“I’ll pose for you,” said Dancing Woman. “But I’m not going outside naked.” Her concern, it turned out, wasn’t the neighboring camps or the cars that sometimes drove slowly past, but the cold breeze blowing off the lake. The obligations of friendship apparently do not include setting your bare butt on wet ground on a cold fall day.
“How about the red chair by the fireplace?” she asked. It was probably the warmest spot in the house.
I nodded. “Sure. We can turn it toward the window to get some natural light.”
Dancing Woman stripped off her clothes, tossed them aside, and sat down in the chair. None of my other friends even looked up. Signing Woman went on reading her book, and Long Beautiful Hair wandered back into the kitchen for another cup of tea. Denim Woman, coming down the stairs, didn’t even look surprised to find a naked woman sitting by the fire.
In deference to Signing Woman’s family, who own the house we were staying in, I moved the photos behind the red chair. I wasn’t sure if any of her ancestors, with their stern black-and-white faces, would like to be included in the naked photo. She comes from an amazing family of missionaries and Sunday school teachers, physicians and academics and ministers. I suspect many of them would be most happy to participate in my project. I mean, really, who in the world wouldn’t want to be in a naked photo and get that fifteen minutes of internet fame? But my own rules include asking folks permission before I include them, and that was impossible since the people in the photos are dead. I certainly didn't want to take advantage of dead people.
“Put your legs up,” I said as I looked through the camera, “I want them in the picture.”
Pretty much every woman in the room looked up then to chime and say how much they loved Dancing Woman’s legs. That’s the fun part of taking a naked photo in a room full of women friends: they all start saying things about how beautiful you are. That part of this project never gets old.
For the history of the naked blog photo project, go to this page and click on each photo, beginning with the first. Each photo has a link that will bring you back to a post on this blog that tells the story of how the photo was taken.