How Our Outlook On Nudity Changes Our Understanding Of Our Experience
I’ve been struggling lately with reconciling what society thinks I do and what I actually do. I am an intimate portrait photographer. But to most the translation falls somewhere between boudoir photographer, fine art photographer, and pornographer. I have come to the understanding that it really depends on your outlook on nudity and the human body.
For the longest time, I felt shame around my interest in photographing nudes. A constant conflict to celebrate the human form in its fullest beauty and a more conservative expectation that removing clothing is only to be done in private and isn’t to be shared with anyone else.
From a young age it created a taboo fascination with the nude form. Something which I discovered could be best explained as a voyeuristic fetish. However, as I learned the craft of photography it turned from the sexualized fantasies of a teenage boy to the realm of artistic expression.
I had inadvertently stepped into the biggest argument in human history, whether there could be a separation of art and sex. With societal forces like Facebook and Instagram, where images are banned and accounts are closed for showing the slightest breast or bottom, how are we to understand our own opinion in this matter?
I think age plays a big part in the equation. I was born in 1986, when MTV and cable television had reached its highest popularity. I remember finding out what Late Night Television really meant. Viewing Showtime and HBO through digital snow. I came into my own sexuality when the internet was in its infancy. Some would say I was hyper-sexualized from an early age; I prefer to see it as I was given a master key to the human experience without the pressures of societal mores.
Where some might have lost their way in teenage fantasies and allowed their hormones to create neural pathways, I gained an appreciation for the female form set apart from the hormonal connection of nudity and sex.
As a married man, I have a fantastic intimate connection with my wife. Something I would never want with someone else. And for me, there is a huge difference between those feelings and what I feel while viewing nude art. It’s closer to a fascination, an interest, or a curiosity. Superficial.
As a photographer, I enter the creative space with the intent of celebrating the moment and the beauty of my subject; much like the landscape photographer who looks for sun breaks, colorful contrast, and points of interest. I find the delicacy of texture and contrast as well as the variety of form and color so interesting. The unique beauty in every person is truly breath taking!
You are breath taking!