Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 13)



As I mentioned before, nudism is not a faith-dependent lifestyle. Persons of all (or at least most) faiths can and do practice nudism - there are even Christian nudist groups. But paganism has had a long history of better than average respect for the naked body, particularly the spiritual aspects of its association with nature. The term 'skyclad' - as in "clad in the sky" (or, in other words, dressed in air) - was coined to describe the state in which some pagans would practice their rituals unclothed (or minimally dressed - e.g., in ceremonial robes or other adornments) out in the woods, around a bonfire, under the stars, etc. Especially for those who have reverence for the natural world, nude worship shows respect, and gives the ceremony a special energy that separates it from everyday life. We came into this world naked, and fashioned clothing by our own hands. By laying down those clothes, we can take a step back towards the divine source of inspiration that animates us, and become more godlike, if only for a time.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cascade



Lol, at this point, I'm starting to think I should make a separate category for square format portraits!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Transmutation and Sorcery




For the latest image in my Why Nudism? series, I have recreated Leonardo da Vinci's sketch of the Vitruvian Man, to emphasize the architectural excellence of the human body. This was a very exciting concept for me, both in the shooting, and finally merging together the different images into a final result. I ended up with a few alternate images, depicting various stages of the process. A couple of animated gifs show me posing (front and back) in the different stances (with arms and legs either together at my sides, or outstretched to various degrees) that I would have to choose from to merge together. At one point, I began to consider how I might put an intriguing spin on the concept - which led to me jumping into the air, and trying to capture the poses mid-flight - although, ultimately, I decided that the traditional version looked best (it was hard to get the various figures lined up right jumping into the air like that).






While jumping about in the garage, where I had some space to work with, I thought of a photo idea I'd been wanting to try for a very long time. It's one of those clich├ęs that your typical budding teenage girl photographer (as seen on flickr) tends to do sooner or later. In all the years that I've been shooting clones, it's a wonder it's taken this long for me to try one of my own. I guess I kinda associated them with the beach, and lord knows I haven't had a chance to shoot much photography there in the past ten or twenty years. You do need a lot of room to pull this off. It's also very trial-and-error - even more so than typical self-portrait photography, because it's so hard to micromanage the position of your body in mid-air. I had a lot of fun, though. I don't know if I'm completely happy with the results, but they're certainly interesting to look at. Maybe I'll try it again some day.




Thursday, October 26, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 11)



The ancient Greeks idolized the human body. This is apparent in their art, and especially sculpture. It's a long-forgotten fact that the very word gym - as in gymnasium, or gymnastics - comes from the Greek word for nudity: gymnos. This is because Greek athletes would train their bodies in the nude. Not all nudists are into fitness (we're a very broadly-accepting group), but there is definitely a historical strain within nudism (or naturism, as it is sometimes called) that incorporates a health-conscious approach towards the body. Although they've been deprecated by the lifestyle's modern commitment to unconditional acceptance, the antiquated practice of nudist beauty pageants used to emphasize the role of the human body as a sculpted work of art. But even today, nudist communities tend to prioritize athletics (volleyball is perhaps the most popular sport). And while any behavior that could be described as "voyeurism" is frowned upon, in addition to keeping one fit, the playing of sports in the nude allows spectators to appreciate the human body as an amazing machine, and to witness the feats of strength and dexterity that it is capable of. Why shouldn't we be proud of that?

(I am hoping to produce future images for this series that will elaborate on the themes of nudity in art and taking care of one's body).

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Undressing Outdoors



Why? Because why not!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Flashing a Smile



It's frustrating arguing with people who think "exhibitionism" consists of pulling down your pants in front of little old ladies on park benches. These people clearly don't get it - and have only exaggerated stereotypes of deranged individuals to go on (severely damaging the fetish's reputation). Perhaps there are people genuinely like that out there - I've never met one, and I'd challenge anyone who hears about one in the news or through the grapevine to dig a little deeper and find out the true story separate from the embellishments and assumptions that people naturally make - often without even realizing they're doing it.

Try to imagine this scenario: you hear something (or you read something), and your brain instantly conjures an image in your head, unavoidably colored by your own experiences and perceptions. Before long, you start forgetting which parts of that image are backed up by the original facts. Then you go and tell somebody else about it in your own words, and they assume the parts you don't even realize you've made up are part of the original report! Anybody who's concerned about exhibitionist behavior should make the minimum required effort of actually talking to an exhibitionist. At the very least, when exhibitionists speak up about their own behaviors, you should shut up and let those who have firsthand experience talk.

And what I'd like to say at this moment, is that there is a huge difference between, on the one hand, finding pleasure in violating the taboo of exposing certain "private" parts of your body in public locations, potentially in the presence of unsuspecting strangers (the whole point being that they don't know), or sharing that moment with like-minded perverts (not sticking it in the faces of god-fearing prudes), as occurs when I post these images online - and, on the other hand, outright exposing yourself to those strangers, to a reaction of shock and horror, and general social disruption. They are two completely different things in my mind, and as an exhibitionist, I can't understand why anyone would even want to do the latter. (The irony inherent in "the thrill of getting caught" is that, generally speaking, actually getting caught is an instant boner killer).

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Tale of Two Seasons



Winter on the top. Summer on the bottom. Lol. Sadly, this would be appropriate clothing for the loopy weather we've been having of late.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Running Through the Sprinkler

So, what I really wanted to do for the latest image in my Why Nudism? series is take one of those awesome underwater swimming shots you see sometimes. But the harsh reality is that I don't own a swimming pool, don't know any private owners of a swimming pool, can't go skinny dipping in a public pool, and surely can't take a camera into the pool with me at a nudist camp and start snapping pictures. I might be able to sneak a shoot in a lake or river somewhere, but I don't know if the murkiness of the water would be a deal-breaker; at the very least it wouldn't have that bright, clear look that pools have. Plus, there's the added concern of losing your equipment if it gets away from you.

The next option was to do another "coming out of the water" type shot on the beach or lake shore, but I've done those in the past and not been too satisfied with the results (I'd love to have Sports Illustrated's experience); plus the public location makes it harder to focus on the task at hand and get the shot I need (especially if I'm naked). Besides, I really wanted to go above and beyond for the shots in this series, and I didn't want them all to have a "samey" look. That's why I was gunning for the underwater shot - it would be truly unique, as it's something I've never done before. But I'm open to compromises, because above all, I want to get this series finished, and not leave it open indefinitely.


So one day I was doing yard work in the ninety degree late summer heat, and it crossed my mind that I could cool off by spraying myself with the garden hose. That's when I noticed the rainbows that the spray created, and an idea was born - how cool would it be to do a "running/jumping through the sprinkler" shot, with a rainbow in the frame? I'd like to be able to say that the rest is history, but there's a little more to this story yet. I didn't have enough time before the sun dropped below the treeline to do the shoot right then and there (and you need the sun to get rainbows), so I had to schedule it for another day. Unfortunately, that was the last day of a long 80+ degree streak, before the weather dropped down a good ten to fifteen degrees for several days. When you're outside getting wet, the warmer the temperature is, the better.

But I had to shoulder on anyway. First, however, I had to master the trick of creating rainbows. The process is simple enough - spray some water in direct sunlight. But if you're going to be taking pictures - especially ones that are framed and composed well, and shot with a remote - you need to be able to predict where the rainbow will show up, and make sure it's in a good spot in the frame. And even though a rainbow will move as you move your head (or camera - whatever device is "seeing" the rainbow), it'll only turn up in a particular direction, and at a particular circular angle. So I had to brush up on the science of rainbows (it's pretty fascinating stuff). You probably know that they're caused by sunlight being reflected and refracted in droplets of water. But did you know that if you stand with your back to the sun, the rainbow will appear in a circular arc 42.52 degrees from the spot on the ground where the shadow of your head falls?

Armed with this knowledge, I temporarily experimented with constructing a "rainbow finder" out of a paper cone, scratching down all sorts of trigonometric equations and ratios. Then I decided to just go out in the yard with a camera and my garden hose, and play it by ear. I think the results turned out pretty well. I mean, I would have liked a more prominent rainbow, but under the conditions, I'm happy with what I got. It adds some extra flair to that corner, making the image more interesting overall. (And it's all natural - no Photoshop here!).





Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 10)



Was ever a more pointless garment invented? I've heard arguments both for and against wearing swimsuits for hygienic purposes, and honestly, I can't imagine how it would make much of a difference. Showering before you get in the pool? Sure. But whether or not you're wearing a swimsuit? I don't think so. So what's the point? They don't keep you dry. They don't protect you from the sun (people still use sunscreen and go tanning in swimsuits, precisely because they expose so much of the body). The baggy ones that men too often wear can bunch up and dangerously obstruct one's movement while swimming. And after you get out of the water, you're stuck walking around in a soggy suit - you're more likely to take it off (awkwardly and uncomfortably peeling it off your body) before it ever dries. The only purpose I could envision swimsuits having is to protect your modesty, and they don't even do that particularly well - a common belief among nudists is that, in the same way that censor bars can make fine art look scandalous by the power of suggestion, by emphasizing certain parts of the body, swimsuits are actually more sexual than plain nudity. Besides, skinny dipping is a beloved pastime, and one of the few, rare opportunities textiles have to experience the sheer joy of casual nudity. Let's not lose that.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fig Leaves

So I went tromping through the woods, on the lookout for the perfect leaf to use in a "fig leaf"-type Garden of Eden shot, for the latest image in my Why Nudism? series. I wanted the biggest leaf I could find (not because my ego is inflated, but because it makes for a more striking visual element), but it was very hard to find ones with good coloration (not mottled with brown spots or overly decayed), an appealing shape, and that weren't eaten through by worms or insects or whatever. But I found a few potential candidates (the best of which you can see in the images below), and brought them home.

The irony, however, is that while I was shooting, I found a nice spot by the corner of the fence, partially obscured on one side by a bush in the foreground. And from a particular angle, I discovered, the bush did all the work in covering me up, rendering the fig leaf unnecessary! And I actually liked the way the foreground branch obscured the view of my genitals better than awkwardly holding the leaf up against my body. It's a bit more suggestive, as it doesn't completely cover me, the way the leaf does, but it also solves my dilemma of the contradiction inherent in shooting a figure modestly covered to demonstrate a lack of shame. The branch covers me from view, to evoke the symbolism of the fig leaf, but it's merely a coincidence of perspective - the figure itself is still completely, unabashedly naked. I think it worked out perfectly - even better than I could have hoped (despite making my work searching for that leaf unnecessary), although I think the other pictures I took with the leaf are still interesting to look at. See for yourself:


There's something strangely compelling about behind-the-scenes set up shots. Here, I was still just testing lighting, framing, and composition, before committing to taking my shoes off, removing my glasses (and putting in contacts, so I could still see), and brushing my hair out (which was still slightly damp - I had just washed it because I wanted it to be in prime condition for the shoot). Being in the shade also gives it a bit of a different look.


What do you think? Leaf, or branch?


This is an alternate version of the final image, with a little more symbolism tying it to "the Fall of Man". I think it's a great image on its own, but I decided against it because it contradicts the central theme of being unashamed.


This last one's just for fun. :-p

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reflection on Modeling and Body Acceptance

Preface: I was rereading the description to the latest image in my Why Nudism? series - particularly the part about nudism being a cure for society's tendency to bombard us with unrealistic images of bodily perfection - and it occurred to me that, through my work as an aesthetic artist, I could be considered to be contributing to that problem. So I figured it deserved a little explanation. Granted, this is something I've been struggling with since March (and earlier), but in lieu of a solution, I've decided not to let it stunt my creative drive. (tl;dr - body acceptance includes beautiful bodies, too; celebrating beauty doesn't make it an imperative for happiness; and if the illusion of perfection makes some feel inadequate, I'm not going to let that stop me from honoring it in my art).

As a model, my body may not represent the average (I talk about this more here), but I don't like to participate in making anyone feel inadequate, and the only product I'm hawking is a fitness-oriented, health-conscious lifestyle. There are no magic pills that will make you look like somebody else - only a commitment to exercise and watching your diet (and there's no one strategy that will work for everyone) to make you the best version of yourself. Plus, though I don't personally modify the shape of my body in Photoshop, I make no bones about the fact that photography is often a deliberate process designed to present the subject in the most flattering manner possible. You're only capturing a single instant in time, and not seeing all the "less photogenic" moments in between.

I acknowledge that this is not the best way to advertise nudism's commitment to body acceptance (again, I've brought this up once before), but this is only one aspect of a wider series, the purpose of which is to use my experience as a model and photographer to illustrate the many reasons that someone (myself included) might choose to practice nudism. And, contrary to the common textile lament that "it's always the people you don't want to see naked", the fact that nudism features bodies of all shapes and sizes means that there will occasionally be those that are so-called "model beautiful". One of the things I personally like about nudism is that nudity can be beautiful. It doesn't have to be, but it can be, and when it is, it's sublime. It's one of the many things that keeps me coming back to the lifestyle, and it's what I want to capture in my art.

I wouldn't object to doing a companion series using average people with normal bodies, for a more realistic (rather than idealistic) take on nudism, but the truth is, I don't have people like that to work with (and people like that are typically less enthusiastic about being models), and it's not really the kind of photography I do. I'm an aesthetic artist much more than a documentarian. I don't know that I have the skill to depict something compelling - like a subject's humanity - without making it look superficially appealing. I'd certainly be willing to try, if the opportunity presented itself, and I'd welcome anyone else's attempt to take my idea and do it their own way, for better or worse. In the meantime, this is what I do best, and I like doing it, so I'm not going to worry too much - I'm just going to get on with it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 9)

Not to get all religious (rest assured, nudism includes members of diverse religious faiths and doctrines - there are even Christian nudist groups), but according to the Bible, Adam and Eve perused the Garden of Eden naked - the way God made them ("and they were both naked...and were not ashamed" Genesis 2:25). It was only later, after stealing the forbidden fruit, that they became ashamed, and began the unfortunate practice of covering their nakedness (though not by God's edict). Previously, they had been blissfully unaware that their bodies were anything to be ashamed of ("'who told you that you were naked?' God asked" Genesis 3:11). Nudism is simply a call to return to that state of innocence, where a naked body is seen as natural and unthreatening, and not a symptom of a sexually-obsessed culture.


Moreover, in this day and age, the media bombards us with messages that are designed to make us draw comparisons to unrealistic models of perfection, and become unsatisfied with the way we look (so that we'll fork over our hard-earned money to buy products that claim to make us look and feel better)*. Even aside from the issue of nakedness, we are taught to feel ashamed of our bodies, and criticized as being prideful, even narcissistic, if we don't. To a significant extent, nudism positions itself as a cure to this social malaise - by exposing people to real bodies, in all their vast diversity, in the hope that people will adopt more realistic expectations, and learn to love their body just the way it is. I practice nudism because I do not feel ashamed of my body, and I do not care who sees me naked.

*More on this here.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Horror Princess



Taking in a costume contest at the mall, in my Carrie cosplay. It was just for kids, so I couldn't enter, but I was there for moral support - dressing up around Halloween is a blast! And here's proof that we really are all naked underneath our clothes:


Friday, October 13, 2017

Dark Ritual

It's always fun when there's a Friday the 13th in October. I even pulled out my pagan priest collar (a.k.a. druid's cloak). It was a perfectly mild Autumn night to perform dark rituals by firelight - skyclad or bust!


As I sacrificed a Holy Bible to the infernal flame, I was thinking about what a huge lie Satanism is. Not Satanists - they're great - but the original concept of Satanism. As imaginative as the idea of a dark, fallen God lurking in the shadows and preying on mankind's weaker natures is (I love horror, so I get the appeal), it's a complete fiction. From a historical perspective, horned gods, rituals by firelight, even blood sacrifice - these are all attributes of old, animistic, tribal religions. These people that existed before Christ didn't worship the devil. But then Christ's followers swooped in, and they couldn't abide any gods beside their own. So they literally demonized other people's beliefs, labeling them as pagans, heathens, and devil-worshipers.

I'm not saying the old ways were perfect (yeah, I'm not too keen on the whole blood sacrifice thing), but the new ways aren't without flaw, either. And given how the Christian establishment has co-opted so many pagan holidays (because it's easier to re-brand a holiday than make entire cultures celebrate new ones) - the birth of the sun (not son) on the winter solstice, symbols of fertility (rabbits and eggs) accompanying the resurrection in the spring, and evil spirits roaming the land in the fall - you'd think they'd be a little more grateful. I declare, Christianity's treatment of paganism is no less appalling than the treatment of Native Americans at the hands of the forebears of the United States.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dress Hunting



When it comes to shopping for pretty dresses, there are two peak seasons. In the spring you have Prom, but in the fall there's Homecoming! I may have gotten a little carried away, loading up both my arms with colorful dresses at the consignment shop. What's worse, it was getting close to closing time, so I was a bit rushed. That's why I didn't get more pictures (or good ones, at any rate). Most of them didn't really fit anyway, or suit my body that well. But I did end up with four (two pink, including the one in the picture, and two in different shades of green), each under $15, which is pretty good. Maybe if I collect enough dresses, I can get rid of everything else in my wardrobe and just wear them as everyday clothes! lol

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Last Day of Summer?



I could be wrong - I thought summer was over when we had that cold snap at the beginning of September, but then the weather bounced back and we had ninety degree temperatures for a week straight. But now the weather's cooled back down, and the occasional sunny, eighty degree day seems more like the exception rather than the rule. Of course, weather patterns have been very unpredictable of late, so who knows (and I should probably just shut up about the weather already - it keeps changing on me). I do enjoy warm autumn days. But, in spite of the leaves changing color and beginning to blanket the forest floor (so beautiful!), it still felt more like summer when I decided to go out for a hike the other day with a couple of friends, wearing my new bikini. It was fun! We climbed rocks, and dipped our toes in the river. My only regret is that we couldn't go for a proper swim (the parks board doesn't allow it).


Monday, October 9, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 8)



Nudists have a saying (usually attributed to Oscar Wilde): "if man were meant to be nude, he would have been born that way." And, of course, we were. Even textiles acknowledge this fact, evident in the phrase "naked as the day you were born", as well as the euphemistic term "birthday suit". As a justification for nudism, this doesn't quite pass logical muster (one must be wary of the naturalistic fallacy), but it does possess a certain poetry. After all, every single member of the human population - without exception - is naked underneath their clothes. It's a fundamental part of our humanity. And man is the only animal on this planet that covers its nakedness for reasons other than pragmatism. I mean, yeah, there are practical reasons to wear clothes - be it comfort, safety, or hygiene. But we don't wear them in a goal-oriented fashion, the way we put on rain boots to keep our feet dry, gloves to prevent blisters, or helmets to protect ourselves from head injuries. We wear them as a matter of course. And we're so dedicated to hiding the bodies we inhabit from birth, that a minor slip - e.g., walking from the shower to the bedroom not wrapped in a towel - is treated like a serious crime against common decency. Why? Is it because naked bodies remind us of sex? If that's the case, then more exposure to nudism is the solution.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunning



When it's twenty degrees warmer outside in the sunshine than it is indoors, I have to go out and bake in the sun (just for a little bit) to warm up my core temperature. It feels great! (I love the heat). Especially now that temperatures are growing cooler, and I've pulled the long pants and hoodies out of my closet. Farewell, summer. Greetings, autumn.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Four Phases

Conception (an idea is born)

As artist and creator, I can divide the life of my images into four distinct phases. The first phase is conception. This is when the very idea of the image is conceived in my mind. I imagine it in my head, think about what I want it to look like, what meaning I want it to convey, and what I will need to provide (costumes, locations, opportunities) in order to bring it to life. This is the planning stage.

In some cases, the conception phase is very short - when I'm feeling inspired, or spontaneous; when a picture opportunity presents itself to me and I rush to grab my camera so that I may capture it; or when I already have my camera out and begin brainstorming for ideas on the spot. Other times, an image is planned out in detail far in advance - weeks, months, sometimes even years if it requires a rare opportunity, or if its priority level isn't very high - and I spend much time thinking about it before I have a chance to bring it to life.

Great images can be produced by either approach, as can bad ones. There is a greater sense of accomplishment when a well-planned photo turns out well (and a corresponding level of disappointment when it doesn't work out), but some of the best photos are born of pure serendipity. An artist must have good instincts in either case.

Construction (a photo is created)

Once plans are made, and the proper time has come, the image enters its second phase: construction. This is when the photograph is actually produced within the camera. It transforms from a hypothetical concept in my head to an actual, viewable, shareable image. This is also when the majority of the physical work involved in a photoshoot occurs.

More often than not, a single idea will produce multiple variations - with subtle or major differences in lighting, posing, framing, and composition. The amount of wiggle room available may depend on the strictness of the concept, or the degree to which I've mapped it out in my head, as well as the creativity of my imagination, and the ingenuity of my technical experience, all in the moment that I am shooting the concept.

Moreover, as a self-portrait photographer - as I have explained in the past - there is a lot of trial-and-error involved, since you cannot be operating the camera and posing for the image simultaneously (in most cases). I tend to err on the side of taking too many images (for better or worse), in order to improve my chances of getting one or more that not only cover all the basic requirements - e.g., the image is in focus, I'm standing in the right position, my pose looks good, the sun is shining - but also stands out to my eye as an exceptional work of art.

Culmination (the photo is polished)

Once the shoot is done - after I have exhausted myself; taken enough time or shot enough images; after the necessary conditions (such as natural light) have expired; or, in the best case, if I'm satisfied that I've gotten the image(s) I want - and I've packed up my stuff and gone home (if I'm not already there), the image enters the third phase: culmination.

This is the stage where I can see my concept bearing fruit. It occurs mostly while I'm sitting in front of a computer screen, and (in most cases) before anyone else has seen the image. If I've done my job well, after culling and post-processing, I will end up with at least one image that I think looks really good, and communicates my message clearly (if there is one intended). I will generally get very excited about it (as you should with any good piece of art), and periodically pull it up to look at it again and again while it's still fresh to my eyes.

Sooner or later - and this may not always happen right away - I will publish that image in some form (even if it's just posting it to my blog), releasing it to the world for it to be judged and (hopefully) admired. Photo sharing sites are better for community feedback in my experience, although blogging gives me more control (and less restrictions). At this point, I will ideally begin to get a sense of how other people feel about the image, whether they think it's as good as I think it is, and whether it gets across my message as well as I think it does. This is where you learn what works and what doesn't work when it comes to using art to communicate with the world, and where you discover what it takes to satisfy an audience (if that's something you're concerned with).

Competition (the photo is evaluated)

This is the beginning of the competition phase - where an image joins my greater body of work, and proves its mettle against every other image I've ever taken. Sometimes photos that I really loved when I took them lose their luster, and become less enthralling, or are surpassed by similar images I'd taken previously, or end up taking later. Other times, images I had more or less glossed over at the time begin to stand out because they possess a certain compelling quality that is nevertheless hard-to-gauge. Or, my opinion of an image might change as my own tastes grow and evolve, or as my perspective on its meaning changes, or if it represents a particular moment in my life, the significance of which grows in importance as time marches on.

Inevitably, the images I like and the images my audience likes will not always be the same. But I do value the opinions of others, as a successful artist must learn to juggle his personal tastes with what the public likes, so that does have some effect on what I consider my greatest works to be. Although transient, there is undeniable value in the images I like just after I take them, regardless of how they measure up in the long run. That's part of the fun of being an artist, and trying to create something of value to communicate your feelings and experience to the world. There is also some excitement in the risk - putting your talents on the line to see whether or not your skills are up to the task of realizing your creative ambitions. If at any point you fail, there is always room to learn and improve, and try again some other time.

In the long run, however, it can be said that the only thing of real, lasting importance, is the impression a photo makes over time. Both to me personally, and to the world at large. And as my body of work continues to grow - and with my own growth as a photographer, I am adding what I like to believe are generally better and better photos each year - this is constantly changing. But as it does, I become an ever more competent photographer, with an increasingly impressive portfolio to show off to others.

I've been doing this photography thing seriously (meaning beyond just dabbling) for about ten years now, and I feel like I'm gaining the confidence that ought to come with that. There are flashes of brilliance going back to my original daily nudes project in 2008 - hints of my creative talent shining through even my lack of experience. But I have improved enormously since then, both in my ability to take better pictures (through sheer force of experience, having taken so many in the last ten years, by developing an instinct for what works and what doesn't), and my own personal standards, as I desire to show myself in the best light.

Where do we go from here? Perhaps all the things I'd dreamed of, that I hadn't realized I wasn't ready for back then, will happen now. Or perhaps I'm still not ready, in which case I'll just keep working at it and keep getting better, until I'm good enough that somebody notices. Or I'll eventually die in obscurity, unappreciated by the broader public. Whatever happens, I'll keep doing what I enjoy, and getting better at it, because it makes me happy, and gives me a sense of purpose in life.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Coral Sheets

Here are some outtakes from the photoshoot that produced the latest image in my Why Nudism? series. I had a bit of a unique challenge with this concept, in that I needed to simultaneously demonstrate that the figure in bed was nude, while also emphasizing the contact between the figure's skin and the bed sheets. And most people don't sleep on top of their sheets. So I had to play around with how much coverage there was. There had to be enough exposure to suggest full-on nakedness (and not just, say, being topless, or wearing shorts), but I wanted it to look at least moderately natural, and not too carefully posed. So I ultimately opted for a "tousled" sort of look, although wrangling the bed sheets - to get a good pattern of coverage, that looked aesthetic - was a nightmare. I think the results were pretty appealing in the end, though!







As much as I love full exposure in my photography (as you must by now have noticed :-p), there are times when a hint of coy suggestion can be very effective. I considered early on whether to avoid full  nudity during my Why Nudism? series - because all along, I've had the idea that I could share it with a broader audience - but, in addition to the fact that doing a series on nudism without nudity would be a little hypocritical, I figured out quickly that there would be some shots the effectiveness of which would be severely hampered by going out of my way to avoid full exposure.

So I decided to take a "come what may" approach - which is appropriate to the nudist outlook - and I like that I'm coming up with a nice mixture of shots so far: some with full, unabashed frontal nudity, others with coy views from the back, and some, like my latest one, that maintain the suggestion and illusion of nudity, without being too in your face about it. Perhaps that will allow me to produce a specially-culled preview of images from the full series for audiences that are not completely opposed to the concept, but perhaps still a little bit squeamish about the nudity (e.g., promotional contexts in which you'll be exposed to a wide range of audiences, some of which may not be interested in looking any further).

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 7)



I think that most people probably do not sleep naked - except for those times when a lovemaking session turns into a sleepover. I'd bet, though, that most people do typically "dress down" for bed, either wearing comfortable pajamas, or their underwear. But there seems to be a barrier to going nude, in the textile world, that doesn't exist when it comes to bathing. Some people may be concerned with sharing a bed (with someone other than an intimate partner), or the possibility of being interrupted (e.g., by kids or a roommate), or not wanting to waste time finding clothes if there is an emergency. Your first impulse upon climbing out of bed in the morning may not be to put your pants on, so sleeping naked does tend to dovetail well with roaming the house naked, which isn't something that I imagine most textiles do with any regularity. Still, I'd bet that some people who do not consider themselves nudists do sleep naked - if you google "sleep naked", you get a whole host of articles on the many health benefits of sleeping naked, and I'd be surprised if they were all written by nudists. Plus, popular mattress brand Tempur-Pedic's logo not-so-subtly depicts a nude woman sleeping on her side (in the rare case that a nudist-friendly corporate logo has not succumbed to modern hysteria, like Coppertone has), even if just for the luxury and sensation of it. But hey, that's not a bad reason!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Shopping

At this time of year, I should be shopping for jackets because the weather's turning cooler, but apart from that cold snap we had in the wake of those hurricanes at the beginning of September, the temperature's been pleasantly hot of late. Ironically, it was walking into the store, kept at a cool 60 degrees, while dressed for 90 degree temperatures, that had me reaching for a jacket or robe of some sort to put on while I browsed the racks, just to keep my teeth from chattering.


This jacket looked cute on me. It was too small, though.


A nice, fuzzy robe - very warm. And if I tuck the edges of my dress up under it, it looks like I've got nothing else on!


This robe was very pretty. Definitely had a "kimono" look going on. And my thick, heeled flip flops turned out to be a perfect match for it! I had fun walking around in it for a bit, until I realized it was 100% polyester and it started building up mad static (what with my hair rubbing against it). Oh well.


These shoes were cute. I'm looking for a replacement for a similar pair I own - they're one of my favorite pairs of heels for when I want to dress up a bit. But I've worn them so much they're falling apart. These ones were just slightly too small for me (perhaps you can see my big toe hanging off the edge). Besides, the ankle strap on the other one was busted anyway...


This pink romper was adorable. I have to say I like the idea of the romper. I want one, but I've yet to find one that will work for my special requirements. Denim shorts are one thing, but lighter materials are far less forgiving of my bulge (especially when the entire garment is being pulled up at the crotch). And as for the top, I have a hard time imagining how even a properly-busted girl would be able to keep it from falling down... It is terribly cute, though.


I had strapless, shoulderless tops and dresses on my mind lately, so I tried this one on. It's hard to find one, as I'm sure you can imagine, that will stay up (especially for a flat-chested girl such as myself). This one is a snug fit (but not too snug), and the lining inside the top has a rubber grip, so it holds its place better than most. It was $3 on clearance, so I bought it. It's a real pretty shade of blue. Looking at it in my closet now, it seems as though I don't have many clothes in that color register. Now I have another dress to add to my "semiformal" collection! (More things I don't wear as much as I'd like to...)


Until next time... you know what they say - I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave! ;-p