Face to face with the artist Idan Wizen
Why pose naked?
Posing in the simplest of clothes: a dream for many of us, but one that can seem very intimidating. How does it feel to be about to strip down in front of the camera? How does it happen? How do you take the plunge and dare? Meeting with Idan Wizen, an artist-photographer who has already photographed more than 2000 people.
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Hello, I’m Idan Wizen, an artist-photographer in Paris. I founded the project Un Anonyme Nu Dans Le Salon in 2009 and since then I have photographed more than 2000 people in the simplest of clothes. Generally, these people had never posed nude or never posed for a photo at all.
Why pose nude?
For several reasons, they are very specific to each one, according to their desires, but I believe that there are two principal reasons which appear. The first one is to overcome our modesty, our complexes, to dare to show our body. And then to learn to look at ourselves differently, to learn to love ourselves, to learn to see that we can be beautiful and to learn to accept ourselves.
How does the session proceed?
When people arrive in my studio, I don’t know them at all. In general, I have no information about them. The first step, before starting to photograph or asking them to undress, is to talk. Talk about their expectations, talk about their fears, what they like, what they don’t like. It’s a moment that is magical, almost intimate, often more intimate than the photoshoot itself when they are naked.
This dialogue allows us to create a bond of trust, to get to know each other a little better, to understand their expectations and to take photos that will meet them.
How do you make them feel comfortable?
I think that very, very quickly, after a few moments, we forget the fact of being naked. During the photo session, I will guide them from A to Z, I will tell them to turn their head to the left, to the right, to put a hand here or there, quickly we find ourselves with positions and exercises that are quite physical, that are not necessarily natural, despite what the images will give the impression of. The nudity passes completely in the background and it is something that we forget very quickly.
Do you adapt yourself according to the person in front of you to make the best picture?
To make a photo, it’s really a work for two, of complicity, of look according to the expectations, and then morphologically according to the person. As much as the positions, the postures, what goes well to one, does not necessarily go well to the other, therefore we will adapt according to each one’s appearance. And then, even according to the personality of each one, I try to describe the people as they are in real life, not to make them play a role, and thus I try to find positions, postures which speak about them.
I think that no two photoshoots are alike in terms of attitudes, postures, and all that. And that’s why I love doing what I do.
How do the models feel after the session?
It’s always difficult to speak for them, but what I have as feedback is above all a feeling of pride. Pride in having succeeded in doing it, pride in having relaxed. There is inevitably a bit of stress before and after you are free.
And then there is a surprise. They are often surprised to find themselves beautiful, beautiful in another way than what they could think before, so to find themselves beautiful differently. That’s what sums up their feeling: it’s pride, a feeling of accomplishment and freedom, and then a surprise, a pleasant surprise at the end of the session.
What would you advise people who don’t dare to come?
To come anyway! They don’t have much to lose! At worst, they will say that they were not comfortable, and they will not like their picture. I don’t really believe that, and that’s my experience.
The hardest part is usually signing up and telling yourself you’re going to do it. But I think it’s like in life when you tell a child to try things out. I think it’s the same for adults. You have to test, you can’t be afraid of anything and you have to dare and venture. And then, as you do it, you realize that it’s much easier than you think. A lot of people are terrified when they arrive, and when they leave they tell me, “but it was nothing”. And that’s it.
So, go ahead, dare, take the plunge and sign up to come and pose for the project, but also with many photographers, who are out there and doing great work. Don’t hesitate to do it!
To see the works of Idan Wizen: