Interview with Lucinda Taffs
By Jessica Quinn
What are your experiences with nudity in fashion photography? Have you ever felt pressured into posing nude?
Models are definitely expected to be comfortable being naked. A lot of the time you are expected to change in front of people on set, be comfortable stripping off in line while changing looks for a show, change outfits in cars, on beaches etc… Most of the time people are pretty considerate but in saying that, you are expected just to get on with it and do your job and make it fast. People expect, because you’re model I guess, you must be comfortable showing your body to everyone. I think after a while I just got used to being nude in front of people I’d just met. Most of the stylists are women and they usually dress you, so that helps. Personally, it never really bothered me but I can see how it might be confronting for some. Especially for the young girls. Doing your first show at 15 and being expected to stand in nothing but a tiny skin colored g-string while people dress you in a room full of male models is pretty strange.
I’ve never really felt ‘pressured’ per se into posing nude. But I knew it was what the photographer, etc, wanted in order to get the shot. If someone ever made me feel uncomfortable I would never do it. I’m not really the kind of person who would do something I didn’t want to. I’ve never had an experience like that. Saying that, I know it happens… I guess I was lucky.
When did you first pose topless and was it a personal decision, or one made by your agency?
I guess a personal one. I think I just got to a stage where I felt comfortable enough to pose nude. It depends heavily on who and what you are posing for. I mean I don’t remember the exact time, maybe because it wasn’t really a big deal to me. I personally like nude photography, obviously when it’s ‘tasteful’. It’s just boobs; everyone has them.
What age do you think it’s appropriate to pose topless and why?
18 and up! You need to be able to decide for yourself… Even at 18 you don’t really know how you feel about most things, but I guess it’s realistic to say 18.
What are your thoughts on Rie Rassmussen calling Terry Richardson out (for exploiting women) during Paris Fashion Week in 2010?
I’ve never been ‘exploited’ by Terry Richardson so I can’t comment on him… But I think it’s good to stand up for what you feel strongly about and I admire that in Rie.
Do you think that nudity is something that is expected of models?
Yes, I do.
Do you think models are exploited sometimes? Sex sells right?
Yes, of course. There are a lot of young girls who are willing to do anything to get the ‘job’ and to be the next big thing. There are always going to be people that take advantage of people in any industry.
Why do you think that nudity is such a popular theme in high fashion?
I guess wanting to provoke a response in people? Nudity can bring an erotic, sensual or emotional edge to a photograph I suppose…
You recently posted some photos on your blog of you posing shirtless with Fluffy The Snake. What was going through your mind when you saw its owners taking it out of the cooler bags?
I’m not scared of snakes so I was pretty excited. I think it made for some really good images.
Moving on from nudity, who is your role model in the modeling industry? Why?
That’s a really hard question to answer as there are so many incredibly talented people. Probably someone like Nicolas Ghesquière. I always wanted to be a designer. He’s incredible…. Or Helmut Newtown. I love his photography. He constantly pushed the envelope… I love his hyper-sexualized photographs and his bizarre narratives.
So far, what has been the most memorable moment in your modeling career?
The most memorable jobs are the ones where you get to travel to incredible destinations. And maybe shooting for Victoria’s Secret. I’ve always admired those girls and their insane bodies so it felt pretty special doing that.
What (if any) are the differences between modeling in New York City and Australia?
Not much, really. Australia has a really strong fashion industry. I think it’s really (for lack of a better word) forward. There are some seriously talented people coming out of Aus!
See Lucinda’s personal blog here