The Semi-Naked Truth ~

I came into this world naked, and, presumably, I'll exit in much the same way. Otherwise I totally rock the shorts-and-Hawaiian shirt vibe. (Is that on fleek, or just fleek? It's so hard to keep up.) But I come to this innocent observation honestly and forthrightly, because nakedness figured prominently in my photo-world last week, and I'm not talking about mine. I had the opportunity to do a nude study in the studio and, like all studio projects, it was compelling and challenging. And thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable.

But what is it about nudes -- female nudes in particular -- that visual artists are so attracted to? We could go on at length about the subtle mysteries of the female form, the refined visual aesthetic of lighting, mood, and texture, even the unmistakable eros inherent in the subject. Important, even necessary considerations, to be sure, but still somehow short of the mark. And maybe that's just it; maybe we over-think it to the point of abstraction.

In my case, it was the opportunity to work with a beautiful woman who had some seriously beautiful tattoos. Body adornment -- piercings, ink -- fascinates me, and has been an on-going studio project for a long time. And as I think about, this drives closer to the truth about the nude aesthetic for me: it's the living, breathing, human story somehow captured in the camera, and not a static discussion of the parts.

This is what drives me. This fascinates me. This is the intersection of our lives, and it celebrates the vulnerabilities, passions, and mysteries of both the photographer and the photographed; it is here that powerful stories are being told. All portraiture is this for me, but a nude amplifies the nature of that connection a hundredfold.

We don't stay long in this world, naked or otherwise. Along the way we leave behind the bent twigs that marked our passage; for me, these are photographs. I hope that I caught not only your image, but also your story, for therein lies mine as well.

And mine is totally on fleek.