From the time photography was in its infancy, photographers have made nude photographic studies of the human body. A great many famous photographers have excelled in, and have been recognized for, this photographic genre. At the same time, nude photography has been a source of controversy, as tastes vary widely and no two people are likely to react to a photograph of a nude in the same way: some might see a beautiful and appealing image, whereas another might be offended or shocked.
At the RAPC itself, many photographers have been drawn to nude photography as a means of artistic expression. While generally the exhibition of nude images at the Club has not been a matter of concern among members, there have been occasions in the past, and again more recently, where a number of members have found some images offensive, sexually provocative or dehumanizing of women.While some have argued over whether a certain image may be “artistic” or not, it is a line of debate over which we are unlikely ever to reach a consensus and therefore will not be pursued. Nevertheless, in light of the concerns that have been expressed, the Club Executive has developed the following policy statement governing the presentation of images at Club events.
The Executive Committee is agreed that we do not wish to see the Club become involved in the censorship of images shown at the Club. However, members who do wish to show their photographs at the Club need to be mindful of the venues in which they are being presented and that, where nudity is concerned, there will be varying levels of tolerance among the audience for such images. Photographers need to be sensitive to this fact and should use good judgment in deciding what, where and when they display an image.
By the same measure, members who are apprehensive with some aspects of nude photography should be aware that on certain specific Club evenings, which are usually obvious from the subject matter of the evening, there will undoubtedly be a number of nude and semi-nude images being shown and they may accordingly wish to refrain from attending these events.
From the Executive Committee
RA Photo Club