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‘Butts, boobs and bodies’: Student photo book project explores everyday nudity

Claire Higgins

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Three Northern Kentucky University art students have stripped photography down to its skivvies to create a book of nude photos, with an interesting twist.

Senior photography BFA majors Clarissa Peppers and Jesse Fox, as well as recent grad Danielle Carson, worked together in fall 2010 to celebrate the nude body through photography.

“Basically it’s about making people feel beautiful in their own skin,” Peppers said about her experience.

The book, “Let’s Get Naked: A Visual Commentary on Butts, Boobs and Bodies,” consists of three different chapters of photos, each created by one of the three artists. According to Peppers, a lot of the book is about placing nude figures in interesting places.

Peppers’ chapter “Anywhere Butt Here” takes the model’s backsides and places them where a viewer would not expect, like in nature and even sitting on abandoned cars.
Carson created the second chapter, “My Nana Calls ‘Em Ninnies,” which focuses on portraits of the breasts of different women in their everyday life.

The third and final chapter created by Fox, “Flux,” gives the viewer a more artistic and abstract way of looking at different phases of day-to-day life. It is based on life situations, how they change you and deals more with the semantics of life, according to Fox. As opposed to the previous chapters, “Flux” is more surreal and more obviously staged.

The book is not assignment-based, but instead was used as the final project presentation in an intermediate/advanced photography class that the three shared. A nude photo book was not something that any of the artists had been wanting to do.

“It was almost accidental,” Fox said.

There were no expectations or demands at the beginning, which Fox liked, and the chapters, themes and photographs blended together in the end.

At the beginning, the trio was not exactly sure how to format or organize the book, but they all knew that whatever resulted from it was going to be completely different, Peppers said. After they began, the idea of chapters just fell into place and also gave them each a chance to look at the human body differently.

Since publication, the trio’s project has been very well received, with little backlash. For Peppers, it is just rewarding to hold the book and present it to other art students and professors. Fox noted that it was nice to hold and have to remember, especially if photography is not where she ultimately ends up.

The models displayed in the book were really just anyone who wanted to participate, whether it be art students, family or friends, or even friends of friends. Fox was impressed with the models’ willingness to strip down.

A handful of copies have already been sold off of Blurb, a make-your-own photo book website, to a wide range of people. There was no specific audience in mind during creation, but Peppers refers to “people like our models” and other art students as ones who will enjoy it.

To purchase or preview the book, visit http://www.blurb.com. A 7 x 7, softcover copy runs at $45.95.

Story by Claire Higgins

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
‘Butts, boobs and bodies’: Student photo book project explores everyday nudity