Seeing Red 6

P4SRR33612.jpg

"What would my father think? That was the first thing that ran through my mind when I started to consider modelling nude.

I remember this distinctly, I hadn't told anyone but my partner and I was on my way. I went in alongside another model and ended up enjoying every moment of it. It was so freeing and so expressive without any crux.

I was thrilled with the images that were produced and it grew into quite the hobby. 

At the time, TFP or Trade For Print was still commonplace and I remember getting my first nude print. My father picked me up from a set and I asked him sheepishly if he would like to see it. He said yes. I took it out of the bag and showed him. He stared for a minute and then proceeded to tell me that it was a beautiful image and that I should be proud because he was. He said he was pleasantly surprised and that it was very artistic. 

I spent a large majority of my modeling days posing for Fine Art Nudes and was lucky enough to be published several times.

A few years passed and my life evolved. I was pregnant and my body was changing. Could I still model? Would people accept it? What did it matter? The latter was the most important. As long as I was happy with the images produced, why would it matter what others think. I was pleasantly surprised after shooting a couple of sets with my extra bump to find that people found it very empowering. This was inspiring to me. Even still, the journey with my body change was difficult and another hurdle was still to come. What would my son think? How could he have a mommy who takes off her clothes? And not only is she comfortable taking off her clothing (where most people hide) but she would let people photograph it.

Eventually I realized that I did not want my son to be raised to think that this was wrong. If my father was able to accept it, and I loved it, I was going to raise my son in a loving and accepting environment where he could appreciate it as well. 

Three generations of appreciation for something so beautiful, so freeing and so wonderful. "

Text © Karen Murdock

Seeing Red 5

“The challenge that comes with modeling nude (particularly for Steve) is that there is little to nothing to set the atmosphere. No fancy hair or makeup, no wardrobe, no detailed sets, nothing to tell you what the scene is about. There may be ballet slippers, a stool, silks, or a table, but nothing to really explain what’s happening. It all comes down to the model and the 640-850 muscles in their body. It’s their fist or their back turned to you or their hunch or their strong upright posture that will tell you what is going on.

So what does modeling nude mean to me: it means I need to coordinate every part of my body to tell the same story, and then make it beautiful under Steve’s lighting. I’m not a spiritual person by any means, so it’s nothing to do with my soul or anything of that nature. I started modeling nude a year ago but it has completely changed the way I model and the way I see myself. I am a huge perfectionist now. The photographer will say, “oh, that’s a good one,” and I’ll say, “no, not yet,” and then I’ll tweak it until every part of it makes perfect sense. I have some very high standards set for myself but it has truly transformed how I model, and I love seeing the improvement.

Modeling nude has given me self awareness.”

Text © Ellen

Seeing Red 4

"In a hyper sexualized society, it's easy to feel like your body doesn't measure up or isn't fitting for what's ‘acceptable’. Working with Steve, at anytime, never leaves me feeling inadequate or that I'm lacking in some way. I love the fact that I am confident enough with myself and my body to model for fine art nude and also tap into my creative side. I struggle with creativity whether it be writing, painting or art journaling but being able to take part in nude modelling and creating such images, I feel like I have been apart of something unique and artistic. It inspires me and gives motivation.

I have always been a strong advocate for body positivity and women's rights. Women have great strength and it's important to promote that message in all its forms. Both Steve and I felt this image really demonstrated strength. This, particularly, is what I like about artistic nudes; it's simply the body in its most raw form and the pose telling the story. Working on such projects has given me comfort in my own skin and the confidence to celebrate what is my own body with its beauty and presence as I evolve.  

I always feel very honoured to work with Steve (and his assistants). I am especially honoured to have presence in this particular project and be able to add my voice to this story. A celebration of body positivity and acceptance is always a beautiful message."

Text © Megan Thompson

Seeing Red 3

"Far too often people live their lives feeling insecure or shy about their bodies, as if it's wrong to celebrate or show the most natural part of life. The human body is more than just an object that's meant to be sexualized, and picked apart. Acceptance of your body is so important, and seems to be something that is far and few between in this day and age with all the surrounding pressure.

Contrary to societies expected norms, It's okay to feel comfortable with your body in its natural state, without it being portrayed as inappropriate or suggestive. Your body is beautiful, and it is yours. I believe it is time to embrace your body for everything it is, as it is the only one you will ever have.

That being said, these are the reasons pertaining to me taking advantage of my body as it is, as it should be, by partaking in this project. My body is beautiful because I accept it as a natural form of life, of my life- not as something to be objectified from societies ideas of what a naked body insinuates. After all, we're only human."

text © Chelsea Rae

Seeing Red 2

"the sexualization of the human body--especially the female body--distracts us from its natural beauty. the manifestation of the golden ratio, of the incredible curves, and lines of the human's physical form is lost, buried beneath an objectifying lens.

reclaiming the body as a canvas, as a work of art beyond its commonly sexualized representation, is empowering. it brings us back to nature, to our power, for both men and women, that exists organically, without having to colour it with anything else.

this is why I choose to have my body photographed. this is why I embrace its natural form, unapologetically. empowerment, and an acknowledgement of beauty in its purest form."

text © Mau Isabel

Seeing Red 1

"It's rare that I get an opportunity to pose for a photograph with only my own image in mind. My own pose, my own hair, my ownership. When I shoot, and especially when I shoot with Steve, I'm looking to help create a story where the subject remains anonymous; we aim for the emotion, not the person.

Negating the person creates a vessel in which the viewer can inject their own reality, their own story. Often the narrative is highly sexualized. This isn't always the case, but when I had this opportunity to share a challenging perspective, I seized it.

I am demisexual. For those who aren't familiar, that means that I do not experience sexual attraction without deep emotional bonding. Being a woman of this persuasion, in this sexually charged culture, means posing nude is a conflict. My pushed hip, highlighted curves, accented by flowing reds and feminine locks, is a conflict. 

I own this body. I adore its femininity in every sense. I dress it and undress it every day. I made this to express that love. I am, by nature of my birth, a woman. But I am, also by that nature, not sexual. This is my challenge to the viewer: A stereotypical feminine form, devoid of that interest. Diffuse the conflict.

It was an honour, as always. to work with Steve Richard on this project, and I thank him for giving me a voice. This series is sure to give some very valuable and unique insights within this industry. It is my hope that we can all start challenging our answers to the question, "why is my body beautiful?" "

text © Elizabeth Macmichael