I should actually call this post "Thoughts about nude photography and a few words of appreciation for my friend and muse".
Nude photography is something I haven't been thinking about much earlier on in my "photography career" (LOL), though I have been thinking about it more for the last few months. Haha, no, not obssessively, but still something that I've been thinking more of since photography is a passion of mine and I think about it all the time and of different ways of doing it and expanding it.
It kinda started when the subject popped up while out with my beautiful friend and model Hanna, some months ago. Since I haven't been doing that much portrait photography at all earlier, except for a few times now and then I haven't really been giving it that much of a thought at all, mainly because I never thought I was really gonna get into shooting portraits and models. But after I started shooting on a regular basis with Hanna, I've been thinking about it more. In general she has been a real boost for my confidence as a photographer and I've learnt a lot together with her. And while I find it awesome fun to shoot with others (and once again, a lot of the confidence to reach out and really start looking for others to shoot with, has been given to me by and while working with Hanna) the projects and ideas that we have come up with together and yet have to try out and complete, are really special to me. And I have to say that I consider her being my creative "soulmate" and muse who inspires me the most. And no, I haven't told her all of this.
Anyways, when it comes to nude photography, you can find so many GWC (a term I heard from Lucifera who I shot with in London) Guy With Camera, someone who has a camera as an excuse to be in a room for example, with a (more or less) naked woman. And that makes it harder I guess for others who are genuinely interested in doing photography for the reason of doing photography and to try to create beautiful images in the process, to be taken seriously. And there are also other real assholes posing as photographers out there. Sexually abusive and just plain disgusting ones. Which also makes it harder at least to some degree to find "partners in crime" to work with, since I'd think that many female models are suspicious, which they rightfully should be.
But I've been thinking about it and I've been discussing on and off with Hanna about the subject of nude photography the last few months, and it's been quite interesting since I've learned even more about myself and of what I really want to do and what I definitely don't want to do when it comes to nude photography.
I don't want to take glamour styled shots. I really dislike that type of shots. And I don't want to shoot (as we say in Sweden) "Slitz-bilder", think FHM Magazine styled photos, I really dislike them too and they are basically glamour styled shots. Many of these type of photos are with models that are photoshopped into oblivion and I really hate that.
And I don't want to shoot anything that could in any way be seen as pornographic. Fetish stuff I'm not sure about. Some of the clothes that are usually used can look really cool but I don't really want to take erotic type of shots either, so I don't think it's for me. Boudoir styled photos does appeal to me, since it's mostly implied nude and if really nude, it's usually done quite tastefully and often used with shallow DOF, which I am a very huge fan of using.
And I don't want to shoot "open leg" (I was even unaware of that term until I joined this model/photography networking site called PurplePort a few weeks ago) photos, just because seriously? I have to say this, I am not prude in any way and nothing really shocks me when it comes to sex, and I don't hate porn. Am I a huge fan, not really, but porn is there for a reason and it's a huge market (and for example has been pushing internet technology forward which helps us all). It's got its up and downsides for people involved in it and I understand the type of photos and obviously movies involved in this. I don't believe that people are continuously used in that industry, it probably happens, yes, but I also think that many people in that industry is in it because well, they like sex, they might be exhibitionists and they like the way in which they can make a living out of it and I have no problem with that. And in porn, I can understand the "open leg" shots, with the more or less close ups of vaginas for example, since it's porn and it is what it is, jerk off material.
But do I want to see it in regular (what ever that is?) photography? No I don't. And I'm a dude and I love vaginas, and I think they are absolutely beautiful but do I want to take "open leg" close ups of vaginas and post them for all the world to see? No. Fuck no!
So with this, am I saying I would never take a photo that might show a vagina in some way? No, definitely not that either. It could look absolutely beautiful if it's done in the right way. I love women's bodies and it's a part of it. And it might be just seeing a small hint of it being there and then nothing more maybe, it's so hard to tell, I think you have to "feel" as when you're actually doing the shoot I guess, if or not what to include (as long as everyone is in on it being either way). And I love the idea of implied nudes, where you might see a lot of skin (or not so much), but not really "everything". And I like the idea of when you see some and then leave the rest for your imagination. And I don't want to take any nudes just to show someone off just for the sake of nudity, because I don't want to objectify someone. I want to do nudes for specific ideas, for when it can look absolutely stunning (I love the combination of skin tones and greens, like moss and grass in forests for example, it might be romanticised but I really like it), as can it do while being in black and white, but basically, nudes for when it can render beautiful photographs. And as long as the one I'm shooting with is comfortable with it, which is the most important thing. And which goes for who ever it is in the future that I have in front of my camera in what ever situation it is. It is supposed to be fun, and not be weird.
And I tried doing a little bit of half nude yesterday and it didn't feel weird, which before I was afraid that it would. But no, it was just fun and I think it rendered some really awesome photos (which can be found in my portraits section).
So I feel blessed (I hate that word since I'm so far from religious anyone can be, but for lack of a better English word) to have someone that I know, trust and feel comfortable being around and being able to explore this type of photography together with, and who I'm pretty sure feel the same way about doing this together with me. So thank you, you are truly a real treasure.