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Nude Photography Like You’ve Never Seen It Before (Totally SFW – Safe For Work)

By Hanssie on September 22nd 2014

The goal of many portrait photographers is to not only make your subject comfortable, but also to draw out some of their personality in the images. We strive to get genuine emotion and translate that into the image on the page.

In Trevor Christensen’s series, Nude Portraits, the images are not quite as they seem. Trevor is great at showing his subjects with genuine emotion, but the subjects of Christensen’s nude portraits are fully clothed. The twist in Nude Portraits, is that the photographer that is nude. Christiansen captures the reactions of his subjects while he himself is naked taking their portrait.

Nude Portraits is about leveling the playing field in an unorthodox way. Instead of focusing on bringing the subject to a place of ease, where I am, this project brings me to a place of vulnerability.

The images below are totally SFW (safe for work).

Jordan, 24, Friend, Quality Assurance

Jordan, 24, Friend, Quality Assurance

The Utah-based photographer was interested in the photographer/subject experience during a portrait session. Exploring the sense of vulnerability during a photo session, Christensen wanted to shift the paradigm of the unequal “power imbalance [that] seems like an almost inescapable part of the experience.” So, before the session, he sits down with his subject(s) and discusses what the portrait session will be like and what the goals are. He then leaves, undresses and comes back to shoot for around 45 minutes. After the session is through, he gets dressed and they go over the experience. Christensen says that he feels much closer to the subjects after the nude shoots than he does after a typical (clothed) portrait session.

[REWIND: HOW TO POSE AND LIGHT A HEADSHOT WITH JIM GARNER]

So far, Christensen has only photographed friends and his girlfriend, but the project has gained much popularity and now, he is asking that those interested, to contact him by email. He describes himself as “a 25 year old, straight, white male” and he is looking for “for anyone who does not match that description. Diversity will enrich this series.”

Austin, 27, Girlfriend, Middle School Teacher

Austin, 27, Girlfriend, Middle School Teacher

Madelyne, 25, Elementary School Friend, Executive Assistant

Madelyne, 25, Elementary School Friend, Executive Assistant

Thoughts

As photographers, sometimes we get stuck in a creative rut and looking for something to inspire us. Many times, just doing something different and thinking outside of the box can kickstart those creative juices that have run dry from doing the same boring portrait session every day/week, at the same locations, with the same types of clients. Trevor side steps that mundaneness and turns the tables on his photography by doing something that is very different (and pretty brave). Having no barrier, but a camera between you and your subject, makes things at the very least, interesting.

What are you doing today to keep things interesting for your photography? I’m not suggesting you disrobe, but if you need some ideas on being more creative, start thinking outside the box, and put those crazy ideas in motion! Check out Tanya’s 100 Ways to Be a More Creative Photographer to get you started.

Jason, 24, Friend, Roofer

Jason, 24, Friend, Roofer

Olivia, 28, Acquaintance, Opera Masters Student,  Makenzie, 28, Acquaintance, Opera Masters Student Chole, 11 months old, Acquaintance, Cat

Olivia, 28, Acquaintance, Opera Masters Student,
Makenzie, 28, Acquaintance, Opera Masters Student
Chole, 11 months old, Acquaintance, Cat

Members of the band Fictionist

Members of the band Fictionist

KUTV 2 News Anchor Chris Miller. Nude Portraits by Trevor Christensen Nude Portraits by Trevor Christensen

Hillary, 24, Friend, Student

Hillary, 24, Friend, Student

If you’re interested in finding out more about Trevor Christensen and his Nude Portraits series, check out his website. To keep up do date on this project and others, make sure you follow Trevor’s Twitter and Instagram. 

[Via NPR]

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jason Boa

    wEIRd !!

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  2. Pye

    This was such a creatively awesome shoot concept, and quite brave I might add. Haha, best reactions ever!

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  3. Jeff Morrison

    thanks for sharing

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  4. Leo Wong

    Such a Braveheart. Think I will be a be-hide camera shy if I work like you!! Awesome…

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  5. Mitchell Wesley

    I think Terry Richardson tried this same technique, not sure it worked out so well for him.

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  6. Chelsea Higgins

    I wish I had his bravery, haha. Awesome.

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    • dimitris stilio

      He is male, you are female.
      You realize that if you did the same in this society, you would have millions of male customers knocking your door to hire you for a photoshoot, right? And then you will get sick of both men and being a photographer!

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  7. Hannes Nitzsche

    Haha this is classic! Gutsy photog!

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  8. Kevin Nguyen

    Gotta try out this technique next time I walk in to visit SLR Lounge office in OC :)

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    • Pye

      Lol, how about we just pretend and make faces like you did ;)

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    • Chuck Eggen

      Since I can’t vote up your comment I’ll leave an “I agree”

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  9. Steven Pellegrino

    Glad to see the people who are laughing, weren’t also pointing. That could be embarrassing.

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  10. Chris Bordeleau

    So I wondering… the outdoors shots… is he standing in the yard naked… waving to the neighbors… camera in hand… if so rock on man…

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    • Hanssie

      I was wondering the same thing. Haha. Guess he’s really friendly with his neighbors?

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    • Chuck Eggen

      Since I can’t vote up your comment I’ll leave an “I agree”

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    • Federico Guendel

      Who dares, wins Chris :P

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    • Federico Guendel

      I’m trying to remember if it was Mario Testino or Patrick Demarchelier who got naked himself when he was shooting nudes of celebrities to make them feel more comfortable.

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    • Scott Pacaldo

      I bet the story behind that outdoor shot is interesting. so brave!

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