Daily Portrait (Day 7) and Thanks for your support

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Markus has photographed Pert.



With the publication of the seventh and final portrait in the Daily Portrait series, one based on a real life project undertaken in similar circumstances, my time as a photographer with SL Naturist comes to a close.

This has nothing to do with current turmoil on the blog or with Ella quitting. I had announced my decision to quit to Ella a while back, but felt there were one or two things I wanted to finish off and tidy up before I did leave.

I can’t thank Ella enough for giving me a window into the wonderful world of Second Life and the opportunity to display my work on the blog. I’m a photographer in real life, but I found that Second Life presented a different set of photographic challenges to be overcome, so it did take some time to start to feel comfortable with what is essentially an entirely new photographic medium.

The reason why I’ve decided to quit is because of SL Naturist’s editorial policy, and the expectations of their naturist photography. I found this a bit limiting, as I’d like to broaden my SL photographic work into glamour, erotic and even more risquĂ© photographs, none of which would meet the demands of SLN editorial policy. I find SL to be a thoroughly entertaining waste of time, and I do like the challenge of producing nude photography from the perspective of a model with limited movement, thus placing extra demands on the photographer.

As a result I’ve decided to step out on my own in SL, and to photograph people and situations without limitations.

My own Flickr page is now online, and this will feature more artistic, more edgy, more political, more sexual works from the virtual world of Second Life.

No, there was no option to continue within the SLN ‘family’, because of what Ella felt would be ‘guilt by association’ if I were to continue photographing for both SLN and my own outlets and a ‘blurring’ of her avowed editorial policy of promoting only ‘pure’ naturism, not linked to the erotic or political or sexual. We’d agreed to go our separate ways prior to Ella’s announcement to step down. As the blog looks like it might be closing I’d have needed my own outlet anyway to do what I wanted to do.

How I do see myself proceeding in Second Life is the establishment of a website and possibly the establishment of my own gallery within Second Life, not just for my work, but similarly glamour/erotic/sexual photographers. It’s early days in my Second Life to say right now that this is how I’ll move forward, but those are the plans in my head.

Thanks for the support and the kind words afforded to some of my photographs during my time as a photographer for SLN. I hope to catch you on the grid sometime and, male or female, maybe get you to sit for me.





Our new photographer

Despite making good progress following illness, Harry told me a while back that he won’t be returning to SLN. ‘I can maybe manage ten minutes here and there on SL’, he wrote in an email, ‘but I’ve retired from my job on health grounds and am looking forward to a bit more in the way of fresh air and family time than I’ve had for a long time. The computer comes a long way down my list of priorities’.

There will always be an open contribution for Harry to contribute, but of course we respect that decision, and health matters always take top priority.

We wish Harry well in his retirement. I can’t thank him enough for his contributions to SLN almost from the start of the blog, and the work he provided which sometimes inspired me to provide words when I didn’t have the inspiration to post.

We’ve still got Diane operating as a staff photographer, but SLN is a team effort. By all adding little bits, we keep the blog ticking over. It couldn’t possibly be a single-handed effort, and the more the merrier, as far as I’m concerned, with all of us pitching ideas in left, right and centre.

My RL Spanish friend, Jose, was keen to assist on the photography end of things, but he has just begun a new job and his SL time is once again limited. As a result I’ve found another new photographer who, I think, will be able to provide us with a rich vein of material, and take the pressure off Diane to produce great SLN photos. As you’ve probably noticed, where the likes of Pookes and I have added our own, they’ve come across as little more than holiday snaps, as we don’t really see scenes with a photographer’s eye (as important in SL as it is in RL, I would suggest).

The thing about Hugh’s contributions are that he hasn’t come into this as a SL or RL naturist, so his photos have had less emphasis on the naturist lifestyle, more on capturing ‘mood’.

He has, however, been reading SLN 🙂 and begun checking out some of the landmarks and sims we’ve linked to, so some naturist photography is beginning to drift back towards my in-tray.

By way of introduction, then, I’m offering a selection of his photos, all of which were taken in and around the Blue Lagoon, part of the Eden Estate. ‘An exceptionally friendly bunch who made me feel most welcome’, he tells me.

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‘I’ve just gone for ‘mood‘ at Blue Lagoon. Yes, I did take some photos of some gorgeous looking avatars, but I’d like their permission to use their image prior to posting those’.

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‘I think that the photo that you are publishing of the dancers is probably enough to ensure that their anonymity is maintained, at least until such time as I get their permission’.

Ella was speaking to Hugh

Heroes of Naturism : Vanessa B & her photographer and husband, Richard.

Naturist photo sites. I’m not someone who was particularly interested in these types of website, but as this blog has developed I’ve found it’s something I’ve had to visit more often for the purposes of providing depictions of the RL naturist lifestyle.

Of course, I recently had a little rant at some of the people who produce them, for their misogyny and for their lack of understanding of the core values of naturism.

Some ‘naturist’ photo sites will be little more than soft, and sometimes hard core, porn that not only treat women disgracefully in the ways they describe them (bitches, whores, sluts), but also cause a ‘guilt by association’ link to genuine naturism by also creating the impression that sex is an integral part of naturism. Of course, sex is part of naturism, just as it is in every other aspect of lifestyle choice, but not in the way that it’s often depicted on some of these websites. And while some naturist destinations have altered their perspective to a degree, Cap D’Agde in France, or Hedonism in Jamaica, for example, to focus more on an exhibitionist or ‘swinging’ lifestyle, they’re not typical of naturism.

On the plus side, this need for research has led me to discover Vanessa B, an Australian model. I’ve been able to discover that she comes from northern New South Wales in Australia and is photographed by her husband Richard. She has done sets in various locations including some splendid landscapes, beaches and indoors. She says she enjoys walking, gardening, surfing, nude beaches and sunbathing, while she’s quoted elsewhere by saying ‘Richard is my husband and photographer. We live in northern NSW, Australia. I’m 49 and have been posting on various sites for about seven years now. Photography is one of our main hobbies, with an emphasis on erotic photography’.



What I’m particularly drawn to is that not only is she a ‘mature’ (does 49 even qualify as ‘mature’?) lady, looking absolutely gorgeous and content with her own nudity, thus representing a terrific role model to women of a similar age, her photos are uniformly naturist or glamour in depiction. There’s never a point where she needs to be graphic in her photos, never a point where she’s explicit. These are just top quality photos by her very talented husband, superbly showing off his beautiful wife and the beauty of the naturist lifestyle. Even her ‘glamour’ shots have a superior sense of style and eroticism about them. There is never a shot where she’s depicted as being cheap or sordid. She’s simply a beautiful woman, beautifully photographed, in beautiful surroundings. Both Vanessa B and Richard are inspirations.


Her photos are, equally, a superb advertisement for the naturist lifestyle.


I also feel the need to pay tribute to her photographer and husband Richard. Until our own photographer, Harry, fell ill, I used to leave the research of SLN’s photography to him, and if you check the back pages you’ll find where Harry has done posts of ‘SL replicating RL’. I often wondered, but never questioned, what the inspiration behind these types of post were. Since I’ve had to take up some of the mantle of sourcing RL photographic material for the blog, it has sort of sneaked up on me that it has been Richard’s photos of Vanessa B, the imaginative, beautifully constructed images, that have been a recurring source of inspiration, to me, to ask our own photographer, Diane, if she could possibly do a shot like this…or that… Looking back through previous posts, without realising it until the last day or two, that it’s Richard’s work that have been the photos used as inspiration for work on this site.



Naked Second Life

The photographer Greg Friedler did a photographic project called Naked New York wherein ordinary people would pose clothed and nude for him, the photos only providing the person’s first name, profession and age.

Harry thought this was a great project, and had undertaken some photos a while ago with the intention of us replicating it. As is often the case with our projects, time and the need to cover other events catches up with us, and as a result the project never reaches fruition. So it was with Harry’s ‘Naked Second Life’ exhibition, and his current illness has stopped him from revisiting it.

In real life, Friedler’s project captured the imagination of many. We live in an age where posing naked for the camera, be it for Greg Friedler, Spencer Tunick or anyone else is not a big deal. Ordinary people like the idea of being part of some photographic art.jose nsl6_001c

I was looking through the photographic folders, and blog posts that only existed in draft form recently, and came across Harry’s (unpublished) post for the project, along with some dressed/undressed shots he’d taken of SL’s residents.

It seemed silly to allow this to simply wither on the vine, so I asked our new photographer, Jose, to revive the project and follow Greg Friedler’s concept, one Friedler would repeat in Los Angeles, London and Las Vegas.

We found an enormous number of avatars, even those who weren’t remotely naturist within SL, were more than happy to oblige and shed their clothes, just as non-naturists would for the likes of Spencer Tunick or, indeed, Friedler.

You can go directly to the Issuu published book here, and you should also be able to  download it as a pdf file. Two notable omissions from it are Jose, the photographer, ‘because I wish to include myself in a second volume’ (although he’s featured in the photo above) and yours truly because ‘oh, I forgot to paste in your photographs Ella’. Thanks, Jose! Maybe I can make the second volume too.