The Mission of Terra Nudum

Humanity evolved to find beauty in the human form. Its shapes, textures, and lines resonate deep in our brains. Although human beings come in a variety of body shapes and sizes, we’re exposed on a daily basis to media that holds up a single specific body type as the only one worth appreciating. This “model body” is not only uncommon, it is often the product of unrealistic (if not unhealthy) habits and diet choices. Worse, these atypical bodies are often digitally distorted, such that they no longer even resemble what the human body should, or can, look like. The region between the naval and pelvis is, for instance, so consistently Photoshopped into a flat plane that many people no longer recognize a protruding stomach as “normal.” After years of viewing and absorbing artificial, “belly” free images, we now see this type of stomach as a defect rather than a natural part of the human body. These relentless visual lies seep into our subconscious, creating a filter on our perception of our own body and the bodies around us. That filter affects what we see, whether we want it to or not.

Terra Nudum, latin for “bare earth,” shows the body without that filter. The bodies appear outside their normal context, either arranged into geometric shapes or composed to resemble or evoke a landscape. Their shapes, contours, and textures are accentuated by surreal backlighting. Sufficiently abstracted, our Pavlovian body-shaming filter doesn’t kick in and, free of the societally-trained tendency to measure against an arbitrary and unrealistic standard, the body is seen for what it is: beautiful.

In a very true sense, this may be the first time you’ve really seen the human body. Many of our models respond to first seeing Terra Nudum images they’ve posed for by saying things like, “I didn’t know my body looked like that.” That encapsulates our mission: to help and encourage people to see that their body, and every body, is beautiful.

Volunteer as a Terra Nudum Model

We cannot produce this series without our amazing volunteer models. If you’d like to participate, please let us know! No previous modeling experience is necessary, and all body types and gender identities are welcome. You must be at least eighteen years old at the time of the shoot, and you must be comfortable posing nude and being nude around others. If you’re curious what it’s like to volunteer as a model watch the video interviews with previous models below.

Safety and Privacy Details: We understand and embrace the private and sensitive nature of our shoots. Every care is given to creating a positive collaborative environment built on clear communication and consent. Your name will never appear in association with the images. You’re welcome to bring a friend/chaperone to help you feel comfortable. If you’d like to meet us before the shoot, we’re glad to buy you a cup of coffee in Manhattan. Our studio is in Midtown Manhattan near Herald Square in New York City (we don’t list the address on the website to ensure privacy, but you’ll receive it well in advance of the shoot).

Compensation: As thanks for contributing their time, talents, and trust to this body of art, each model receives a fine-art, black and white print from the shoot. There is no cash compensation; we’ve found the best collaborators for this series are individuals who understand and share our mission and will treasure their participation and the print from their shoot for decades to come.

If you’re interested to volunteer for the series:

1) Email a photo in a swimsuit or similar.
2) Fill out this form.
3) Attend a pre-shoot meeting via Google Meet where you will meet previous models, and can ask any questions you have

Model Interviews

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