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Thread: Very Uncomfortable Situation

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    Cavy Star envisionary333's Avatar
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    Very Uncomfortable Situation

    I'm a third-year student in school for Fine Art Photography, and I just recently was assigned the first and only assignment that I am truly dreading. My teacher is requiring that we do nude photos, or else take an F for the project. I have to choose two options out of the following four choices, and at least one of my photos needs to be non-abstract so you can tell exactly what you're looking at:

    Photograph someone of the opposite sex naked.
    Photograph yourself naked.
    Have someone else photograph you naked.
    Photograph yourself or someone else naked outdoors.

    Wow. Not fun. I mean, I'm able to deal with photographing myself naked, but it's the ones that involve other people that I have a problem with. Oh, and we're required to work with someone of the opposite sex who is not a photo student. I have no close friends at school, and my best friend and I had a falling out recently when she moved out on really short notice. Not only that, but the only friends I do have are photo students. I am not at all willing to meet up with some random stranger and get naked, sorry. It's not only awkward and embarrassing, but dangerous. Our city has a very high crime rate, and I am a young girl living alone. I'm not sure what to do. I have friends and family members, but they are all on the other side of the country in my hometown. Some lucky students have family members within driving distance so they get to cheat, but I have no one.

    Anyway, I guess I just needed to talk about this. I'm extremely nervous about what to do, and I hate to take an "F." I'm a very good, hardworking student and I know I will get an "A" except for this one assignment. What do you guys think, should I just not do it?

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    Cavy Slave I<3MyBabies's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Well if its uncomfortable, I'd say don't do it. One grade won't kil yah!

    Heidi

    Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave TheBladeRoden's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    I'd take it up with the head of the department myself. Drawing nudes is one thing, but requiring students to take nude pictures of themselves or other people for the teacher starts sounding rather dubious to me.

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    Cavy Star envisionary333's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    The reason my teacher is requiring this project is that the whole class reacted with a great deal of fear when the subject of nudity came up in our class discussions, and he wants us to confront our fears. He is a very caring and intelligent teacher, and I really don't think his motives are anything but genuine. He certainly isn't trying to see pictures of nude women, seeing as that is not his- ahem- sexual preference, if you know what I mean. Otherwise, I would feel even more uncomfortable about the situation. I imagine the boys aren't too thrilled, though. But we do deal with nudity all the time in the fine art world, so I guess it's a reasonable topic.

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    Cavy Slave linda_chicha's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Maybe you could 'borrow' the model from the other student? Is it a requirement that you couldn't have the same person to model for?

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    Cavy Slave heatherbunnie's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    I like Linda's idea. I agree that it may be dangerous to have a stranger come to your place for that situation.

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    Cavy Slave PiggieMamaKelly's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    I'd go to the department chair, dean or someone higher up. It can't be legal to force someone into exposing themselves to someone else. I would even threaten to go to the media. I've never heard of such insanity!

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    Cavy Slave MissCin's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Woah, that's a hard one. I personally wouldn't do it, it's against my morals and I would not feel comfortable letting someone else photograph me nude, it's just akward.
    Good luck!

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    Cavy Star envisionary333's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Quote Originally Posted by linda_chicha View Post
    Maybe you could 'borrow' the model from the other student? Is it a requirement that you couldn't have the same person to model for?
    Thanks for the suggestion, I will definitely look into that. Honestly though, I'm not sure that I would be able to go through with it even if I do find someone willing. I've always been very introverted, and I spend most of my time alone or with my pets just because that's how I am. I find social situations to be awkward quite frequently, and I never go to parties, "hang out," or anything like that- I make art, work, care for my animals, exercise, and read instead (and chat with all of you wonderful fellow animal lovers, of course!). This is really difficult for me.

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    Cavy Slave linda_chicha's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Actually, do you have an art faculty at your college? They would have nude model all the time, maybe you could ask them if you could get in touch with one of the models and they would probably pose a bit better than ordinary person.

    I did an art course before and I have to do a nude model. The first 10 minutes, I was just blushing non stop because it was so uncomfortable for me. But then I relaxed and realised that this was just one thing I have to do to improve my skill. Once you do it, you'll get used to it.

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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Sounds like you might have to confront your fears.

    I would talk to some of your photo friends and see if they know someone who will help you out. Or if you really have trouble, talk to your professor and see if he can help you find a safe situation to photograph someone.

    Talk to the other students and see how they are handling things.

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    Cavy Slave Pandora4co's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    I would take an F in a heartbeat and take it up with the dean.

    There is no way I would allow naked photographs of myself out there. In this day you are constantly hearing about how nude photos comeback to haunt people later in life with their jobs and personal life.
    I personally cannot believe that this teacher would force students into doing something so personal for a grade. I really encourage you to speak with a school counselor or other teacher or dean about this.

    EDIT - I just noticed the option - photo you or someone else outdoors - isn't this illegal? indecent exposure? oh man .. i would speak with a school official about this.

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    Cavy Star envisionary333's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    I think it is completely acceptable to have a hired model come in to class to draw or photograph. In fact, my Drawing class has brought in nude models on multiple occasions and I have no problem with that at all, it wasn't a big deal to me. This, however, is not in a professional setting with a professional model, and requires either working with a member of the opposite sex that I've never met, or exposing myself completely to everyone else in the class. I don't think those are fair parameters. I would work with a female because there would be no danger, but working with a male I have never met is just not a good idea to me.

    I just talked to my dad over the phone and he thinks this assignment is a violation of my privacy. He has recommended that I talk to the other students in the class about the issue and possibly protest together, as well as get in touch with the department chair. I will talk to my teacher one-on-one about the problem and ask that he provide a model himself in a safe setting. If that doesn't work, I'm looking into photographing dead bodies at the morgue nude if I can, or doing a baby photo.

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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    There is certainly some kind of violation of rights, even blackmail here. Sure if you can bring yourself to arrange it, then it may be a good thing for you, however this sort of thing should not be forced. I would imagine there are laws against it.

    You should not be forced to appear naked in a photograph unless you give permission and you should not be punished for making that choice. The same goes for being put in a situation where there might be a problem. The naked outdoors thing is certainly going to be a big problem. I would imagine the dean or education authority would object to this assignment, so if you do not get anywhere with the teacher, go to them.

    What the teacher should do is arrange some nude model classes. That would certainly be a whole lot more professional.

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    Cavy Slave babybunny's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Firstly, I definitely would speak to the dean about the assignment. I would not have nude photos of myself for a school assignment - ever. It just opens up all kinds of bad things to happen. Secondly, they really should provide a model to work with and if they want an outdoor setting, they should also provide that as well. The whole assignment is dangerous if they aren't providing a professional and safe environment to work in and with. Best of luck with it.

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    Cavy Star Lyndsay's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    I agree with the people who commented on the pictures coming back to haunt someone. I really really think that it it out of his role as a teacher for you to provide nude pictures of yourself as an option. What intrest (even if it is an art class) would he have with seeing his students in the nude? That is totally a violation of privacy. I really suggest you take this to the media and to the dean.

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    Cavy Slave piggiesinpa's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    I completely understand your issues and I hope there is an agreement made or something. This seems a bit much. However, just remember that being nude doesn't necessarily mean you have to show the naughty bits. Maybe he is wanting you to think outside of the box, but I think that the morgue and baby ideas are great. Maybe you can find a pregnant woman to take shots of (like when Demi Moore was preg and on a magazine cover). She was completely nude but you didn't see anything personal.

    Wait, would that work as she is a female and you are too?

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    Cavy Star Lyndsay's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Quote Originally Posted by piggiesinpa View Post
    I completely understand your issues and I hope there is an agreement made or something. This seems a bit much. However, just remember that being nude doesn't necessarily mean you have to show the naughty bits. Maybe he is wanting you to think outside of the box, but I think that the morgue and baby ideas are great. Maybe you can find a pregnant woman to take shots of (like when Demi Moore was preg and on a magazine cover). She was completely nude but you didn't see anything personal.

    Wait, would that work as she is a female and you are too?
    The person being photographed has to be of the opposite sex.

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    Cavy Star envisionary333's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    He is requiring that one of the photos show the "naughty bits"- you have to be able to tell what you're seeing. And I also am required to photograph non-photo student males. I mean, I love thinking outside of the box, but I just don't think it's safe under these circumstances. Even if the photo doesn't reveal anything, I still have to meet up with someone I hardly know and either have them be naked, or I have to be naked. I just don't consider it fair. If I want to do a scene outdoors, I would have to find a very reclusive place where there are no other people in order not to risk getting arrested, but then I run the risk of being sexually molested by someone I don't know.

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    Cavy Star Lyndsay's Avatar
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    Re: Very Uncomfortable Situation

    Quote Originally Posted by envisionary333 View Post
    He is requiring that one of the photos show the "naughty bits"- you have to be able to tell what you're seeing. And I also am required to photograph non-photo student males. I mean, I love thinking outside of the box, but I just don't think it's safe under these circumstances. Even if the photo doesn't reveal anything, I still have to meet up with someone I hardly know and either have them be naked, or I have to be naked. I just don't consider it fair. If I want to do a scene outdoors, I would have to find a very reclusive place where there are no other people in order not to risk getting arrested, but then I run the risk of being sexually molested by someone I don't know.
    Yes you are putting yourself in danger that is forsure. Maybe a group of the photo students can take the subjects out to an area? If you must do so. That way there is safety in numbers.

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