About The Photographs
Kristine, 20, poses for a lingerie shoot for Ocean Drive magazine, Miami Beach, Florida.

The exhibition presents fifty-eight photographs, many of which are included throughout this guide.

In her exhibition essay, Greenfield discusses her photographs for this project as a photojournalist, a cultural observer, and a female:

Many of the pictures that make up Girl Culture were made on assignment for the New York Times Magazine, Time, Harper’s Bazaar, and W. I realize that, as a photographer exploring the media’s influence, I walk a fine line. The fact that I have had so many rich assignments on girls and popular culture from major magazines is due, in part, to the sexiness of the subject, in literal and figurative terms. Much of my access to the popular culture is that of a privileged insider, as a member of the press; and, as such, I am complicit in the creation of imagery of women in the mainstream media. During a time that has been difficult for many photojournalists, with shrinking budgets for documentary stories and foreign news coverage, my work has benefited from the media’s interest in popular culture, commercial culture, American youth, and itself.

Girl Culture is my photographic examination of an aspect of our culture that leaves few women untouched. It does not attempt to represent the experience of all girls in America, or even the full and rich experience of any girl I photographed. My journey has been spontaneous and unpredictable, subject to the people I happened to meet, the twists and turns of my travels, my assignments, the access I gained, my interest at any particular moment. Infinite choices were made in the subject matter, in the point of view, in the moment I depressed the shutter, in the editing. Ultimately, Girl Culture looks at a wide spectrum of girls through a very narrow prism.

Photography is an ideal medium with which to explore the role of image in our culture. The camera renders an illusion of objective representation, just like a mirror. But as every woman knows, a mirror provides data that, filtered through a mind and moods, are subject to wildly differing interpretations. This project has been my mirror and my attempt to deconstruct the illusions that make up our reality.

Documentary Practice in Photography

from Lauren Greenfield's Girl Culture: Faculty Guide
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona