Dear DOMAII have been a photographer and nudist most of my life. It's only logical that taking photographs of nude people became an important part of my life. I discovered early on that I'm not a big fan of the "cookie cutter" look that many glamor photographers concentrate on. The typical over-made-up, fogged over, big haired with a cowboy hat has been well overused. I often look at a model's portfolio and wonder where the imagination went. I prefer to be different. I have seen tens of thousands of nude women and discovered there are many different exotic looks and body types.
My most enjoyable photo shoot ever was on a day when everything that possibly could go wrong went wrong with vengence. Start with a sunrise shoot on the beach with an inexperienced model who couldn't find the beach, arrived an hour late, and carrying two suitcases full of clothes to a nude shoot. By the time she arrived, the sun was too high, and the onshore wind was carrying equal amounts of sand and salt spray. By this time I had resigned myself to a wasted day, since my other model for the day was a 52 year-old artist who I thought was going to be just a routine shoot.
Was I surprised. She showed up early, bringing only some strips of semi-sheer fabric for props. She immediately realized that I was having problems with the younger model and offered to work with her. Suddenly, I had two models with figure-hugging sheer rainbow fabric plastered to their bodies by the wind as they stood on the beach. Then as the first model took a break, I discovered that true beauty has no age limits. While her body showed some signs of her age, she was in excellent physical condition and displayed an enjoyment of life that made her appear much younger.
The problems continued throughout the day, with a disappearing model, lost keys, and more. I ended up with only a few usable images because of the conditions, but enough we were willing to make them a part of our own portfolios. One image that I use in all my promotional media. We also ended up as friends after sharing a common experience with adversity.
That day, I discovered that attitude has as much to contribute to a beautiful image as native beauty. I found myself watching as a mature woman played in the surf and sand like a young child. Her laughter was genuine as she threw handfuls of water in the air that immediately blew back into her face. I was enjoying watching her so much I didn't want to stop shooting. On her knees, digging with her hands in the sand, running through the waves at the edge of the beach, and rolling in the sand, brought memories of my own children and their innocent wonder of a visit to the beach. While the day wasn't a success as far as the images achived, it taught me something I have used with all my models since then. Play... like you're six years old. The smiles from a woman having fun are far more exciting than any pouty model face, and age is not a limiter in shooting beautiful women.
Its very difficult being an American with what seems to be a more European attitude toward the human body. I am very visually oriented and love the sense of freedom upon which my country was founded. This combination makes me a lifelong DOM. Unfortunately this country was also founded on puritan ideals and has always been repressed with regards to nudity. And things have gotten worse in the last decade or so. But coming of age in the 1970s was the perfect time to be able to enjoy the freedom from clothing as well as enjoy the beauty of PYGs enjoying their similar freedoms.