One thing I’ve noticed on naturist beaches in recent years is that cameras are in evidence. When I started out in naturism cameras were a big ‘no-no’, and producing one, or taking photos of others without express permission was liable to see your camera forcibly removed from you and the film (as it probably was back then, digital would have been in its infancy) removed in front of you, or the camera thrown in the sea.
With digital, cameras have got smaller, and would have good picture taking qualities even in miniature pens, glasses and so on, making it hard to detect ‘the voyeur photographer’.
So many ‘voyeur’ style photographs have been taken, and published, in the internet age. I disagree strongly with this, as I’ve stated in a previous post.
However, the irony here is that, with an explosion of naturist photographs, and representation of the ordinary aspect of the lifestyle, there’s been a little bit of a resurgence of interest in naturism in the internet years, possibly fuelled by a ready source of naturist imagery (I believe almost everyone has some underlying interest in the concept, as any bucket lists I’ve ever seen published almost invariably include ‘skinny dipping’ on it).
As a result of regular exposure to images, and in a society (certainly a European society) wherein nudity is ‘normalised’ people appear to be more relaxed about being photographed naked, either in private, or on their naturist holiday.
Yes, we take photos on our naturist holidays, of course we do. And when we’re on the beach we’d be aware that we could be photographed on the beach. I’m sort of OK with this, with caveats.
Here’s a photo of my RL/SL husband, Jim. He’s the subject of the photo but I’ve inadvertently managed to capture another naked avatar in the background.
If I were minded to publish it on the internet, as a RL photo, there are those who might wish to crop Jim out and focus on the lady (let’s be honest, most nude photography on the internet is of women, for men), it’s going to be difficult for the voyeur/pervert wishing to focus on her.
Because even in the digital age ‘blowing up’ the photo leads to a surfeit of detail. I apply these rules in RL. If someone is obviously taking a photo of their partner, and I happened to be somewhere in the background, I’m OK with it. I’m unlikely to be identified even if that photo makes its way to the internet.
However…there’s also a high chance that, on holiday, I’m involved in some activity with some of my children.
Imagine a Mum playing in the background with a child. Well, I’d sort of expect the photographer to delete out of courtesy to the unintended subjects if he/she realises it at the time, delete when reviewing the photo, or crop out the unintended subjects and delete the original.
The absolute minimum would be that the photographer pixellates the child, and the mother too.
Cameras on naturist beaches are OK, up to a point, as far as I’m concerned, but not for everyone, so when photographing it’s vital to be vigilant not only about your own subject, but the background too. I’ve had some strange looks when turning up with a camera, and my rules are to point it at the ground when not in use, and to make it clear you’re photographing. At the time I was trying to point the camera out to sea, to take a photograph of an impressive yacht, and there was no one swimming between myself and the yacht. Even so, some sunbathers did keep a watchful eye on me in case I tried to photograph them. Which is entirely understandable.
If someone makes it obvious that I’m the subject of their voyeur photography I would, of course, be challenging them immediately. We can be more relaxed about cameras, within limits.
Note: The female in the photograph is one of my SL friends who posed accordingly for the purposes of this post. The ‘child’ in the photo is actually an adult avatar who adjusted their hover height to sink into the sand and appear smaller), and is another SL friend. We didn’t consciously try to set up these photos to illustrate the post. All participants were aware of the shots I was trying to set up. We would not encourage age-play, child-avis or role-play of a similar type in SL. Indeed, I’m uncomfortable being around child avi’s in SL, or petites, as I find myself questioning the motivation of those who feel they must adopt a child or petite avatar.