Art nude photographs are perceived through controversial and artistic lens at the same time. An experienced photographer knows the boundary between artistic and erotic photographs – it is usually the extremely thin one. It is also good to mention that photos of nude women with so many “Likes” on the Instagram or Facebook are not necessary the artwork. Unfortunately, the opposite is true, very often.
However, have you ever thought about it – the reasons for being interested in nude art photographs – from a model perspective? Financial rewards or sensuality for affluence are frequent reasons. However, I met a unique model in Prague, who perceives it a bit differently.
Dana Krizova is a woman whose nude photos help her to reinforce a heavily damaged personality. Actually, she was the object of ridiculous behavior of boys in the past. I very much appreciate the fact that she has decided to be interviewed and even to uncover her deepest secrets.
When did you try to be a model for a photographer and why?
My first photos were paradoxly about a nude body, really. It was a challenge. Actually, my very close friend, she insisted to take some pictures of me (she was a photographer) in order to help me to deal with the past.
I was photographed in the area where I live at that time, near a river surrounded by a forest. The day before, I took a walk and tried to imagine everything. The river was close to the road, so I immediately thought about someone seeing me during the photoshoot. Then I started to laugh, and suddenly it felt like it was a good idea. I was like, omg, what I agreed to do,hmm. All the feelings were mixed up in my mind fighting which one was about to get the stronger and more thoughtful. I also felt super exciting that someone is going to take pictures of me. Crazy. But nice at the same time.
The weather next day was beautiful and it all started. I was leaning against the stone that pushed my back, my head was leaning back down and my feet resting on the bank of the river – I did not expect such a progressive pose – wow, I really had to consider my balance seriously during it. Jana – a photographer – was very creative, and she supported me with words “Dano, hold on like you are, be beautiful, and do not worry if someone appears to you, then I throw a camera at him!”
I know it sounds funny to you, however, my thoughts were different at that time. All my remembrances came into my mind – not being pretty, verbally abused at school and laughed by boys. I did not accept this at all, I allowed my inner personality to take a control of myself and just do exactly what Jana told me – to pose, to be a model. Unthinkable became reality.
I woke up the day after photoshoot – it was like – Did it really happen yesterday? Well, Jana started to send me photos and it was the biggest shock of my life. I did not believe to it. Those images took my breath, literally. She explained me a composition and why I looked like a real model. Pictures were amazingly beautiful, well, I looked so different, so nice and elegant. You know, I can say the photos became an effective dose of remedy for the negative past I experience.
At that time, I did not have any experience with photography or modelling at all. I did not know the difference if I had a hand 10 cm higher or lower. My first photos were not perfect from either modelling or photography perspectives. But they were perfectly fine in terms of feelings and the fact that this moment has begun a completely new chapter of my life. I found that a girl in the photos looked good, and all the mockery in the past was based on a teenage stupidity.
Art nude photography is a pretty sensitive topic, tell us why this style?
When I attended the school, I looked ugly and insignificant. I though this for a long time. Mocked and verbally abused on a daily basis.
The stumbling block was my face, then my height and little boobs. I walked along the sidewalk and a group of boys at my age showed with the words “Look, this is a girl who has no tits!” People turned and watched what was happening.
I tried to ignore it, but the real feelings were shame and anxiety. I wished I hadn’t been; wanted to hide underground. I was struggling with all the feelings of fear, anger, injustice, and an inability to change it. I started to be a closed person, shunned by the community. I was 14 years old.
I thought I had some friends to talk about things. I did not find anyone. This feeling went with me to an adulthood, to the moment when I got undressed and took photos with Jana, a photographer I still thank for persuading me to do it.
When you are going to take photos, how does it feel if you do not know the photographer and gradually you are getting exposed whilst the photographer tells you what a pose you like, what feelings do you have? How have those feelings developed?
There was a pause between the first and the next sessions. Basically, I was so excited about the first photos that I did not feel a necessity to take other pictures straight away. I took it as a “one-off” – the first and last experience that changed my life.
But the memories of a beautiful photo day with Jane created a sort of temptation to think about more possibilities. I waited until the moment I decided to create a profile on one of the famous Czech photographic websites. By a surprise, on the same day, a photographer wrote me with a photo session scenario – a fairy-tale in a forest. I agreed.
When I replied, I realized I did not even know what TFP (time for prints) was and how to communicate with a photographer. Actually, I wrote to an unknown person who was going to take me somewhere to the woods. Well, I had mixed feelings about my decision, I tell you that. Nevertheless, I took a risk of it.
Everything was great until I undressed. I was terrified of fear and shame, uncertainty and all the thoughts of the past. I was afraid. A pure embarrassment. I even tried to cover my sensual parts with hands.
Ondra, a photographer, however, was a talented young man whose intelligence and humor mastered the entire photographic session. He supported me by thrilling ideas for different poses and compositions. I felt great, amazing, completely safe, and also under the protection of a professional who saw the potential of beautiful photography in me. Everything turned out to be great, I was very happy with the results.
I had desire to shoot more and different styles. I started to believe in myself as a model. Also, the photographers I have worked with so far were of a great reputation – thanks to them – I enjoyed photography so much. Each collaboration gave me another piece of self-confidence and inspiration.
Folks, do you know that great feeling, if they were screaming at you when being 14, and now I am taking pictures, portraits or fashion photos with photographers from all over the country? I do not have the ambition to be on the magazine cover, but I have the ambition to continue. A photography fulfills me with a kind of psychological energy strengthening myself.
Are you afraid when going to a photo session, especially, a nude art photography one?
I would be mistaken to say I am not. A little fear is always good, but it is a certain defensive characteristic of a woman which is all right. I enjoy results and cooperation with photographers.
What feelings do you have after a photoshoot?
I have great feelings after it – especially because a photographer rewarded me with his/her time as there are many girls in the Czech Republic – I am just one of the options they have. I also look forward to the outcome and I feel more professional. The most important is when a photographer writes me back that all went nicely, and photos are great – so, it is a win-win situation.
How it feels to see yourself naked in photos?
Well, it is like a running movie in my mind – I remember all those moments, how a photo was created, which poses I did well and which I struggled with. Or, how many times I had to repeat a pose to get much closer to perfection. At the end, I feel proud of myself – how I look in photos. I like how I look, the world would be a boring place if all women looked the same, right?
Art nude photography and emotions, how do you feel?
I’m an emotional girl, yes. Emotion is a part of my personality. My will and mind, on the other hand, emotions define a clear personal border, so I know when it is enough. However, I am delighted that my photographs are not commercial and contain a great room for emotions.
How do you perceive the boundary between art nude photography and erotic photography, is it the same?
I think the difference is very clear to me. I see photography as an art, erotic photography as a desire to serve nudity to induce a sexual response; an aesthetic experience is not necessary. I do not do erotic photo sessions at all – I am not interested at all.
For me, art nude photography means a play of lights and shadows, a mysterious shroud, an interesting pose, or an unforgettable atmosphere.
Did you experience a humorous situation while having a photo session?
Not a situation as itself, but there are lots of funny stories around, usually, when communicating with a photographer at the place of shooting. For example, once a photographer wanted me to be sad with a struggling face expression, so he told me – Dana, please, think of something unpleasant. Well, he did not have a clue about my past, and I did think about it. Then, I got into tears which I couldn’t stop. So, the photographer had to wait till I calm down.
I know it was not funny at that time, but I remember this with a smile now.
What’s about family, friends or people around, how they understand your photography?
My father died two years ago, my mother is sick and lives in her own world of negative thoughts / emotions. I do not interfere.
I have a husband for whom it is demanding, but on the other hand he fully understands my reasons for taking pictures. I was very surprised by the sister. The initial surprise transformed into admiration. Similarly, with friends. Some have left me, but many have come to make my life better.
Art nude photography is a controversial topic that divides people into those who admire or condemn it. If you enjoy it, it is not important what other people think.
Would you like to pose with a man or woman?
I would like to pose with my husband, but the time has not come yet.
I know you are writing a book, tell me what it is about and why are you writing it?
The book reflects my personality – all about Dana. Stories, thoughts and life experience just like they occurred. Writing helps me to organize my thoughts and to harmonize with the world I live in. I want to answer all the questions the world has raised so far.
Any message for those who pose or take pictures of nude models?
Grace, tolerance and sincerity. Do not lose the sense of photography and reasons for it. Do what brings you joy.
Dana Křížová is an ordinary girl from the Czech Republic who spent most of her time in a beautiful village surrounded by a river, fields and forests. She graduated from the Pharmaceutical Faculty, but after eight years of working in a pharmacy, she left the work. She, her husband and father built their own family home. She likes people, nature, music and good food. In recent times, she likes herself due to photography and self-awareness she gained.
If you like the article, you can write to Dana directly through her Facebook