Nude self portraiture

August 07 , 2009 by: Haje Jan Kamps Feature Articles, Techniques

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Taking photos of yourself has a certain under-tone of intimacy about it at the very least; but choosing to shed your clothes and do the same thing adds a whole new dimension to the experience.

One of my long-time readers, Brigitte, told me her approach to nude photography; She doesn’t share her photos with anyone, but decided to take them for her own sake. It made me think; I know that my blog is quite strongly in favour in sharing all your photos with the whole world, but perhaps that misses a little bit of the point; Who are we, in fact taking photos for? Anyway – that’s a topic for another post… Today, it’s Brigitte’s turn… 

 

Nude in front of (and behind) the lens

A few days ago I was reading articles on nude photography… and these took me down memory lane. When I was pregnant for the second time, I used to take a thorough look at myself everyday in the mirror and marvel at the way my body had changed. There is an immense softness in a pregnant woman’s curves which I find very appealing, and I knew from my first pregnancy that once the baby is born, it’s easy to forget the way you looked before.

This time, I very much wanted to be able to remember my whole life the way my body was right before I gave birth. Of course, I had lots of pictures taken by my family and friends, but it felt like cheating, by hiding some of the curves while emphasizing others. Most were not very becoming, either… these pictures were taken on the fly, showing me in whatever position I had deemed comfortable at the time, and I felt it was really unfair. To be totally honest, I’m pretty sure I’ve torn and thrown away the vast majority of these!

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Trusting others vs trusting yourself

I know lots of people can undress in front of a photographer they trust (Demi Moore, to name but one!), but I simply felt I could never do that, underwear or not, nine months pregnant or not. I did not trust anybody else’s look but mine on my body to take these pictures, not even my husband’s (OK, he’s a poor photographer anyway!), and I realized I would have to be both the photographer and the model.

pregnant-2I selected a plain white wall with a wooden door as the background for my pictures, no direct sunlight but no artificial light either, and set-up my Canon EOS 20D on a tripod. I made the necessary adjustments in terms of sensibility and focus, selected the B&W mode, and used the self-timer to take the pictures. Between each shot I practiced in front of a full length mirror… I wanted to be able to share these pictures with my children when they grow up, so I was determined to be as beautiful as possible (of course!), and if sensuality was permitted, I did not want these pictures to turn out erotic.

And that’s the best part. I know I may sound like a control freak, but I was the one who wanted these pictures, and I greatly appreciate the fact that I got to do them myself, without being subjected to anyone’s influence. In the end, all the decisions were mine, and if I had not liked the result, I could just have discarded all the pictures without any hesitations, regrets, or fear to offend the photographer.

Find out more!

Brigitte is a 34-year-old French lady who works as a translator and editor. You can find Brigitte’s blog on tequilas-secrets.com, with her photos in the, er, photos category. If you’re of the Twittering kind, she can be found on @Brigitte_Ba, as well.

The photos in this post are from iStockPhoto


Do you enjoy a smattering of random photography links? Well, squire, I welcome thee to join me on Twitter –

© Kamps Consulting Ltd. This article is licenced for use on Pixiq only. Please do not reproduce wholly or in part without a license. More info.

About Haje Jan

This post was written by Haje Jan Kamps, who has written 565 articles for Photocritic

Haje has written half a dozen books about photography. He spends most of his time running Triggertrap, a company that creates creative tools for triggering your camera.

His most recent books are:

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