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Photographer
phil_M
Posts: 4
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom


I have been asked by a family that I know to shoot some  tasteful topless/ art nude shots of their daughter who is 16 years old. They are a naturist family and are looking at art images nothing else. I just worry about what other people might think. The family are fine with nudity and see no wrong in it. Any thoughts out there?
Dec 13 11 12:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wilde One
Posts: 2,349
Santa Monica, California, US


The only topless 16 year old I'd shoot would be a convertible.

Preferably a Ferrari.
Dec 13 11 12:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
albertaphotog
Posts: 375
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.
Dec 13 11 12:47 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Amy Cavanaugh
Posts: 171
Aurora, Colorado, US


The age of consent where you live in 16...but I would be really careful were I you.
Dec 13 11 12:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Snape
Posts: 9,439
Paris, Île-de-France, France


phil_M wrote:
I have been asked by a family that I know to shoot some  tasteful topless/ art nude shots of their daughter who is 16 years old. They are a naturist family and are looking at art images nothing else. I just worry about what other people might think. The family are fine with nudity and see no wrong in it. Any thoughts out there?

Since your laws permit this in the UK AFAIK, legally you can.

I have always liked David Hamilton, and know that it could only be young girls for it to have the look of the largest body of his work.

Whether or not you are able to do it in a way that has innocence , and is art , really is up to you to decide.

I would think it would be a case by case decision, and it sounds like you have already spoken with the parents. Is it what the girl wants too, or just the parents want this?

Dec 13 11 12:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
El Roi Photography
Posts: 455
Elizabeth, Indiana, US


that is ALWAYS tricky ...http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/brooke-shields-by-gary-gross/ photo like those are of a 12 year old brook shields but also, some nudist colonies or nude beaches have people nude at every age from babies to grand parents ..but its all what you are comfortable in doing and what is actually legal and acceptable ..where ever in the world you are at ...
Dec 13 11 01:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 35,963
Columbus, Ohio, US


albertaphotog wrote:
I wouldn't touch that with a ten twenty foot pole.

Fixed. smile

The law says you can in many instances.
Photographs are open to interpretation.
Prosecutors love to interpret things differently.

Dec 13 11 01:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 35,963
Columbus, Ohio, US


Amy Cavanaugh wrote:
The age of consent where you live in 16...but I would be really careful were I you.

Age of consent has nothing to do with a photoshoot.

Dec 13 11 01:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fleeting glimpses
Posts: 88
Rayleigh, England, United Kingdom


phil_M wrote:
I have been asked by a family that I know to shoot some  tasteful topless/ art nude shots of their daughter who is 16 years old. They are a naturist family and are looking at art images nothing else. I just worry about what other people might think. The family are fine with nudity and see no wrong in it. Any thoughts out there?

I wouldn't do this.

First thing, taking topless/nude pics of 16 year olds isn't illegal in the UK but taking indecent pictures is and there isn't a clear defiinition of indecency. Perhaps we need someone to test the boundries but do you want to be that person, especially if you lose?

Secondly, although on the one hand the UK has quite a liberal approach to sexuality, when it comes to anything to do with kids we seem to have lost the plot - even if you do nothing wrong legally, there are plenty of people who are going to take offence. Could you stand up to the potential attacks on your reputation?

Finally, I don't know a lot about naturalism but I thought the idea was that nudity was just a natural state and didn't have to be linked to sex. To me, topless photographs don't quite seem to fit with that ideal.

Dec 13 11 01:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,263
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


You say 'the family' have approached you - what does the subject think about this (and out of earshot of the parents)...?

A group photo of a naturist family is a different matter - it's all about context.
Dec 13 11 02:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EdBPhotography
Posts: 7,679
Torrance, California, US


http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c252/cholizo/its-a-trap.gif
Dec 13 11 02:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Daeda1us
Posts: 1,067
Little Rock, Arkansas, US


EdBPhotography wrote:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c252/cholizo/its-a-trap.gif
Amy Cavanaugh wrote:
The age of consent where you live in 16...but I would be really careful were I you.
Wilde One wrote:
The only topless 16 year old I'd shoot would be a convertible.

Preferably a Ferrari.

All this!
(Although I would add a 1957 Corvette and honestly, the Kitty was just too cute to exclude!)

Dec 13 11 02:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Harold Rose
Posts: 2,925
Calhoun, Georgia, US


phil_M wrote:
I have been asked by a family that I know to shoot some  tasteful topless/ art nude shots of their daughter who is 16 years old. They are a naturist family and are looking at art images nothing else. I just worry about what other people might think. The family are fine with nudity and see no wrong in it. Any thoughts out there?

You can go before a  superior court along with the parents,  and see if you can get her minority taken away..

You and the parents are asking for truble..   no matter how they  take their sun..

Dec 13 11 02:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photodorset
Posts: 845
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom


Perfectly legal to shoot anyone nude if you produce a non-sexual image.

The issue can be that the 'law' may interpret images differently to you or the parents/model.

I would choose a private location or studio (i.e. NOT a bedroom)
A parent (preferably mother) would be present at ALL times, when the parent goes to the toilet, you leave!!
Get written consent before the shoot from the parent AND the model - clearly define what it to be shot.
Do not touch the model (well that applies to all shoots IMHO)

Assuming you are using digital make sure you keep the images very safe, you don't want them to end up on some weirdo's hard drive. If they only want electronic images and not prints get them to buy their own memory card, you loose control of the copyright but are you going to be wanting to use the images?

There are mainstream films with naked children in them (Walkabout for example) and these are shown on TV so it's not the nudity that is an issue!!
Dec 13 11 02:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
tenrocK photo
Posts: 5,408
New York, New York, US


Have them sign a non-disclosure agreement with the contract and provide prints only. Shoot film and sell them the negatives as part of the package.

Although no laws would be broken, anyone wanting to sully your reputation would have a hard time proving it.
Dec 13 11 02:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
phil_M
Posts: 4
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom


thanks for some help clearing up the legal side of things for me. The family are happy with it. It was something the daughter had wanted to do , she is more than happy to do a nude shoot.
Dec 13 11 03:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Figure Art
Posts: 4
BON AQUA, Tennessee, US


Wise man once said - "Tip Toe Lighty".

..
Dec 13 11 03:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photodorset
Posts: 845
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom


I had another thought, if you are doing a topless shot make sure she is wearing a bikini and not underwear - better still have her nude and use angles/framing to get what you want!! You could also suggest a family shot so could show anyone that it's a whole family of nudists - although if you ask everyone to go nude they might suggest that everyone means everyone - even you smile
Dec 13 11 03:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
730372
Posts: 1,952
Abbeville, Alabama, US


Are they offering to pay you for the shoot? If not then you need to be prepared for your own motivations for doing the shoot to be questioned.

No matter how professionally and sensitively you approach the shoot it only takes one mention of it to the wrong person, perhaps by the child whilst she's at school, for the whole thing to undergo the worst kind of scrutiny and innuendo.

Not something I'd take on lightly.
Dec 13 11 03:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
hbutz New York
Posts: 3,143
New York, New York, US


It depends on how good your lawyer / barrister is and how much money you have to spend defending the images.
Dec 13 11 03:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TNTStudios
Posts: 278
Piqua, Ohio, US


My2cents---would NOT do it under any conditions.
Dec 13 11 04:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D S P
Posts: 510
Portland, Oregon, US


If this much thought needs to be put into it the answer to me would be "no".
Dec 13 11 04:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
STUDIO A B
Posts: 412
New York, New York, US


walk away from it it will only dis-credit you... and after its all over it will barther you..
Dec 13 11 04:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TNTStudios
Posts: 278
Piqua, Ohio, US


Agree with DSP
Dec 13 11 04:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ciao Bella Media
Posts: 35
Port Saint Lucie, Florida, US


As long as you have in writing and the release for whatever use is signed by the parents.  You are in the UK and there is little problem ther between nature, art, and parental rule.  THe problem comes with posting to the web, and 18 being the web age. 

Europe had very little hangups on morality and artisitic nudity.  The problem comes in where you reach the morally uptight putitanical views of america and elsewhere.

There was areason why they kicked the puritan's out europe during the protestant reformation.

If they are for art and you clearly have written usage agreement between the parents and you, you should have no problem.

Do it right, create the beautiful art they are looking for.  You'll be fine!
Dec 13 11 04:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


camerawerk wrote:
First thing, taking topless/nude pics of 16 year olds isn't illegal in the UK but taking indecent pictures is and there isn't a clear defiinition of indecency. Perhaps we need someone to test the boundries but do you want to be that person, especially if you lose?

Secondly, although on the one hand the UK has quite a liberal approach to sexuality, when it comes to anything to do with kids we seem to have lost the plot - even if you do nothing wrong legally, there are plenty of people who are going to take offence. Could you stand up to the potential attacks on your reputation?

Finally, I don't know a lot about naturalism but I thought the idea was that nudity was just a natural state and didn't have to be linked to sex. To me, topless photographs don't quite seem to fit with that ideal.

+1

OP, as you are in the UK please don't listen to the US people who say you only need a model release etc. That's irrelevant. The UK problem is one of 'indecency' in relation to a child (anyone under 18). As no UK court has ever ruled what 'indecent' means, you would be treading on very thin ice indeed by going ahead with this.

If it was your family and you were all long-established naturists then maybe you might have a little more wiggle-room, but taking nude (or even worse, topless) photos of somebody else's 16 year old daughter regardless of the alleged 'context' is tantamount to asking for trouble IMHO and I personally wouldn't go near it with a barge pole.

ETA: I just looked at your profile and with all due respect, having had your images published in Zoo, Nuts and the Daily Sport is not going to help your case in the slightest! Regardless of the fact that this is a naturist family, you would be portrayed by the prosecution as as a 'sleazy glamour photographer' with a long history of getting young women to pose topless in a 'provocative and indecent' manner for 'sex magazines'.



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Dec 13 11 04:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phototaker1
Posts: 37
Deerfield Beach, Florida, US


I've been to the UK and so I personally know that there aren't any females over the age of 16, so I understand why you would want to do this.

Oh, sorry, what's that? There are millions of females over the age of 16 willing to be photographed in the UK.

Sorry my bad.
Dec 13 11 04:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DG at studio47
Posts: 2,362
East Ridge, Tennessee, US


no
Dec 13 11 04:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JohnTaylor
Posts: 3
Wilmington, North Carolina, US


You never know what the future holds. Ten years from now, a new, hardline regime may be in power in the UK, and they may enact child pornography laws similar to those in the US. They may retroactively bust you even though it would have been legal when you took the pictures. With the digital platform, everybody's a photographer. Guide them if you wish, but, for the most part, I agree with the Alberta photographer--walk away from that one.
Dec 13 11 04:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
G D Peters Photography
Posts: 2,907
North Platte, Nebraska, US


Stefano Brunesci wrote:
.....The UK problem is one of 'indecency' in relation to a child (anyone under 18). As no UK court has ever ruled what 'indecent' means, you would be treading on very thin ice indeed by going ahead with this.

If it was your family and you were all long-established naturists then maybe you might have a little more wiggle-room, but taking nude (or even worse, topless) photos of somebody else's 16 year old daughter regardless of the alleged 'context' is tantamount to asking for trouble IMHO and I personally wouldn't go near it with a barge pole.

ETA: I just looked at your profile and with all due respect, having had your images published.....is not going to help your case in the slightest! Regardless of the fact that this is a naturist family, you would be portrayed by the prosecution as as a 'sleazy glamour photographer' with a long history of getting young women to pose topless in a 'provocative and indecent' manner for 'sex magazines'.



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

+1  I couldn't agree more!  This situation is just too risky to worry about ruining one's reputation over.  Here in the States, even though it might be okay with the parents, the courts might rule the parents negligible of child endangerment, etc. and take custody of the child, and put the offending photographer behind bars, forever.   It is just not worth the risk IMHO.

Dec 13 11 04:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Matt Schmidt
Posts: 3,643
Greensboro, North Carolina, US


Have one of the parents sit in on the shoot behind the scene . . .
Dec 13 11 04:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S W I N S K E Y
Posts: 24,315
Saint Petersburg, Florida, US


why is there so much paranoia about something that isn't even illegal...in the UK and USA

I could understand a point blank, saying no to shooting a 16 year old in a porn scene or something sexual in nature, but innocent artistic nude?

i could even understand a "cover the bases", have a parent there, get it writing, ect.....

but its a really sad state of affairs when we fear our government when we aren't doing anything wrong..in the USA we dont deserve our own constitution...

we have become a nation of pussys..

i'd take the gig, collect my compensation and deliver the images..
Dec 13 11 04:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
HoneyDripp Photography
Posts: 1,261
Paramus, New Jersey, US


Dear OP...90% of the responses you've got here didn't even look to see your from England.
9% (including me) do not know if its legeal or not.
and the other 1% are just a bit confused.
Dec 13 11 05:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Pegg
Posts: 1,826
Weymouth, England, United Kingdom


Write to the editor of H&E and ask his advice. Maybe he will offer to publish them.
Dec 13 11 05:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TomFRohwer
Posts: 572
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany


phil_M wrote:
Any thoughts out there?

Is it legal in the country where you are shooting?
[ ] Yes [ ] No

Do the girls feel comfortable with this?
[ ] Yes [ ] No

Do you feel comfortable with this?
[ ] Yes [ ] No

Do the parents agree?
[ ] Yes [ ] No

If you check four times yes - do it.

If you do not check four time yes - don't do it.

Dec 13 11 05:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
salvatori.
Posts: 3,682
State College, Pennsylvania, US


I am not in the UK, but I don't freak out about this shit either. There are some beautiful portraits of 16 year olds out there that are well done, and legal.

If it were me (and I am not trying to talk you out of doing it), I would talk to my legal counsel and have him or her write a session contract which could serve as a model release and include anything else that is necessary (seems like they would know what to include).

The session should include a couple of shots of the parents in the vicinity of the youth (so you can prove they are there) and the poses should be artistic not provocative. Not providing any type of critique, but your avatar (which is a good pic) is the type of pose that is NOT a good way to go (for a youth).

Produce something substantial and be proud of it, as much as she will be to have it done.

My only other thought is this: if the idea of going to a lawyer to draw up the papers makes you feel embarrassed in any way, you might not be of the right mindset to do it.

Also, remember that doing this session may make you or break you, reputation-wise. Be prepared for that. Good luck.
Dec 13 11 05:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Madcrow Photographics
Posts: 7,802
Boston, Massachusetts, US


TomFRohwer wrote:

Is it legal in the country where you are shooting?
[ ] Yes [ ] No

Do the girls feel comfortable with this?
[ ] Yes [ ] No

Do you feel comfortable with this?
[ ] Yes [ ] No

Do the parents agree?
[ ] Yes [ ] No

If you check four times yes - do it.

If you do not check foru time yes - don't do it.

This. In the case of the UK, under-18 topless stuff has been illegal since 2000 (Prior to that naked teenagers were a common sight on page six of a certain tabloid) So don't do it.

Dec 13 11 05:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DBIphotography Toronto
Posts: 3,141
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Neil Snape wrote:

Since your laws permit this in the UK AFAIK, legally you can.

I have always liked David Hamilton, and know that it could only be young girls for it to have the look of the largest body of his work.

Whether or not you are able to do it in a way that has innocence , and is art , really is up to you to decide.

I would think it would be a case by case decision, and it sounds like you have already spoken with the parents. Is it what the girl wants too, or just the parents want this?

DO the laws permit it, though? I mean, the laws regarding consent in Canada are 16 as well - however unless created for personal use alone, distribution of under-18 subjects is strictly forbidden. That's just "nude"! Furthermore, regardless of whether or not the images are distributed (which we all know the teen *would* do!), if the images are posed/expressed/presented with editing in such a way that they appear sensual or even mildly suggestive in nature, the Canadian authorities will view them as constituting "Child Pornography". I've been asked by a 16-y/o and a 17-y/o if I'd shoot them topless! Can we say "eek!"? (Naturally, I did NOT!) DO the laws in the UK actually permit the distribution of under-18 nudes images? Because here, while shooting them non-sensually is fine the moment they are distributed you can plan your stay in jail! Or smth less dramatic, with a great lawyer hmm

~Danny
http://dbiphotography.co.cc
http://www.modelinsider.com/8040

Dec 13 11 05:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EB Photography
Posts: 8,246
Santo António, Pagué, Sao Tome and Principe


Your heading says topless and now you are saying nude?  That's just plain creepy.  I am a female photographer and I wouldn't touch that
Dec 13 11 05:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
salvatori.
Posts: 3,682
State College, Pennsylvania, US


Topless or nude are irrelevant terms: it's the context and intent that matters.

Photograph a 16 year old fully clothed and have her grab her crotch and it's more illegal than an 8 year old just standing there naked.

Also, and I don't know how many freakin' times this needs to be said, 'age of consent' (which is when a person can legally have intercourse) has NOTHING to do with this.
Dec 13 11 05:39 am  Link  Quote 
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