updated 5 Jan 2012, 04:05
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Sun, Jan 02, 2011
New Straits Times
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The Young and the Naked

Their faces were largely veiled or facing away from the camera. Their expressions could hardly be seen.

No provocative body parts were shown -- at most curves were only hinted at. But the sensuous intertwining of the couple's nude bodies on the black and white background was no less entrancing.

"We wanted to capture the intimacy of our relationship on film," said Eileen Lui, 32, the female lead in the picture.

Lui, a wedding planner, tied the knot recently and to celebrate their union, the couple decided to pose in their birthday suits for their pre-wedding shoot instead of donning the full wedding regalia.

Having planned and executed so many weddings in the course of her work, Lui was reluctant to do another conventional pre-wedding photo shoot when it was her turn.

A self-confessed "sensual person" who had always wanted to explore her sexuality through photography, Lui was keen to try out the idea of nude wedding photography.

"The idea is appealing simply because it is the road less ventured."

She also felt that since her body was only going to be young once, she wanted to capture its beauty on film before things "start to hit the floor".

"It also seemed right for us to do this to celebrate our marriage as nothing can be more intimate than a couple being naked, right?"

Her photographer and trusted friend, Yeh Poh Chung, said the idea of taking pre-wedding shots in the nude was not a new one and had been popular in the West for some time now.

The rage has also swept across China and couples in Singapore and Vietnam have also recently adopted the trend.

"Wedding is a sacred union. Our bodies, in its entirety, are also sacred, a gift from God, if you will. I think that it's a wonderful way to celebrate a holy union between two individuals who are in love by photographing their bodies, with no covers and pretensions, as a gift to each other."

But, of course, the photographs must be tastefully taken.

Nude photography focuses on the human body as an art form. There is another called erotic photography, which focuses on the sexuality of the subject matter, or which tries to give a hint of the sexual relationship of the subject matter, whether partially or fully-clothed.

Although Lui and her husband were the first couple that Yeh had the chance to shoot fully nude, he managed to incorporate both themes into their photographs and produced what Lui said was "a set of nude and erotic photos that we utterly love".

"The fact that Yeh majored in Fine Arts helped because I wanted my photos to come out as fine art and not porn."

In today's age of frequent privacy abuse, the thought of someone stealing their intimate photos and uploading them online naturally occurred to Lui.

But she trusts her photographer, Yeh, to keep their photos safe.

Even so, if someone were to steal their photos and abuse them, Lui couldn't care less.

"It's just a photo, not a piece of my soul. It won't affect my emotional well-being."

Regardless of what might or might not happen, Lui said she would always treasure the experience of posing in the nude with her husband.

"To us, the photographs are an art form and they represent our intimacy, captured on print."

So once she and her husband made up their minds to do it, they decided that they couldn't and wouldn't care too much about issues that could be beyond their control.

The first thing one needed to do when deciding on doing a nude shot was to get rid of any body hang-ups that one might have, said Lui.

"Forget about the tummy that is sticking out or thighs that are too fat. You have to trust the photographer's skills to accomplish the task at hand. Of course, you need to be able to bear the thought of being stark naked in front of someone who hardly knows you."

And if you work with a professional photographer, it is easy to retain a semblance of modesty.

"In our case, Yeh turned off all the lights when we were changing poses or when he was briefing us on a certain position. Only after we got into place did his assistant switch the lights back on."

If the shoot was during the day, the photography crew just turned their backs to the couple while they got into position.

"Because my husband and I have decided to do this together, we kept an open mind about the whole process. We accepted that being the photographer, he was bound to see some of our private bits, but we felt there was nothing to be shy about."

Surprisingly, there was no opposition from either of their families when they learnt of the couple's decision to pose nude.

"I was turning 32. My grandma and parents were just too happy that I finally decided to get married, and so they certainly weren't going to oppose anything! No big drama at all."

However, she was quick to add that some parts of the "nude album" were reserved for personal viewing only -- not even the closest family members could see them.

Only the milder ones were allowed for public viewing -- some of which she had also posted on her Facebook.

So how did her wedding guests react to the photos?

"They loved them!"

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Famous - and infamous - personalities who posed for Playboy
'I wish I kept a copy of my nude photos'
'It's attention-seeking behaviour'
Wedding traditions dying out
Naked wedding pics - the latest craze in China
Dresses that don't break the bridal bank
Say 'I do' to unique shots
Where to hold a gorgeous wedding


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