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Angela Retouched

Nude Photography Auckland

Edgy Helen

Nude Photography Auckland

Edgy Photography Auckland

Nude Photography Auckland

Edgy Photography Auckland

Nude Photography Auckland

Edgy Photography Auckland

Nude Photography Auckland

Edgy Photography Auckland

Ivy Album 3

Eve

Helen Album 2

Courtney on the Rocks

Nude Photography Auckland

Nude Photography Auckland Nude Photography Auckland

Nude Photography Auckland

Nude Photography AucklandNude Photography Auckland Eyes to the Soul

Nude Photography Auckland

Roma and Emmanuel

Nude Photography Auckland

Roma

I struggled with identity,
I still do, but I’m learning.

I’ve always struggled with mental health issues and after going through multiple violent trauma and being Passed around a very flawed mental health system, a few years ago finally I got diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which is 110% a completely misunderstood disorder to say the least.

It can affect multiple aspects of your life and is different for everyone who experiences it. For me, my sense of self and emotional control and thought patterns are mostly affected.
Which means I can be very reactive to situations, sometimes more than what’s accepted by others and always more than I wanted to.
My thoughts can get mixed up because there are too many, or I have one thought that does not leave my mind and it can become an obsession.
Knowing who I am as a person and what I want can also be challenging. 

I teach children’s yoga and mindfulness as it was something that helped me when nothing else could and to hopefully set up our kids for an open minded self-accepting future with skills, tools and the ability to cope better with the roller coaster of our emotional stressful lives.

I like to model so I know exactly who to be at that moment.
I find it freeing, almost trapping myself in a ‘character’ or a ‘setting’ you could say.
For a short period of time I know what to do, who to be and how to do it.

I said yes to taking part in this display of beautiful women for the chance to feel like I am exactly who I am meant to be for a short period of time.
To empower other women to feel like they can be themselves not just for a short period of time but all of the time,
To feel beautiful and strong, ugly and weak, put together and messy all at the same time because that’s what life is and we should be so fucking proud of it.
You can’t have one without the other.
You may not be able to have everything you have ever wanted.
But you can have your own slice of perfection and that perfection is you.

Bare Truth

2021 Nelson Triptych Salon

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Flying Away   © Ilan Wittenberg 2021, Limited Edition of 30 + 2AP Buy Now

 

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The Maasai People   © Ilan Wittenberg 2021, Limited Edition of 30 + 2AP Buy Now

 

Petals   © Ilan Wittenberg 2021, Limited Edition of 30 + 2AP Shop Now

 

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Edgy Meg  © Ilan Wittenberg 2021, Limited Edition of 30 + 2AP Buy Now

 

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer © Ilan Wittenberg 2021, Limited Edition of 30 + 2AP Buy Now

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Botticelli © Ilan Wittenberg 2021, Limited Edition of 30 + 2AP Buy Now

Helen Main

Nude Photography Auckland

Helen

Trigger Warning: Discussion of physical & emotional abuse.

This comes as a surprise to some people (sometimes I reflect back in total disbelief – it’s easy to think it wouldn’t happen to you) but this time 5 years ago I was trying to leave an abusive relationship. Over the space of 12 months I had made multiple attempts to leave. I couldn’t tell you why I’d go back each time, only that the general belief, held by all parties was that it was all I deserved. 

How did I end up there? I was an intelligent, strong willed young woman who had very clear views about domestic abuse & those who inflict it. But, although I didn’t really acknowledge it, I was, at that point in my life very alone. I had few close friends, and this was complimented by a distant relationship with my family & not much in the way of self-worth.

I was so desperate to be loved, to be chosen, that I ignored the early red flags (I called myself difficult & needy instead). He charmed me – nice dinners, a holiday, buying me clothes etc. But when he moved in with me, things started to slip, slowly at first.

I remember the first time we really fought. A neighbour called the cops. He played nice to them & angrily blamed me for it later. If I had only not gotten upset, he wouldn’t have gotten angry at me. I cringe now when I think of how I grovelled & apologised to him. 

 Every fight we had would cripple me with shame & self-hatred. I was reading every article I could on healthy relating. I went to therapy to try and isolate the problem in myself so I could cut it out & patch myself back together. I thought if I could fix myself, he would stop getting angry with me. If I could just stop being difficult, he’d stop cutting me off, refusing to talk to me for days at a time or kicking me out at all hours of the morning.

But you can’t fix a relationship by yourself, and you can’t heal yourself in order to stop someone else hurting you.

 It took him two years to hit me. The first thing he did after he whacked me was tell me it was a mistake & to not tell anyone. And I didn’t, not for months. Not until well after I finally got out.

He only hit me once. I wish I could say that that was because I left, but it was because he seemed to prefer other tactics – dragging me over furniture to kick me out, holding me against the wall by my throat, once he even picked me up and physically threw me onto the concrete outside, amongst other things.

I list all these physical things, but in honesty, those things were secondary to the verbal & emotional abuse & the scars it left.
I still experience emotional flashbacks, triggered by any number of things – some identified, some which take me by surprise – in which it’s as if I shift into a dual existence, with the memories & emotions overlaying reality like a double exposure photograph, and my mind will react to the Now as if it was the Then. It’s exhausting & confusing and sometimes lasts for hours.

 I still get panicky if someone misunderstands me and sometimes if people react in a neutral, emotionless manner (especially in a romantic relationship) my reflex response is fear. Its frustrating & difficult, I often feel sorry for those who have had to deal with me in my darkest moments.

I wish I could be more upbeat about it all, and say I’m now a happy, confident woman with a loving husband & a house full of animals but recovering from these kinds of things is a long & difficult road. In saying that I’m slowly healing. I’m in therapy &n the progress I’m making, uneven as it is, is leading me into a world where I can be vulnerable with others, feel safe expressing myself & enjoy authentic connections with a selection of truly wonderful friends.

 I also have a career as a personal trainer & pole dance teacher. I love my work and am hugely passionate about creating a safe space for others to get in touch with their bodies, express themselves & explore their physical potential – all things I found immense value in as I was putting myself back together. 

I don’t have any advice for those affected by abuse that isn’t talked about more articulately elsewhere. Removing yourself from abusive dynamics is never as simple as it might seem from the outside, and it follows that advice that works for one person won’t work for another. All I can say is – try to hold onto your Self, in whatever capacity you can & when you are ready to make the move, you will know. The road out is tough, but every step is worth it.

 

Mareah

Nude Photography Auckland

Mareah

 

This is my call for those suffering in silence, crippled by the pain of stigma. I see you. I feel you. It is so scary for me talk about this, my heart is pumping so fast. Oh my god. I am feeling so tired even thinking about this subject.
I grew up in religion. And that meant that I was raised with a lot of shame around sex and sexuality and get we have to wait till we’re married, to have sex, and from a really early age I was like eight. And I was getting all the sensation in my body and then explore it and like sneaking around and talking to boys and girls and, oh it was, it was fun, but I held so much shame around being so young, and just wanting to know my body, as a young woman, a young girl, and there was no education around what pleasure was and what was safe and what wasn’t safe and I was told from super early that, anything to do with sex you just got to wait until you’re married and then we can talk about it. So my whole life I grow up, and I just held so much shame for this expression inside of me/
When I became a teenager, this desire to be intimate with myself and with other people led on to drinking and doing a lot of drugs and just wanting to feel free with my body and I slept with a lot of people, and I did a lot of dumb things in, in a way of numbing, in a way of trying to navigate this whole exploration and releasing the shame. I didn’t want to feel shame, but everything to do with sex and sexuality and pleasure, just fucking held so much weight over me. And as I grew up, and when I was a young adult, I slept with a lot of people. And in about four years ago, I contracted herpes.
It wasn’t a big deal for the last four years because I was married, actually, I got it just before I got married. I haven’t had to have this conversations with new sexual partners, for me to be in full integrity with this. I want to share the message, I want to be talking to people if I’m going to engage with somebody and have sex with somebody I want to be open, because I feel like this is such a fucking important conversation that we need to be having, normalizing and to releasing the shame that is all over sexually transmitted diseases. I’ve been feeling more ready to start being honest and I want to start exploring sex with new people. It’s just been coming up like choking me, and I, I just don’t want to have this power over me anymore. I want to feel empowered around this subject and I feel like to release the shame around this, you got to fucking own it, and to stare it in the face and be like, ‘yo, this is a thing’, and this is the situation, and you can take it or leave it in terms of connecting and communicating with other people.
I have this thing, and now you have the information you get to make your choice like I want to be upfront with people and share what’s going on for me, and herpes is that thing, and I’m fucking done with feeling shame about it anymore because it’s not worth it. I don’t know what the statistics are but fucking a huge percent of fucking people have it, and there’s no conversation and people are suffering in fucking silence, alone, by themselves, like, thinking that this thing, the shame of the actual thing, is so much worse than the actual thing itself. And if we can start talking about it and having dialogue about this thing, then there won’t be so much shame, because collectively the the narrative of the story needs to shift.
So I’m going to be a part of that. This is really, really huge for me and, yeah, I just want to be a voice I want to be here. And if other people are experiencing this as well. I would love to start this conversation. If you are suffering with sexually transmitted diseases, you’re not broken, you are not ruined. There is life here, and the right people who are willing to hold space for you and hold you in love and with compassion and to see you in your truth and love you for all of who you are, not just for parts of you. Those are your fucking people.

Between two Rocks

Fearless

‘Between two Rocks’ – Gold medal at the 2021 North Shore National Salon of Photography

The nude figure is an ancient artistic tradition that expresses the ideals of beauty and fertility. In the Fearless series I explore the female nude figure. Nude photography depicts the human body, giving attention to composition, harmony and aesthetic qualities. The nude has been a prominent subject of photography since its invention and played an important role in establishing photography as a fine art medium. In presenting this series, I offer you an opportunity to contemplate and appreciate the juxtaposition between human and nature: the soft flesh and the harsh environment; life and still; black and white. The use of monochrome emphasises shape and form, removing distracting elements to ensure that you focus on the beautiful body language.

Nude female figures can be found represented in art as early as the last Stone Age period. Similar images which represent fertility deities, gods and goddesses in Babylonian and Ancient Egyptian art were precursors to the works of Western antiquity. Other notable traditions of artistic nude representations can be found in India and Japan: in particular, traditional Hindu temple sculptures and cave paintings – some very explicit – indicate the value of sexuality; revealing a culture where partial or complete nudity was acceptable in everyday life.

The nude figure was commonplace in Ancient Greek and Roman art. After a semi-dormant period in the Middle Ages, it returned to a central position in Western art during the Renaissance. Athletes, dancers, and warriors statically express human energy and life, while nudes express basic and complex emotions.

Nude photography is a genre of fine-art which depicts the human body with an emphasis on form, composition, emotional content and aesthetic qualities. The nude has been a prominent subject of photography since its invention and played an important role in establishing photography as a fine art medium.

Erotic interest, although often present, is secondary. It distinguishes art photography from both glamour and pornographic photography. The distinction is not always clear and photographers tend to characterise their own work subjectively, while viewers may have different impressions. The nude is a controversial and provocative subject across all artistic mediums, but more so within photography due to the inherent realism. The medium examines issues of representation and identity, sexuality and voyeurism – some nude photography deliberately blurs the boundaries between erotica and art.

In the context of the 21st century, it is difficult to make an artistic statement in the medium of nude photography, given the proliferation of pornographic imagery – which has tainted the artistic subject in the perception of most viewers, limiting the opportunities to exhibit or publish artistic nude images. These photographs portray powerful, vulnerable and independent women.