[NSFW] Illusions of the Body Shows How Lighting And Pose Impacts Beauty

May 25, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

[NSFW] Illusions of the Body Shows How Lighting And Pose Impacts Beauty

May 25, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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If you feel that magazines show beauty standard that is hard to match up to, you are probably right, aside the massive photoshopping that sometimes goes into the image creation process, the models are being aided by flattering lighting and calculated poses. Both of which have tremendous impact on the look of the human body.

Photographer Gracie Hagen chose to challenge that practice with Illusions of the Body. She does so by exposing us to two different exposures of the same person. In one exposure, the person is beautifully lit, and its pose is crafted to perfection. The other exposure is juxtaposed: horrible lighting and bad pose. The result help the viewers to understand that even the prettiest of persons are getting ‘some help’ in their magazine photos.

We asked Gracie a few questions, which you can find after the jump.

[The series is full frontal nude, so only hit the jump is you are not offended by frontal nude.]

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DIYP: I was most surprised by the models agreeing to having their on-the-right picture published, how did you convince them to agree?

Gracie: I mean there was no coercion on my part, I explained what the shoot was about and what it entailed, if someone was interested they said yes, if they were not, they didn’t respond. When the series got popular people were emailing me from all over the world asking to be apart of it. It goes to show how people are becoming aware of the body image topic and are willing to participate in that conversation.

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DIYP: I was also wondering: we rarely see full frontal nude, even in our fashion industry, why did you choose to go with that approach?

Gracie: I wanted the series to commentate on how posture, lighting and even the slightest turn of the head can cause someone to look completely different without the camera or lighting moving at all. I also wanted to show the vast array of body types that exist. The more people see someone that looks like them or recognizes a similarity, the more they’ll realize there isn’t just that ONE body type they see in all of media to compare themselves to. They’re just like everyone else; flawed and beautiful. If the subjects were clothed the second point would be less clear. Also nudity, slut shaming etc is something that this culture is infested by, I would like that to stop.

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DIYP: Lastly, I saw that there were far more women than men featured on the book. What is the reason for that?

Gracie: The images on my website are only the first 30 or so people I photographed, most of them were women, in the book there are 17 additional photos, most of which are men. The ratio of women to men was not intentional, it was whoever said yes to being photographed. It does indicated something about our society though. Women are sexualized more than men, therefore more women are comfortable being nude in front of the camera, they’re used to that standard being applied to them. I am also sort of happy at the amount of women I got for the series. I think this series is more for women than it is men. The amount of body standards women have to live up to and deal with on a daily basis vastly outnumbers what men go through (and I am not saying men do not have body issues, they definitely do, just a lesser amount).

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Here is the artist’s statement from Gracie:

This series was made to tackle the norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like. Most of us realize that the media displays only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering. That contrast would help a lot of body image issues we as a culture have.

Imagery in the media is an illusion built upon lighting, angles & photoshop. People can look extremely attractive under the right circumstances & two seconds later transform into something completely different.

Within the series I tried to get a range of body types, ethnicities & genders to show how everyone is a different shape & size; there is no “normal”. Each photo was taken with the same lighting & the same angle

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[Illusions of the Body | Gracie Hagen]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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18 responses to “[NSFW] Illusions of the Body Shows How Lighting And Pose Impacts Beauty”

  1. Demetris C Demetris Christodou Avatar
    Demetris C Demetris Christodou

    Most of them don’t look good either way anyway.

    1. Michael Avatar
      Michael

      Dude. You’re missing the point. Move along.

      1. Demetris C Demetris Christodou Avatar
        Demetris C Demetris Christodou

        The point is very obvious isn’t it? if i suck my tammy in, and post with a curvy, straight-up, tall figure posture in the first place, and in the 2nd i post like a fucking hobbit, then it’s pretty obvious i will look better in the first place, right ? stupid article.

        1. Blake Britton Avatar
          Blake Britton

          Go away troll.

          1. Paweł Duszyński Avatar
            Paweł Duszyński

            He can go away, but that does not change the fact, that he is right. The whole point of these photos is very obvious, I don’t think there is a single person who thought: “wow, do I really look worse when I make myself look like a polio victim?”. Before next “go away” comments – yeah, I realise that it works also the other way around to prove people everyone can look better with just a different pose. I just think most of these “ugly poses” are too exaggerated.

  2. Joe Barrett Avatar
    Joe Barrett

    It’s not a stupid article. It’s showing how important a role lighting & posing play. Any schmuck with a camera can take a picture but a good photographer can make everyone look good.

    1. smithington Avatar
      smithington

      No, it’s pretty stupid. Of course twisting yourself into some grotesque unnatural pose is going to make you look bad. There was a lot of potential here to show the different between great posing, lighting and post processing and naturally lit, unposed candids. Unfortunately that was squandered by someone who has no business being behind a camera.

  3. Steve Lee Avatar
    Steve Lee

    So, where is your towel?

  4. GOLDAR Avatar
    GOLDAR

    I swear I have seen this before I few months ago!

  5. Steve Avatar
    Steve

    Most people have no idea what goes into a photo shoot. While anyone can pick up a camera and take a picture, photographers create an image.

    While the article doesn’t mention it, in addition to lighting set ups photographers often employ make up artists and hair stylists to transform the model.

  6. Peyton Gastel Avatar
    Peyton Gastel

    Woah

  7. Riko Colin Chock Avatar
    Riko Colin Chock

    Really wish the right side images weren’t so exaggerated. Would’ve liked them to be in “normal” relaxed poses. Great concept though.

  8. Nicolas Racine Avatar
    Nicolas Racine

    I understand the point, but the pictures are, let say, exagerated. It would have been better to lete the people pose as they think is good, and then pose them as they should be. No one will slouch like that in front of a camera without being told.

    1. drewder Avatar
      drewder

      except that these are professional models. They know which poses are flattering especially with think own body.

      1. Nicolas Racine Avatar
        Nicolas Racine

        You’re right. Forgot about that. Again, I think the point would have been better made with non-models.

  9. M F Avatar
    M F

    This is a ridiculous straw-man argument — the artificially-beautiful pictures aren’t any more “unnatural” than the artificially ugly pictures.

    Are we supposed to be shocked to learn that twisting your body into an unnaturally deformed shape, sucking your chin into your neck, and making a sour face is unnattractive?

  10. Amanda Avatar
    Amanda

    But the lighting never changes…