in 2021, I attended a workshop on Art-Nude Photography in Den Haag. The workshop instructor, Dan Hecho, is an award-winning art-nude photographer. Three experienced models (Jill, Natalia and Shira) modeled for the workshop.
While controversial today, art-nude portraiture has a long history. Hecho's own work draws inspiration from classical portrait painters, particularly in the way he poses the models to sculpt their form with light and shadows, and in the color palette he draws on. To Hecho, art-nude photography involves an effort to bring out the natural beauty of each of his subjects. And since people are simply a part of nature, it should be perfectly natural to try and capture the beauty that is found in the human body.
In many countries, art-nude photography is criticized for sexualizing the female form. In his presentation, Hecho argued that the line between art-nude photography and porn is ultimately subjective, and how art-nude images are interpreted depends very much on the changing norms and standards that each society holds.
In keeping with the spirit of the workshop, the models posed in ways that were designed to make best use of the natural light, to emphasize the curves and sharp contours of their bodies, and with facial expressions that conveyed their feelings and emotions---or what Dan Hecho described as their "natural inner beauty".