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Phototherapy, Posing naked for a women’s magazine...
Old 10-08-2009, 02:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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After the article, “Posing naked for a women’s magazine felt brave and shocking,” by Melissa Whitworth came out in the UK’s version of Glamour magazine, the photographic therapy (phototherapy, therapeutic photography) topic has risen in photography forums world-wide. In fact, the very next day, I was called by a journalist and psychologist Clara Soares from the largest, weekly Portuguese newsmagazine Visăo (www.visao.pt) for some photos and answered some interview questions.

The article I believe will be out today in Portugal, but I wanted to share with you my latest (I've written about this before, not a new topic, but a different angle) blog post about phototherapy.

Enjoy and feel free to post your comments there and here! You can also listen to a radio interview I did in 2006 when I was a speaker at Photo Plus Expo in NYC that talks about phototherapy half way through the interview. Please share the blog link with your friends, feel free to "tweet" it.

Thanks, Rolando
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Re: Phototherapy, Posing naked for a women’s magazine...
Old 10-15-2009, 08:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a topic which has interested me for many years, ever since making some observations in my own studio over the years. In my own case my typical boudoir client would be a woman within 10 years of 40 (on either side). Many of them had undergone a life changing event, either being dumped by a long time spouse or getting rid of an emotionally abusive spouse, or maybe recovering from a life threatening illness. Others simply recognized approaching middle age and wanted photos "before it all falls apart".

Now understand, these were not models, with most of them never before having had serious photos made. Most had some sort of bodily flaws, some minor, some pretty damned major, ranging from stretch marks to large surgical scars. What many of these ladies had in common was the wish (need?) to affirm that they were still attractive, sensual and vibrant women. Many, if not most, had awful self image;they had simply given up or were at the point of doing so.

The above article indicates this is some sort of therapy and I believe that to be accurate. But the photographer is not the therapist! Instead it's a form of self therapy and the photographer is simply a tool in that therapy. But that does not mean the photographer is unimportant. A good photographer can boost a woman's self image and help her to gain a great deal of confidence in herself But a shooter who is unmotivated, just going through the motions or lacks ability can do the woman going through this a great deal of harm.

Shooting well is a debt we owe these women just because we have the ability to do what we do.

Part of my collection of about 5000 images I call Standing Naked, The Sensual American Woman can be seen on my web site, http://www.distinctiveimages.com
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Re: Phototherapy, Posing naked for a women’s magazine...
Old 10-16-2009, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well said Doug!

I too have seen women come alive just to be in front of a camera and to be told by someone that they are beautiful. It changes the photo shoot, for both the model and for the photographer, into something rewarding.

I don't happen to shoot nudes (my choice), but the principle seems to be the same, for a photographer to take someone who is fairly ordinary and make them look and feel special is very therapeutic, and the photo is something that they can look at over and over again. Of course a photographer can also demolish someone too.

PTL,
Lee
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Re: Phototherapy, Posing naked for a women’s magazine...
Old 10-16-2009, 03:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your comments. Some interesting thoughts. I'm going to release, probably Monday night/Tuesday, a FREE 70-page, full-color PDF book, 8 1/2 by 11-inches, professionally edited and similar in feel like my previous books on Photographic Therapy--The Power of Photography to Help Build or Re-Build Self-Esteem. This book is a taste of my more mainstream book whose audience is more for subjects, though photographers can gain insight. For the pre-release email, as the book is FREE and large in file size, so bandwidth will be limited, once it's gone, it's gone, you can pre-register at http://www.freephotographybooks.com Thanks, rg sends!

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