Category: Testimony

It was another way of taking care of me and, especially, another way of seeing myself

I discovered the project “Nude in The Living Room” through an advertisement on Facebook.

Usually, I just delete these ads without really looking at them as yet another nuisance. It challenged me. It was different. Just the title of the project does something. Anonymous and naked, these two words side by side intrigued me. I found the concept original. There is something in the description of the project that reasoned with my love of life, my attraction for a simple and fair vision of natural things.

I was seduced by the photos, by the life they give off, and by the project. I must say that I am not very receptive to photography in general. The retouched photos that we see all the time in pubs are probably in large part the cause of this disinterest. However, I have also happened, on a very punctual basis, to see art photographs and to appreciate some of them. There are very nice things in this area but it does not attract me much. I really liked the photos from the “Purity” collection. They give off something pure, sober and extremely delicate. I was struck by the delicacy of the portrait of an old man seated, his arms around his legs, head bowed. I found this very dignified, very handsome man.

The Backstage collection touched me in a different way. It is darker, sharper. It gives me the impression of a great elegance, a little wild. It captures something that requires a stop and makes you want to discover, understand, feel this very special atmosphere. As I look through these photos, I like to see these very different people. If sometimes the poses can be similar, the bodies are unique. I love their diversity. Everyone has their own personality. Idan brought out the beauty.

Curious by nature, I like to experiment with new things. It’s a character trait that has grown over time. Recently, I had a few difficult times that left me exhausted. I drew from it a need to discover deeper, more compelling. It’s a feeling somewhere between hunger for discovery and gluttony. I signed up, a bit on a whim, without really knowing what I was looking for or even if I was looking for something. I was probably looking to do something unique. I was in a very special state of mind. Every new thing that I could experience, discover, learn or realize was a bit like going on a treasure hunt. I always have this pleasure. It is less imperative but the prospect of something new remains a great joy for me.

Connecting to my body has never been a priority for me. For a long time, I paid absolutely no attention to my appearance. The way I was dressed didn’t interest me at all. As long as my clothes were comfortable, it suited me. I started to pay a little more attention to the way I am dressed when I started my profession of accountant where my dress could have a certain importance vis-à-vis the customers.

At that time, I met a woman the age of my parents, a manager. I was struck by its elegance. Time had passed well on her but she had something in her appearance, in her support and her clothes which made her very beautiful. I wanted to release something too. I am not shy, nudity does not bother me. I may have been a little when I was a teenager but it happened. I lived for a while with people, mostly men, for whom it didn’t matter. However, I often come across people who are. In general, I take care to respect their modesty. However, I sometimes forget and open the half-clothed door when a friend comes to visit me and I’m not ready, or change myself in front of everyone after sport by failing to do it discreetly. Seeing me in underwear sometimes surprises my male partners.

A few years ago, I did fencing. Before that, there was no question of me doing any sport. I did five years of fencing. At that time, my body changed a lot. My muscles developed, I started to move more fluidly. I felt my body transform deeply. I forgot that feeling a bit when I stopped playing this sport. I went from a very dynamic job in commerce to an office job. I had a contraceptive implant put on me that made me gain a lot of weight. I exceeded 75 kg for 1m60. I started to have health problems. Then, overwhelmed by events, I decided to lose weight. It was a way to take control of my life. When my relationship to my body was reduced to overweight and severe headaches, I again felt that it could be different. I wanted to practice a new sport. I had changed a lot and fencing no longer appealed to me. I wanted something new. Two years ago, I decided to practice a martial art. I have wanted to for a long time. I tried kali eskrima (Filipino martial art which is practiced mainly with sticks) and I found myself practicing this sport and chanbara (Japanese fencing which is practiced with foam sabers). These are two practices that shape both the body and the mind. These are not just sports. They are also the arts of living to which deep values ​​of self-respect and respect for others are attached. The practice of martial arts has changed my relationship with my body, my way of holding myself, of feeling it. My muscles have grown again. My body changed shape. It has become more harmonious and more comfortable. My attention, thinking and coordination skills have been refined. I became less clumsy, more precise, faster, more lively, more relaxed, more serene. I felt more comfortable there.

In this context, posing for the project “nude in the living room” seemed to me to be a chance to see my body in an even different way, this time in a visual dimension. This experience allowed me to become aware of the external aspect of my body no longer in my posture, my movements and my musculature but in a physical beauty that I have always neglected. I wanted to see myself beautiful.

I was very excited to have this experience. I didn’t want to wait. I have spoken to very few people around me. It wasn’t shame, embarrassment, or anything like that. It was rather to spare me reflections like “You’re not going to do that?”, “Are you not afraid?”, Etc … These are reactions that I have aroused more than once for all kinds of things that I have undertaken such as changing jobs or jobs, traveling alone, cutting my hair or adopting a cat. So no, I was not afraid to experiment. The opinion of those around me did not prevent me from doing what I wanted. This type of thinking is boring and I got into the habit of doing what I wanted by only telling certain people very close to me. Unfortunately, the nude photo is associated with pornography, which is a great shame because the bodies have a simple beauty that is worth remembering. The curious thing is that nobody ever asked me that kind of question when I made an appointment with an osteopath for the first time, when we are there in underwear and that ” in addition, the osteopath touches his patients. The people I talked to about it had the expected reaction, which in no way affected my enthusiasm. I had taken the time to visit the site and the project seemed serious to me. This experience had become very important to me. I felt it would bring me something. I think new experiences are growing. I think there was an intimate need there that I wanted to fulfill.

I took the time to look at the photos on display at the studio. They were really beautiful, drawn in large format and displayed on the walls! I don’t like digital. There is nothing like a work of art physically exhibited in a place and under conditions that enhance it. This is how it acquires all its power and makes it the most beautiful. Watching these photos under these conditions was soothing. I didn’t need a new motivation.

It was a little strange to come out naked from behind the fitting room but I quickly forgot this feeling. It was all natural and I didn’t pay attention to it any longer. Asking was very strange at first. I had forgotten a bit that I don’t like to pose for photos at all, whether it’s group photos, friends, family or alone. In general, I avoid doing this. I was uncomfortable to pose, to take positions which were not at all natural, sometimes a little uncomfortable. I had the reflex to freeze at each pose. Smiling when asked to smile is unthinkable. For me, it can only be spontaneous. It’s something I do naturally. I am unable to pretend to smile. Then it happened. I relaxed and it became fun. The time of the pose passed very quickly. I forgot the pose side and had a wonderful time. It was so natural for me to be naked that it seemed strange to get dressed. It was a bit like closing something.

I was fascinated to discover the photos. I’m not sure what I expected. Some really looked like me, as I saw myself in a mirror. I recognized my features, my body, my way of holding myself. Idan was able to grasp expressions and attitudes that are me, small natural and spontaneous expressions that belong only to me. Others are more surprising, magnificent. I didn’t know I could look like this. When I discovered them, I knew that they were photos of me, but of a totally foreign, different, almost another, very beautiful self. I wanted to take a print for myself. Digital never has the same effect as reality. It would have seemed strange to me to take this step and not leave with a photo. I knew that a digital photo would never leave my computer and that it would be forgotten in a folder without my touching it.

The choice was difficult. There were several that I liked very much. I was fascinated to see Idan sort them out. I could not have made a choice alone. I think we probably spent more time on this selection for me. In the end, three stayed. I couldn’t decide between them. They were all very beautiful and all different. At first, I didn’t want to hang them at home, just have them, as a kind of proof that I could also be this beautiful woman. I found it strange to hang pictures of me at home, and especially pictures of me naked. I don’t know why this shyness was holding me back. After all, it was really something special. I think it stirred me a lot.

It was a truly wonderful, surprising experience. It was another way of taking care of myself and above all another way of seeing myself. It is a very personal process. The photos that were taken, the one that joined the project and the two others that I chose, are works of art, which makes them really special in themselves. I am very happy to be part of this artistic project. In a much more intimate way, they allow me to realize that my body is beautiful, that it is not limited to physical sensations. They send me back an image of my femininity that I really like. These photos are, in addition to their nature of work of art, another vision of me, of what I was at this particular moment, a vision that I could expose at home, keep for myself or transmit, be. Receiving them by email was a nice moment. When I read the object “Your photograph is ready”, I thought “already? “And I was very excited. I couldn’t wait, I immediately opened the photos. I can’t find a word to describe the feeling I had when I rediscovered them. I was looking forward to receiving them. They are even more beautiful than in my memory. I’m really happy with what they mean to me. They show me a bright part of me that I didn’t know. This experience completed something for me. A piece in my perception of me has been put in place and brings me a new harmony. They show me what I have become after an intense period of profound changes in my life. I think I will retry the experience one day. I will no doubt do so when a new period of great change occurs. I may also do it earlier, just for the sake of beauty.

This photo shoot achieved its primary mission: to make me accept my body

First, a presentation is essential. I am 46 years old, I’m a father of a 14 year old boy and freshly divorced at the time of my participation in the project. I live in Seine et Marne and I work in mass distribution, as an administrative framework. Physically, I think I look like everyone else. Finally, that’s what I think, because the reality is totally different. I don’t like my body. I am tall, round with shapes, especially in the abdomen. In fact, I don’t like my body from the shoulders to the thighs. Apart from this part, it’s okay !!! Sexually, I have long considered myself straight. In fact, I wanted to be straight to set up a mold and do like everyone else. And then, during my marriage, I realized that my universe was rather turned towards the man and the masculine. I lied to myself thinking that I had better accept myself surrounded by men. As if being in the company of men could reassure me about my own body. Because the problem came from my body. My personal life at the time was punctuated by heterosexual pretenses and a gay reality. I would have liked to be gaunt like all these stadium gods and at the same time, I tried to reassure myself on my own body by dating men. I am quite modest in front of women, and paradoxically I can be completely liberated in the presence of one or more men, when there is a sexual objective at the end. All this was before my divorce (which I did not provoke, but which imposed itself on me)

For 3 or 4 years, in light of what I have just said, I began to look for a photographer who will agree to take my naked photo and especially someone who would manage to sublimate this body that I did not like. To try to make something of it !!! Either artistic nude, or close-ups of my body, but always with the idea that: YES, even I have a body that can make you dream or fantasize.

One day, hanging out on facebook, I came across Idan’s publication about his project “nude in my living room”.

It was a real eye opener for me. Idan’s project is really what I was looking for. Highlight strangers, “normal” people, with faces, physics of everyone. I found the “purity” project, very pretty and some photos really touched me. The overexposure of the bodies makes the contours soft and the vision of the naked body is totally different from what I could imagine from a nude photo. There were men like me, and they were handsome. It was magic for me, and I had never seen such a project. The more I looked at the photos, the more I told myself that I was going to be able to realize my dream. But suddenly, reality came back to me. It was going to be necessary that, me Fabien, I put myself naked in front of a stranger for something other than sex. It was a real problem for me. How was I going to react? In the end, why do it? I’m ugly, so no interest for Idan. I don’t like myself, so the rendering will be like me: ugly.

And yet, I did violence to myself. I signed up saying it was now. I hesitated, but not long: 1 hour maximum. It was for me. I made an appointment very far back in time (again, we don’t change either). One day when I knew I would be alone, without excuse to cancel or postpone. It was a Saturday afternoon in August 2019. I remember very well the weather outside (it was very hot) and the state of mind in which I was: a mixture of excitement and anxiety , but with a touch of envy. I had absolutely no idea how the session was going to go, I imagined a huge white studio everywhere. I didn’t know it yet, but this session was going to be a real therapy for me.

I arrive in front of this big white building, full of accommodation. I tell myself, like this quickly, this thing is shady. How can there be in this building, THE studio that I imagined? I ring, the doors open and Idan comes to greet me in his studio which looks strangely like an apartment in fact. I wait a few minutes while waiting for Idan to come get me. Pictures from the “Purity” collection are hung on the wall. Curiously, I no longer have any apprehension about the place, when it does not at all resemble my imagination. Idan picks me up and invites me into HIS studio. And there it is a little shock: a dark, intimate room, with a sofa, a desk, a fitting room, 2 huge photographer’s spots in front of a white wall. Wall made of a large roll of paper unrolled from ceiling to floor. I find the space between the wall and the spots quite small. This is the place.

Idan invites me to sit in front of his desk and offers me a drink. I accept, because my throat is very dry. And as indicated on his website, Idan begins explaining the session, asking me questions about my motivations, what I am, who I am. I answer all his questions, without evasion. No intimate questions, it’s rather me who addresses these questions: my private life, my relationship to my body. Then comes the fateful moment when Idan invites me to go behind the fitting room where I have to undress. 

In fact, by removing my clothes one by one, I do not ask myself too many questions, except technical questions: how I put my stuff: on the floor, on the hook on the wall ??? Frivolous questions, but questions nonetheless. On the other hand, once naked, the question of death: what am I doing now. So I come out of the screen, I’m afraid, I go ahead and try to hide my privacy with my hand.

Idan invites me to position myself on the white wall, he begins his instructions on the poses, and from this precise moment, my body no longer matters to me. I’m focused on his instructions and nothing else. I don’t ask myself any questions about, how I am, is my sex visible or not, what I look like there, naked in front of a stranger in sometimes improbable positions. NO nothing, no more discomfort. It’s like I’m dressed, like I’m not naked. Upon reflection, I am quite surprised at myself by this lightness and the way I had to pose.

I have no idea how long the session will be. At no time did I think of the poses taken. At no time did I say to Idan: No, really not like that, it’s too much. He is professional and knew perfectly what I was physically able to do, without having to worry about my appearance.

Session ended: Already !!!!

Passing behind the fitting room, I sit in front of the desk and the sequence of the choice of photo begins. Idan explains to me how to do it and we start the choice. The photos are scrolling, and I see myself naked for the first time on a computer screen. There were no less than 200 photos I think. I feel good. Do I look beautiful? Yes on some yes. Because the angle is better, because the overexposure is better. I manage to make a positive judgment on photos showing this body, my body, which I do not like. I even manage to make a choice by saying: this one is better than this one. Exit the sentence: “this one is less worse than the other”. I can find something positive in Idan’s work. I have no further questions at this time. I am driven by the madness of the choice of the photo. We agreed on the photo which will be put online. It was only then that I realized that anyone would be able to see me physically naked. Of course I knew that when I came, and Idan explained it to me. But until now, I was thinking about myself, my body, my nudity. At the time of the final choice, I realized that my naked body was going to be exposed.

Friends, my family, my co-workers, could see me naked. But it was a nude that I had chosen. An artistic nude. Not a twitter nude…. No, a handsome thing, a pretty good guy in fact. ME.

I was on a cloud, I was well and reassured. I was especially proud of myself and also of Idan’s work !!!

I have kept this experience for me for a long time. No one around me knows. Except one: my new companion. I showed her the photos I had acquired. We discussed it together and she found the project very interesting. Because yes, this project has largely contributed to the fact that I assume what I am.

I changed how I see myself, so I changed what other people’s minds could imagine. It’s complicated as a sentence… !!!! I am no longer afraid of my body. I don’t necessarily like it anymore, but I accept it as it is. The next step will be for me to talk about it freely to my friends and colleagues. It’s possible in the very near future…

I regularly follow Idan’s work and project, and I really want to reschedule a session on a “free” or “paid” project. I want to enjoy and see myself differently, and I’m ready to show more. I am delighted with this experience.

This photo session fulfilled its primary mission: to make me accept my body.

Idan captured something I didn’t know about

I discovered Idan’s project on social media; and he immediately won me over. I have always had an interest in collaborative projects, those that take the art out of a seraglio reserved for an elite and offer it to everyone. (I am a youth librarian, and nothing is better for example for kids than meeting authors, illustrators, creators of exhibitions; it’s not a waste of time!); In addition to a meeting with an artist, this project fought against all the stereotypes of our time on the body (Each time has its own). I’m a tattooed woman in the 50’s, and like others in this case, I encountered some prejudices.

And then I love the bodies! I find people beautiful… say like that, it can be strange, but I find that there is a beauty in everyone, each…

This project therefore had everything it needed for me to join it … yet it took me a while to book an appointment. Despite everything I just said, I wasn’t sure if my body was “interesting”…

The day of the session, it was a terrible heat. Advantage: I was suddenly rather nonchalant and relaxed… And Idan also has the gift of making you feel comfortable with ease. The photos in the living room finished convincing me that I was in the right place!

To undress and get out from behind the fitting room was a formality. I had already experienced several nudity occasions, from naturism to others more intimate…

On the other hand, the session was a real novelty! I had never asked myself: I am not flexible, at all, I had absolute confirmation and fun…

My real shock was when the photos were sorted: I saw myself beautiful! Yes beautiful “. Idan’s photos had caught something I didn’t know: a unit that has become even more obvious to me since.

In addition to the photo to which participation in the project gives entitlement, I took 2 other papers… and above all, since then, I have added two others from two strangers. I am fully aware that I may regularly expand my small collection. Besides, this desire there particularly pleased me!

“The same time as an unexpected break-up.”

That shooting was both a psychological challenge and a real adventure for me. When I got in touch with Idan for the first time, we agreed upon a date, which couldn’t be changed as I was living abroad. The thought of the sitting titillated me and made me laugh. I took it for a game and above all for an opportunity to keep a beautiful image of me in my younger years in view of my older ones. But the sitting proved to be more intensely emotional as it happened to take place at the same time as an unexpected break-up.

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