Carianne ‘PeggyShootsFilm’ Older reconceives how we understand femininity in her empowering analog photography practice.
Modern conceptions of beauty consist of a spectrum of interpretations, especially when it comes to notions of femininity. Working between Los Angeles and Miami, the self-taught photographer Carianne ‘PeggyShootsFilm’ Older is encompassing the past, in style and technique, granting women the opportunity to live out their retro pinup fantasy with a completely contemporary personalized twist. Dressed in lingerie and sundresses to rocker-chic aesthetics and loungewear, Older proves that womanhood cannot be limited to a singular definition.
Finding strength in the everyday or recreating classic scenes from film history, she is challenging how we understand femininity in today’s world while empowering her subjects. In a truly collaborative process between herself, other artists, and her subjects, her work is founded on creating connections that inspire positivity, allowing everyone to feel strong and confident in their own skin.
Peggy Shoots Film
Older’s exclusive use of film has become a defining feature of her artistic career. In selecting this analog style to photograph her subjects she aptly refers to her career as a photographer under the name Peggy Shoots Film. While she built her skills and knowledge of the medium on her own, her background has always intertwined with the arts, informing her signature approach. Previously managing two different Broadway theaters and acting as a CEO for one of the entertainment industry’s largest talent agencies, Older knows how to instill her images with a sense of drama, narrative, and character.
She elevates displays of the everyday with a sense of spectacle. From high fashion to Playboy bunnies to intimate scenes of private life, they carry a playful, fun, and sexy vibe that seems to border on the cinematic. Whimsical elements, such as food for props or scenes where the models disrupt the nature of public space, add levity to these dreamlike scenes. Her viewers are captivated by these subjects embracing self-assurance in their own bodies and the subtle overlooked moments within daily life.
Older’s images become a bridge to each subject’s personality by personifying it in their physical appearance. With this act, she subverts notions of an intrusive male gaze and preconceptions her subjects may have of their own bodies
Where the Past and Present Collide
Glimmers of nostalgia reflect back at us in Older’s images. Hair pinned back in old-fashioned curlers, sets that hearken back to classic malt shops, 70s scenes sparkling from the rotation of disco balls, and yet we see how, in the cyclical nature of fashion, these elements intersect with modern style. This is only accentuated through her choice to shoot on film, a continuation of the vintage aesthetic that persists throughout her imagery that correlates to the recent resurgence of snapshots and polaroids.
For Older, femininity is not one size fits all. In fact, she shatters media perpetuated preconceptions of what constitutes a model, and yet each image continues to be imbued with a seductive quality, a reclaimed aura of sexiness. Her choice to position her work in a temporally liminal place that borders on the surreal creates an environment free of judgment, aggressive violating male gazes, allowing everyone’s distinctive beauty to emanate through her lens.
Older’s work is about embodying your truth. She transforms the act of posing for a shot into an accessible experience for all women, rejecting the idea that these forms of elegance and confidence are limited to celebrities and models. Older composes images in a way that is not only authentic to each individual but with a meticulous delicacy that is sure to empower us all to embrace each and every element that makes us unique.
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