The The New York Times writes, “Lindsay McCrum’s handsome new book of photographs, Chicks with Guns, (offers) painterly images that neither glorify nor vilify their subjects.”
In Chicks With Guns (Vendome Press, ISBN 978-0865652750, $29.70), Lindsay McCrum has created a cultural portrait of women gun owners in America through photographs that are both beautiful and in a sense unexpected. The book examines issues of self-image and gender through the visual conventions of portraiture and fashion, but the guns are presented here not as superimposed props but as the very personal lifestyle accessories of the subjects portrayed. And it defies stereotypes often associated with aspects of the popular culture of both guns and women.
Like the 15-20 million women gun owners in this country, the women we meet in Chicks with Guns ( their portraits are accompanied by their own words), reside in all regions of the country, come from all levels of society, and participate seriously in diverse shooting activities. The women here are sportswomen, hunters, and competition shooters. Some use guns on their jobs and some for self-defense. They may not all be classically beautiful, but in these photographs they all look beautiful, exuding honesty, confidence, poise, power and pride. They are real women with real guns that play a part in their lives. By focusing her camera respectfully on this particular aspect of the American scene, gun-wielding women and girls, Lindsay McCrum sheds new light on who we are in America today.
The elder woman explains: “I bought my gun — the one in the photograph — at the local gun store in Merced, California. It’s a .38 titanium revolver made by Taurus. My hands are not strong enough to pull certain guns back, so I need a revolver. It’s very lightweight and easy to use…. When I was mayor, I couldn’t practice as often as I wanted to, but now that I’m no longer mayor I go a lot more often. The girls usually go on Tuesday nights. We go to our local gun range, hook up our targets, and then all go down and see who’s the best shot.” ❚
© All copyright remains with photographer Lindsay McCrum.