April 30, 2013

Creating intimacy in borrowed spaces

I don’t really know how I came to be the naked photographer. It’s not something I planned. The first time I posted a naked photo, I was just being silly. But then my readers (and their clamoring for more photos) made it a tradition.

I do love the way that taking naked photos creates intimacy, often with a woman I’ve just met. What’s funny is that I’m almost always taking the photos in some kind of borrowed place: a hotel room, a park, a balcony, a hiking trail, a cabin in the woods. Only once have I taken a photo of a woman in her own home — even then, I had to open the front door to get the best light, which made the photo shoot a bit public. I like that tension, actually — the intimacy of a woman telling me the stories of her body against the backdrop of an impersonal hotel room or a space that neither of us has any connection to.

I’d known Caregiver for about an hour when my friends started telling her about the naked blogging project. I could tell she was listening carefully to everything they said. And unlike many people I’ve met, she didn’t burst out immediately with, “No way, I’m not posing.” I took that as a good sign.

By the next morning, she had volunteered to be photographed. We ducked into a bedroom on the first floor of the mountain cabin we were all staying in. I’d noticed the room before when I went looking for a bathroom. I liked the lack of curtains, the soft light spread across the bed.

Caregiver stepped into the bathroom to strip off her clothes and emerged naked. “I’m going to tell you what I don’t like about my body,” she said. Every woman has a list, it seems.

When she was done, I asked, “What do you like about your body?” That list was much longer.

 She stretched across the bed, first propping herself up on an elbow to look out the window. “How do you want me to pose?” she asked, turning.

“Hide your face,” I said. “That’s the body part I don’t show on my blog.” So she rolled over, and I snapped the photo.

Mountain Bed

If you don't know the history of the naked photo tradition, you can check it out here. Or go look at the gallery of photos.


Cindy said...

Another gorgeous, sexy woman. And I like how we can look right out to that bench. Maybe you ought to have put another nekkid woman on the outdoor bench for good measure.

jo(e) said...

Oh, I wish I'd thought of that! I could have asked some of my other friends to be just lolling about naked on the bench in the background ....

Anonymous said...

Every woman has a list

That's so true. I think we're trained somehow to hate our bodies. Women always think they're too skinny or too curvy or too fat or too short or too tall or SOMETHING.


Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

For some reason this made me cry. "I'm going to tell you what I don't like about my body" Every woman has a list. So do men, some of them, anyway, I know mine does. Nice photo, nice light.

John said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt is right; I have my list. I think I've said it before, but at the risk of repeating myself I'll say it again: I love your blog.

Ruth said...

Nice photo. The light is beautiful and so is the woman.

I want you to photograph me if we're ever in the same city.

Zhoen said...

Something about this portrait that has a kind of immediacy, a genuine quality. Not that the others lack, but this one has more of.

Anonymous said...

Another lovely portrait.


robin andrea said...

A friend posted this link on Facebook:


I thought it was quite beautiful. When I came over to your blog this morning, your naked photos made me think of those portraits. Years of naked beauty, a book in the making.

Anonymous said...

Robin, I saw that too! And I like "Naked Beauty" as a book title.