Every other photographer at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wanted what was to be my second assignment there.
The assignment? Bra-fitting.
But amid the jokes and offers to trade assignments, all the photographers and I knew the assignment would not be as glamorous as one might think.
For one, the logistics were not ideal. The article would be about the supposed 100th anniversary of the bra, and the reporter specifically wanted a photo of a bra-fitting. She arranged for a local Dillard’s to let me stand around in the intimacy section and ask customers if they would be comfortable with my taking a photo of their bra-fitting session. This meant I hung around and waited for customers in Dillard’s for almost five hours.
For another, I’d once read a column by a Victoria’s Secret hiring manager, who wrote that a man once came in asking for a job. He was still excited about filling out the application as she told him that male employees are not allowed in the dressing room area — but he crumpled up his application and walked out when she added that most customers resemble his mother rather than supermodels.
Finally, access was key, and difficult to obtain.
And of the seven or so women who meandered into the intimacy section that day, only one let me into the dressing room.
And the paper ended up using another photo.
- UPDATE (June 21, 2 a.m. EST): Interestingly, ajc.com posted the same article again yesterday, but with a different headline — and with the above photo attached to the story, as well.