Nude Portraiture 101: A Personal Journey

Photography credit: Pete Herlihy.

Photography credit: Pete Herlihy.

The photographs were exquisite – bare, sensuous curves, outlined in a mellow, candlelight glow. These portraits were of women I knew, staff at the local women’s fitness studio I faithfully attended as I worked to get my mommy figure back into shape, and shot by a local professional photographer who was inspired to try his adept hand at nude portraiture. I was intrigued.

It didn’t take much convincing for my husband to agree to accompany me to a private photography session. (He has always made me feel sexy, and still does after nearly 25 years.) I disrobed in a blackened studio, positioned myself on a comfortable narrow table draped with dark cloth, and sucked in my soft belly. I felt both exotic and awkward. I had never modeled in my life, let alone stripped naked and modeled. But with our photographer’s gentle guidance and endless patience, it became easy and oh, so much fun, for this otherwise rather conservative 42-year-old woman. To be honest, it became downright exhilarating. My inner Venus was awakened.

The three-hour session produced hundreds of shots (b&w film and digital) to choose from. We managed to narrow it down to about 14, and my husband wanted every single one of them framed. How did we announce this “bold” adventure to our kids – ages 14, 11 and 4 at the time? With humor, naturally: “Don’t worry, we’ll only hang one in each of your bedrooms and a large one in the family room.” Our children have grown up with a healthy appreciation of art in all its forms, and have had no issues with this sexy portrait collection, a private homage, perhaps, to their “40-something sex-goddess” mamma.

Sandy Poitras is a 50-year-young writer/photographer and “late-blooming” marathon runner, who is fitter than she has ever been, and is now pondering if it’s time to update the portraits. She blogs about running, fitness and “Being 50,” with much humor, at and  

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