Who Looks Good Naked?
Interview with Ian Cartwright of Caramel Photography
During Ian Cartwright's 35+ years photographic career he has the occasional assignment where models have needed to be naked.
Today, having moved from advertising, fashion and beauty photography into social photography, it is interesting to note a developing trend for ordinary couples and individuals to have Ian photograph them wearing very little, or even naked.
Question 1: Who would be your typical clients wanting to be photographed naked?
Answer: They are loving couples wanting to celebrate their intimacy or individuals recording how their bodies look at the moment. Rather than take their own snaps, they choose to have a professional create something beautiful for them to be able to look back on in the future. Women sometimes feel they have reached a time in their lives when they would like a record of how they are. Some want to give their partners a special gift, for their eyes only, maybe for Valentine's Day or as a Christmas or birthday present. Quite a lot of women have been inspired by Channel Four's "How to Look Good Naked" and other TV programmes like "The Great British Body". They don't HAVE to get completely naked if they aren't entirely comfortable with that. Indeed, boudoir photography, which is very popular at the moment, usually features women looking fabulous wearing lingerie.
Question 2: Why do they particularly want to get their kit off and be photographed?
Answer: There could be many reasons, and I don't pretend to understand what they all are, but I know that the experience of baring all in front of a stranger with a camera is often reported back as one of liberation and exhilaration.
Question 3: Isn't there a lot of embarrassment and awkwardness, or is everyone an exhibitionist?
Answer: No, many of the women wouldn't even go topless on a beach. I am very professional and aim to put them at ease. I insist that individuals have a chaperone within reach, to reassure them. Any embarrassment usually goes after a few minutes, and there is no pressure from me to go beyond their comfort level.
Question 4: The images are beautiful and discreet. Are there any tricks involved, such as airbrushing?
Answer: I can enhance the images by removing blemishes, reducing lines and a little reshaping here and there, but they will always recognise themselves. With careful lighting and choice of composition, we can create something beautiful and subtly erotic.
Question 5: What do your clients do with the pictures?
Answer: Not everyone who comes to me would wish their images to go on public display. They might have the pictures on their bedroom walls or in an album, or coffee table style book, kept in a drawer. The images I show on my website are only of women who have given their written permission. If they want to keep their images private, I respect that
Question 6: Do they have to come to your studio?
Answer: We would usually do the session in their homes, where they should feel most comfortable and relaxed. I use available natural light where possible, but I can light the scene if needed.
Question 7: Is there anyone you would not photograph?
Answer: Not really, but I am not in the business of producing pornography. My work is done in the best possible taste, as they say. As I said before, there must be another person close by or at least at the end of a telephone during the shoot for everyone's peace of mind.
Question 8: How do your clients find you?
Answer: Most enquiries are from recommendation or an internet search for a portrait photographer. They view my main website www.caramelphoto.com where one or two images hint at the possibility, or my other site www.loveusb.com which is more direct. I don't overtly offer this style and I have detailed discussions to make sure we all understand what is involved before I accept the commission.
Question 9: How much does a session cost?
Answer: Photography starts at £200 which includes £100 towards prints, book, or LoveUSB.
Question 10: What's a LoveUSB?
Answer: It's a USB stick, or flash drive which has a password protected slideshow on it made up of a sequence of images set to music. It's completely unique. You can find out more on www.loveusb.com
Question 11: What would be the first step for someone considering having a boudoir or nude photography session?
Answer: They can e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org , or call me on +44(0)161 485 2318. We can then chat about what is best for them.