Took my breath away.
Patagonia’s website has this incredible photograph on its “Women’s Socks and Underwear” page. Why so memorable? Well, she ain’t wearing socks. More, the image shows an incredibly fit, strong, athletic female superstar of a gal who has climbed up a canyon wall and is resting on a freakin’ ledge. And there she is, basking in the sun, with underarm hair curling out just above the lines of her Patagonia sports bra. Damn, Girl! This is so good, in so many ways. Untamed female athleticism can be shaved, unshaved, posed or unposed. The photograph is aesthetically pleasing in its quiet disregard for how women’s bodies are supposed to be photographed when selling a bra, even a sports bra.
The caption is unfussy: “Alix Morris waits out the sun after a long morning spent working the crux pitches of Westie Face. Leaning Tower, Yosemite National Park, California. AUSTIN SIADAK”.
Patagonia’s presentation of its athletes — male and female — is matter-of-fact, stylistically straightforward. This is impressive because they have dozens of “Patagonia Ambassadors” and dozens of photographers who work on site. Therefore the consistency of imagery, and the laidback presentation of highly sculpted athletic bodies, female and male, is all the more noteworthy. Someone is paying very close attention to photographers’ work before hire, and that care is exerted through the process.