10 Feb 2010

Poster Girls

My photo shoot with Ana Maria India went really well I think. She's a willing model and I had lots of help from my wife and my BJJ friends Pippa and Amora - who was also our interpreter. I'm gonna save the pictures for magazine to hopefully use first but I couldn't resist releasing one of my snaps as part of a poster to advertise Ana's women only seminar. However, I wasn't to expect the minor controversy that it caused. See for yourself...

I posted this picture (btw the India logo is from Ana Maria's own gi patch) on the BJJ forums and Facebook and there was a very interesting reaction - divided sharply between the guys and the girls. All the women I showed this picture to (including the two in the photo) reacted really positively, calling it cool, wow, fantastic etc And the guys universally thought it was too sexy, innuendo-laden and erm, other less mature reactions.
I chose this particular still mainly because it was easily the most powerful photo in the set. The two ladies staring into the lens really draws the attention and I think strongly communicates the message of females enjoying BJJ. One person commented that this very aspect drew attention away from the seminar information. Another person posted that this pose would never be published if two guys were looking at the camera like that.
Regardless, I love this photo without thinking too much about it because it just works. Maybe rolling in BJJ has similar moments...you can spar without much thought and then every now and again, without really trying, something just works. Isn't life great when those moments happens?

Feel free to post your thoughts regarding this image. Also, are there other powerful BJJ images that you find interesting?

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Georgette said...

I think it's stellar advertising. It's visually arresting, communicative and makes you take a third look, and a fourth. I can see how it could be interpreted salaciously, but (from a female perspective) it doesn't look sexy to me.. it looks empowered, direct, focused. Parabens Seymour :)

slideyfoot said...

Interesting. You already know my views on the objectification of women in BJJ, but I don't think that photo is guilty. They aren't pouting, they're fully dressed and their expressions look serious and focused. I agree with Georgette: good, striking image.

As to powerful BJJ pics, I like the similarly intense gaze from the BJJer at the top of Jonna's post.

Meerkatsu said...

Thanks guys, I think the idea of female empowerment in BJJ (or the depiction thereof) is what freaks some people out.
Mind you, Ana Maria is sponsored by a company called "Sexy Machine" so I guess she really doesn;t mind if it DOES look 'too sexy'!
SLidey - yes I agree, great picture, she has a good photographer's eye.

slideyfoot said...

Yeah, I wasn't too keen on that particular slogan being emblazoned across her rash guard. Still, I guess by sponsoring her they're helping women's BJJ, despite the unfortunate name.

Nevertheless, shame it isn't something more directly focused on BJJ, like 'Nogi', 'Koral', 'Atama' etc.

leslie said...

I agree, it works. Made me say "Wow."

A.D. McClish said...

I think sometimes people overreact about things. This picture doesn't strike me as being overly sexy. It looks aggressive, but in a way that is appropriate to the sport. Wish I could pull of an intimidating look like that! ;)

Liam H Wandi said...

It's a beautiful and well captured photo Meerkatsu.

Some men are just sexually-deprived I suppose :)

And what a logo!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! They look focused on what they're doing. It actually seems like they both got distracted by something, and they didn't like it! They were giving you the "are-you-sure-you-wanna-mess-with-us" look :)

The poster is directed at girls anyway, so I'd say men didn't like it because they are clearly not the target market!

And thanks slideyfoot & Meerkatsu for appreciating my photo! :)

Jack B said...

I like it. Lots of impact, serious and not at all exploitative. As other have said they both look serious, focussed, motivated and capable.

I have to say though that I do also find the image 'Sexy', but that is purely because I find serious, focussed and capable women attractive! If they were pouting, with their Gi's open etc. then I wouldn't like the image as much, I think.

Meerkatsu said...

@Manbeater: "are-you-sure-you-wanna-mess-with-us" look :)
My answer...NO! I defo ain't gonna mess with two expert BJJ ladies!

Thanks for comments guys.

Junior Familia said...

Love your work!
And I tend to agree that the picture led me away from the seminar information, but it isn't your fault your an excellent photographer!

Keep up the good work brother.

Meerkatsu said...

Thanks Junior, I must admit I did have a little extra help from my best buddy Mr P.Shop.

todd said...

is ana maria doing any other female specific workshops or do you know of any others happening in the uk?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to bone Ana, after smashing that **** Slideyfoot

Meerkatsu said...

@Todd, Ana Maria will be staying in the UK for the next few weeks so I reckon if there is interest, she might do another seminar (females only or maybe mixed). If you want, email me and I will pass on your request to Pippa who is acting as intermediary for Ana Maria. (seymour_yang@hotmail.com)

@Anonymous. Unlike other bloggers, I do not disable or censure comments cos shit like yours makes me laugh out loud.

Anonymous said...

Love the intensity of the photo. I also think it looks focused and empowered.

Dear @Georgette please stay out of my MIND! ;)

FiCFNQ said...

Slideyfoot, "Sexy Machine" is the female range of "Bad Boy" and been involved in BJJ for years.Out side of brazil , well at least in Australia they rebranded as "Bad girl" , personally I'd rather be known as a "sexy machine"


slideyfoot said...

I have to say I'm not keen on the 'bad boy' name either, as it smacks of machismo, but then that's personal taste, not to mention they are of course a well-established BJJ company with a long history in the sport.

Could be worse, like this.


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