Exhibition and shoot at Retina Festival, Edinburgh

After a rather long pause, there’s once again stuff happening with 1000BodiesProject!
In less than a week, an exhibition of the project’s progress to date will be exhibited at Gayfield Creative Spaces in Edinburgh, as part of the Retina Festival 2015.

If you’ve already participated, this is a brilliant opportunity to get an inkling of what the final project will look like. If you haven’t, now is your chance, as there will be a shoot at the gallery Friday 10th and Saturday 11th of July.

If you happen to be in Scotland next weekend, don’t miss out!


Male, 27, London (from Birmingham)

1: I had seen collections of photos from the project pop up on numerous body positivity blogs for a while and they caught my interest. Not only was it a great and admirable concept, but the photos themselves were so beautifully composed. I’ve modeled for the past three years and it’s unfortunately rare that something like this shows up for fat male models. As you might expect, outside of the occasional fetish project offer, work specifically revolving around body image and positivity are pretty much the only work I ever get offered. I am always glad to accept, as it’s something important to me, and when I found that 1BP was making its way to London I couldn’t book my coach ticket fast enough.

2: When I was young I was continually told that I needed to lose weight. Whenever I went swimming with friends I insisted on keeping my shirt on, even in the water. I hardly even looked myself in the mirror and I would walk around the house with my tummy sucked in so that my parents wouldn’t drop a comment about it. At the same time, I was obviously growing into an age where you are simultaneously horrified and intrigued with your own body, and I think I tended to swing pretty wildly between digust and admiration for my physique. The outside factors tended to get the upperhand and, as with so many things, I assumed that everybody else was right and the short moments when I felt alright by myself was just self-delusion.
When I moved out and got together with my partner I slowly started to get a growing appreciation for what I had to work with. Three years ago was the first time I took a nude self-portrait and on a whim I posted the photo to a photography site online. The nastier responses were to be expected but I was surprised to see how many positive comments I got, and it spurred me on to take more and experiment further, both as a photographer and model. Today I am still going back and forth in my self-image, but I feel happier with my naked body than I ever have. Today I can genuinely enjoy being naked, both on my own and in front of others.

3: From the moment I booked my coach ticket to the femtosecond before I pressed the trigger there was one question spinning around my head: What should I look like? I settled on a pose and changed it more times than I can count, even as I was getting undressed to take the picture. Alongside that worry was the bigger issue: please don’t screw up! The three hour long coach ride was spend stressing out over whether I would mess up whatever pose I would decide on, if I would accidentally blink or fall over or something. Maybe I’d press the button too early, or knock the camera over with my fat ass or something.

Fortunately, I had better luck than that. I settled on a pose pretty much a few seconds before I snapped the shot and as I was getting dressed my mind was racing. The wait to see the picture was agonising but when Kenneth spun the monitor around to show me I was relieved. It felt like I exhaled a ton of air when I noticed that the photo had turned out perfect. To be perfectly frank, I looked really, really good. In the end, it managed to be even better than I could have hoped. The ride home felt like it was six times shorter than the first trip and I couldn’t wait to have a copy of the results.

On the whole, I regret nothing about my participation. It was a great, wonderful and very giving experience to meet Kenneth and be apart of the Naked Dream documentary shoot.


A participant has written a blog post about his experiences with 1000BodiesProject:

“The nakedness was of no concern whatsoever; the thought of having just one shot was hugely unnerving. Nonetheless, within minutes of having arrived I was utterly alone and bare, save for the black face mask, standing in isolation before an unforgiving camera.”

Read the whole blog post here.


Male, 51, London

1: I’m a photographer myself and I felt really engaged with this project.  I love the idea that we can celebrate our diversity without the distraction of multiple shots, changes of lighting effects and of course clothes.  It’s a nice change to be in front of the lens and I thought it would be fun.

2: I’m a hypocrite really.  I say I’m relaxed about it but really I am only with other guys and the thought of some people I know seeing my photo here makes me go a bit queasy but then again I think, why the hell not and have a chuckle.

3: I was a bit nervous before but that had less to do with the nudity and more to do with being photographed, which I don’t usually enjoy much.  During I was surprised how relaxed I felt and when i got my clothes off it was actually exhilarating.  I was on high after and couldn’t wait to see the shot.


Male, 57, San Francisco
1.  While in the waiting area, I kinda/sorta felt like I was at the Department of Motor Vehicles because of seeing all the people waiting more than a couple of hours.
2.  Immediately after triggering the camera I felt like an idiot because I knew I had forgotten to include the mask.
3.  Upon seeing my picture I felt so happy because I thought “I don’t look so bad.”


Female, 30, San Francisco (from Vancouver, Canada)

1: I drunkenly internet stumbled across the ad for this project in a list of free things to do in San Francisco.  I was on the tail end of a vacation in the city at the time and it immediately struck a chord with me.  Considering all the other things I had got up to in San Fran, the nudity element just went the “vibe” of my vacation.  During my week in the city I had been to the strippers a few nights, a burlesque show, a peep show, a live sex show, and then also a tour of the world’s porn studio kink.com.

2: Nudity is a non-issue for me.  While I am not a nude model by any stretch, there are naked pictures of me all over my blog, as well as other friends websites. I guess I would be classified as an exhibitionist, though I wouldn’t particularly identify as one.  I am admittedly the sort of person who unabashedly opens her front door naked, or takes her top off at a party for cheap kicks which points to highly “exhibitionist” behaviour though.

For the most part I believe that I use nudity in my own  art as a way to be confrontational or engaging or challenging.
I don’t even really think about it.  It’s just one of my mediums.

3: I was day drinking at the time. Not for courage, but because I was on vacation, and I was enjoying myself and the cheap American liquor.  The whole outing was very much just part of an adventure for me.

As I said before, I take alot of self portraits, and also I write alot.  Not stories. More like- Words, sentiments, statements.  On myself, on other people, on the streets, or the world around me.  When I called  back home to my best friend giving a rough explanation of what I was up to for the day and the project as I understood it to be, I said to him,  “I wonder whether I will write something on myself, and if so, what?”

He made a joke about, “Ha ha “IF you write something…”  knowing me well enough to know I would get inspired to scrawl something down myself last minute.

After registering and being given a number, I found myself sitting in a large white studio space getting to know some very nice strangers who were all attending for their own reasons  It was here I decided on the word SELF and choppily scrawled it down myself in sharpie the bathroom.
I decided on this word for obvious reasons.  It would be just myself in the room (I was previously of the wrong impression that the artist would be taking a picture of me).
I take alot of self portraits usually, and this seemed to not be very different. Even though it wasn’t my own personal setting, or a place that meant something to me in any way- it was still going to be a self portrait (I had been under the impression when reading the ad that someone would be taking the photo), so I was personalizing it I guess.

When it came to taking the actual pictures, I wanted to elevate the mask as high as possible.
I wasn’t sure what the mask represented, and I am not sure if I do now still, I just know that I wanted it to be elevated and above me.
I like that the mask probably represents something different to all the different people who have (or will) participate in this.  I like that each pictures will mean a different things to each individual who volunteered, or who is viewing it.

I felt that by putting my hair over my face I was able to take my identity and ego out of it and was presenting only my ‘Self’ to the artist and audience (whoever they may be).

I was trying to jump high and snap the picture mid jump.  It was hard to cordinate and it didn’t quite work out, but it was still a fun idea.
I believe afterwards I felt a little exposed, but this had nothing to do with the nudity element.  I felt exposed because of the camera which was not mine, and the setting which was not one I had a previous emotional connection with.
It was a bit challenging in this respect, but also very fun.

I wonder if other people who were not as comfortable with the nudity element felt the same sort of way I did because of the camera which wasn’t mine.
For them, and for me, I think it’s important to test your boundaries sometimes.  I personally thing it’s one of the only ways to grow as a person.

Overall I would classify the whole experience as inspiring.
When I left the studio that day I sent my friend home a text message which stated simply, “I have nothing but envy for a man who can get 1000 strangers to take their clothes off in the name of art”


Male, 69, San Francisco

1. I am not just a nudist, I’m an exhibitionist. I love showing my body and my cock to people who enjoy looking at them. The idea of having my photo seen by people in art galleries, or in a book, is exciting to me.

2. I also love seeing other people naked. I am basically a shy person, but nudity and exhibitionism have enabled me to overcome a lot this shyness. I have become more self-condfident as a result of these activities.

3. The photo shoot was exciting, both before, during, and after. I decided that I wanted my picture to be somewhat sexual, so I tried to make my cock hard before taking the photo. I also knew that I was being videoed; that increased the thrill of playing with my cock, but it also made me somewhat nervous, so that I couldn’t get the totally hard cock that I really wanted. Nevertheless, I totally enjoyed the whole experience, and wish that there were opportunities like this a lot more often.


Male, 28, San Francisco

1: I’d heard about the project through a friend of mine in the San Francisco kink scene. I’ve always believed that the body is a beautiful thing that should not be hidden, and this project exemplifies that idea beautifully.

2: I don’t think of myself as a nudist or exhibitionist. I just don’t see why anyone should be ashamed of their body. Each body is unique, and the variety that exists in each form should be celebrated.

3: I had a great time there. I think the nature of the project, and everyone there knowing what it was, made for a very relaxed atmosphere. It was fun as we began discussing different pose ideas with each other, many of whom I’d never met before that day. The time preparing for and taking the picture was wonderfully relaxed, and a bit exciting. There’s a bit of a rush after you’ve taken the picture and are looking at it to see what you’ve created, what you have chosen to show the world.


Male, 37, San Francisco:

1: A friend told me about it, and what better way to contribute to art than with our own bodies?

2: Comfortable being naked, mostly in nature, like at the beach. The elements of nature–sun, water, wind–feel closer when your skin can interact with them while naked.

3: The 1000BodiesProject was so professional and amazing. I love the setup. Afterward, I went to lunch and drinks with two friends who also participated, to talk about what it means to be naked in our society, and how we interact with our bodies in public and in private.


Female, 24, San Francisco:

I am not a naked person at all.  Like, I like my body just fine, and sometimes I may even dance around my room after a shower in the nude.  But I have never taken my clothes off publicly.  (except for the one time I went skinny dipping in the dark)

So taking my clothes off was a big deal for me. sitting and waiting and listening to all the people who are like “WOOOO let’s get nakkie!” that was fine, just not me. but then I had to actually step into the studio. I had to actually take off my shirt, and my pants, and my underwear.  I wonder if I was the only person who became hypersensitive to my body jigglies. and my odor.

But I had practiced my pose. My Tree represents how I view my soul and I wanted to make sure that my one shot captured that.  I didn’t want to wear the mask and I didn’t want to have my face completely shown, so I raised it up so that both my soul and my body could be reaching towards heaven.

I clicked the pic. I redressed and came out to see what I had created.

I am still hypersensitive to my jigglies.  But … My girlfriend says I look like a greek goddess.  so I guess it was a holy experience.


Male, 52, San Francisco

1: Curiosity … about the project, about the other people that might show up, and of course, about myself. I’m a 52-year-old man, and that was the first time I’ve done anything remotely like that (been nude in front of a camera, esp. with the explicit idea that the photo would be broadly published). I wanted to test myself, to see what I might feel.

2: I am becoming more-and-more comfortable with my own body, and in sharing nudity with others. I enjoy going to the nude beach, as much to sun myself as much as to admire the other bodies around me. But “totally relaxed” is the wrong term, as I feel a lot more energy than “relaxed” conveys. That said, I’m not (yet?) an exhibitionist. Not even sure I’m a nudist … I guess we’ll see when I grow up. My wife is neither 😉

3: Before, the excitement of anticipation, coupled with a bit of boredom (as the line wait was a bit long). But I very much enjoyed talking with the other folks assembled for the photo shoot. hearing a bit about them, and how the “rest of their lives” affected their decisions around how to use the mask. A doctor in line, and a teacher both told me they decided to use the mask to cover their faces, to protect their careers. I’m independent enough not to need that protection (at least I hope so).

Part of me wanted to strip-down in the waiting room, but as I considered the overall scene, I think an important part of the project is to allow each individual to experience their body and the camera as one moment, one event. Being nude before the photo shoot would change something intangible in our minds.

During … not much, as I was too focused on being efficient (for all the other people in queue).

After, I felt proud of myself (as noted above, first time …). When I saw the photo I was satisfied, but not 100% … time to try again 😉 In my pose, I seem heavy on my feet, and thus a bit simian. Next time I’ll stand taller …


Female, 37, San Francisco

1: I’ve participated in a couple of other art projects that required nudity – one on the theme of real women’s bodies versus women’s bodies in media and another on women projecting their own sexuality instead of the male version of female sexiness. I am friends with both of the artists and believed in their themes, but I suppose I always had my own ulterior motives – the biggest one being that many years ago I could have saved myself from being sexually assaulted if I’d not been too ashamed to escape nude or partially dressed. I participated in this project and the others as my own personal therapy/training. While I hope I will not be confronted with another sexual assault, I am accepting my body in its raw state so that if I am in that situation again, I will make a better decision and protect myself.
2: I used to be extremely conservative and shy – I am from the Midwest in the US. The time I spent in Europe and a few life circumstances have helped me overcome that. I am probably still relatively conservative, but no longer painfully shy. I believe the body is beautiful and a work of art. I am most comfortable nude when alone or with an intimate partner.

3: Before, I was a bit irritated as there was a line and I don’t like to wait. I almost left. During I felt efficient – walk in, take my clothes off, pose, snap the photo, redress, leave. After, I felt exhilarated. Public nudity is a common fear. People have nightmares about it. In my opinion, if I can conquer that fear, I can conquer anything – hence the exhilaration.


Male, 15, Oslo Photo Fair 2012, Lillestrøm

Translated text:

1: I decided to participate in the project because it seemed interesting and fresh, and because I enjoy doing crazy things. Also, it’s anonymous.

2: I don’t relate to nudity in any particular way, everybody has it, so I guess I’m fairly relaxed about it.

3: In the beginning I was very uncertain. First I came over to your booth at the Oslo Photo Fair with some questions, and later I came back after thinking about it properly. During the shoot I had a few thought along the line of “What am I doing?” and “This is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity.” Afterwards I’ve been thinking I’m happy I did it, because it was a cool experience, even though I haven’t told any of my friends yet.

Original Norwegian text:

1. Jeg bestemte meg for å delta i prosjektet fordi det virket spennende og nytenkende, og fordi jeg liker å gjøre litt sprø ting, og dette er jo i tillegg anonymt.

2. Jeg forholder meg ikke noe spesielt til nakenhet, det er jo noe alle har på en måte, så jeg har vel ett ganske avslappet forhold til det.

3. I starten var jeg veldig usikker, kom først bort til standen din på Fotomessa i Lillestrøm, med noen spørsmål, og kom tilbake etter å ha tenkt ordentlig på det. Under fotograferingen tenkte jeg litt over hva er det jeg er med på nå? og at dette er en en-gang-i-livet opplevelse. I ettertid har jeg tenkt at jeg er glad for at jeg gjorde det, fordi det er en kul opplevelse, selvom jeg ikke har sagt det til noen av mine nærmeste enda.


Female, 28, San Francisco

1: I am open to new experiences, the moment I read about your project I loved the idea and knew it was an opportunity that I had to take. This year has been filled with new experiences and a little self discovery, your project came to me at the right time.

2: I would say very shy, I don’t even feel comfortable at the gym showers.

3: Loved the experience, it was very liberating. I was excited before and after I was very happy I got a chance to do it, I would say I also felt more confident after I did it. thanks again for this opportunity.


Male, 44, Oslo

1:  I have a passion for nudity, and try to participate in different nude projects as often as I can. As soon as there is an opportunity to get legally naked in art, in public or in other circumstances, I feel a demand to be a part of it. Weird but truth.

2: I love being nude, I am a naturist/nudist (the two words are synonymous to me), and work part time as a life model. As a life model I do modeling for drawing classes, for hen parties and in performance pieces. As a naturist I am naked in a social setting and in that situation totally relaxed. When operating as a life model for art or for photo, I am the only naked person. I am mostly relaxed then as well, but must admit that I get a kick of being naked. It is like any other extreme hobby or performance: Driving motorcycle, being a pilot, parachute jumping, perform on a stage as a musician or an actor etc. When performing, especially in the moment I do enter the “stage”, the kick is coming, and that is a driving factor. Also the situation of looking forward to do a naked performance of some kind, being nervous in advance, is part of the feeling that makes me do this. I am not shy, for me it is normal to be nude with others even if I am the only naked person. And the conclusion of all this must be that I am exhibitionistic in some degree.

3: This was a performance that gave me the kick mentioned above. And the kick is like being sort of nervous from the time you hear about the happening, which for me happened to be several weeks prior to actually taking the picture. And it culminates when doing the performance. Then, after the happening, it has of course been a pleasure to follow the project and recognize that more people have participated and also trying to convince others to be a part of it.