Anything In Pursuit Of Art
“Art Photos” — the phrase sounds kind of pretentious now because it’s so overused. But when I started out shooting naked girls it was really what it was all about. Long before pay sites were a thing. This is, we’re talking, 1987. That’s when I shot my first nude photo. It was this woman who lived in my neighborhood of Carlsbad when I lived on Acacia Avenue a couple of blocks away from the beach. I made her acquaintance through a friend of hers that I’d met on the beach.
She knew I was interested in drawing nudes (that’s how it started, I was into art) and she referred her friend to me, a tall woman of about 5-9 with a studio tan and curly golden hair. Total California beach-mama. She was in her mid 30’s so about twelve years older than me and had had at least one kid. We were in my apartment bedroom and she was laying on my bed naked and I was doing a pencil sketch of her when she asked me if I had a camera. “Yes I do,” I said. “Why?”
“I want you to take a picture of me doing a back-bend.”
I was 23 years-old and if she hadn’t asked me I was too shy to ever ask her. So I got my Nikon off of my desk and made sure it was loaded. It usually was because at the time I was always shooting nightclub photos for a local alternative arts quarterly magazine. But I wanted to make sure because I didn’t want to blow my big chance. She got up off my bed and readied herself on the carpet. I put the viewfinder up to my eye and she spring up into position: a perfect back arch with her right knee pointing to me, her head tilted way back and her tits pointing up at the ceiling. This was the late 1980’s so girls weren’t shaving then and her big dishwater-blonde bush covering her cunt was gloriously revealed. I know that sounds vulgar but it’s appropriate here.
Somewhere I still have the 4×6″ color Kodak print of this photo from the Sav-On developing center on El Camino Real that I used those printing coupons for. Archived somewhere else is the negative.
It was admittedly a pretty slow and timid start but it took a female asking me to take her photo before I got rolling in this game. I’m really glad she did too. I love women’s nudes. Over the years some of these girls have turned out to be a bit crazy — some in a good way and some maybe not — but I love all of them. And I’ll always love the art.
Below is a photo of another female nude, not the one described above but a girl in her mid-twenties that I shot a few years back when I lived in another beach community in Ocean Beach. It was shot at my Sunset Cliffs apartment.