Ruby in the Churchyard

Female model, churchyard, wooden fence, redhead, shirt.

I saw this eloquent post the other day, and I just had to share it with you. With the permission of the author, and kindred soul The Nude Blogger, find her here. She detailed how the reality of being nude is not an invitation to act badly with another person. I always treat my models with the utmost respect and dignity in any situation.

Attraction is still normal in a non-sexual nude setting. This doesn’t just switch off because we see the words ‘non-sexual’…nor should this be expected of you!
So, just like nudity, attraction, too, is human nature. Meaning, yes, it is just as natural. To deny attraction would be defying human instinct.

It all comes down to the way in which you conduct yourself, should you find yourself in this situation. Clothed or naked, consent and respect is always a MUST! Act with sensitivity and respect your fellow nudists.
What is expected is that you approach the matter with utmost respect, integrity and dignity.

Whilst attraction is human nature…there is a difference between attraction and objectification and sexualisation. You can be attracted to people without objectifying them. You can appreciate someone’s beauty without sexualising them. You can be attracted to others whether you’re clothed or naked…BUT! Being naked does not mean you have permission to be creepy, perverted or inappropriate. Nor is it an invitation for you to project your energy in a way that would make others feel uncomfortable! Social nudity is NOT a green light for unsolicited remarks and behaviour. NUDITY IS NOT CONSENT! Nudity DOES NOT mean somebody is ‘asking for it’…let’s get that f*cking straight!
Boundaries and consent are still a must.
Nudity does not, and should never, disregard or compromise this.

Just because there is nudity involved does not mean it is of an exhibitionist nature, nor does it mean that people are asking for sex, nor to be sexualised…make the distinction!

My mixed naked yoga classes are a prime example that you can practice non-sexual nudity and have it empower and liberate you…and they are a great success because there is a mutual understanding that it is not a sexually-charged event so as to create boundaries and safety.

So, it really is in the way in which you conduct yourself and approach the matter. This makes all the difference. It is not about whether or not you’re allowed to be attracted to others in a non-sexual social nude setting. As I’ve reiterated…attraction is natural, normal and even expected.

Latina Angel

Young Model, Eighteen, Black & White, Semi-nude, Latina.

Easily my youngest model, and most at risk. Just turned eighteen (18) with a toughness beyond her meager year. Already getting involved in the sex business, her portfolio was full of images that featured very intimate images. We made arrangement to meet, look over my work to see if she was interested in working with me. I told her point blank that her portfolio was showing too much of her, that no one was looking at her face. She very frostily informed me that she already had a manager. She agreed however to pose for me.

She came out of the bathroom in the cuties little bathrobe, smoking a mile a minute, her foot beating out a quick tattoo. Let out a burst of blue smoke and read me the rule for working with her. When on for at least five minutes, “any questions” she asked, taking in another lung-full of smoke. “ Yeah do you get naked?”, sure said she throwing of her bathrobe, giving me the feast your eyes on this look . While she preened for my benefit, “naw” I said, “lets get you in a dress!” She burst out laughing like the girl she still was, having been caught. In taking her down that peg, we became friends…, I showed her I could play as well.

We began in that dress as promised, soon she was nude, and man she could pose.., interesting stuff with very good moves. I asked her permission to shoot more anatomical shots, she agreed, but she didn’t want me to show them, they were for my own benefit. I had an idea, just in the formative stages of what I might like to do with them. She probably thought I was going to use them for my own enjoyment if you get my drift.

Anyway after I got my film back, saw just how great she came across we made arrangement to meet. I showed her our work, gave her small prints I had made, and then asked for her to sign a release. That is the way I like to do things, I want my model to see all our work, to be comfortable in what I was able to capture. For her part she was trilled, “this is like art” she said. That is the reaction I want my models to have. To see my work, out work as a cut above…, transcending that line between the mundane into the realm of art.

Many years after, after I had a stroke, many long years recovery I finally had worked out that vision of what I wanted to do with the more intimate images I had captured. I worked over those images getting them just right. Then I sent them to her for her approval, want her to know that I wanted to donate our work to some groups who work for a positive sex culture, asked her if she agreed. To my great relief she agreed to let me use them. Working in a collaborative fashion is not for everyone, but I feel great that it works for me and my models.

SEO: Easily my youngest model, and most at risk. We made arrangement to meet, look over my work to see if she was interested in working with me.

Big City Model’s

 

My shooting life in Manhattan was split between commercial work, and shooting my own personal work. I love working with women models, my fondest day at the studio was have “go see” days. I would call the agency’s and ask for them to sent over there models to have a look at their books. Then all the up and coming models would show up our door. The photographer I work with had the pull and the studio to get them there. I’d lead these young kids back to were the interviews happened. We’d talk and tease with them, and have a great time of it.

I was able to get some of the women to pose with me too. Nudity wasn’t a big deal back then, after all this was New York, the big city. The willingness to get nude was sort of a prerequisite to shoot if asked. Many of these models had a willingness to get nude as long as they were treated with respect, and their personal bounds were met, not so much different than today. I for one did my part in meeting these bounds, I treated them with dignity, and respect…, I had wine and treats to eat.

So one evening I was working with a really excellent model, young and lithe. We shot some clothes stuff firsts, she was very fit and had movement to her body…, naturally I asked to show her figure off. She had brought a wonderful necklaces that served her body well. I remember her saying that she had decided no more nudes, and here she was nude. At the time I didn’t give it much thought, just showed her the Polaroids I had shot, told her how marvelous she looked. Quite like an Amazonian warrior I said about the necklace one.

Later after the film was processed and the contacts made I invited her over to see our work. I was so proud of the shots, and how she came across. She refused, said again how she had promised herself that no more nudes. No matter how I begged and pleaded she would not come over, and just see the work.

So these works are not for sale, they are meant to show what we got, I am very proud of this work. I have some hope, however vain it maybe, that she will see these finally. How she come across with dignity, and respect that I could put into these shots. To me her beauty, the way she carry herself with dignity make these images what they are.

Contemplating Future, Past

Nude woman, Black Material, Past, Future, Contemplating.

Pulling out of the darkness, and
into the light is what me must learn as
as we grow older.
The light represent one’s future,
the dark the past…,
more than less successful attempts.

We should learn as we grow,
the attempt is the key…,
if we do not attempt we fail as a person.
The darkness has it strength,
it’s weight.
It has the capacity to draw us back in its grip,
its hold over us.

Breaking that tug…, to live in the light,
to succeed,
to flourish,
and attempt again not matter the hurt.

That is the goal we all should struggle to attend.

New Year, New Model

Looking back with hope.

Starting off the new year with a new model at last. Getting a model when you can’t afford to pay anything till you sell is a real pain, it really cut down on your options. I had to wait for this lady for months while her life played out. However the wait was more than worth it as I think you will agree.

We had our first shoot some weeks ago, and she surpassed all my expectations. After some initial jitters she warmed up, we got some great stuff. I can’t imagine what it must feel like for a young woman to go to some man’s apartment, and get completely naked. How vulnerable you must feel, we had only talked about the shoot, and now here she was no matter that I knew a good friend of hers that had posed for me.

Of course one of the selling points is that I shoot film. As she has an interest in photography I explained what I was doing, how the meter worked. What information the meter was telling me, and how I was interpreting it to get what I wanted from that information. We then started with her poses, what I wanted to accomplish with them. We started off with her completely nude, so we’d get that out of her system.

I love working with older models, they are much more relaxed, and being nude gives them no place to hide. It’s a jolt to the system, facing any fears they may have, and overcoming them. Explaining what I am doing, how I am working on a particular look or feel, and why. That takes their minds off being nude for no reason. Treating their bodies with respect, and at the same time working with them to make them look their best. They are here to do a job, not for entertainment…, soon as they realize that we are both on the same page they can relax any fear that they may have.

So some of the poses we had worked, and some did not. Some we can revisit another time, we have already done another session to test some ideas. I expect the next shoot to be even better as we know each other better now. We have formed a creative unit to collaborate on ideas I have with the reality of what is possible. We can now work on the creativity of our projects with none of the fears. We are now a team working on the same goals…, creating art.

Postponement.

The models had to put off the shoot to meet how their life went, nothing special just wait.  As another birthday rapidly adds to the count, how much that young man was to  grow.  As I have grown I knew more, as I knew more I added to my knowledge…, I did better.  I am still a work in progress.

My work has changed with the models I am getting to know.  One potential model told me that “your photography has different and respectful aspects”.  It feels so good to get the compliment.  I love my subjects and show them the respect that I hold for them it shows in my images.  Now with their help I hope to capture some great images in my little daylight studio.

What a wonderful way to celebrate my 71!

New Model

I have a lovely new model coming in a few weeks with whom I hope to take this shot again this time with pubic hair.  Models do have lives of their own, it may or may not workout.  Stay tuned to find out!  Also on tap are some loving shots of her and her gentleman, and the baby she is carrying.  Part of the joy I find in photography, that and the terror till I get film back and see what and if I got what I saw in the viewfinder.  Once again I have to thank my models for working with me, and sharing my vision.

Burr Oak and Nipple.., Oh My!

 

 

I’ve been lucky enough to have a very unique model to work out ideas with. I have known her for some 10 years now. She is a friend who comes over not nearly enough, something that gives us lots to talk about. I love having her drop by to just talk. I get the chance to talk about what I am working with, and why, and what kind on concepts that interest my creative mind now; enough that it would warrant a test shoot.

Then the real play gets started, the day I finally get to see my ideas. I have boxes and boxes of things that I’ve collected: all things connected to nature, with all their own complexities; the curves, the shapes that only nature can make, with it’s cracked seedpod. Or the simple leaf, attached or loose, picked in summer or winter. Or the ageless rock…, spied off city-trail, sitting in the dirt.

The rest is parked in this brain of mine, filed under: Imagination. That little rock sat on my desk for a long time before I understood what its purpose was. The Burr Oak cap told me very clearly what it was for. It was up to me to find, and pursuade a model to let me show her what my idea might look like. Enter friend and muse!

As I look at some of the really great work of people in my business, I feel a sense of immense pride to see such excellent work. However, the models are not getting enough credit, in most cases, no recognition at all. I tell all my models that I could not do what I do without them. Otherwise, I’d have the pretty props and gorgeous lighting that no one can see. I quickly follow with assurance that they do have the ability to stay anonymous if they so choose.

So a peek behind the curtain with the ever lovely and understanding Jean Dawson.

Mugs

Here is a quick snap of the mugs I got from the lab.  I told them after seeing the first one to think artistic.  These were not mugs of the kids playing baseball or soccer that you sent to aunt Harriett.  These were original work of art that I was selling.  Told them to reduce the image by a quarter inch, and increase the space between the images by that same quarter inch.  Much much better, except that I wanted the insides black to match the black in the image.  Stay tuned.