“Why do they have to be nude?”
November 11, 2012
Is the question my Wife asked me a few weeks back.
I had my standard answer at the ready; “It’s what they like the most” and was an answer that she didn’t really accept. I think she didn’t accept it because I honestly didn’t. It was a question that I thought about all day for a few weeks. “Why?” The simple answer is that I’m good at it, but I didn’t want a simple answer, I wanted anHONEST answer.
After several weeks of asking myself this question not only of myself, but of my clients I came to one conclusion.
If you’ve been to a full workshop of mines, then you’ve already heard this so bear with me. I’m of the opinion that most glamour photographers get into the business one way;
The desire to see the youngest, most legal, hottest chick naked.
From that point they start to grow and eventually turn into professionals. Into Photographers. I remember the exact shoot where I paid more attention to the lighting and posing, vs the naked chick in front of me. My brain and I had an interesting internal struggle; “Jay, there’s a hot naked chick in front of you and you want to know what you can do better with your LIGHT?” That’s when I knew I had arrived.
That being said, I still see models and people and all I can think is how awesome it would be to shoot them either nude or lingerie and it brings me back to the point that wife asked me, why? After doing several weeks of thinking and contemplating on it, one day when I wasn’t thinking about it, it hit me. The reason I like to shoot glamour/boudoir/nudes is simple, I like making people feel good about themselves!
Corny? Possibly, but as we know, women are self conscious about their bodies and as a result, are never happy with it. What better way to honestly make them feel good about themselves than to strip them of their false shells (clothing) and get them honest? People for the most part, love themselves. When they go to photographers and get their photos taken they and their friends will love the photos. Instagram has turned every Iphone and Samsung GalaxyS III into photographers in their own rights. Professional photographers know and understand it takes more than a filter to make the image amazing. Believe it or not, the every day person knows it as well. Although they will love the image, most people will know when something isn’t right but they won’t know how to say it. Comments like “Oh wow, I need to stop/start tanning” or “It’s not your photography skills, I just need to lose weight” that means we shot it wrong and they see it how it’s presented. When shooting them and I mean women of ALL shapes and sizes, right, they will love the image and it will make them feel good about themselves. Shooting lingerie and nude and everything else that involves little-to-no clothing means we have to shoot them and shoot them right. Once we do, we will have them not only as a fan but ongoing business partner and that’s why we do what we do!
So my answer to my wife? Simple; they don’t have to be nude, they can be whatever they want, but the reason why they come to me is for the simple fact that I make them feel good in their most vulnerable state; half to not dressed at all. Making them feel good about themselves makes me feel good and proud of myself. This is why every time I pick up my camera or open Photoshop to retouch, I feel as though I’m not working.
Why do you do what you do?