Natalie Ulman on why we increasingly feel at ease in our own skin, even when that’s all we have on.
We live in a society where images of ourselves dominate social media websites and where our generation’s social lives consists of photo-bombarding on Facebook or Instagram. We are so comfortable with seeing ourselves in a photograph that we have the knowledge of how to ideally represent ourselves in one. So, when presented with the idea of being photographed nude for St Andrew’s leading newspaper, The Saint, for its edition on skin, well — it was a challenge my friends and I couldn’t resist. No harm in trying new things…right?
When taking off your clothes, you would expect to be in a completely vulnerable position. Or at least we thought. Sunny, a fellow model, described it conversely as a completely natural experience: ‘I hadn’t realized how comfortable I would be in such a primitive state of being.’ And Rosie felt fine due to the fact that we were being photographed by our friends. She stated, ‘It was normal to be nude in front of my closest friends. But maybe not in front of a stranger. I don’t recommend being nude unless you’re with people you’re comfortable with.’ The photographers had similarly nonchalant reactions. Sage remarked on photographing a nude model, ‘This was my first time shooting a nude model, though it was not my first time seeing someone nude. I’m a photographer and you have to look at everything with an artistic eye. It was not sexual. When photographing the body, nudity doesn’t matter. It’s all about capturing the right composition.’ Anna has two photos that have been chosen to be exhibited in The Saint. Her views on the shoot are as follows: ‘I didn’t think anything weird of it. It was just another experimental venture.’ My view: it made for an interesting afternoon and some of the results came out artistically beautiful or intriguing in a surprisingly grotesque way. Besides being friends with two photographers, weird photoshoots are just a normal thing we tend to do during our spare time.
The conclusion: the idea of being photographed nude sounds much more provocative than it is in reality. Is it due to the fact that being photographed in a very vulnerable state of being has become a part of everyday life — with nudity just being an extension of this? Possibly. No matter the reason we were all so comfortable, at least the experience made for an entertaining article.
Image by Sage Lancaster