Nursing Baby and Color and Limits of Acceptability?

One teacher I work with regularly and another photographer that I admire both feel strongly that color is too graphic for fine art nudes. The teacher would have me believe that the photograph isn’t art unless it’s classically black and white. The photographer friend just likes classic photographs. What can I say? I like color. I like this image in color partly because the background colors are so vivid–the grass and the pond. Also I think it’s warmer and softer more fitting for the subject matter. Black and white begins to feel distant and old-fashioned for me.

Here’s the black and white version.

babysm

Ah, but there’s another problem with this image. What is our tolerance for photos of nursing mothers? I was thinking we’re more OK with fine art nudes than nursing mothers until my husband reminded me that Elle just did a cover photo of a mother nursing her babe. It’s a supermodel mother who looks ten times better than the rest of us when we’re doing the mom-thing but it is probably groundbreaking none the less. AND IT’S IN COLOR!!!

ellesm

So here are the questions?

Color or black and white?

Nursing mom is OK? or are we still uptight about that one?

I’m hoping your join in this informal poll by leaving a comment.

Back to Back–Red Photo Series

It should be obvious, by now, that I’m doing a series of red photos. Why? When it comes to fine art nudes, it’s hard to top the old classic black and white photos that we all love and remember. Those black and white images are removed from reality (we don’t see in black and white) forcing us to think about shape and light rather than skin tone and body form. With that in mind, I wanted to try color that wasn’t literal. Red seemed a good place to start.

This photo was taken on a light table with three lights, one covered with a red gel. The second figure is actually a reflection from the light table. In this kind of set-up, you’re forced to get in close because you don’t want to catch any of the table or the lights in the picture. Means you have to simplify the compostion to minimal elements, which is the charm.

This one prints medium to small, works well with a black or white matt and has sold repeatedly. Done in series of 25 with only a few numbers remaining.

I think it hangs best any place where a punch of red works.