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15 April 2008 @ 07:53 pm
Photography, Nudes, and the Internet  

square thumb NOTE:
Please do not mention this model’s name if you happen to recognize her … or ask who she is if you don’t. We would prefer not to have to lock this post but we would also prefer that this photo not be trivially Googled. Thank you.

websize example  

I haven’t worked with nudes lately, but I’ve been thinking it might be good and interesting and worthwhile to … hmmm … again dip my toe into that realm of photography. In the course of thinking about that, it occurred to me that although it may sometimes appear as if I’m perfectly content to take photos that I never get around to displaying, I actually do enjoy showing them off—showing them to my friends and acquaintances (and total strangers from out of the crowd). It has, in fact, been remarkably enjoyable to be able lately to post some of my photographs here on LiveJournal where you, my friends, may see them and even look at larger versions if you so choose. Moreover, it’s been most delightful and gratifying to be able to read your responses—your thoughts, your opinions, and even your “that’s nice”s.

However, it’s not like the olden days when I could rather casually ask people’s permission to include nude photos of them in the little sf convention programming item I'd be asked to do from time to time, which was at that time called “Da Fred Haskell Song and Slide Show.” Nope, it’s not at all like that these days—these days we’re living in a modern, global-village kind of electronically-interconnected world. Once something is posted on the interwebs its electrons just go zipping around and off to Ghu-knows-where and persist for—good golly—who knows how long.

Consequently, this leads to a number of interesting, complex, and interrelated questions for which I have somewhat less than glimmers of answers, so I am hoping that perhaps one or more of you have … answers … opinions … thoughts … insights … knowledge … ideas … recommendations … or, at very least, some notion of where and/or how I might be able to find out such stuff. It is with that hope that I offer the following random mix of statements and questions that floated to the surface of my wee little brain as I started to try to think about this …

• I do not want the photos to be inaccessible or hard to find or get to, but neither do I want to, you know, flaunt them. What might be the most satisfactory method of … hm … posting them—of getting them out there so people (including you-all) can see them?

• I do not mind some number of random strangers seeing the photos (that is, as long as the model doesn’t mind either), but I’d just as soon that, oh gosh you know, not every horny chap in the world would be flocking to look at them. Is this something I have to worry about? Is there a balance point? Etc.?

• I’m not looking to make money out of this, if that makes any difference. (Heh. If I were, I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to go about it—figuring out how to make money with my various interests and endeavors has never been my strong suit—a head for business I do not have. I’ve often said that your common, every-day, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety tree stump has more business sense than I.)

• Where do I store them? That is, on what server, with what service, should/could they be stored/located? My ImageEvent account? Flickr? LiveJournal galleries? [I just discovered that LJ galleries (randomly?) resize uploaded photos, so that’s a non-starter.] Somewhere else? Suggestions?

• Will photos with nudity get too many hits per day or somesuch and thereby cause problems with whichever web-hosting service they’re living on? Or require additional service charges?

• If I post them on LJ, do I set the posts to “friends locked”? I’d really rather not do that. Or do I put them in a passworded ImageEvent album and announce on LJ that those interested can apply to me for the password? (Yuck!) Or is there a good option that’s escaping me at the moment?

• If I do link to them so as to show them in an LJ post, would that post itself get too much traffic? Or am I foolishly flattering myself about how wonderful and sight-worthy my photos will be?

• Obviously if they’re on LJ, I will do the “Adult Concepts” (or perhaps the “Explicit Adult Content”) flag thing. That’s a no-brainer.

• If I were to decide to hire a model or two, what would be a reasonable rate to pay them? [I.e., non-commercial but nevertheless posted on the internet where the photos will be accessible and seen by a number of people, many (most?) of them strangers.]

• Hm. Just in case I do manage to get all this sorted out satisfactorily, I suppose here & now might not be such a bad place & time to ask the obvious question: are you somebody (or do you know somebody) who’d be interested working as a nude model with me? (Heh. Even if I can’t get this all sorted out satisfactorily and we do the photos for viewing other than on the internet, are you somebody … etc.?) If you want to discuss the notion privately, you can reach me at fredcritter-at-livejournal-dot-com … that is, if you don’t have my normal eddress. Or even if you do. Or whatever.

• Do I just give up on this idea as being a can too full of worms?

• Finally, what important question(s) am I forgetting to ask?

Help? Help‽ Help! (When I was younger, so much younger than today …)

Ever so much thanks!

Your Most Humble & Obedient Servant,
Da Fredcritter

Current Mood: curiouscurious
dd-bdd_b on April 16th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
There are a few bits of light nudity hidden away in my galleries, which haven't developed problems so far. olegvolk has considerably more on his gallery and it hasn't been a problem (but that's set up to be a fairly high-traffic site already).

I suspect that those of us posting artistic nudes that aren't terribly sexual mostly won't have a lot of trouble with traffic levels or unpleasant people. However, *anything* can potentially catch the interest of some "small" subgroup and develop millions of hits overnight.

Good luck!
the laughing leaping water: her2minnehaha on April 16th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
How would you know who is looking at them?


Edited at 2008-04-16 02:28 am (UTC)
Peter Hentgesjbru on April 16th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
If you haven't run into Domai.com yet, I think it will interest you. Definitely not a site to look up at work, but one that promotes the idea of "simple nudes," that is photographs of nude (female) models with an artistic mindset. I think the nudes of yours that I've seen would fit right in with their collection. They also have a variety of articles in their essentials area that cover some of the questions you're asking above, but not all of them.

I think if you're doing nudes that aren't overtly sexual that you won't run into a lot of problems with traffic and mis-use and such. So don't give up on the idea just yet. The question I think you might be forgetting to ask yourself is: Will this become too much like work that you won't enjoy it?

I find myself wondering who this model is because I suspect she is a younger version of a person I do know. I restrain myself, however, from asking.

I think your thumbnail image would be more effective, indeed a fine portrait on its own, if it was cropped to the point of the silhouette effect on the main image. It seems too short as is.

The main image ... well, I could do without the alteration to the silhouette, frankly. Or I might be OK with it if it had a softer transition. Then it might look more like a transition between a photograph and a charcoal drawing and that could be cool. As is, it just seems an attempt to preserve the model's modesty that seems out of character with the rest of the image. She looks comfortable and contemplative and to insert that modesty, ironically, reminds me that there is a photographer there and that she must be aware of that. It runs counter to the rest of her mood.
Annenetmouse on April 16th, 2008 10:46 am (UTC)
That looks like a site with a nice positive attitude, and yet, from the first twenty pictures I've seen, I find myself longing to see natural nude pictures of beautiful women who aren't terrifically skinny and who have all their pubic hair. I also wish for a similar site for men. Perhaps I'll make something, in all my spare time...

In the meantime, I suppose I could at least start taking pictures.
(Anonymous) on April 16th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
I've been pondering some of these same questions. So far, my approach is to put things in private areas and give access to friends. Most of the models don't mind me displaying the images for friends although I must say that it still gives me pause to make them available via the internet. There are cases where I've got a signed release and the model doesn't mind them being generally accessible, but I still hesitate to do so.

As for a reasonable rate to pay, I think it depends a lot on what the model has to put up with and for how long. I had one that was a real trooper and spent all afternoon wandering around in the woods on a hot day. I ended up giving more than she asked just because she was such a good sport about it.

My opinion is to just talk it out with the model. I've always worked via word-of-mouth which helps with such things and also gives the model confidence that I'm not some closet axe murderer. I've run into at least one that didn't really want any money and just enjoyed the process and getting some good images out of the deal. I really like that notion as it truly is a collaborative process and I don't have any intention of trying to make money off of it.

Just my 2 cents. I guess it's not much help, but I though I'd throw it out there.

By the way, I miss the old slideshows you used to do at minicon. I hope you give some thought to doing one again some day.

Chuckthatguychuck on April 16th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
My first thought would be Flickr. If you don't tag them anything and name them with something odd and specific, they won't come up in a random search. You'd be able to email links and keep the majority of the random masses at bay.

I'm sure there are some holes in this logic, but they are not immediately apparent to me. It seems like the easiest solution with the least amount of work.
starstraf on April 16th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
As for stoage site - I have no idea
photos on internet My guess
1) make sure your LJ is set to no search inclusion
Journal -> Settings -> additional privicay options
Minimize your journal's inclusion in search engine results
We can instruct search engines not to include your journal entries in their search results. Not all search engines recognize this request; if you do not want a journal entry to show up in search results, then make sure it is posted private or Friends-only.
2) don't actually use a tag 'nude'
3) don't worry about it - there is so much out there that is easier to find.

Pay models - some will work for copies of the photos and some nice 8x10's printed. Others have a set rate (I think the going art class rate here is $20/hour)