The Only Person Who’s Naked in These ‘Nude Portraits’ is the Guy Behind the Camera

Nude Portraits by Trevor Christensen

There’s something to be said for thinking outside the box and turning an idea on its head, and that’s exactly what photographer Trevor Christensen is doing with his hilarious and surprisingly thought-provoking series, Nude Portraits.

That’s because there aren’t actually any nude people in his portraits… the only person who’s naked during the photo shoot is Christensen himself, who is busy capturing his subjects’ reaction to his birthday suit.

Christensen launched the project on Monday, and since then it has exploded as this simple concept of turning the tables on the genre attracted thousands of up-votes and skyrocketed Nude Portraits onto the “Front Page of the Internet’s” front page.

Nude Portraits by Trevor Christensen

Nude Portraits by Trevor Christensen

Speaking with Utah Public Radio, Christensen revealed that his purpose all along has been to examine the photographer/subject relationship. “When I’m taking someone’s picture, often it puts them in a very vulnerable position,” he explained. “I think that power dynamic is really interesting, and I just want to give them the chance to also see me in a vulnerable state.”

This isn’t a surprise or trick either, he speaks to each of his subjects before hand to try and ease any potential discomfort and explain what is going to be going on. And yet, even knowing that it’s coming, the reactions are still well worth capturing on camera.

Nude Portraits by Trevor Christensen

For now, the four photographs here are the only ones he’s taken, and they feature friends and girlfriends — in other words, people he’s familiar with. But his ultimate goal, as he tells UPR, is to shoot “a really broad demographic.”

As a 25-year-old, straight, white male, he wants to explore the reactions of people who fall into none of those categories. “I’m looking for […] any amount of variation possible,” he says, mentioning ‘little old ladies’ as a possible subject, “because only my hipster friends isn’t really quite as interesting as a broader demographic.”

To see more from Christensen or keep up with Nude Portraits as he seeks out diverse subjects to strut his stuff in front of, head over to his website or give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter.

Image credits: Photographs by Trevor Christensen and used with permission

  • DickCheney

    Didn’t Terry Richardson already do this?

  • Theo Lubbe

    And here I thought I’d get to be the first to mention Uncle Terry and his escapades. Yeah, Richardson to the best of my knowledge practically routinely does this, though not (in his words) for the reactions so much as his own more personal motives.

  • OtterMatt

    +1, sir.

  • OtterMatt

    How, exactly, is this “surprisingly thought-provoking”? It’s slightly amusing, okay, but there’s not much to it. You can’t exactly make this a social experiment without it being very illegal.

  • TN

    i suppose that’s one way to interpret the concept of ‘nude photography’ =D

  • Gill R

    “Little old ladies”? Before he jumps to conclusions about how “little old ladies” might react – and I would hazard a guess that it would be with total indifference – he should maybe sit around with his “hipster friends” and rethink some of his blinkered attitudes.

  • Poki

    I like the idea! Nice interpretation of “nude photography”. Unfortunately, the execution is not the best. These are simply not very good portraits. The third one even seems like the face is not perfectly in focus. The fourth is not even leveled.

  • Enrique

    What’s the “illegal” part of this??

  • OtterMatt

    I mean if you were to go around exposing yourself to people who you aren’t familiar with. That’s a short path to a sexual harassment suit at best.

  • Vasco Roma

    Is that really the only way you can see this working? How about asking people to voluntarily participate?

  • Nicholas Hrycun

    I see trouble when he tries a broad demographic range. I am sure the kids will react but the police might react more.

  • OtterMatt

    Honestly? It’s not enough. Especially if you are in any way unclear about what’s going on. And let’s be honest, if you’re going to be THAT precise, what’s the point of this little photo set anyway? If the goal is to get reactions, you can’t prime them in your subject. And you can’t get reactions from people you don’t know, because an authentic reaction would be shock at best, anger/disgust more likely, and jail time at worst. This photo idea is self-defeating.

  • David Vaughn

    They’re nice photos but my first thought was…

    “Oh look, more gimmickography where the concept outweighs the execution and final product.”

  • Dawn Haley

    Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month… The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start… This is where to start>

  • Al Borrelli

    Would have liked to see more photos than 4. Jumping the gun on a “thought provoking” “series” aren’t we?
    Still, different enough to take notice, but lets see if the images actually stack up .