Candi, Tattletale, 1981

Candi, Tattletale, 1981

Gallery Show, NYC, 1992.

Gallery Show, NYC, 1992.

Dancing Naked in the Material World, 1992.

Dancing Naked in the Material World, 1992.

Classy Cat, 1979

Classy Cat, 1979

Locker Room Friends

Locker Room Friends

Tattletale, 1979

Tattletale, 1979

Diane, Clermont Lounge, Atlanta, 1986.

Diane, Clermont Lounge, Atlanta, 1986.

Lesly Ann Potter, The Classy Cat, 1980

Lesly Ann Potter, The Classy Cat, 1980

Daphne, The Cheetah, 1978

Daphne, The Cheetah, 1978

Customers, Tattletale, Atlanta, 1979

Customers, Tattletale, Atlanta, 1979

Classy Cat, 1978

Classy Cat, 1978

Suzie the Floozie, 1982

Suzie the Floozie, 1982

Cheryl, 1985

Cheryl, 1985

Sydney

Sydney

Sydney and Family, 1991.

Sydney and Family, 1991.

Susan, Classy Cat, 1988.

Susan, Classy Cat, 1988.

Dressing Room, Clermont Lounge, 1979

Dressing Room, Clermont Lounge, 1979

Getting Ready, Clermont Lounge, 1981.

Getting Ready, Clermont Lounge, 1981.

Cinnamon, Tattletale, 1980.

Cinnamon, Tattletale, 1980.

Cinnamon and Fans

Cinnamon and Fans

GI Jane, Clermont Lounge, 1986.

GI Jane, Clermont Lounge, 1986.

GI Jane and Tammy, Mother and Daughter, 1989.

GI Jane and Tammy, Mother and Daughter, 1989.

Blondie, Clermont Lounge, 1989.

Blondie, Clermont Lounge, 1989.

Blondie and Customer, 1982

Blondie and Customer, 1982

Clermont Managers, 1981.

Clermont Managers, 1981.

Carmen 2

Carmen 2

Angie, Clermont Lounge, 1981

Angie, Clermont Lounge, 1981

Angie and Family, at home , 1981

Angie and Family, at home , 1981

Sheila, Clermont Lounge, 1985.

Sheila, Clermont Lounge, 1985.

Rita, Clermont Lounge, 1982

Rita, Clermont Lounge, 1982

Kim, Clermont Lounge, 1984

Kim, Clermont Lounge, 1984

Debra, Tattletale Lounge, Atlanta

Debra, Tattletale Lounge, Atlanta

Suzie and Rod, Classy Cat

Suzie and Rod, Classy Cat

Why did I decide to this project? Initially because I was doing a sequence assignment at Portfolio Center. I knew some bartenders who worked nearby at a strip club. I was a bartender too (trying to pay for school) At this point, influences from my sociology background kicked in. I asked if they could help me find a dancer who would allow me to photograph her stripping. I wanted to know why they do it, how they do it, and what makes them do it.?

The break came when my teacher and mentor, Dennis Darling, (studied under Harry Callahan) asked me to take over a fluff piece for Atlanta Magazine about strip clubs (all here in Atlanta). The women were not warming up to him, as they all had been approached by too many men asking to photograph them. I was able to approach them as a woman interested in their stories, which I then later recorded through interviews.

I worked on this off and on for twelve years It was near the end of the project when the book deal came through. During that time I went undercover at the Gold Club in Buckhead, as a cocktail waitress (a la Gloria Steinem) for a very long month, to experience what it was like inside.

My hope was to give the women some human dignity by having an opportunity to express themselves through words and stories. For me, the important nugget of truth was how much we are all fundamentally the same underneath it all.