Advertising, Editorial & Commercial Photographer in Melbourne, Australia

Jarrod goes glam for a good cause

By October 17, 2012 July 29th, 2018 News, Portrait Photography, Video

It’s that time of year when frocks are given centre stage to help with some pretty important fundraising efforts. That’s right, I’m talking about the month of Frocktober.

The sister to next month’s Mo’vember, Frocktober’s activities primarily consist of women pledging to wear a frock every day in October to raise money for ovarian cancer research. Last year Frocktober-related fundraising efforts raised over $140,000 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.

Our friend Jarrod was keen to help the cause by raising money and awareness of the need to develop early screening tests for ovarian cancer. Pledging to wear a frock every day seemed a mighty challenge for a man – he didn’t even own a single dress himself. So he came up with a plan.

Jarrod Bates, Frockstar. Photo by Sharon Blance for Image Workshop.

Jarrod asked people to sponsor him, and in exchange they get to provide a dress for him to wear which he will gladly put on and pose in the manner of their choice – to be photographed and put on the internet for the world to see.

Image Workshop promptly donated to Jarrod’s fundraising page and started scheming what we’d do with him. We decided to go all 1930s glamour queen on him – my ongoing love of George Hurrell’s portrait work back in the Golden Age of Hollywood keeps bringing me back to the ’30s in my personal work.

Suitably decked out in a bejeweled gown we sourced from a local vintage shop, we shot some old Hollywood-style images of Jarrod in the studio. He was a total champ, did anything we asked, and kept a smile on his face the whole time.

Art Direction-wise, I wanted to put a man in a typically feminine styled shoot but without looking ‘drag’. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love drag, but just didn’t want that look for this particular shoot. I asked Jarrod to come with facial stubble intact to help us veer away from that look.

With regard to posing, if Jarrod had used his natural male body language the photos would look comedic in that stereotypical ‘dude in a dress’ frat party sort of way, which was not the intention.

The classic film Some Like It Hot plays the ‘man being manly in a dress’ angle for comedic effect. It’s a great movie, but not what we were after!

We used some feminine body language – which Jarrod was a total rockstar for undertaking – making the images less one-note comedic and instead more intriguing to process and interpret. As a fan of surrealism and images/movies/books that ask more questions than they answer, I’m really pleased with the final results.

Jarrod Bates, Frockstar. Photos by Sharon Blance and Brence Coghill for Image Workshop.

And I hope the pictures get Jarrod a lot of attention and support for his fundraising efforts for ovarian cancer research – because doing a shoot like this takes balls.

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