Food4ThoughtFriday #58: If I had a Photograph.
If you take risqué photographs, what is it that you enjoy most? The creativity, the composition, the feedback you get from those who see them?
If you participate in any of the memes above, what made you decide to take part? How did you feel the first time you linked a post for others to see?
How comfortable are you sharing semi-nude/nude/sexually explicit photos of yourself, either online or via a “sext”.
Sharing images of my nude body started when I did some photographic sessions at an Art School back when I was 18. I needed the money and was also quite appreciative of my youthful body. My then fiance (later husband) and I were both interested in Naturism so getting the kit off wasn’t an issue though I was not especially comfortable with sharing my ‘pink bits’.
These photography sessions formed a basis for my later venture into life modelling as I went through Art School myself back in my 40’s. Then, as now, I was eager to present myself as a body positive role model, having moved up several dress sizes and gained some interesting scars in the interim. I also loved costume modelling, something which continues to this day.
My photographer mate Sara and I have collaborated over a number of years, and her photographs have formed the basis for many drawings both when I was studying and now. This year she introduced me to my other photography partner, now companion, CM, and together and separately our creative work continues. It’s a very special feeling to work as a model for photographers who are creative partners, and it’s downright erotic to have two of them stalking you with their lens no matter how much clothing you do or don’t have on at the time! So I guess that makes me an exhibitionist of sorts, but I think ‘camera slut‘ is more apt.
I initially stumbled on #Sinful Sunday, and indeed the Kink community when searching for keywords that referenced my blog, and quickly recognised I’d found some kindred spirits. My first meme post Blue was conspicuous by the lack of any glimpses of my body – it featured a still life in my bedroom: a brass statue of an Indian dancer wearing my blue headphones and a vintage container I use to keep my condom stash in. It was and is amusingly staid but I soon got into the swing of things. I vividly remember being extremely pleased with the images I took of my breast reflected in a crystal hand-mirror in the weeks following (The Body Beautiful and it’s follow up Even the Moon Has Scars).
I publish images regularly across several meme’s including #SinfulSunday, #MasturbationMonday, #WickedWednesday, with occasional foray’s into other prompts including (but not confined to) my own #ArtTwist, Hy’s #FridayBoobday, #KOTW, #F4TF and #FebruaryPhotoFest.
Many of my earlier images relied on my eye for composition both during production and afterwards, especially after Molly introduced me to the “rule of thirds”; but these days I do a bit more post-production work, using a free on-line app. ipiccy, which has some interesting filters.
I’ve always included interesting settings and symbolic artifacts in my visual art works (see my latest work at the bottom of the post for examples) and now spend quite a bit of time looking for intriguing props in second hand shops and searching out suitable outdoor spaces to work without interruption.
I did feel nervous and excited about sharing images of my body on the internet, but now I’m pretty relaxed about it all. Once I became comfortable with the #Sinful Sunday community, I gradually became more adventurous with my own photography. From the very beginning I could see I was amongst some very accomplished and dedicated photographers, whose work often has a signature aesthetic. In some ways that was and is the biggest challenge of the lot.
While I certainly appreciate the comments people post, and enjoy posting comments in turn, it’s not my primary motivation. When one of my photographs finally made it to the weekly roundup I was stoked, because I felt recognised by people whose artistic work I had come to appreciate. I also love having a prompt because it forces me to think outside the box.
The most difficult hurdle initially was to reveal my face. As I was then working at a University I was quite fearful that I would be recognised. I’m still not overly eager to flash my pink bits, however I have posted a drawing and photograph on Molly’s Pussy Pride project, and I did an Alien sequence where my body and vulva were covered in a fabulous blue filter. I don’t sext except with someone I have some sort of friendship/relationship connection with, though I have been asked. It felt too intimate somehow, but I don’t care if other people do.
There is one more challenge I’d like to undertake and that is working with some other #Sinful Sunday people when I visit the UK in Autumn. I’m always amused by the cheeky work of K and her hubby from @ablazingmodesty and would love to have a play date with them when I come over. The closest I’ve come to K’s chutzpah is photographing myself with my knickers at half mast in my front yard under the sheltering branches of the weeping cherry, while cars whizzed past 15 feet away.
I still regard myself more as a visual artist, having devoted ten years of my life to studying drawing and even more time practicing the art. It took me a long time to get back into my drawing practice after my PhD, which was based on textile sculptures and installation. I thought for a long time I would never pick up another piece of charcoal.
But, thanks to our lovely meme community, to my photographers and to a revitalised appreciation of fancy ‘dressups’, my drawing practice is engaging my interest again. This has created a bit of a tension because of time pressures, especially in the lead up to my forthcoming trip to the UK. (The drawing on the right refers to this). I do like to feature occasional drawings on #Sinful Sunday, but these have mostly been the product of some life drawing classes I’ve taken recently. If I decide to exhibit again I may find this is more of an issue.