Sixteen years or so ago, I was asked by a friend of a friend to take nude pictures of her. I could use the excuse that I was a photo newbie (I didn’t really understand lighting, and couldn’t figure out flattering angles to shoot) but the fact is, I sucked at it. It took many more years to not only feel comfortable with the subject matter, but to also have the vision, as I find most “boudoir” images I see online rather tacky. I was fascinated with the lines of the buildings I was photographing and had somehow made the connection with body shapes, yet the idea for me to explore fine art nudes or boudoir happened after taking pregnancy pictures of a friend of mine in natural light. I had done a few of those sessions before, but this European-implant just bared it all at once. It soon became a game of light and shadow, lines and curves, and it felt like a true celebration of a woman’s body in all its glory (my friend being a renowned musician, I can’t show you her pictures, but here are a couple of beautiful mamas-to-be).
Then it dawned on me: why wait to be pregnant to celebrate the human form? Why not embrace it with all its shapes?
So last October, I set to take the plunge, and found the best model I could dream of to carry out the task. All I had to concentrate on was how to combine the light and the lines… and I was hooked.
However, it took me taking pictures of not-necessarily-so-perfect bodies to truly appreciate the gift: the liberation of being naked in front of a stranger (me!) and feeling okay about it (the extent of nudity is up to the model but I have to admit, I love the use of fabric!); the self-confidence that arises from seeing the pictures, along with the realization that comes for the model that she’s beautiful, regardless of her weight or her age.
It can definitely be testing at times, but it’s the challenges that make the job so gratifying. They force me to be creative, and taught me to incorporate the form to its environment since the pictures are taken on location (at the model’s place, which is why all the sessions are so different from each-other.)
Early in March I did a house visit for a more mature woman, and when she shared with me that she would like to take the pictures outside, I quickly replied that it probably would be too cold. Honestly, though, I just didn’t think I could pull off that kind of photography outdoor, especially considering the model was not so young anymore. Then we stepped outside her cottage and I looked around: the place was magical! On the day of the shoot, we ended up “working” for over two hours without taking one image indoor (It was a pretty warm day after all…)
I love all those pictures, but the most gratifying part for me was when this lovely lady shared how much the experience had fed her spirit.
I have immensely enjoyed all the sessions I have done to date, from meeting all these exquisite women, or getting to know them better, to exploring a new, compelling photography path. I can’t really explain the experience, though I will say that there is nothing sexy about the actual picture taking, great mutual respect, lots of giggles, moments of awe, and surprisingly hard physical work on the model’s part (how many times have I now heard of an arm, or a leg hurting the next day!)
Thank you to all of you who have trusted me with such intimate portraits. You are so beautiful!