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Photographer
Clinton Winant
Posts: 30
Solana Beach, California, US


By way of background I was raised in a city with a wealth of museums, including perhaps the best collections of classic sculptures, certainly the best collection of impressionist paintings and 19th century sculptures, and top collections of modern art.  In my formative years I found myself completely awed by the beauty of the human body, both male and female, as well as its representation in painting, sculpture and photography.  Throughout my life I have found these representations to be a source of strength when confronting adversity.  Now I feel driven to make naked portraits.

Over the last six months, looking at MM sites on a daily basis, I have been struck by the fact that the number of photographs of naked women so far outweighs the number of photographs of naked men that it can be no coincidence.  In searching for models, I have found it very difficult to find men that are interesting in posing nude, at least way more difficult than women.  I have posted pictures of nude men on my site that have remained unviewed until I removed them.  My ability to take these shots may be the obvious reason, or is there just a lack on interest in seeing the naked male? And I wonder why is this?  This may be a naive question, but one of my colleagues in this business has pointed out to me that famous photographers (Ritts and Bitesnich to name only two) offer compelling images of both men and women, so why is the balance in the average MM portfolio so different?
Oct 15 12 05:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,566
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


There are a LOT of male art models out there, ready and willing to have their photo taken. In fact, I photograph them on a regular basis- but for some strange reason, society views the male nudes are more "taboo" than the female. Also, men have expressed discomfort at seeing a male nude, so they don't get as many views.

Unfortunately, while the Male Figure/Nude is interesting in and of itself, the female form has captured- and dominated- a lot of what we view as art.
Oct 15 12 05:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EnlightendedPhotography
Posts: 816
Eugene, Oregon, US


I have both male and female nudes -  I have received comments on the male and couples nude.....
Oct 15 12 05:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,177
Atlanta, Georgia, US


You mentioned you were raised in a town with a good access to art, is it really so different?  It has been my expierence that there is far greater use of the female form in art as well.  One could argue that the social system back then allowed for men and not really women to pursue art.  Or that men controlled the wealth and therefor were the art buyers and favored female forms.

Those days have changed and I think it simply a matter of medium.  Males favor visual art and females do not on average, so a visual medium is going to be more directed at men.  I feel it's simply a matter of aesthetics, the female form is visually more appealing to both genders on average.

Regardless there are models available for whatever your art endeavor may be.
Oct 15 12 05:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jessie Shannon
Posts: 2,004
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Clinton Winant wrote:
By way of background I was raised in a city with a wealth of museums, including perhaps the best collections of classic sculptures, certainly the best collection of impressionist paintings and 19th century sculptures, and top collections of modern art.  In my formative years I found myself completely awed by the beauty of the human body, both male and female, as well as its representation in painting, sculpture and photography.  Throughout my life I have found these representations to be a source of strength when confronting adversity.  Now I feel driven to make naked portraits.

Over the last six months, looking at MM sites on a daily basis, I have been struck by the fact that the number of photographs of naked women so far outweighs the number of photographs of naked men that it can be no coincidence.  In searching for models, I have found it very difficult to find men that are interesting in posing nude, at least way more difficult than women.  I have posted pictures of nude men on my site that have remained unviewed until I removed them.  My ability to take these shots may be the obvious reason, or is there just a lack on interest in seeing the naked male? And I wonder why is this?  This may be a naive question, but one of my colleagues in this business has pointed out to me that famous photographers (Ritts and Bitesnich to name only two) offer compelling images of both men and women, so why is the balance in the average MM portfolio so different?

I see you have not yet found the Male POTD 18+ lol

Oct 15 12 05:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rickspix
Posts: 1,301
Vallejo, California, US


it is interesting that even in hollywood films or tv such as hbo or showtime the full female nude is seen much more than any male full nudes. i personally find the male form an interesting subject to capture.
Oct 15 12 05:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Salo
Posts: 8,009
Olney, Maryland, US


If I liked an image, I would not remove it just because it didn't get comments.  Now I'm interested to know what your images looked like.

I believe that Ritts was gay.  I wonder if that's an advantage when photographing men?
Oct 15 12 05:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
LizzyB
Posts: 2,173
Rochester, New York, US


AJScalzitti wrote:
You mentioned you were raised in a town with a good access to art, is it really so different?  It has been my expierence that there is far greater use of the female form in art as well.  One could argue that the social system back then allowed for men and not really women to pursue art.  Or that men controlled the wealth and therefor were the art buyers and favored female forms.

Those days have changed and I think it simply a matter of medium.  Males favor visual art and females do not on average, so a visual medium is going to be more directed at men.  I feel it's simply a matter of aesthetics, the female form is visually more appealing to both genders on average.

Regardless there are models available for whatever your art endeavor may be.

+1 exactly
i think even if you look at classic nude paintings, the vast majority are of women rather than men. for the same reasons AJScalzitti said

Oct 15 12 05:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Clinton Winant
Posts: 30
Solana Beach, California, US


I didn't know that about Ritts.  Certainly the great modern master was Mapplethorpe, but in his work there is both far fewer women, and there is a very definite sexual context, that I wasn't thinking of.  Thanks for pointing me in new directions.
Oct 15 12 05:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPV Photo
Posts: 760
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I really don't understand your thread title. Are you saying people who shoot nude females should be required to shoot nude males too? People shoot what they want to shoot.
Oct 15 12 05:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Clinton Winant
Posts: 30
Solana Beach, California, US


You are absolutely right.  What I was trying to say is that there seems to be a disparity, that is not reflected in the works of the Great.  Sorry for the confusion.
Oct 15 12 06:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Five Moons
Posts: 152
San Antonio, Texas, US


I shoot males and male nudes almost exclusively and have no trouble finding male models to work with me. My images also seem to get lots of views. But it definitely took time for my portfolio to start to get some attention here on MM. I think for the first year or so, I had very few visitors, just a trickle it seemed like, but as my portfolio filled out with more photographs and my imagery itself improved in quality, I began to get more and more traffic, along with tags, friend requests, and lists of my photos--which would then lead to more visits and lists, etc., until things finally seemed to hit a critical mass and visits to my portfolio and views and comments on my photographs took off exponentially. So maybe you just need to give it more time.

-Pius M.
Oct 15 12 06:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Julia Francesca
Posts: 2,357
Maumee, Ohio, US


maybe hit up a fraternity? those boys always seem to be naked, they don't care who sees.

and i love male nudes, let me know when you post them back up! smile
Oct 15 12 06:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Clinton Winant
Posts: 30
Solana Beach, California, US


You bring a huge grin to my face!  I'm not sure I could deal with the fraternity lot, but other responders do have beautiful portfolios including male models.  I will keep you posted.  I admire high spirits!
Oct 15 12 06:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,177
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Lizzy Borden wrote:

+1 exactly
i think even if you look at classic nude paintings, the vast majority are of women rather than men. for the same reasons AJScalzitti said

Oh just AJ is fine Lizzy smile

I think perhaps MM is a little more lopsided then maybe a pure art site would be.  Commercial photography uses way more female models, so there are more females models then male.  Also you have to figure those photographer probably end up knowing more female models because of it, so when it comes time for personal creatives who do they call?

Oct 15 12 07:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Nor-Cal Photography
Posts: 2,532
Walnut Creek, California, US


Clinton Winant wrote:
I have posted pictures of nude men on my site that have remained unviewed until I removed them.

I have 17 female nudes one just one male nude in my portfolio:

18+

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pi … 6#24208056

The male nude has 2,481 views and the female nude with the most views has 2,029 views. And the female nude has been posted for longer.

I can not figure out why the one male nude has so many more views than any of the female nudes.  So my experience is the exact opposite of yours.

Oct 16 12 04:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Alabaster Crowley
Posts: 6,573
Tucson, Arizona, US


It seems to me that male nudes are more popular in studies, like for drawing or sculpture, and less so for photography.

Male nudes COULD (depending on who you ask, of course) seem more "vulgar" because... how to put this... everything is just hanging out on display. For women, unless we spread our legs, it's not as in your face. Men might shy away from it more because of that, too.

Along with that, there's also the matter of hoping the wind doesn't blow just the right way, or the mind doesn't wander into the wrong place.
Oct 16 12 04:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Designit - Edward Olson
Posts: 1,626
Eureka, California, US


Clinton Winant wrote:
By way of background

TL;DR

Next!

Oct 16 12 11:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Kam Arose
Posts: 6,014
Berkeley, California, US


AJScalzitti wrote:
Males favor visual art and females do not on average, so a visual medium is going to be more directed at men.

Not correct. Significantly more women are entering the visual arts and going to art school these days than men.




IMO, it has a lot to with tradition. The social conditions have changed somewhat since many art historical images (which predominantly featured female nudes and were created by men) were made, but those images are still being used today to define what art is to creative people and viewers alike. Photographers and artists emulate -- both consciously and subconsciously -- the canon of "great" art that has come before them.

Additionally, there's a lot of marketing of images involved. Men have historically been the only members of a family who owned money, and while that has in general changed, women's incomes do still lag behind men's. In catering to the dominant straight male market, artists who depict conventionally attractive nude women do have a marketing advantage, which is a part of how the convention persists.

Oct 17 12 01:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Avalos Photography
Posts: 1,002
Woodland, California, US


the male body is designed for utility, the female to attract the utility.
Oct 17 12 01:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kent Art Photography
Posts: 2,647
Ashford, England, United Kingdom


There seems to be a mentality on MM that penises are bad, particularly among Americans.  The splitting up of the POTD18+ contests was mainly, I think, at the behest of the penis haters, I'm sure some people think that looking at pictures of naked men is either sinful, or it will turn them gay.  I don't think real life, at least in Europe, mirrors what goes on here.

I only photograph male nudes, rather than a mix.  I tend to make females look butch, and that's not good.
Oct 17 12 02:31 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Teresa Maddox Carden
Posts: 2
Houston, Texas, US


Kent Art Photography wrote:
There seems to be a mentality on MM that penises are bad, particularly among Americans.  The splitting up of the POTD18+ contests was mainly, I think, at the behest of the penis haters, I'm sure some people think that looking at pictures of naked men is either sinful, or it will turn them gay.  I don't think real life, at least in Europe, mirrors what goes on here.

I only photograph male nudes, rather than a mix.  I tend to make females look butch, and that's not good.

Oct 17 12 02:48 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Teresa Maddox Carden
Posts: 2
Houston, Texas, US


Giggles..I doubt very Seriously Kent that If you was to shoot me that Youd make me look butch...giggles and FYI I have many male models who hit me up to do shoots...of course I havent stepped into the arena yet with another in my shots..but point is sweetness Gorgeous aweaome peeps are everywbere waiting to be a part of Awesomeness...giggles Its all a matter of whats meabt to be will happen...btw...its also so very Important to have the PASSION between the photographer and the model...giggles and another FYI....YOU Rock!!!  giggles...have an awesone kickbutt day Sweetness ...perhaps your luck will change .....and they will be bangin down your door...luv your honesty here totally Awesome!
Teresa
Oct 17 12 02:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Daeda1us
Posts: 1,067
Little Rock, Arkansas, US


AJScalzitti wrote:
You mentioned you were raised in a town with a good access to art, is it really so different?  It has been my expierence that there is far greater use of the female form in art as well.  One could argue that the social system back then allowed for men and not really women to pursue art.  Or that men controlled the wealth and therefor were the art buyers and favored female forms.

Those days have changed and I think it simply a matter of medium. Males favor visual art and females do not, on average, so a visual medium is going to be more directed at men.  I feel it's simply a matter of aesthetics, the female form is visually more appealing to both genders on average.

Regardless there are models available for whatever your art endeavor may be.

This.

Oct 17 12 03:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PTPhotoUT
Posts: 1,959
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


The statue of David is perhaps the most viewed sculpture in the world. Last I checked, he's male.
Oct 17 12 03:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticGlamour
Posts: 3,846
Phoenix, Arizona, US


I don't necessarily think it's that the nude male is more "taboo", and I don't feel "uncomfortable" viewing a nude male...but as a male it just doesn't strike me with the same "beauty" or attractiveness as the female form does.

I believe it has to do more with society's (US American, in my case) massive/overwhelming/sexual use of the female model in advertising over the duration of my lifetime. U.S. Society's "norms" so-to-speak. The United States is a lot more sexually "uptight" than we like to think, for supposedly being a "progressive/modern" society.
Oct 17 12 04:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Woven Thought
Posts: 329
Petersburg, Virginia, US


Nor-Cal Photography wrote:
I can not figure out why the one male nude has so many more views than any of the female nudes.  So my experience is the exact opposite of yours.

It's a more unusual nude photo and there's a prominently displayed penis, not done much.  Everyone wants to check it out.

Oct 17 12 04:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Woven Thought
Posts: 329
Petersburg, Virginia, US


Greek & Roman times, I think you'll find more male nudes.  The male was the perfect human form.  Homosexuality was more accepted, it seems, as well, ALL sexuality really.

These days, I agree, I see the female form used more in nudes, and certainly in movies.  Male models are often homosexual and perhaps that is part of the issue?  I'd say Americans in general have some real sexual hangups.

That said, I think I'd have no problems getting male nudes if I wanted to.
Oct 17 12 04:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


From an aesthetic point of view, the female form is, in many ways, nicer to look at. From a personal point of view, a woman can be lean, soft, plump, athletic... it's all good. I only find the male figure appealing when there's definition (muscles and all that good stuff.)
Oct 17 12 05:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Clinton Winant
Posts: 30
Solana Beach, California, US


Many thanks for the outpourring of really interesting thoughts.  A tantalizing one, earlier in the thread, is that the imbalance in MM portfolios reflects a gender difference in taste.  I think the remark that if that is true it is only cultural (ie US vs GB) has a lot of value, but one point of starting this thread was to recognize that there are gender differences. I deeply appreciate naked portraits of both men and women, including penis, testicles, breasts and vagina.  Am I a special case (those who know would be vigorously nodding yes).
Oct 17 12 07:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,843
Albany, New York, US


Clinton Winant wrote:
Over the last six months, looking at MM sites on a daily basis, I have been struck by the fact that the number of photographs of naked women so far outweighs the number of photographs of naked men that it can be no coincidence.  In searching for models, I have found it very difficult to find men that are interesting in posing nude, at least way more difficult than women.

That's probably because there's probably like 10x the number of female models on sites like MM than there are men. So of course, you'll have an easier time finding females just based on sheer numbers.

Clinton Winant wrote:
I have posted pictures of nude men on my site that have remained unviewed until I removed them.  My ability to take these shots may be the obvious reason, or is there just a lack on interest in seeing the naked male? And I wonder why is this?  This may be a naive question, but one of my colleagues in this business has pointed out to me that famous photographers (Ritts and Bitesnich to name only two) offer compelling images of both men and women, so why is the balance in the average MM portfolio so different?

This observation (or complaint...I'm not sure which phrasing is more applicable) discounts the very nature of the internet. People like seeing/oggling/whatever women.

Female imagery will get probably 20x the views/comments/whatever than a greater or eqaully crafted male image. Likewise nude imagery will get 30x the comments/views/whatever than a greater or equally crafted clothed shot.

Its just the way it is.

Oct 17 12 07:44 am  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
JJMiller
Posts: 465
Buffalo, New York, US


The male body looks best as sculpture, there is no way around it. As a 2D representation it's just not appealing, and a solid 3d mass it looks great.
Oct 17 12 06:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeffrey M Fletcher
Posts: 4,314
Asheville, North Carolina, US


Clinton Winant wrote:
...one of my colleagues in this business has pointed out to me that famous photographers (Ritts and Bitesnich to name only two) offer compelling images of both men and women, so why is the balance in the average MM portfolio so different?

Clinton, I'm sure that with the background in the arts that you mention you can think of notable and well known artists who were specialists in gender portrayals and those that were generalists. Although I can certainly think of examples beyond those mentioned in your op where the artist portrayed both genders, I think of more artists who were specialists, if not wholly then at least to a substantial extent. Edward Weston and Helmut Newton come to mind as examples, as does Mapplethorpe.

Neither does it seem to me to be an unusual specialization. If I look at the paintings of Michelangelo there seems to be scant evidence that he was much concerned with female models or form even when portraying females (someone once described a female nude by Michelangelo as a male with a couple of grapefruit halves stuck on the chest). Botticelli on the other hand doesn't show much of Michelangelo's interests or use of models of that body type. 

I do agree that our aesthetic and portrayal of male nudity in popular culture and low art forms is fragmentary and constricted, and that this problem exists to a greater extent with male nudes than with females nudes.


And I need to ask how you decided on the term naked portraits. Is there some special reference or meaning ?

Oct 18 12 04:51 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Ryan38
Posts: 20
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


In a few short weeks, I am gonna be shot completely nude! The scenes are based on hilarious situations of me being naked and 4 female models remaining fully clothed! doing these shots for a year, and have had no trouble casting a few months of female models and eventhough I am probably setting the modeling world back at least a hundred years by me being naked (lol), I have been asked by quite a few people to post these for viewing and comments! i'll let ya know if i post them in a private folder and how they are recieved! Keep your head up, I am sure that there are male models in California that would be willing to pose nude for you! If you are passionate about this kind of photography keep on trying! :-)
Oct 21 12 02:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Clinton Winant
Posts: 30
Solana Beach, California, US


Now that is brilliant!  So much more interesting than a debate...  PLEASE post them.
Oct 21 12 03:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Ryan38
Posts: 20
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Clinton Winant wrote:
Now that is brilliant!  So much more interesting than a debate...  PLEASE post them.

Oct 21 12 04:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Ryan38
Posts: 20
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


I'll keep ya posted! :-)
Oct 21 12 04:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


Clinton Winant wrote:
Throughout my life I have found these representations to be a source of strength when confronting adversity.  Now I feel driven to make naked portraits.

You find spiritual strength in looking at naked people?

I can see it now: The Church of the Naked Danglybits

Clinton Winant wrote:
why is the balance in the average MM portfolio so different?

Probably because there are far more heterosexual male photographers represented on llama Mayhem than any other demographic (at least, within the scope of those holding the cameras.) If the photographer community here was largely homosexual men, you would see more naked men.

You're thinking about this entirely too much.

Oct 21 12 04:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
imcFOTO
Posts: 579
Bothell, Washington, US


I don't think it's that surprising. I'd love to know the male/female split in numbers of photographers on MM but I wouldn't be surprised if it was something like 95% male (if a moderator reads those would be useful stats to publish).

I also don't think it's a surprise that men probably prefer photographing women. I'm not ashamed to say I find the female form (whether it be a beautiful face or a shapely body) far more interesting subject matter than a guy. (In fact I have great difficulty relating to guys when I do try and photograph them).
Oct 21 12 06:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carle Photography
Posts: 9,227
Oakland, California, US


Clinton Winant wrote:
You are absolutely right.  What I was trying to say is that there seems to be a disparity, that is not reflected in the works of the Great.  Sorry for the confusion.

Many factors in play.

1. There are more male photographers on MM then female.

2. Most of those male photographers only shoot women.

3. Of the few women photographers, MOST of them only shoot women....

So this makes MM mostly images of women.

Even though I advertise I shoot both as well as transgender.
80% of my clients are women, the funny part is MOST of the booking drama comes from men looking for something OTHER then a photo shoot.

This is what pushes the few remaining women into cutting off the few remaining (good male clients) because they are sick of booking less then 1 in 10 men who call, and getting harassed 9 in 10 calls...

Oct 21 12 06:36 pm  Link  Quote 
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