Shot in Panama City, 2019.
I had an idea of what I was hoping to capture through this photoshoot before I set out to make it a reality. The reality of it far exceeded my hopes or expectations in many ways. Profound is a word that only attempts to communicate the whole of the experience.
I was introduced to someone who said they could take me to a place where I might meet the woman I was looking for.
We walked and talked and continued beyond alleyways, beyond comfort, and into a shared space, with shared beds and shared needles. “Trust me”, he said, while I reviewed with overwhelming trepidation all the decisions that led me there and all the possibilities that awaited.
A few men sat rolling dice at a table made from surrounding materials, a few sat in the corner injecting their next dose into another world. We kept walking until we found her.
Maria. A small framed woman with a gaze that made mountains become small. I told her about my project and she was immediately interested in participating, with the prospect of payment being of most interest. The shared dwelling was settled near the ocean, and when I asked her to bring us to her bathroom for the shoot, she asked if we should go to the ocean. This is because the ocean is both her shower and her toilet. For the sake of the project I asked her if we could go to an enclosed bathroom, which meant that we would wander through more alleyways in search of public housing and shared facilities. We found a spot in a bright yellow alleyway, sinks lined up outside, toilets behind a few doors. The photos share some of the many layers that make up Maria.
Shot in Aguadulce, 2019.
After having arrived at the fire station to set up camp for the night, I decided to roam around the town of Aguadulce. The hottest part of the day was about to hit, so I decided to take shade at a local lively bar. As I entered the bar, and saw the naked ladies drawn on the walls, I quickly realized what I was walking into - what is known in Spanish as a “putera”.
Sitting alone at the bar, I started to speak to the lady bartender, and as we continued to talk she told me she knew the perfect man for my project.
In walked in “El Gallote”, a 60 year old man who cleans the bar. As the bartender explained the project to him, he kept laughing with a sense of embarrassment. He was eager to participate with promises of being remunerated.
This was the first time I had done a shoot for FULL DISCLOTHESURE in a public bathroom. For the sake of being surrounded by people (which normally, the shoot is just one on on) I allowed El Gallote to leave some of his clothes on. During the shoot he was showing off his muscles and highlighting that even at 60 years old, he was strong and kicking.
After the shoot, he bought me a beer and then I headed back to the fire station to get ready to leave early next morning on the bicycle.
Shot in 2018.
The subject and I met during my stay in the capital city of San Jose.
Identifying herself as body positive, the subject was radiating with poise and confidence. We initiated a preliminary nude shoot did that she wanted for her own personal collection in the living room and then we proceeded to take photos for FULL DISCLOTHESURE.
While visiting El Trunco, a small town off the coast of El Salvador, I met the subject on the street selling jewelry. I stopped to talk to him to ask him how long he had been growing out his hair. Intrigued by the project, he took time off so we could shoot in his communal bathroom.
“I feel sexy and I love my body.”
It was a Sunday afternoon when I cycled across my subject’s corner store. Starving from having cycled all morning, I stopped to ask if she had any food, she said she doesn’t make food, but made an exception and whipped up some eggs, beans and tortillas. While waiting for the food, I asked if i could use the bathroom. I loved everything abut it, and when I came back from the bathroom I told her about FULL DISCLOTHESURE and her and her husband both wanted to participate.
On the road in Nicaragua, while civil uproar was finally calming down, I needed to stop for some shade and rest from the bicycle. I ended up in front of my subjects house, and she offered me a chair to sit down on, underneath a tree. Having two daughters to take care of, and no money, she couldn’t afford to pay for them to go to school. In exchange for letting me shoot in her bathroom, I offered to help her and her daughters out. At first, she was weary because she was confused whether I was a man or not (this is a common mistake depending on how I am dressed). But once I told her that, indeed, I was a woman, she felt more comfortable to let me take pictures of her.
Having answered an Instagram ad I posted in search for participants in Guatemala, the subject was one of the only people that responded.
Eager to be shot while she was pregnant, I drove into Guatemala city with a friend and photographed her in her home whilst her husband and kid where eating dinner in the other room. She was 6 and a half months pregnant here.
Whilst staying in Antigua, the subject worked as a security guard for the hostel I was staying at. The dog was the hostel pet.
“In Guatemala, the theme of nudity is taboo because we don’t make the decision, our ancestral culture is what makes us shy away from nudity.”
-Translated from Spanish
Tricked by his friend into participating for the project, the subject had no idea what was going on or what this project was even about. After having traveled to make it into Guatemala City just to photograph him, and later having to overcome some miscommunications about what was going on, he decided he would fully commit to participating.
Lying on the beach with my two friends I met while backpacking Asia, I met the subject as he was across the road with his friends. It was a Sunday, everyone was hanging out on the streets, more specifically, they were hanging out on their motorcycles.
Embarrassed about the condition of his bathroom, he did not want to do the shoot in his house. I insisted that his bathroom would give this project more diversity. Thus far, it has been one of the most humble bathrooms for shot for this project.
While doing my art residency in Oaxaca, Mexico, I met the subject as he was working for an NGO in the same building where I was working. Very willing to represent Mexico, we shot in one of his best friends guesthouse that he owns.
One of the most creative bathroom doors I have seen. This “door” consist of postcards of places the subject travelled to.
“I’ve always believed that there is a political statement we do when we own our own body, when we like our own body, no matter the shape, no matter the size, no matter the color, stretch marks, whatever. People are so self-conscious about all these little insignificant things, they are unable to see how beautiful they really are. No matter how fat, how thin, how butt-less, or how dark skin, or clear skin, because at the end everyone feels that they have some flaw, that only they see. And being naked in front of others its, in regardless of whatever shape I’m in, because I have many shapes along my life i have learnt to love those shapes by showing my body, not that it’s an exhibition, yes there is an exhibitonist factor there, but that its not the main principal. I would love to show people that I love myself the way I am, and that is the only thing that is really mine. Nor the clothes, cosmetics, the creams, or the soaps I put on it, but how I take care of it.”
"To be a male heterosexual ballet dancer is complicated in Mexico. We live in a male chauvinistic country, in which everything is women, women, women and the man’s power over them. It is very complicated when it comes to ballet, since I am a guy in such a field, you always hear comments like, “are you gay?” with some type of judgement. In Mexico, everything is soccer, fighting, or sports that represent the masculine power from an outside and internal perspective. When you come to a point where you involve yourself in art, which I feel that it is a much more internal thing, such as this project, like in being naked. The arts are like roads that lead you to understand yourself better internally and to lose those taboos or shamefulness that we as humans suffer day to day. Ballet has helped me to open up more."
Shot in Oakland, California. This was the first person I shot from an ad I posted on Craigslist, looking for people that were interested in modelling for the project. We met at a coffee shop at first. She was radiating with energy. A little bit lost with her path, we talked about life.
On my first big break from my cycling trip, I met the subject at a local park in San Francisco.
“The most visceral of heartaches stem from those of fleeting moments past. Some days, I do not understand the reflection staring back at me, but I thank it for going out into the world to mask me from being me.”
I first posed for nude photos with my girl-friend in the 1970s We took nudes of each other, I was teaching her photography, she was an artist, a painter of what was called "outsider art" I was a bit embarrassed by the photos and I didn't want anyone to see them. I had worked professionally for one year as a photographer for a bank doing architects and brochures. My hobby was street photography and I was published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian
I didn't pose anymore until 2010 when I switched my photographic director to art nudes, glamour, lifestyle. I put a portfolio up on model mayhem, I met two female nude models on MM who were also photographers. I agreed to pose nude for them in return for them posing nude for me. We did the photography on Baker Beach nude beach in San Francisco.
The 2nd of the two shoots was near the end where the rocks are. The nude beach had been invaded by fishermen who sometimes expressed displeasure by nudity but its a legal nude beach had been by custom since . Finally they sort of agreed to ignore each other. We took turns of taking photos each other, when it was my turn I started to dread it as I found it embarrassing, to walk nude into the ocean in front of those men.
After that I sought out photography students, art photographers hobbyists to pose nude. I found it fun and liberating to be nude. I also found it helped me with photographing nudes myself It gave me some empathy, I photographed nude males as well as females.
I found that male nudes was one of last taboos in the nude art photography field. Male nude models were looked down upon by most male photographers on Model Mayhem. When the male models came into the chat room the male photographers would tell them "put your pants on!" As if it was something perverse to be ashamed of.
"India is so diverse with people, culture and beliefs. From worshiping the linga (the form) to the theory of Kamasutra, our history shows us how open the concept of nudity was back in past. Today nudity has become a taboo and people they want to look perfect. People forget that being nude is the most enjoyable feeling in the world and everyone is perfect."
One of the most daring shoots for this project. Shot in prison, on the island of, Palawan.
In losing his wife and son, the sole purpose to participate in this project was to be able to display his two chest tattoos, dedicated to the life and passing of his wife and son. The day his wife died, he decided to let the back of his hair grow, as something to connect him to his relationship. It wasn’t until I was at the Myanmar border with Thailand that I was able to find my subject, as Myanmar is a very conservative country and the topic of nudity is taboo. He was introduced to me by my Thai friend who let me crash on her couch for a couple of days.
The subject was found on one of my last days in Cambodia. We met by the pool, which was near the school where I was teaching. She was there, helping her mom, who was in charge of welcoming the Peace Corps workers who had just arrived in Cambodia.
When asked to comment about nudity in Cambodia, the subject replied:
"Cambodia people will not talking about nudity. They will mind it"
I met the subject when I was stuck at the Thai border with Myanmar. I was unexpectedly not able to cross over, since I did not have the visa. This sparked me to look into couchsurfing and found the subject as my host for the week.
"Thai Culture is not open to sexuality and nudity, even though there're many sex tourisms all over the places but Thai morality don't accept that. Most Thais tend to be hung up on morality more than humanity and they judge those whom accept/express sexuality. So people don't accept/express themselves, they 'pretend' to be 'moral'. The Government and Media do play roles on that i.e. recently the PM said shit about one Isaan Singer who dressed sexy on the media. And let's not talk about the King rama X right now - then it will be too complicated
All shot in Paris, the city where this project was brought to life, these subjects were all part of the commencement of what we know now as FULL DISCLOTHESURE.