How many times have you heard me say that everyone needs to pose nude at least once in their life? In fact, I’m rather certain I’ve used those words here within the past month or so. Posing nude is an experience in self-awareness and discovery, a liberation from social constraints that never should exist in the first place, an exercise in thoughtfulness and personal contemplation. Posing nude is good.
What about posing nude with your significant other, though? How well does that fly?
We don’t see too many couples volunteering to shoot together. The handful of times we’ve had couples in front of the camera, we’ve had to convince one or the other, typically the masculine-identifying person in the relationship, to go along. Anxieties can jump very high very quickly when a spouse suggests getting naked in front of a relative stranger such as a photographer.
There’s more to couples posing nude together than just the anxiety, however. Taking off one’s clothes and posing with someone for whom we care is an extremely intimate matter. These are the moments that, traditionally, no one else sees. Sure, the Internet has encouraged people to be open about their relationships, but it has also led to an evolution in which people are having less sex. We’re less likely to demonstrate intimacy with someone in a public manner because we’re less likely to be intimate with someone in the first place. Don’t believe me? Check out this article in The Atlantic.
Contemporary relationships are a bit of a paradox. On one hand, we’re more open-minded, willing to accept types of relationships and sexual activities that were previously kept underground. At the same time, though, we’re more aware of our personal needs and less likely to “couple up” until we meet someone who, at the very least, is less likely to do us emotional damage. As a result, activities such as posing nude together becomes an exercise in exploring emotional depth and trust. The photos represent a moment of growth, a milestone that says life is better together than it is on our own.
Our models, whom we’ll refer to as J & B for privacy reasons, are a perfect example of meeting that goal. They’re not doing this on a whim. They both run their own businesses. They work hard on their path toward success and think about the consequences of their actions. We started talking with them back at the first of September and it was November before we found time to actually shoot. When we first started that conversation, we were only looking at shooting with J (female) but fairly early on she suggested possibly including B and once we met them we quickly saw the potential for some incredible photographs.
What impressed us through the entire process is the levels of selflessness and supportiveness they show for each other. There was no sense of one going along with the other simply to appease them. Instead, this has been a couple’s decision every step of the way. We started with the most basic of concepts and they made suggestions based on their comfort levels and where they are as a couple. They were bolder than we expected and demonstrated the strength of their relationship in ways one might not expect from a couple that had not previously posed nude.
Yes, they had some personal challenges to overcome, especially after seeing the proofs. Seeing how we look in a photograph is different than how we perceive ourselves in the mirror. The path to embracing what is beautiful about ourselves comes with challenges as we are more critical of ourselves than anyone else. We watched as they took those steps, encouraged each other, and became even more excited about shooting again.
As much as I believe in everyone posing nude, J & B have reaffirmed that couples, too, should consider posing together. Not that everyone can, of course. Not every relationship reaches that point of trust and intimacy. This is not an exercise for newlyweds. Consider this a relationship goal and not a given. Talk to each other at length and then contact us.
Before we get to the photos, let me give extra credit to Kat on this one. Not only did she do a wonderful job on J’s hair and makeup, but she was also an integral part of the conversation from the beginning. Additionally, she rigged the chest harness seen in some of the photographs. Kat has skills you’ve still not seen. Our photos are always improved by her participation but more than ever, this collection would not have happened without her by my side.
Enjoy the photos. Click on any of the thumbnails to view the full collection.