How To Approach Artistic Nude photography

4 min read

How comfortable are you with nude photography? I doubt we have to think too long before answering. There is a lot of controversy surrounding nudity. Your perspective on the subject might depend on where you live, your religious beliefs or your cultural background. For example, in a society where a woman’s flesh is so overly sexualised, artistically recreating it can be disturbing and confusing more so. As a photographer and visual artist creating artistic nudes is not something that came to mind initially. It became obvious when I got clarity about what my mission as an artist was. As far as I remember my art form could not be isolated from the world we live in today and it was not just about me any longer. What I wanted to do was celebrate everything that makes us a woman and the female body was no exception. But how do you approach nude photography focused on sensuality and art form rather than sexuality? That was my challenge.

Photographing someone in full nudity was not something that would unsettle me, I used to go to nude drawing classes and this helped me to think about the approach of creating artistic work around the female body. I also have been browsing the Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery in London where there is no shortage of female figures painted in the full nude. Even my favourite painter Artemisia Gentileschi used nudity to showcase Susanna as a woman owning her power in “Suzanna and the elders”. Another famous nude that I found striking is the birth of Venus by Botticelli and I can’t wait to go back to the Uffizi in Florence. Each time I’m standing in front of that painting I’m mesmerised.

How did I approach my work on capturing the female form in the nude?

I started to do some research about the type of images I wanted to create but also about what I wanted to say, one word was feminine, and femininity. How would I be able to reflect these themes through a woman standing naked in front of the camera.

My story would be focused on curves, I love curves in architecture, in nature and they are the essence of the female body so it was important for me to develop my ideas around showing cases nudes. As a photographer, I have a fantastic tool that is called lighting. If for your years I only wanted to be a natural light photographer, learning about artificial lighting has opened up the possibilities of my creative photography. Being able to shape the curves of a woman through light is like using a paintbrush on a painter’s canvas. There are a lot of tweaks and settings to try out before you find the right amount of light to shape your creative ideas into a concrete form.

The other challenge was to find a model that would be able to move into shape to enhance every curve in her body, it would definitely be someone with lots of flexibility. No way was I going to torture someone to get into the right shape.

Art is meant to make us feel something,

I set my first nude photoshoot in the studio, I lit every scene using light as a piece of fabric that would cover the body of my model. The images are very soft we can nearly imagine a veil covering her skin but still showing the flesh. In others, I would use strong shadows to cover up her body and only show a glimpse of flesh, like a designer dress that would cleverly enhance the female body and her curves.

I love what I go as a result and want to explore the same subject by adding different layers to what being a woman means. Showing the power and strength of an athlete, or a body with curves. We as women are so versatile the possibilities of creating and taking a different approach to artistic nudes are endless. Recently I have started photographing nude models in Nature, while it’s not an easy challenge I love the connection between the wilderness and standing strong and confident in the middle of Nature with a body to be celebrated and embracing being a woman.

I have imagined these images as a piece of art that would complete the design of the house creating an impact and giving space to celebrate the female form and what it means to be a woman.

My mission as a visual artist is to create captivating images that challenge our perception of the world, evoke an emotional response, and bring to light my vision as an artist. There is no right or wrong in creating a nude piece, it is simply about colour, light, composition and the beauty of forms.

I’m conscious that there’s a fine line between sensuality and sexuality when it comes to nude photography. I have attempted to go over that line in this piece and created work that is beautiful, feminine and sexy without crossing the taboo of sexuality. I believe art should be accessible to all and I’m disheartened that nudity is considered taboo in most societies today.

I hope you will appreciate my work, the concept behind it and the message it delivers, please share your thoughts in the comments

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