Yesterday I posted a nude photo of Hanna. This photo excited me from the second I saw it on the back of the camera and I couldn’t wait to share it. I had captured an image I was so proud of.
And I did think about it A LOT before I posted it. A LOT.
I could’ve cropped it but I didn’t, because honestly I hated the way it looks. I loved the composition, her typical hanna ‘don’t mess with me stance’, the way her hand curled delicately at her side. So I didn’t crop it.
For the sake of art.
For the sake of capturing Hanna in the most impeccably Hanna moment I had ever seen, I didn’t crop it.
And also, let’s face it, in our house someone’s always naked. Syx has been shooting nudes for almost 20 years now, we do Wreck Beach, we sunbathe topless – we are not ashamed of our bodies. Maybe that’s part of my naivety- I have a hard time picturing anyone seeing anything other than what I see when I look at my naked 4 year old. But obviously there were a few people that were bothered because I received a few facebook messages about the photo which I read throughout the day and continued to think about it. Maybe I should’ve cropped it.
I feel really sad that the world is in such a sad state that people are so afraid, that people have to be afraid. That there are bad people out there that would use a photo of a child in a bad way and that we have to be so guarded. I wish we could just look at a moment of joy and see it for what it is – JOY, PURE JOY. It really sucks. I can understand why, but it doesn’t make it such any less and it shouldn’t have to be that way. If the intentions behind the photo are everything love and happiness, then it shouldn’t be such that we are filled with fear.
I thought of some of the photographers that I’ve been inspired by - Sally Mann being one of them, and how fortunate I feel that she decided to share her work with the world. Not that my work is on the same level as Sally Mann, but you know, the same feelings are there I’m sure. Controversial Sally Mann and her “Immediate Family” collection. Some were brazen enough to call it pornography and some said that by publishing a book that intimate it was an invitation for strangers to come into their life and some said that there were certain things better left private.”
Are they? Her photos fill me with feelings that I can’t even describe. I can’t be the only one.
Sally’s children didn’t feel that way either. “Each of those photographs was her way of capturing, somehow – if not in a hug or a kiss or a comment – how much she cared about us. Each one of those photographs is an affirmation of love.” They were never bothered by being shot nude or having the photos shared, it was just part of their life. I like to think that Hanna and Armenie will talk about the photography in our house the same way when they’re old enough to appreciate it. On some level they already do. “Mom that is my most favorite photo ever because those popsicles are like rainbows that I like to eat.”
So here it is, the safe version, and I still hate this crop.