What the Dickens?
Before scrolling, you WILL see penises. In costumes.
I warned you...
According to a Bustle article, if a woman is in between the ages of 18 and 34, they have most likely received a "dick pic." Gross, right? Soraya was one of these women. Until she took matters into her own hands, literally.
Soraya was born in Iran and moved to Canada at the age of ten. She grew up there until she became a young adult. It was in Canada where she met her husband and got married, ultimately moving to New York. Soraya's professional background is in advertising, but she always had a creative brain niggling her toward something else. As an innately creative person, Soraya has "dabbled in painting and sculpting."
Dicture came about when Soraya discovered photography. Before she met her husband, Soraya was on the receiving end of the ever so unwanted dick pics from men.
"I was so shocked that this was happening," Soraya explains. "Why would someone send me a photo of their dick after a date? Or sometimes even before. I researched the concept and asked a few friends if they had gotten any. As it turns out, it was a global phenomenon."
Soraya decided to laugh about this, instead of feeling like a victim. And in doing so, she wanted women to gain a sense of power from something so vulgar. After discussing her idea with a few girlfriends, one of them had offered up her boyfriend who was "down to do a shoot."
Soraya explains the very first process.
"She [the girlfriend] fluffed and put the costumes on as I stood on a chair and took the photos. The rest is history. From that point on, I realized I have to shoot couples because the partner plays an essential role in the photo shoot."
Almost five years later, and dressed up dicks have become something to laugh about, to gift to others, and to show the world that women have wonderfully exposed ideas.
Throughout Soraya's time as a penis photographer, she has gotten a lot of mixed feedback. Some people love it (obviously), but then there are others who are not so into the concept.
"I get some hate mail from religious and homophobic people, but it's such a small percentage in comparison to all the love. My mom thinks it's a feminist movement. My dad doesn't acknowledge it at all. My husbands parents are super supportive and always share my articles on Facebook."
Soraya picked up traction quickly, doing interviews for both male and female oriented publications from GQ to Cosmopolitan and Women's Health.
News outlets picked up the story as well.
In short, Soraya states, "Who would have thought a dick in a jacket would bring us all together?"
After the pictures are processed, of course names need to be assigned. Soraya has come up with most of the names, with the help of some friends.
"I have a Facebook brainstorm group with my closest girlfriends. We have a great time brainstorming. I have yet to get anything good from the public. I'm still hopeful."
The models are what makes the shoot so interesting and enjoyable.
"The models laugh a lot and have a sense of pride. Their dicks are stars!"
Soraya is constantly getting requests that she has officially created a special folder in her Inbox.
The models can ask for a specific costume. Soraya gets this a lot and she knows that it's a "real opportunity to allow their [the model's] penis to live out their alter ego."
The process, you ask?
"I usually lay out all the costumes and let the model and his partner choose outfits. It's a lot of fun to see what they come up with. Once I had a guy ask me for Star Wars themed costumes. It was fairly easy to accommodate."
If you don't know any models that would be down for this shoot, but you are *dying to have the product*, Soraya has made her photos merchandisable.
"People kept asking me for it. I realized there was a real gap in the market for good bachelorette merchandise. Everything else seems to be of dick cartoons and kind of childish."
While there has been some setback, Dicture has made it's mark in the world.
"It's been a real challenge over the years to find printers who will produce my work. Manufacturers who have an HR or legal department can't expose their employees to my work. Pretty silly if you ask me."
Over the years, Dicture has been a part of a few exhibits from ones in New York to a few even in Brussels. There are also trade shows that take place for the merchandise line all over North America.
"I really loved the American art fair in Brussels. I got to go to a lot of fancy parties and meet a bunch of art collectors. I felt like I was somebody in the real art world." And she TOTALLY is!
When asked which her favorite photo was, her answer was to the point. It isn't just about the photo shoot, but what Soraya endures before she can even pick up her camera.
"Fidel Cockstroke. It was such an expensive doll. I was in a bitting war on ebay for it. When I finally got it, I took the clothes off and threw away the doll."
Soraya has found something so horrifying to women (dick pics) and made it into something we can all laugh about. I'd say that's a huge success in life.
Her advice for achieving your goals?
"GO FOR IT! Whatever it is. If you have an idea for something, follow your dream. We live in unique times where anything is monetizable. All you really need is a bunch of true fans who like your product or service. You can get that through social media. Tell your story and don't give up."
And to all the guys out there: please, please, PLEASE do not send us dick pics. Ever.
Follow Dicture for some stress relief laughs.