I am Bill or Thoughts on Anonymity

Wow, two contemplative posts in a row.  Don’t worry we’ll get back to photos shortly, but in fact the shoot I’m posting next is the one that finally pushed me to a decision I’ve been contemplating for a few months now.  That decision is to be a bit less anonymous about my work.  As you may have guessed from the title, my name is Bill Morefield and I do art nude photography (among other things).  The rest of this post is a bit long, but it’s about why I did anonymity in the first place and how I got back to here from there.  Some thoughts maybe for those of you on either side of the camera considering the same question.  Do I use my real name or not?

Most of nude models that I work with ask for some level of anonymity that I’m happy to grant. Almost all work under a pseudonym created using a completely fake name, a variation of their name, a nickname, or some part of the their real name with a fictional last name. In a few cases, a model has asked me to provide more anonymity by not showing her face or a distinguishing body feature like a tattoo because of their profession or concerns about the effect on a planned future profession.

The sad (to me) truth is that for many women, being found to have posed nude would be the source of negative feedback or friction from family or friends. I’ve seen that happen and had a very promising model give up on modeling because of the reactions of her family when they learned that she’d posed topless in some images that we took. In addition of course are some professions (teaching elementary school comes immediately to mind) where being found to have posed nude online could even result in the loss of a job in many more conservative areas.  Using a pseudonym helps the model have better control over sharing that part of her life.  She can choose who she lets in to that part of her life and the rest of the world can remain ignorant.

For the photographer the issues are different, but there are still factors.  I have had the occasional issue in a romantic relationship when the subject of much of my photography first comes up, but rarely is it a relationship stopping issue.  I also live in a very conservative area and there are many who I’m sure would not approve the work that I do.  Still, I didn’t start working under the Candid Vision name for anonymity.

When I first began to work more often with models I did so as just Bill and used my main email address as my primary contact.  At the time I received large amounts of email and even larger amounts of spam and I had a few shoots get delayed because the message from the model was lost in the mass of junk email.

The final straw came when I lost the chance to work with a model that I really wanted to work with because my lack of reply to her message, sitting unnoticed in my spam folder, was interpreted by the model as ignoring her.  She was insulted and I was never able to repair it.  I decided it was time to get a separate email for photography.

After writing out a few name ideas for domains I found the first few on my list already taken. Candid Vision was the first on my list available so I bought the domain and set up email and web hosting for the new candidvision.com domain.

A few months later I did a search for my name on Google and was surprised when the second link was to my profile on a photography web site. I admit that it unnerved me a bit to see the second match for my name lead to a site showcasing several nude photographs that I’d taken. At the time photography was still a little hobby and I was still exploring and experimenting. I moved to the name Candid Vision for all my work and updated my stuff to that and began using it on new places.

A lot has changed in the years since then. I’ve gotten more experience, worked with more people, and gotten better at craft of photography.  What’s changed more than anything is my desire to better network with both models and photographers and continue to push myself artistically.  I now feel that photography is a large part of my life and while I realize there are people who will disapprove of the fact I do nude photography, it stopped bothering me that this is the case a long time ago.  Candid Vision is not going away, I still like the moniker and that will stay, but the anonymity is gone.  I’m Bill, it’s nice to meet you.

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