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Featured Projects

Showcasing the Natural Beauty of Women With Gorgeous Natural Light Portraits

By Hanssie on September 1st 2015

TJDrysdale7Women are bombarded with many mixed messages in our society. We’re told that true beauty is found within and that we should embrace our curves, wrinkles, and imperfections; yet, we see media lambaste starlets who are getting too old, isn’t anorexic skinny, or can move her forehead. Magazine covers are filled with skimpily dressed, perfectly shaped, and coiffed women that everyone knows have had the heavy hand of Photoshop applied to them, yet almost all women strive to reach those standards all the while preaching that it’s not real.

This is the premise of a photo series titled, Book 1, from photographer TJ Drysdale. TJ is a fashion and commercial photographer based in Tampa, Florida. His goal is to “showcase the natural beauty of women in [his] photos. All too often, women are told by society that they must dress up, wear makeup, and essentially be someone they aren’t.” The theme of TJ’s portraits is natural beauty; whether it’s the natural light from the sun or the natural beauty radiating from his makeup-free (or very minimally made up) models.

[REWIND: 6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR NATURAL LIGHT PORTRAITS IN ONE SECOND OR LESS]

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Using a Sony A99, the sun, and from time to time, a reflector, TJ finds inspiration in all art forms, but especially in light. Often, he gets his creative energy from the way light falls on trees or in a field. He uses these bits of inspiration to re-tell a story, but with his own twist. TJ’s approach to post processing is the very much the same, focusing on drawing the viewer’s eye to the story and conveying a deeper message. See more of his work on his website here.

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CREDITS: Photographs by TJ Drysdale are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Patryk Molczan

    F*KING AMAZING!

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  2. Ben Perrin

    Amazing shots. I don’t really care for the politics of the comments just the end result is amazing to me. Yes they are all amazingly beautiful women but since when is that a bad thing? Great photographic vision and well done to the models as well!

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  3. Skirmantas Rinkevicius

    I like natural light is looks more realistic ;)

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  4. Jesper Anhede

    Great photos! =)

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  5. Paul Empson

    some very nice photos, of women.. though book II is a little more diverse and even has men..

    all look a little too much like models though.. ( still real women.. just a bit more confidence in front of the camera and how to pose )

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    • Victoria Yore

      Thanks Paul! Terrence actually just shot with one of my friends last week and she had a very diverse look and has never had her photo taken by a professional. I wish I could show you those photos as well, but unfortunately they are for client use only. :/

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  6. Sal Chan

    Looks amazing!

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  7. Nate Castner

    “All too often, women are told by society that they must dress up, wear makeup, and essentially be someone they aren’t”

    He sure selected some great models to convey this message…

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    • Dustin Baugh

      Shooting over half the shots from behind and not close up is a good way to get around the issue of makeup.

      I still want a photographer that wants to shoot the “Beauty of the everyday woman” to pick up a bunch of models at Wallmart. It can be done, and they will be beautiful. But nobody will like your images as much as they do ones with models that are conventionally beautiful.

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    • Victoria Yore

      Hi Nate,
      I appreciate your comments and want to say that I am one of the models in this series. I’m glad you think I was a good choice to represent natural beauty. I don’t wear makeup at all, not even in daily life, and wear my hair completely Natural and straight with no product as well.

      And Dustin, if you head over to Terrence’s website, you can check out the ‘projects’ tab and check out tons and tons more photos from each of the series’ featured here if you wanted to see some more face shots!

      Thanks for your feedback!

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  8. Alexa Aretz

    Nice photos, but to authentically convey that message, maybe choosing models that weren’t 100% slim, conventionally-attractive white women would’ve been a better choice.

    (“Natural-looking” makeup isn’t the same as no makeup.)

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    • Victoria Yore

      Hi Alexa,

      Thanks for your comments! I happen to be one of the models in some of the photos in this series and I can assure you I was wearing no makeup and my hair wasn’t done in any of these photos. :)

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    • Alexa Aretz

      That’s laudable, Victoria. I do genuinely think the photos are very nice. That said: was your face visible? I only see two faces in these shots, and the features of one have clearly been enhanced in post.

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    • Victoria Yore

      Hi Alexa,
      I really wish there was a way to show you the photos taken before a few of these shots. For one of them, we were hiking in Ireland for five hours and saw a good location. As I stated below, If you don’t see any face shots here, please check out the ‘projects’ tab of TJ’s website to see more shots from each series :) thanks for commenting

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    • Alexa Aretz

      Victoria,

      I did look over the work on his web site, and my beef is less with the work itself and more than it is being presented as extolling the virtues of women’s natural beauty. The models Mr. Drysdale chooses represent a very narrow, Eurocentric, and carefully-edited ideal of “beauty.” This is true of many photographers, and so I do not suggest Drysdale is some rare villain. But I see nothing here which does not conform to the societal pressures Drysdale claims to be subverting.

      I also do not suggest you or any of the other models are not authentic, natural beauties or that the photos themselves are not lovely. But society rarely questions the beauty of thin, conventionally attractive, traditionally-styled white women, and that is all that these photos present.

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    • Justin Lister

      Yes, everybody make sure they make politically correct art based on white guilt or whatever liberal idea we should all accept. Maybe these are the women that the artist found beautiful. Maybe they are just women she was friends with. People like you can’t appreciate something good without tearing it down. Go out and make your own awesome art based on your ideas and stop trying to force yours on others. Ugh.

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  9. Chad DiBlasio

    these are killer!! what amazing light and editing!

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