On October 16, 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) also took part in the workshop.
While controversial today, art-nude portraiture has a long history, and many of the great classical painters were known for their female nude portraits. 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 applies. 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.
This is a point in time when art-nude photography has been demonized by social media. It is criticized for being sexually explicit and for sexualizing the female form. Hecho noted that the line between art-nude photography, erotica and porn is ultimately subjective, and how art-nude images are interpreted depends very much on the changing norms and standards that each society forms.
This series begins with several images of one of the models, Jill, as she prepares for the photoshoot. After that, it continues with photos of one, two and sometimes all three of the models posing together. 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".