Nudity in Photography: My Philosophy

Contrary to what most may think about my philosophy, I do believe that nude images have a legitimate place in the art of photography. Personally, I do not shoot nudes. The rule is, if I would not let my kids see it, then I will not photograph it. Strangely, no one has really delved deeper to find out why I refuse to do it. Perhaps it is old-fashioned thinking, but I feel it is improper for men and women to take their clothes off in a situation like that. That does not mean that I think negatively about those that do it, I just do not agree. So far, most everyone I have worked with has respected that. I do concede that there are different kinds of nude photography though.

Either nude photography can look like poorly lit basement porn or it can be a classy image that is well lit and executed professionally. As with most photography, lighting is a very important part, when used incorrectly the results can look mediocre or just plain bad. With the right posing, lighting, and professionalism of the model and crew, classy nudes are possible. When a woman, or a man, is thrusting their private parts into the camera, well, that just is not very classy. I do not know about the new ones, but the old “Playboys” back when I was in school were usually reasonably classy and still managed to leave a lot to the imagination. There was still some mystery left. Not everything was jabbed into the camera lens during crude poses that did nothing for the images.

model, fantasy, beauty, photography, photographer, portrait

A model doesn’t need to be nude to show sexiness. A model’s attitude determines the level of sexiness.

Unfortunately, there are a myriad of amateur photographers grabbing quick, poorly lit shots of models that are unlucky enough to be seduced with the thought of being a “model.” Snapshots in poorly lit conditions are not classy photos and are not artistic. To me, and I am sure some will disagree, to be an art, it must take time and planning, it is not conceived and created in an instant. On-camera flash and auto mode do not a photographer make. I personally find it degrading when a photographer, I use the term loosely, uses the art of photography to get cheap thrills seeing naked people. It is immature and puts a dark cloud on an otherwise endless art.

Photographing nudes is not something I am comfortable with, but there are some great photographers out there than can do a fantastic job, so I figure I do not need to. I love taking pictures of the subjects I do, and am working at getting better with that. Besides, think of the legal problems that could arise if someone filed sexual harassment charges against the photographer, again used loosely, because the photographer failed to keep it professional. Mostly it is a personal preference for me not to photograph nudes, it is awkward and I do not really care to see naked people. In the end, it depends on what the model is happy doing and if they are happy with the results, but for me, everyone will be keeping their clothes on. I can photograph the sexy side of people with their clothing on.

2 thoughts on “Nudity in Photography: My Philosophy

  1. I really agree; I don’t shoot it because it’s not something I wish to shoot and see. And there is a fine line between the basement porn and the real art form of photography. If other people shoot it well, it’s another reason to not feel obligated to learn the craft.

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