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Nude Self Portraits
Old 02-03-2006   #1
Stephanie Brim
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Nude Self Portraits

I'd been thinking of doing something like this for quite some time. I love nudes. They're one of my favorite kinds of photography. They rank up there with street photography and candid portraiture as top contenders for what kind of photography I'm actually interested in purchasing.

I had kind of been pondering this as a way to get myself out of debt while still doing something arty instead of just getting a second job. Being my own model would be pretty much a crapshoot in a way: I'm not behind the camera and I won't know good things will look until after I've developed the roll. I think that I could do something good with this, however.

To give you an idea of MY idea, I'm picturing arty black and white photos that may or may not show my face...I'm not sure yet. They will be shot with my rangefinder (of course).

I think the main question is this: would anyone actually buy something like this? Would it be weird for you? If any of you meet me at some time in the future would things be weird? I'm very comfortable with my body (I just lost about 20 pounds in 4 months) and shy isn't really in my vocabulary in this regard.

Just thought I'd ask what people thought of the idea. This wouldn't get done until after my street level project anyway.
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Old 02-03-2006   #2
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I'm predicting that this will become one of RFF's most viewed threads.

By all means, Stephanie. If you want to give it a try, go for it. If it is within your personal comfort zone then why not? You can always decide after viewing the results whether you want to go public or not. I'm sure that many of us are envious that you are able to consider this, as for many of us including myself, having passed a certain age and an amount of living, it is out of the question esthetically speaking.
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Old 02-03-2006   #3
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It's a fine line there-keep a hold of yourself. I think you may find a lucrative market (I predict a lot of views on this thread) but keep some distance between your needs and those of customers. Only you can decide.
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Old 02-03-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS
I'm predicting that this will become one of RFF's most viewed threads.

By all means, Stephanie. If you want to give it a try, go for it. If it is within your personal comfort zone then why not? You can always decide after viewing the results whether you want to go public or not. I'm sure that many of us are envious that you are able to consider this, as for many of us including myself, having passed a certain age and an amount of living, it is out of the question esthetically speaking.
Yeah...I'm only 22. I figure that I should do something like this, if I do it at all, while I still can. I think that it may help me pull myself out of this horrible rut of depression I've been in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aad
It's a fine line there-keep a hold of yourself. I think you may find a lucrative market (I predict a lot of views on this thread) but keep some distance between your needs and those of customers. Only you can decide.
It really isn't that I want to market something like this...it would most likely be a one-time deal. It's more that I want to express myself and do some nude photography. The problem is that I live in a small town and there aren't many who would be comfortable doing a nude shoot. It's either I do it myself or I don't do it. I figure that someone has to just come out and take the plunge, ya know? I mean, yeah, it would be nice to get a career going, but I don't see that happening just off of this.
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Old 02-03-2006   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim
I think the main question is this: would anyone actually buy something like this?
Charting new waters here...

Like FrankS said, I see this thread exploding viewership/replies in no time. I think that should give you some feedback.

It all depends, Steph. The first question is: how comfortable are you? You have already answered that question. The other is, how are they, the vision, value, etc. Lots of appeal, and still subjective.

I have a very short nude portfolio myself; three people have ever posed for me, and the last session I had was...oh, two and a half years ago. When I posted some of these pictures on PBase, the traffic skyrocketed; not something I was comfortable with due to the timing of it all. Something I'd like to explore myself, but some of the midwestern puritanism has rubbed off me, I guess, so I'm now hesitant.

I'd say go with what your heart tells you, but always consult your gut. Looking forward to your success!
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Old 02-03-2006   #6
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If you're comfortable with it, Stephanie, go for it. Expect a lot of lurkers to come out of the woodwork on this thread, however.
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Old 02-03-2006   #7
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I like pulling lurkers out of the woodwork...it's a good thing.

Oh, and I don't have red hair and green eyes...is that going to be a problem?
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Old 02-03-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim
I like pulling lurkers out of the woodwork...it's a good thing.

Oh, and I don't have red hair and green eyes...is that going to be a problem?
Of course not! Think of it: you're not going to have to fiddle around with filters if you're doing B&W.
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Old 02-03-2006   #9
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Do you live near a college or university? If so, see if someone in their art department can introduce you to someone who has done nude modeling or has used nude models. Above all, you want to be safe.
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Old 02-03-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim
Oh, and I don't have red hair and green eyes...is that going to be a problem?
I doubt it would matter much in b&w

I personally think if you're comfortable with it, go right ahead.. I could point you to some flickr users who have amazing collections of nude selfies that have a very classical look.. artistic, not necessarily sexy (altho there's no denying that they're both)
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Old 02-03-2006   #11
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Frank S., if that's you in the photograph in your link above then you have a sort of classic sculptural pressance, a little like the work of the famous sculptor Rodan and the images he made.
My point is well yes nudity sells, but a classic image is better "art".
I may know as I was a starving artist, painter and sculptor (and still planning on returning to my art full time after I retire fro earning a living and my children are adults).
 

Old 02-03-2006   #12
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Steph, as much as I'd be interested in seeing pictures like this, putting a face to a name so to speak, you have mentioned that you are dealing with depression issues. Please be very careful about decisions you make while in a vunerable state. Talking to a trusted friend/stable adult type person may be advisable.
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Old 02-03-2006   #13
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I'm in..

err.. what am I agreeing to???

I read nudes and I just figure I'm there..

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Old 02-03-2006   #14
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Steph, I think this has to be considered first as a serious self-assignment before you
think of it in terms of marketability. I should have done it myself when I was your
age, but I just wasn't game. Now, 30+ years later I might be game, but I'm a scrawny, bony mess.

If it's important to you creatively, do it. Otherwise, ponder for a while.

So...do you have green hair and red eyes?

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Old 02-03-2006   #15
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Yes, what Manolo said. Take them for yourself, and then decide what to share or not.
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Old 02-03-2006   #16
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At the risk of sounding like a prude (trust me, I'm far from it) I would suggest you think long and hard before doing anything like this. Once those photos get out into circulation, they will be impossible to recall, and may come back to haunt you in a future life.

If you're short of funds there are many other ways to raise quick cash.

But, I'm sure that 99% of the others here want me to butt out so I will ... <semi grin>
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Old 02-03-2006   #17
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It was a good thing for Cindy Sherman. Of course, not all her work was nudes, and she had an overarching concept that tied the photos together.

(She also had the advantage of being in a major market where she could gain flavor-of-the-month status with the art-gallery trade.)

One practical consideration which may or may not have occurred to you: Nudes are a very demanding subject area because there's been so much great work done over the hundreds of years artists have been depicting nudes. And by tackling this project as self-portraiture, you'd be trying to do it without the advantage of being behind the camera. You'd either need to become an expert at pre-planning every shot, or accept a very high waste rate.

So, practicing first on another model -- nude or non-nude -- might be a good idea.
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Old 02-03-2006   #18
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I think this could have a lot of potential. I'd also see if you can find a long (pneumatic perhaps) cabel release to so you don't have to rush into position during the short self-timer period. Try a number of styles if you can - smooth hollywood tonality vs. grainy available darkness and so forth. A big thing to remember is that these are also shots that beg to be cropped for effect in the darkroom or PS, so worry more about getting a bit larger area to give yourself room to work with. Classical images are good, but so to Wesson-esque explorations of curves in space and, for that matter, a view from behind ala the WWII pinup. My main comment is that there is much to experiment with so you may as well have fun with it.

An yes, I'd probably be willing to buy a nice matted print when you're done with the project.

Good luck and have fun!

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Old 02-03-2006   #19
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Here is a link to a nude self portrait portfolio on photonet:

http://www.photo.net/photodb/member-...hoto_id=210845

There is another by a photographer named Sylvia, I believe.
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Old 02-03-2006   #20
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Ask yourself, would you be willing to do it if you were not in debt ? Be honest with yourself and the answer will come on its own.

You can always eat peanut butter instead, or hunt street pigeons or collect their bread crumbs, the creative starving photographer always has options
 

Old 02-03-2006   #21
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Whew....... I thought you were going to ask everyone on RFF to send in nude pics of themselves. Mine alone would cause uncontrollable fits of laughter or possibly worse!

Stephanie, there are plenty of nude works wherein the model's face isn't shown. You may consider that approach. OTOH, if you're not embarrassed by the prospect of being recognized then there's no reason not to show your face. How many here can actually recall the faces of the nudes they've seen? I doubt that I'd know even one.

Whatever you decide, the best of luck to you.

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Old 02-03-2006   #22
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Me too, I'm gonna do 'naked fat guy by lake' and 'naked fat guy on bear skin rug'. .25 cents each........Stop drooling!
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Old 02-03-2006   #23
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Stephanie,
Can you go to a local or not to distant college. They must have art classes and also somewhere some nude modelling. You could ask an art proffessor where they get their models and also ask if you could hire one of the models. I did that, cost would not be too much as usually the models are poor students so $25 could get you a nude possing session.
 

Old 02-03-2006   #24
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I've tried to shoot nudes in the past - not of myself mind you - and they are extremely difficult to light and hard to get "just right" without seeming "weird" (for the lack of a better word).

I'd be willing to try shooting self nudes only to see what type of lighting I'd require but that's about the extent of it

Dave
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Old 02-03-2006   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubs43
Whew....... I thought you were going to ask everyone on RFF to send in nude pics of themselves.
You mean...? Dang.

----

ok, seriously --really--, seriously, Steph; read carefully what FrankS has said. He not only looks wise, he is one of RFF's Zen Keepers
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Old 02-03-2006   #26
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Stephanie, I think you need some help. I dont mean this to come off as a jab, I really think you do. You come onto a forum that according to a recent poll is about 98% male with a median age of about 40+ (or there abouts) and ask basically if anyone would be supportive in seeing you nude, for arts sake of course. Are you really that starved for attention? If one had a hankering to explore nude photography they would do it. Not ask a bunch of old farts if they thought it would be a good idea and would they mayby like to see the shots. If you honestly want to explore that aspect of art photography then do so, privately. If you are so happy with the results that you want to share - for arts sake - then do so. If you feel you need a confidence boost so bad you have to ask if a bunch of strangers would like to see you naked - you need help. professional help. Now. I realize you play to your advantage the role of the innocent little girl who needs the help of all these wizened old men (for the most part) around here, but this is going way to far. This thread should be closed and deleted. You are either very pathetic or in dire need of help. which ever it is this is not the answer. Moderator,Please?
 

Old 02-03-2006   #27
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Why the need to go "anonymous"?
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Old 02-03-2006   #28
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I think it is only fair that if Stephanie does a nude self-portrait, that all RFF members do one as well ...


Wait, that could get ugly.
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Old 02-03-2006   #29
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Cuz pepto1 likely got banned?
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Old 02-03-2006   #30
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What FrankS and dmr said about careful consideration ... it's good advice and there are other ways to get out of a depression that don't paste you nude all over the internet.

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Old 02-03-2006   #31
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Wait, that could get ugly.
Now there's a vision most of us didn't want.

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Old 02-03-2006   #32
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Well, I wasn't going to reply to this until I saw Pepto2's reply. I think sir, you are a little harsh in your diagnosis.

Now mind you, I would say some of the same things as others as far as to the technical difficulty of a project like this; the fact that she must live with any photos released into the public in future years; and how serious she is about raising money this way rather than some others. That is, if she is a good enough photographer and artist, is nude the only thing she would be good enough to sell.

She has admitted in the past and in this thread, that she has had bouts of depression. That doesn't make her a sicko. Nude is a legitimate art form, male or female. Some have been successful with self portraits in nude. Not for pulchritute, but for art. She could potentially do the same. And I don't know how serious her bouts have been. Just the fact that she can tell us about it tells me she has some control.

To you Stephanie, I would say be sure this is something you can always be comfortable with, not only now, but in any future. I would question if you don't think you are a good enough artist to sell photos of other subjects. I suspect you are. Is it that you just want to throw yourself out there nude, and if so why? I don't know if you can answer that yourself, but you should. Whatever, think if over, and if you are sure this is something you must do, best of luck with it.

Pepto2, I don't question your motives in your post, but are you sure that was the best way to express yourself, and help Stephanie? She has been around her for a long time and is known to this community. You sir, are not. At least yet. I do look forward to seeing many more posts and contributions from you so we can all get to know you better.
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Old 02-03-2006   #33
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and here another:

photo.net

I have to tell you, I've had her bookmarked for quite some time now and I'm not impressed. Some of the work Frank linked too is much better. It seems much of this work is 'here I am', not, here is an aesthetically pleasing image.

Which brings me to: many excellent points here. Yes, be sure. Not that you want nudes, but before you publish them. Be sure that they are good, and it's not just a narcisistic (sp) thing. After all, it IS you!

You might try digital for layouts. Someone above mentioned a long cord, and running. Hard to look relaxed after you've sprinted across a studio. Take some test shots. A few. Maybe have a friend there to take notes. Then do the film.

Now, for my humorous moment that we all know is rife in this thread:

I was going to do nudes. Big demand (for 49 yo guys, handsome as we all are). My wife doesn't want to share me though, which is too bad because for a cup of coffee and a good story I'm available for just about anything.

In a nutshell, if you don't think of the money and do what is in your heart, good things will come of it. (And frequently, money is a good thing!)

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Old 02-03-2006   #34
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Quote:
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Cuz pepto1 likely got banned?
And I was going to give him the benifit of the doubt. (Should I have capitalized doubt?)
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Old 02-03-2006   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim
I'd been thinking of doing something like this for quite some time. I love nudes. They're one of my favorite kinds of photography. They rank up there with street photography and candid portraiture as top contenders for what kind of photography I'm actually interested in purchasing.

I had kind of been pondering this as a way to get myself out of debt while still doing something arty instead of just getting a second job. Being my own model would be pretty much a crapshoot in a way: I'm not behind the camera and I won't know good things will look until after I've developed the roll. I think that I could do something good with this, however.

To give you an idea of MY idea, I'm picturing arty black and white photos that may or may not show my face...I'm not sure yet. They will be shot with my rangefinder (of course).

I think the main question is this: would anyone actually buy something like this? Would it be weird for you? If any of you meet me at some time in the future would things be weird? I'm very comfortable with my body (I just lost about 20 pounds in 4 months) and shy isn't really in my vocabulary in this regard.

Just thought I'd ask what people thought of the idea. This wouldn't get done until after my street level project anyway.
How much do you want for an 8 x10? Are you creeped out yet?

Seriously, give it a try. You're talking about artistic figure studies not porn. Why would it be weird? If you don't show your face, no one could ever prove that it's you anyway.


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Old 02-03-2006   #36
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Quote:
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Cuz pepto1 likely got banned?
why banned?
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Old 02-03-2006   #37
ducttape
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wowzers, I am reading this on RSS, decide to post and by the time I do post the place falls apart. My post is woefully, ah, inadequate. (my post, NOT me! My post!)

Steph, whatever makes you happy. regardless of Pepto's no or other's yes, you are the decider!
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Old 02-03-2006   #38
RJBender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aad
Cuz pepto1 likely got banned?
BTW, joe can see our ip addresses. Yes, are all naked in that respect.
If Pepto1, Pepto2 and RFF member _____ share the same IP address, joe can ban all three.

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Old 02-03-2006   #39
parks5920
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepto2
Stephanie, I think you need some help. I dont mean this to come off as a jab, I really think you do. You come onto a forum that according to a recent poll is about 98% male with a median age of about 40+ (or there abouts) and ask basically if anyone would be supportive in seeing you nude, for arts sake of course. Are you really that starved for attention? If one had a hankering to explore nude photography they would do it. Not ask a bunch of old farts if they thought it would be a good idea and would they mayby like to see the shots. If you honestly want to explore that aspect of art photography then do so, privately. If you are so happy with the results that you want to share - for arts sake - then do so. If you feel you need a confidence boost so bad you have to ask if a bunch of strangers would like to see you naked - you need help. professional help. Now. I realize you play to your advantage the role of the innocent little girl who needs the help of all these wizened old men (for the most part) around here, but this is going way to far. This thread should be closed and deleted. You are either very pathetic or in dire need of help. which ever it is this is not the answer. Moderator,Please?
Interesting that a "new" member would have that comment on this thread.
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Old 02-03-2006   #40
parks5920
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guess it's time to change my picture.
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