Photographer Amanda Charchian photographed her friends, nude and without makeup, in gorgeous landscapes. The results are completely stunning.
Los Angeles-based photographer Amanda Charchian is changing the way we capture nude women on camera. Her first photo collection, titled Pheromone Hotbox, comes out March 22, and the hardcover book features photographs she took between 2012 and 2015 of nude women in exotic locations across the globe, including Iceland, Costa Rica, Morocco, and Cuba. The women in the photos are all artists—ranging from fashion designers to poets—and friends of Charchian, posing in their most natural state. Charchian’s goal in her snaps: Not to sexualize these women, but empower them, and show how both the Earth and our bodies are natural wonders.
“I don’t think anybody’s looked at the pictures and been like, ‘Damn, that’s real hot.’ There’s body hair, there’s no makeup, there’s no lighting—it’s so raw,” Charchian tells SELF. “These girls wouldn’t look any different if they woke up in the morning. Nobody prepared for the images in the way they would for a pornographic image.”
The fashion photographer says she could have shot the same photographs with clothing, but, by freeing the women of their clothes, it liberated them in a new way.
“Being comfortable with your body and celebrating your body is a road to confidence,” she says. “And being nude makes you feel more confident sometimes because you don’t have to fit into clothes that were made for someone who’s a size zero. If you’re outside of that context, your body is a lot more beautiful.”
When Charchian tried to share the stunning images online, followers have flagged some of her pictures as inappropriate. She tells SELF that some of her pictures have been reported and removed from Instagram, even when she has covered up exposed nipples.
“It’s a sunset and a landscape and a body and it’s so not raunchy at all,” she says. “And somehow it’s still all part of the same thing. I hope in the future there will be more nuance where people will be able to tell the difference.”