Naturist photography

I have often wondered if it is possible to take photographs that show WHY people go nude. There are plenty of photos of nude people taking part in activities such as sport, sun bathing etc. but if the people had been wearing a swim suit would the essence of the photo have been lost? Suppose you saw a photo of people enjoying a walk whilst nude, would an almost identical photo of dressed people doing the same lose anything apart from the obvious detail of clothing? OK, we know the joys of walking nude but does the photograph actually convey that idea or do we just know that from experience? Could such a photograph be used to help explain why we go nude? Does it have an essential Naktiv message over and above the simple nudity?

The reason I ask is that I have avoided all naturist photography because it looked far too difficult. I take photography very seriously and am always amazed at the poor quality that many people put up with, made worse recently by reliance on phones as cameras. But even if these photos were sharp, had good colour, framing, composition etc. would they “say” naturist/nudist/naktiv? The great majority do not.

Some of the photos on go some way to show what I mean although they are of a solitary person so lack the social aspect. Some do convey a good idea of nudity in nature.

The photo of a woman riding her bike with a police officer framed by one of her arms speak volumes, it is about half way down It also says without words that the police are doing nothing daft and she carries no clothes in a bag, free and fun in London. Some of the WNBR images show some of what I mean, especially ones that show the reaction of the public.

A trawl with Google Images for naturism yields some good images (and it seems Google is at last getting the idea that naturist does not equal porn), but few say “join in, it’s fun nude” rather than “join in, we are having fun”.

10 thoughts on “Naturist photography”

  1. A number of months ago I started a Tumblr blog to explore the concept of fear as a controlling force over how we act and behave. It was a collection of thoughts I had at the time, and I wanted pictures that somehow reflected the statements I was recording. I got a little disheartened as it was difficult to source pictures that didn't led off to dubious picture galleries.
    All that said, I think those pictures do communicate some aspect of why. You be the judge. I might start posting there again.

  2. Yes Howard. It's all very subtle. The use of the word naturist in your title clouded the way I read the rest of it, although even if I got it right I would still find it difficult to capture the 'why'!

  3. Nice photos Scott. The word naturist causes all sorts of trouble:- My post is about why people go nude/naked/without clothes (to avoid other troublesome words!) and if photographs could show why. There are lots of fine nude photos of all kinds but precious few that could really say "this is why I do it" and better still "why don't you join us?". Unless of course people can point us somewhere.

  4. Thanks for bringing that site to our and my attention Howard. There is a similarity between the work there and my work with my self and models. But he does the bigger picture better!
    Curiously neither of us use the keyword 'naturist' anywhere! I tend to link naturist photography with snaps. It would be interesting to see what would happen if I went out with naturists to get images. Neither of my outdoor models would attach the naturist label to themselves. They would not call themselves models either!

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