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My journey...

If you'd told me six years ago that I would pursue a passion in art nude photography, I would have dismissed the notion as absurd.  Yet here we are.

I've always loved photography - being able to share memories, emotions, and connect with others is a large part of the appeal for me. I started out the same way many photographers do; taking photos of my cats and landscapes before progressing into portraits with models.

Along my photographic journey there were several key people I turned to for guidance. One such person convinced me to travel across the world with them and take part in an art nude workshop. This was only my second shoot involving models and not only were the models naked, they were posing in extreme conditions.Talk about jumping into the deep end!

The trip was exhilarating and eye opening.

As a young woman, I found it extremely empowering watching the models work. The models were all beautiful in their own and unique ways but their most impressive feature was their confidence. They had nothing to hide their natural "flaws" and were unapologetic about it. These women oozed confidence and focused purely on creating art, the result was breathtaking imagery through creative collaboration.

At this stage in my life I was young, insecure and falling prey to the unattainable beauty standards that constantly bombard us in mainstream and social media. This experience inspired me to feel more comfortable in my own skin and stop aspiring to other peoples' notions of what women should look like - it was empowering to say the least.

Something else became shockingly clear to me on this trip, nudity does not automatically equal sex or sexual behaviour. So much stigma surrounds nudity and being naked is so often paired with sex in the media. There was absolutely nothing sexual about the models posing naked and this is something many people grapple to understand when I first tell them about my photography - it isn't pornographic and it isn't explicit.

It is very possible to be naked without having sexual emotions or intentions. We should not consider our bodies as purely sexual devices and we shouldn't associate nudity with such negative stigma. By taking part in this art nude workshop, I suddenly found myself being unfairly judged and became very passionate about portraying nudity in a positive manner. I want to challenge the nudity=sex assumption ingrained in Western culture.

Since this first art nude experience, I've worked with many amazing models and photographers and I've continued to learn about myself and the world around me. Art nude photography has gone from something I did on a whim to changing the way I view the world and our social norms. I hope my photography reflects this and challenges you to embrace your inherent natural beauty. For me, its all about empowerment, respect and breathtaking imagery.

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