Have you ever stumbled across something so brilliant and noteworthy that you just couldn't help but share it with everyone? That's sort of how I felt when I found Trevor Christensen's "Nude Portraits" series. Now, don't rush to click the [X] in your browser just yet! I promise you everything you'll see here is totally safe for work! All portrait subjects are fully clothed and decent. But that's the funny part... despite being a "nude portrait" project, you never see any nudity. Because it's Trevor, the guy behind the camera, that's naked.
As a photographer I’m deeply interested in the experience subjects have during portrait shoots. When I guide subjects through the process of making their photo, I seek to create a calm, comfortable environment where they can be at ease in front of the camera. Despite my best efforts, subjects often feel a sense of vulnerability during the process. No matter the scenario, this power imbalance seems like an almost inescapable part of the experience.
The photographer/subject paradigm is one of inequality. 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.
This vulnerability is achieved by making portraits without clothing. These are nude portraits in the sense that I, the photographer, am nude, while the subject is not.
I wish there were more photos from this series already because I'm in love with the concept. Since Mike and I photograph people as part of our living, we are well aware of the awkwardness and insecurity that is so apparent in front of our lenses. Don't even get me started on when we are the subject of other people's photos!
Trevor's idea is totally brilliant in my mind. Every time I look at the photos from this series I can't help but imagine what must be going through their minds. Goodness knows I wouldn't be able to hold it together for long haha. I think it says a lot about his willingness to go above and beyond to make his clients feel comfortable, too. Well, unless a naked man pointing a camera at you makes you feel even more weird... That's the big question, right?