I wished for such simplicity in my own life. I wanted to do something more by doing less. Marry simplicity with a work ethic.

I view the spider plant as an abstract symbol of an actual spider. The resemblance is almost uncanny! And just like the spider, the spider plant diligently works to make its babies in order to spread its seed. Here again, simplicity and a work ethic in perfect harmony. This plant in particular I have had for over ten years. I absolutely adore this plant. On several occasions I have clipped the babies off and transplanted them in to smaller pots, only to give them away as gifts. Its a very rewarding feeling; gifting. Some places build an economy around it. Simplicity along with a work ethic are spiders’ gifts to the rest of the world.

We could learn a few things from this glorious insect.

Spider Plant

 

 

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