Scrolling through Instagram , I came to see more and more nudity done by photographers in recent years. There are photographers like @cvatik, who continues to inspire me with his nude shoots, and then there are ‘photographers’ whose art might as well be classified as pornography.
These ‘photographers’ bless their audience with nudity just for show, brushing off critiques which aim to better their work, and instead blaming their lack of skill, or inadequate equipment. To say that one’s skills and editing tools are not comparable to those of a professional standard is simply an excuse. There are amazing photographers out there creating pictures and editing with a simple touch of their phone screens! A photographer who shoots with no intention is no different than another person who merely carries around an expensive camera. More or less, some of these individuals mislead their models with the title of ‘photographer,’ seeking on one intention: to see their model nude.
As more nudity is being shot in today’s photography scene, the art-form has been tarnished deeply. It’s hard to brush off an amazing nude shoot without thinking that the photographer is some kind of pervert. However, photographers who truly capture and express a message through their nude shoots have exemplified its truest art-form.
When I shot nudity for the first time, I came to realize that the concept was very difficult. The message can be hard to express without misleading it as pornography. Shooting nudity does not mean a model’s private areas need to be exposed.
Provided with a great model who was willing to collaborate on the nude shoot with me, I wanted my photos to evoke a feeling within my viewers. Professionalism and respect are necessary, between photographer and model. When shooting nudity, I made sure my model knew the concept and idea I was trying to convey. Not only did this make them feel more assured, but also more comfortable being exposed in front of the camera.
My first choice of location for the shoot was a semi-empty room. As this nude shoot was a first for both myself and my model, I was hesitant to take many risky options. The concept behind this shoot had been done countless times before, but as a first time learner, it was the best place to start. Rather than directly duplicating another photographer’s shoot, I created my own style and concept. Shooting nudity doesn’t necessarily require a large shooting space, as the focus was on the model themselves. From this first test shoot, I found simplicity to be the strongest asset captured within the frame.
What makes nudity such a powerful concept is the fact that it exposes a natural state of portraiture. Nudity can amplify moods and messages in photos, from confidence to loneliness. It also showcases an art-form in a photo that inspires rather than sexualizes, something different and new. Lastly, shooting nudity can be challenging as one needs to find a willing model and a creative concept.
Given the choice, I wouldn’t have nudity as my go-to concept. Shooting nudity does evoke the additional mood, but it’s not always necessary. Such moods can be created even without nudity. As more and more so-called ‘photographers’ become exposed, it is important that the art form of nudity doesn’t become tarnished further. More importantly, let’s continue to respect the models who have gone out of their way to do nude shoots.