Art & Photography

A Thousand Words: Philip Sinden

Portrait photographer and Port regular Philip Sinden talks to us about his first project photographing nudes
I had the idea to shoot a series of nudes quite some time ago, but only really got going on the project last summer. Having never shot nudes before, I wanted to work with sitters who’d be comfortable with their bodies. As a side note, it’s interesting to note how quickly I became comfortable in the situation – I don’t think this would have happened without the professional approach of the models.

I knew I wanted to shoot in a similar style to my editorial portraits – I didn’t want to go down the route of dark or “moody” images. I also wanted the casting to be reasonably democratic, so some models I saw for the first time when they arrived at the studio. The models I hired are life models accustomed to posing for artists rather than photographers. They were totally involved with the process, taking my direction but also interpreting it and adding something personal to the process themselves.

I chose to shoot on 5×4 – it’s a slightly slower process, but it gives a lovely quality and freedom to enlarge the images to almost life size. Though I found a studio I could rent for 3 months, in the end, I shot the entire series in one week. The portrait shown here is Isley, the third model I shot. It’s reminiscent of the Irving Penn nude No. 1, 1947.

Isley, Philip Sinden, 2012