Spirited Bodies is always a learning curve for me and our latest event brought the addition of photography to the challenge.
Some models were fine with it, but others highly sensitive, and most somewhere inbetween, only really able to say once they had seen the images. There are considerations of being discovered online and this conflicting with standards in a career of a very different nature. There is vanity; and there may be cultural taboos. Of course images are often without names, but faces (and bodies) may be recognised, and some software links the two.
I have decided that this is my career and whatever I do will work with this. I am naked and named and proud. The point of Spirited Bodies is to share some of the benefits of this with new people, to share the joy of hang-up free nudity.
The project was started by Morimda (https://spiritedbodies.com/2011/03/29/we-are-all-spirited-bodies/) as a community one. It is partly to make more of the community of artists’ models and artists drawing them. It has not been funded as such so far, but has operated on love and trust, enjoyment and sharing. I looked into making money with it last year, and concluded it was not immediately suited to this. I needed to find my way with it more first, as it is a new thing. I would not feel right selling something until I am sure I have it right. I believe the project will let me know when it is ready to make money!
At the heart of the project is nurturing love and friendship, of us the organisers, as well as our growing community of models and artists. We want new people to feel extremely safe with us for a very brand new and exciting experience. If they are worried that we may breach that trust, then we have failed. We cannot be responsible for their fear, we can only take care that everything we deliver is sound and in order.
I am apt to make mistakes being human; and will do all that I can to rectify them. In this case, photography will be dealt with differently in future. Models will be staged a bit, so that no one is in shot who may be upset by it. At the same time models who are able to appreciate a beautiful memento will have the chance, and we will be able to show more people more clearly what the experience is like, visually. Not that that is needed. The artwork speaks for itself, as do the models’ comments. But photographs will reach another audience.
I enjoyed Spirited Bodies 4 immensely, and not least because it brought Lucy and I closer, and then when we met the groups of models in advance, they liked each other very much, and we liked them etc. On all meeting for the event there was a very warm feeling, and there was a large changing area to hang out in. It was all day, for the first time, so the models bonded over lunch. They started quickly to pose together with very little direction from me, creating scenes and tableaux. They enjoyed such a magical unique day and so did we.
I also enjoyed trying out giving a life modelling workshop for the first time. Actually I got all panicky afterwards thinking I had not done so well! But it had been a very busy time just before the event and I was losing sight of things. It transpired the models had gained a great deal from the session, and just them meeting each other, as well as the practical exercises, was an incredible feeling. How they loved meeting each other! Knowing they were not alone! That they were in the very best company. It didn’t matter much what I did at that point; they were in it together and it could not fail. Success! 🙂