Nude as Mask

April 19, 2009  •  Leave a Comment
I received an e-mail from a young woman one day. She was an aspiring nude model, interested in Art, had participated in a few nude sessions already, and thought it could be an interesting experience to work with me. About 30 minutes into the session, after I had photographed the transformation from a fully dressed young women to a nude model, she asked me what I wanted her to "do", how I wanted her to pose for me. She felt she was not "doing" anything to justify her role as model. I told her I am very satisfied with how it is going, and what she is "doing" already is exactly what I am looking for. She suddenly took on a very worried expression, and said: "You know, I have never ever been photographed without posing, and that worries me a lot. I really don't care if people know what I am - I am used to showing off my body, and I know it looks good. But I am scared people may get to know who I am, and then find out I have nothing inside me". That was a shocking thing to hear. I assured her I would not publish anything without her approval, and we continued the session. Before she left, she asked to look through all the photographs in the camera, and while doing so she exclaimed "Wow.. I see I can look good even when I am not posing!" A few weeks later, I received a letter from her telling me what a profound experience she had gone through, and that she had taken some life changing decisions based on it. That was the first time I realized, in such a concrete way, how much the "nude" can be a mask behind which to hide ones true self and how much more one can reveal when looking deeper than the skin.
 
 
 
(the person in the photo is not related to the above, except my conviction that she is not wearing a mask)
 

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