Shooting nudes in public | | Thomas Holm

Shooting nudes in public

There is an interesting dynamic, or should I say degree of modesty, going on when shoting models in the nude. It goes without saying that when making a nude session the model is nude. The photographer inevitably looks at the model and depending on the model, the few seconds of awkwardness initially felt after unveiling herself, soon disappears. And a feeling of freedom in the ability to be stark naked with an often strange, man, as well as a certain feeling of elation sets in with the model. It is very rare that once the shooting starts the model exhibits much shyness and a comfortable model makes it much easier to take good pictures. Having an assistant present can change this dynamic, but even more interesting is what happens if shooting in a public or even semi public situation. 

Some weeks ago I was shooting a model in the nude in a field, perhaps 100m from a nearby road, where cars would pass by on occation and have a fairly clear view of the scene. That is for 2-3 seconds, provided they would look out their side window, before the scene again was obscured by trees when the cars had passed the gap. In situations like this many models will be more shy towards the faceless passing strangers in a car, than a photographer standing 4m away, with a telephoto lens capable of showing even goosebumps clearly. And mind you the  "others" are passing in a car at 60kmph and, if they look to the side, can see a naked woman 100m away.

So why is this?

I believe it's because we are all so used to recieving judgmental looks, comments etc. that most of us have grown weary (perhaps overly so) about what other people think of us. We want to not have people think badly of us (even ef they are unknown and passing by in a car).
A good photographer obviously does not judge his models as 'cheap' but rather praises the model, but in a non sexual and non judgemental way. And this makes the model drop her guards and allow herself to just relax and be - in the nude. 

So think about it, if you all stop passing judgment and behave nicely there might be a lot more undressed girls in the streets...

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