NUDES: Day 1 of 2.
I get a lot of questions from some of my friends about photographing nudes. A lot of the people I associate with are other photographers, few of which shoot nudes. So I’ll spend a couple days talking about this hobby of mine. Today: some of the inner-challenges faced with shooting the human figure. Tomorrow, I’ll talk more about the actual shoot.
Shooting nudes is an extreme challenge for me for several reasons. While I put a lot of emphasis on showing emotion using the face (eyes in particular) with my photojournalism, I think my nude work is a trying attempt at showing emotions, contrived or real, while removing the face altogether; all the while showing a technical proficiency and creating aesthetically beautiful images.
But the quest for that beauty is my next challenge. I spend a lot of time looking at photography on the web: photojournalism, figure photography or other forms of photography. I find it interesting how much nude photography is out there that I don’t like. In fact, I don’t like most of it. It’s not so much the case that the work is being done by untalented photographers. Lots of photographers who are pretty damned good make work that I just don’t care for. Usually it’s just a matter of taste, or whatever. So it is very difficult for me to make photos that stand up to my high standards of what a nude photo should look like. I sometimes fail.
My last shoot was a bit of a frustration. The model was rushed for time, and we never really got into a groove of making good photos. The two photos on the right are from that session. These two are my favorites from the shoot, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan.
There lies the third major challenge: models. I feel only slightly more comfortable asking somebody to pose for me than that person would be modeling for me. It is hard to find a model who feels comfortable unclothed in front of a camera, especially when I am as timid as I am about asking. Usually I ask people who seem to have a strong appreciation for the arts and who have a certain level of trust with me. All have been friends: some closer than others.