In a photo-op-oriented world, the best experience comes from taking those pictures without clothes.
To say that society sucks the life out of life is an obvious statement worthy of a dramatic eye-roll. Our puritanical tendencies have led us, collectively, to do some really stupid and mindless things such as Prohibition, banning possession and use of hemp, allowing health-care to be run by for-profit companies, and putting limitations on who, where, and how one loves. Such inappropriate rules have ruined millions of lives over the past 150 or so years (none of the rules I just listed existed before then). So, as much fun as it can be to poke at everything Millenials are doing differently, I can’t say I blame them for putting exhilarating experiences ahead of more traditional things such as buying homes, going in debt to attend grad school, getting married, having children, or committing to long-term employment for someone who doesn’t appreciate their effort. Don’t blame them one bit. I wish my generation had thought of that.
When we think of great experiences, we most often think of things that involve travel, seeing great sights around the world, experiencing different cultures, different atmospheres, and different philosophies in action. I can’t discourage anyone from doing any of those things. However, I fear one enthralling experience doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should: Taking nude pictures. No, I’m not talking bathroom selfies. Taking pictures of any kind in a bathroom, your own or someone else’s, can only come under the heading of “future regrets.” I’m talking thought-out, well-conceived, planned photoshoots that capture a spirit, an idea, an expression, a statement, or an emotion that cannot be relayed any other way.
For those who take the plunge, the experience is exhilarating. Perhaps more importantly, though, is that shooting nudes demonstrates a level of personal strength and independence that wasn’t present in previous generations. I have been amazed at the poise of models such as Karlie Kloss, Emily Ratajkowski, Arizona Muse, and dozens of others filling fashion’s pages over the past decade. What’s even more impressive, though, are people completely unrelated to modeling, sports figures, dropping their clothes to appear in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue the past 11 years. Sports stars from Indy Car driver James Hinchcliffe to golfer Greg Norman to the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team, Odell Beckham, Jr., Venus Williams, and the Indianapolis Colts Offensive Line, among dozens of others, have dropped everything and shot nude for the magazine. Why? Not because it’s sexy, but because it shows the incredible physical and emotional strength of these athletes (and often a great sense of humor as well). Posing nude makes a statement that goes beyond what any of them can say in their respective sport.
One also gains a sense of freedom in posing nude. Not just freedom from breaking antiquated social norms about what’s acceptable behavior, but freedom from inappropriately imposed authorities and everyone standing on the sidelines saying, “You can’t… ” Posing nude allows one to make their own statement on their own terms. Sure, we provide a number of the concepts we shoot but come to me with a strong idea that makes a statement you want to make and be sure we’ll do our best to shoot it.
The two sets of images in this week’s collection are the last of several photos that were shot back in October. It was one of those incredible experiences of friends doing something together (you’ll remember Cassandra’s set with Mercedes which is viewable here) that was fun, totally unrestrained, and filled with excitement. While most of the pictures can’t be shared on social media, they still are fun to share with friends and one was accepted to a major art festival later this year. As experiences go, ones like this are invaluable.
Our thanks to Cassandra for being patient as we waited to post these separate from the others. More than usual, we strongly recommend viewing the images full-screen on something other than a phone in order to see the detail in the image. Click on any of the thumbnails to enter full-screen mode.
There is no experience that can match shooting nude photographs, especially with a professional photographer. Please, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested.