Photographing Nekkid Women

Let’s talk about this. Oh, there are no nude pics in this entry. Sorry. Well, I do have one album here just so you don’t feel like you’ve been bait ‘n switched:

http://garyarthuryoung.zenfolio.com/tillymcreese

I did a meetup group photoshoot where a professional model is hired for fashion, bikini, implied nude, and nude shots. There’s one coming up that is a nude and erotic photo shoot. Some of the photographers also do fetish and bondage photos.

There’s a vacation photo getaway that is intriguing, assuming I can stop spending any vacation money on photo gear. (I’m building up to a portable studio.) That one is in Puerto Rico and is four days and three nights of photography: four models, Puerto Rican city, beach, jungle and swank hotel venue.

As an aside, I’ve noticed a lack of diversity, shall we say, amongst the models involved with many of these shoots that I’ve read about. There is at least one meetup group that emphasizes a diverse range of ethnicity and body type.

ALL THE SAME

I still want to do a yoga photoshoot. Also, other fitness shoots. Ketllebells, for instance.

Google these and you’ll be struck by overwhelming sameness. Same stuff, same outfits, same body types, usually the same race, skin tight clothes, bare mid-section with rockin’ abs. There’s nothing wrong with photos of beautiful women but most of the photos don’t emphasize athleticism and capability. It’s all stock photo-esque sex appeal. I think the first three images in this photo are of a badass kettlebell champion. Like, world champion or record breaker but you wouldn’t know it.

As with most photos of this type it’s all about being sexy as opposed to being good at something while being sexy. (Bodies that can do amazing things usually look mighty fine.) Kind of how every youthful actress and female athlete ends up doing that obligatory photoshoot where they’re laying on their stomach in lingerie or a thong, legs up, cleavage cleaved, and pouting at the camera.

There could be so much more to a photoshoot like that than pornifying people. More than — what am I trying to say here — Cherry 2000. Y’know?

Anyway:

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This applies to fitness photos of men, too. Male fitness models with 5% body fat are the unrealistic standard of attractiveness. Oiled and lit to perfection. They look awesome but it’s so generic and lifeless.

The male and female fitness models are like blank slabs on to which we project our wish fulfillment to be like or be with. Emulation and desire. I’m not really talking about objectification, although that is worth discussing and thinking about. I’m talking about — art? I’ve got to do something more creative than that in order for it to be worthwhile.

It kind of makes sense since most of these images are used to try to sell us something.

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WHAT’S MY ANGLE?

See, that’s the thing about the model shoots. They’re definitely worth doing, but — I don’t know how to make something that’s different from everyone else. If I’m going to do it it’s got to be something more than technically competent pics of a beautiful, naked woman. Even a woman doing solo, weapons-grade erotics in an atmospheric room. Pardon my bluntness, but I don’t want to take photos of a model’s vagina or genitals just because I can.

There’s got to be something more. Some statement. A scene. A story.

The aspect of humanity that I want to document is the vulnerability, personality and quirks. Not a well-crafted mask. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Modeling is acting, which means that the things I want to photo are not available.

I’ll do the model shoots again, for sure. I got some great shots and learned so much in just a few hours. I also got some experience working with a professional model. Invaluable. But what piqued my interest the most wasn’t the drop-dead gorgeous perfectly lit poses. It was when she had a moment to take a break. I would always give her a chance to catch her breath, grab some water, food, or warm up before my time. Bare feet on a cold floor. Buck naked and cold floor tip toeing to the table to grab a handful of snacks in the midst of hours of being “on”.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen a naked person eating Doritos. Such a juxtaposition. Stunning glamour vs. bottled water and Frito-Lay.

So maybe a pro model can convey that through their craft. Even if it’s a persona. Hm. Now that’s something to think about.

LEAVING MY MARK

The problem is, I don’t know what my angle or style or trademark is. Not yet.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I want to photo people who aren’t professional models. Or taking candid photos of pros would be amazing. There’s got to be some vulnerability there. Some … thing.

It’s tricky, though, since most people don’t think of being in front of the camera lens as fun. It’s not something they really want to do even when they’re in their prime. A lot of us who are past our mid 20’s athletic peak can only see our flaws and depressing dissonance between our self image and our actual appearance.

Okay, I’ve got it. I want to collaborate. Collaborative vision, y’know. A good photoshoot should be a co-production. Then I want to paint a scene, tell a story, make a statement.

I want to take photos that you don’t just look at but you look into. It makes you think, question, smile, laugh, cough, itch, yearn, or whatever, and it causes you to fill in the blanks and creates a story in your mind.

How hard can that be?

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