Fancy Coffee Friday: Did It Just Get Weird in Here?

2012 Vince Padilla

2012 Vince Padilla

Tomorrow I will be working with photographer, Vince Padilla, on some conceptual work. He and I have worked together in the past so I’m looking forward to getting in front of his camera once again. The fact that it’ll be the first time back in front of a camera since late last summer brought to mind an interaction I had some weeks ago.

I’m a fan of supporting local businesses and the other week I’d stopped in at one of them to pick up a few things. During the course of conversation while I was there, my pal behind the counter made a comment that I must be a model. I paused for a moment and said, “I am a model.

This conversation went like most others I’ve had with people where it is revealed that I model. The cat gets out of the bag and typically the next question asked is, “What do you you model?”

I’m not a shy person and so I answer this question honestly. I model mostly for art, fine art, and for naturist publications. There is an inevitable pause at this revelation. The sound of the person’s mental gears whirring away is clear and as the words form for the question I know is coming, I smile politely and say, “Mostly I model nude.

2014 David Swanson

2014 David Swanson at Marcell In The Mornings.


Such was the case the other week. There was a bit of stammering. There were questions nearly started and then abandoned as this person struggled to figure out which direction they wanted to steer the conversation.

I remained patient for the next question, which is nearly always, “Would I have seen your work anywhere?” Since I expected this question, and I wasn’t surprised when it was asked, I kindly replied, “Perhaps. I’ve been in a variety of publications and pieces have been in galleries for show and for sale. But, the most mainstream spot was an article leader image in Islands magazine.” As they absorbed the information, I followed with, “…but usually when people find out I model nude, it often makes things weird because Americans get weird about nudity.”

It's my naked butt! 2013 ISLANDS Magazine issue! I wrote about it here.... and you can find Shelley Strazis here.

It’s my naked butt! 2013 ISLANDS Magazine issue! I wrote about it here…. and you can find Shelley Strazis here.

They silently nodded their head as their body language changed to nervous discomfort. They sidled back with shuffling steps and side-long glances. In their mind I went from being a “regular” customer to someone they might see nude. Somewhere. Sometime.

As I refrained from laughing outwardly, they nodded and quietly agreed, “Yeah, people get weird about that…”

I grinned, took a nonchalant step in their direction and stated, “Because in the US, people always seem to be making nudity about sex – even when sex may not have anything to do with the nudity.”

Now, backed around the counter, the weirdness hung heavily in the air. They nodded their agreement once again, finished my order and handed it to me. I smiled as if nothing out of the ordinary was said – because to me – it hadn’t. Thankfully, most weirdness doesn’t bother me in the least.

So, in anticipation of my shoot tomorrow, I thought I’d share some of my work over the years. Just don’t get weird about it.

2014 Naturist Photog

2014 Naturist Photog

About The Amusing Muse

Deep thinker whose mind operates at warped speed. Philosopher pondering the big (and little) things in life. Storyteller. Office Ninja. Model. Teller of bad jokes. User of big words.
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12 Responses to Fancy Coffee Friday: Did It Just Get Weird in Here?

  1. My last night in Tucson was suppose to be spent with the model at a B&B as it was her birthday, but I had to get her on a plane a day early because of the snow storm moving in on the east coast. Hence I stayed at the B&B by myself. The owner wanted to know what I was doing so far down from the frozen north and I told him I was photographing in the desert and mountains. He went right to his computer and started bringing up photos he has taken in the area and telling me where I should go. I then mentioned that I photograph nudes in nature. He reached over and turned off his computer, got up and walked out of the room. I thought the situation was comical myself. He did not speak with me the rest of my stay.

  2. More than anything I always love your attitude. You shame the closet prudes with relaxed and natural attitude to what you do. All power to you 🙂

  3. Bare Beach Bum says:

    Very nice article. I started posing nude again when I resumed photography as a hobby. I like to photograph nudes in nature and in everyday situations to demonstrate the naturalness of it all. I enjoy being in front of the camera because it helps me to be a better artist when I see how others make their art. I like the fact that you are open about your modeling because it helps people to see and understand that being nude and even making nude art isn’t necessarily sexual. I too am open about it when the topic arises.

    • Well Hello there and thank you for the comment. From a model’s perspective, I think it’s awesome that you model in addition to photograph. Why? Don’t ask someone to do what you, yourself, will not.

  4. sassycoupleok says:

    Sarah, some very nice examples here of your modeling work and as you know I have seen much of it in the past. I really liked the one here from the Dragon Spit Studios. The look of a professional business lady that’s in charge. In charge of your life you truly are. We too can relate to the weirdness of nude photography as we have gotten the usual weird remarks and looks from both family and friends. Which as you said is weird because the photos they’ve seen are non sexual photos we have taken on nature trips or doing common household and yard chores. We have tried using those moments as a teaching/learning opportunity about enjoying a non sexual nude lifestyle. Unfortunately society has already convinced most that we are the weird ones and not them for their lack of understanding and acceptance.

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