Kole Photography Writing with light, exposing beauty.

Bodyscapes (and other photography styles showing skin)

Click here to skip the contextual notes below and continue directly to the 'bodyscapes' album.

Setting the stage

Every human has two unique sides: an outside, and an inside. A body and a soul. Both sides are beautiful and interesting, and it is up to the model to decide how much of each he or she is willing to expose. That decision determines the type of shoot.


When shooting a portrait I'm aiming at the inside, your individuality. You are unique, you have your own personality, and I want to show that. So when I create a portrait of you, I look for inner beauty in all its richness, including the rougher edges: that which makes you so captivating. It can be a formal portrait, a casual photo for family, friends or yourself - as long as you are the subject and you are fully dressed, the photo falls under the 'portrait' posing category.


A bodyscape focuses on the outside: it aims to celebrate the aesthetics of the human form by showing the physical features of the model, both male and female, as if it were a landscape. The lines and shapes of the naked body are emphasized using pose, light and shadow. As these images are not about the personality of the model, I often choose to keep faces out of the frame.

Art Nude Portraiture

If the face of a nude model is clearly recognizable, and the focus shifts away from documenting pure form to include capturing his or her personality, then we're moving from bodyscapes into art nude portraiture territory; the ultimate self-expression, in which the model freely shows 'body and soul'. 


In between portraits and art nude portraiture there's a photography segment called boudoir, a term derived from the private dressing room where a woman can freely move in various states of (un)dress. Just like art nude portraiture, boudoir aims to capture both the beauty and personality of the model, but in a less revealing way, and often in a more playful and teasing fashion. Usually, parts of the body will be strategically hidden from view by the pose and the direction of the light, or are simply covered by fabric like lingerie, bed sheets or a bathrobe. The model is in full control, deciding what to reveal and what to conceal.

After decades of primarily being used to satisfy the male gaze, boudoir photography has now been fully reclaimed by women and embraced as an excellent and very effective way to boost your confidence and self esteem. Seeing your own body in its natural beautiful splendor, favourably lit and tastefully photographed, is a great antidote for the heavily photoshopped, unrealistic beauty standards society imposes on us. Treating yourself to a boudoir shoot can be a powerful act of self-love, and self-care.


Most boudoir and art nude portraiture shoots are paid private shoots, intended exclusively for the eyes the subject had in mind. You won't find those published here. I do appreciate having some of these shots in my portfolio too, so other clients can get a better idea of what this is all about and what they can expect. That’s why I sometimes also do these shoots as TFP, Time for Picture: both photographer and model invest their time and talent and, as a reward, receive pictures that they may use for their portfolios. You will find a few images that originated from these TFP shoots in this 'bodyscapes' album, which I altered by cropping the face out of the picture, effectively crossing over to semi-bodyscapes.

>> Continue to the Bodyscapes album. Or, if you're uncomfortable with nudity, please select any of the other albums from the menu.