Anonymity 2: Candid

viewer explore start features faces Simon Q. Walden,, sqw, FilmPhoto, photography


By not having faces within an image we invite the viewer to look around the image and take in other aspects of the image. The face is always such a strong draw that its very presence can detract from other features of an image.

Even with a face partially in shot, the direction of the gaze of the face can still lead the viewer's eye.

By removing all faces we can let the viewer explore an image.


Clearly the hand reaching to the bum is one of the strongest features of this picture. But as you start to explore you can see the other hand on the shoulder and the feet on the dresser all hold a delightful sexual tension.

You will also start to see beyond the obvious tattoos that there are dirty feet, odd bruises and marks on the skin.

See also how the whole image is slightly tilted and not well composed at the edges?

Normally I would clean up any of those distracting elements, but in this image they all work together to reinforce the idea that this is a candid shot, of two people in the moment.

None of it is supposed to be pristine. This is image about passion in reality.


The two models are partners. This meant that they are completely comfortable with each other. This is important here, because it gives a very natural contact without being posed.

As a photographer you cannot pose that. I gave the girls a scenario and set them up on the dresser, but then let them be themselves. Often making a photograph is about creating a scene that your subjects can explore and develop.

We were working in their lounge. Lighting is from south facing window with drawn blinds.

viewer explore start features faces Simon Q. Walden,, sqw, FilmPhoto, photography

This is an excerpt from "Art Nude Photography Explained" which shows you how to create nude images and how to read and evaluate art nude photographs

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