Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Child Figure Photography Is Not About Sexuality

Child figure photography is a controversial issue in some circles. The very definition of figure photography is taking pictures of the unclothed human form. Nude pictures of children are considered taboo save for a few family snapshots of the toddler in a bathtub. Child figure photography is not limited to representing the nude.

Images of children are innately suited to the world of photography. Primarily, the camera preserves a child's image through still photography, child figure photography or portraiture. The preservation stops time, letting the image 'recapture youth' in the future. Children grow and develop rapidly, often times too rapidly for parents. Pictures let them suspend the moment forever either framed on the wall or in a photo album.

The study of the human form for artists is important for painters and sketch artists. A child's proportions are quite different from an adult. The enlarged head at birth makes up about a quarter of their total height. A child is also born with adult sized eyes. A baby's eyes are often remarkable although they are very large in direct proportion to their heads. Without study either through models or child figure photography, an artist can render a child who looks too adult by utilizing the wrong proportions.

Child figure photography for artistic purposes is not an exploitive medium. The human body is often a source for artistic inspiration and study. The body of a child is remarkably different from an adult. The most obvious differences are height and physical proportions. In terms of human sexuality, children appear quite neutral distinctive only by the presence of genitalia.

Pornography places a greater emphasis on the child's genitalia than child figure photography. Objections to photographing nude children are rooted in abhorrence to the idea of a child as a sexual figure. Sexuality is a part of a child's development and natural evolution as they mature. Child figure photography captures both personality as well as the figure's proportions without interest in sexuality or the lack thereof. Childhood images captivate viewers, whether for study, practice or simple enjoyment.