So here comes my second letter to Domai. It has been such a long time and a long way since the first one.
This was all an amazing experience, how Domai helped me to face my ghosts, and create pictures that I really love with Ilse, my first model. Then the pictures and the letter were posted... and for two weeks I became a famous artist ! :-) I was receiving letters every day. Wonderful letters. Letters that shined to me. Letters that made me think that what I felt about my pictures and my writing, what I worked so hard for, it was there in them. Or, at least some people could see it. And that's a very good reason to go on working. I am so grateful for that.
I would like to share a piece of a mail conversation I had about my first publication on Domai. This letter I received brought me to formulate more clearly what draws me to take nude photographs. That's the magic of communication! :-)
G. wrote :
(...) Ilse has an amazing face. It may sound silly but in her face ... her eyes and her smile ... I see a beauty that runs deep to her soul. You have (both) done an amazing job in capturing and presenting her the way you have. Had Ilse been fully clothed in those photos I would have found her just as attractive. But if anything, it is the absence of clothing that focuses attention on her face. Her face, says so much about her. Her face tells me she is a person of much substance.
My answer (quoting myself :-)
(...) I quite agree with the clothing / not clothing. For me, as a photographer and woman, it does not make much difference. I see my work as portrait. I am trying to draw some of the magic essence of the person into the picture. I feel nude adds to the aesthetics of the picture: fashion and clothing varies, nude is eternal. / You see, you made me think. I hadn't thought this through so clearly until now ! :-)
Yes... Nude is eternal. Taking a nude picture of a person is like taking her out of time, framing her in gold. I feel it that way. Though a good face portrait or dressed picture can do that too.
I guess for male homo sapiens, it is different, as far as nature installed some hardwired programs to make sure that the species goes on and reproduction takes place. I guess male can also see the eternal esthetic value of a beautiful woman (dressed or undressed), feeling a certain kind of awe, or they can get plainly turned on, feeling a physical urge for possession, for actions preprogrammed by mother nature. I guess those two points both exist, and the actual state of mind will be somewhere in between the two, according to various factors as the personality or the level of testosterone in the blood at the precise moment.
Nude is quite an ambiguous and interesting object. It can be so high and so low. Creating so high and so low reactions in the viewer. Possibly complementary reactions.
Nude is somehow closer to life than the dressed body.
Maybe just because we don't see nude so often, so it is kind of striking.
Maybe it makes life more apparent.
At the Rodin museum in Paris, I once saw the impressive black sculpture sketch Rodin made for a statue of Balzac. Balzac the Writer as strong elderly man with an enormous belly. A huge belly. Standing there is the middle of the room, shaped in some dark metal, head high, full dignity, and totally naked. Well, you couldn't see any detail from the lower part, as the prominent belly was covering it all, but still, he was naked ! I remember I found the statue deeply ridiculous. (No possible hint of attraction. :-) Is this the great author I had to read to get my A level? Hilarious. But still. He was so much alive and present. Shining, impressive. I could actually believe he was a great author. And if I remember the statue now, maybe ten or more years away, I remember the glow of it. An incredible presence.
Maybe nude makes life's glow more apparent.
Maybe what I am doing is trying to catch a glitter of it.
So it was a wonderful experience to get feedback from Domai readers. To begin with: nude pictures were posted, and I didn't get one single nasty letter. Some exchanges developed into really interesting conversations, some into friendships. All were valuable. All those encouraging words made me find a new model and make a new session of pictures for Domai: Dorianne.
(And, well, I haven't made a webpage yet... Should learn to do that, I know.... But anyway, in january I am disappearing for half a year in a low-internet country. In july or august, if I am still in this world, I will try... :-)
Dorianne is a young and fun girl, a friend of a friend's friend, and I am very happy I found her. I haven't know her for years, like Ilse, my first model, but we got to know each other quite well. Well enough to enjoy spending time together, and for me to get an idea of who she is, which are the pictures that are true to her.
Dorianne's pictures aren't as selected as Ilse's. For Ilse, there was one set chosen from the pictures of four sets, so I am really very fond of each of the pictures that were published. For Dorianne, there are more pictures, some of them don't fully reach my artistic requirements, but that's the concept of a set: all don't have to be perfect, but as there are many pictures it is more alive than if only the ten of five perfect pictures were published. So when I write about "framing her in gold, taking her out of time", I know I don't reach that level in each of my pictures... But if I can reach or come close to that in at least a few of them, I think that's already a big achievement. Anyway, it is up to the spectator to decide! :-)
AnnaMa_photo (at) rocketmail (dot) com
Read Anna's first letter
"I really like your DOMAI girls. It took awhile to recognize the true beauty when my neighbor brought it to my attention. I was expecting some usual smut. Like fine wine or cheese, these pictures of beautiful women do grow on you, and my appreciation for the curves has been greatly enhanced. I thank you for the joy you bring each day." - Larry B <melarry[=at=]gci.net
[e-mail address used with permission]
These are samples from the members' section. In fact only from this week's pages! And the pages go back to the nineties.
Pictures are available in 6X size for members.