20 August 2008

Because Unbearable Lightness said...

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

"...all photographs are self-portraits." - Minor White

"Go ahead. Post that baby!" - Unbearable Lightness

I'm almost willing to guess that I am probably the only nude art photog posting images of himself. At least as far as guys are concerned I guess. You don't see a Dave Rudin or a Dave Levingston doing this, but there are several people on deviantART who only post images of themselves. Why am I doing it... because Unbearable Lightness said so. I made a joking remark in the comment section of my latest post about Kolob Reservoir and the Narrows which has resulted in this post. But to be honest, its not all on UL. I've been wanting to do a project with myself as the model for some time. I had planned it since I was in school and just never did. I've been an art model since 1998 and was regular at it for at least 6 years. Then it became a not so regular thing. I'd pose for friends needing a subject and then while in Grad school from oh-5 til 0h-7, I'd volunteer for a weekly gig at the Murray Art Guild in KY on Wednesday mornings. Most people are under the perception that modeling like this is easy work. Most of the models who worked with me also had the same imagination. They don't think like that anymore. Figure modeling for an art drawing class will let you know real quick if you have what it takes to do it. You get a pretty good idea right after the first 5 minutes into your pose.

I've loved being an art model. I've always found the roll as highly under appreciated, yet it has been such a necessity in art since the beginning of time. This is the primary reason I started the Las Vegas Art Models Group, although I admit I am still trying to get more of a balanced focus on Art Modeling and not so heavy on photography. I read and reviewed Sarah R. Phillips' book, "Modeling Life" and reviewed it in 3 parts on my blog: Part I, Part II, Part III (In fact the book is in arm's reach of me now.) I know its impractical, but I'd like to see more photographers taking a chance doing this. Experience on both ends of the lens gives so much insight and appreciation to an art model's perspective. I am certain it has served well in my success in working with models. Granted, I know that not every photog should be nude in front of the camera. I'm going to go out on a limb and say its probably easier for a female photographer to do it than for males. When you think of fine art nudes, a dude is not the first impression that comes to mind. In many cases, photogs who shoot nudes, don't do guys. I think in all, I've done about 5, some of which were part of a couple shoot. But I think you'd be surprised at yourself if you tried it. Besides, many of the greats have done self portraiture. Oh, by the way, feel free to click on the hyperlinks. Lots of good info there.

I'm still going to work on a self-portrait project, but for now, these none-project nudes will have to work. The first one is one of the few times I've posed with my model. I did this without a release from the model so while I have the print, I chose to blur her facial features prior to placement on the web. The next one is my first attempt at doing a self-project, but I didn't really like the results and didn't follow up on it, but I will. The third image is from the recent trip to the Narrows. That's a knee brace I am wearing. This is the one I was ordered to post by UL.


unbearable lightness said...

Holy crap!!! This is one time I am glad I didn't keep my big mouth shut.

May I now encourage you to work on the self-portrait project? If you need a model, here I am. These images are beautiful!

After decades of teaching I'd come to believe hardly anyone listens to me. Thanks, Terrell.

TLNeasley said...

Glad you like it UL. And of course people are listening to you. I see all the commentary responses on your blog postings. I don't know when or what kind of project I'll put together but I think I will start with just random images for now and work towards a series of work.

It might be hard working with you as a co-model, (no pun, intended)but I wouldn't mind giving it a try. So, you're more than welcome to help!

handygirl said...

One learns a lot by posing nude. A self-portrait has a different meaning for me, and is valuable in a different way. It's probably my favorite thing to shoot. In a way when I photograph a model it is sort of a self-portrait because I'm trying to find parts of me reflected in the other person.

Women might pose nude more often because we get more positive feedback from men. So just do it for yourself if you find it fun and interesting.

unbearable lightness said...

Any time.

Lin said...

I know of several photographers who have done self-nude portraits. Even Rich has posted one once (he said that was once too many though, and we did get several folks asking him never to do that again!)

I always say that every photographer should pose nude, to learn what life is like on the other side of the camera, plus I'm convinced it improves their photography too.

Dave Rudin said...

Bravo to you, Terrell, for posting these images. Any you're right: don't expect to see Levingston or me to be doing the full monty - but I may post some topless photos before long!