I shoot Nudity, and I have no inhibitions about it in any way. There are no prohibitions found in the Holy Scriptures on Nudity. Christians and Muslims that think that there are scriptural restrictions, do not know what they are talking about and they are referring to the laws of man and using them as the laws of their God. I do have preferences. I do not shoot sexual performances or any hints of sexual performance. I can imagine the act of copulation could possible involve artistic expression and I therefor do not rule out anything related to human sexuality.
There is not any subject in the history of human art that is more popular than images of semi-nude and nude females. If you study the art of masters from the past including works by De Vinci, Picasso, Bouguereau, Dali, Cezanne, Botticellli, Gauguin, Monet, Matisse, Rembrandt, Renoir, Michaelangelo, and others, you will be studying images of the nude female body.
Bouguereau Matisse Odalisque Picasso Renoir
It is important to recognize that the model is not the character that she is portraying in a work of art. A good model can be a school teacher, a nurse, a whore, a junky, an executive, a ballerina, a police, or any other character imaginable. It is also true that my camera is not capable of recording character, but only light. Take a different point of view than the typical when considering modeling and photography.
Legal definitions of nudity vary depending on the local jurisdiction. In most cases nudity is the display of the Female breast areola (nipple), the anus, the vagina, the penis, and the testicles. There is NO OTHER NUDITY! All other parts of the breast are not considered nudity. The buttocks are also not considered nudity.
Industry definitions of nudity are different from the strict legal definitions and they are based on a more functional aspect related to how the nudity is portrayed and how it is created or recorded. Some people talk about full nudity, partial nudity, artistic nudity, or implied nudity. Others talk about topless, nakedness, or bottomless nudity. Others use terms that combine some of the types mentioned above. Partially Topless? Don’t ask me!
As a photographer, I need a functional definition that will withstand a legal challenge. I also need to have agreement between me and my model on what that functional definition will be.
There is generally extreme confusion between models, photographers, and other industry professionals about artistic nudity and implied nudity. Few people understand the difference between the two terms. I have come to accept the following industry oriented definitions for artistic and implied nudity:
Artistic Nudity – The model uses props, clothing, or body parts to hide the nudity that she desires in an artistic manner. The nudity applying here is the legal nudity, the nipples, the vagina, and the anus. The model’s finger tips cover her nipples, the anus is covered by sitting down, the vagina is covered by crossing the legs. The use of props, cloth, boas, and clothing greatly enhance the model’s ability to add the artistic effects that distinguish the art form from bare nudity.
Implied Nudity – The observer is not able to determine nudity by looking at the recorded media. The model is hiding her nudity by standing behind a barrel or a tree or some other obstruction. Some use props like guitars or chairs. The key is that the areas of the body associated with nudity are not visible to the observer. It is true that the model may be nude or non-nude. The point is that the observer can not tell.
Because my photography focuses on feminine beauty, there is scarcely an instance when I will use obstructions to hide the model’s body. I do not therefor shoot implied nudity, but artistic nudity.
Most Photographers practice with multiple art forms. It is always important that the model and the photographer fully understand the intended output to avoid wasting time. Whenever I shoot, I require that the model provide a model release statement that permits me to publish and otherwise post or utilize the recorded media in the prescribed art form. I use the following model release selections:
For the media recorded, the Model accepts and releases the following art forms to TRI and Ricardo Middleton, Sr., without further restriction, for the purposes stated above, and as defined below. These definitions shall take priority over all perceived, common, or industry definitions:
□____ Nudity – The Model is wearing nothing more than shoes, boots, hats, stockings, garters, socks, gloves, and/or jewelry. Any of the Model’s body parts may be fully or partially exposed.
□____ Artistic Nudity – The Model may be non-nude, nude, partially nude, or topless, as defined herein, but the Model uses body parts, props, cloth, wraps, boas, un-worn or worn clothing, …, etc., to achieve the desired coverage and an artistic effect. Any of the Model’s body parts may be fully or partially exposed. Box must be checked for lingerie sets.
□____ Implied Nudity – The Model may be non-nude, nude, partially nude, or Topless, as defined herein, but “Nudity”, as defined above, cannot be determined by observing the recording.
□____ Partial Nudity – The Model is Topless, as defined below, and any other body part may be fully or partially exposed.
□____ Topless – The Model’s breast(s) are not covered, not partially covered, or obscured.
□____ No Nudity – The Model does not release any of the above defined art forms. All other recorded media is released.
I represent that I am at least 18 years of age, that I have read and understand the foregoing statements, and that I am competent to execute this Model Release.