Clay Body Paint: Just add couples!

For many indigenous tribes and cultures, face and body art has been an integral part of their rituals, festivals and displays of heirarchy for centuries. Depending on the occasion, face painting was used as a beautifying practice or could be adapted to be terrifying for hunting and tribal battles.

Roots, berries and tree bark were often mixed with clay to form body paint.

It was recently suggested to me that body painting, using the clay which has naturally formed over thousands of years at Wreck Beach, Port Stephens, would make for an incredible body art photoshoot opportunity.

My creative juices started flowing!

Keen to try the clay out on myself first, I headed to the beach, collected some of the deep orange clay that is abundant in this area and mixed it with a little water from the ocean. To my delight it was very effective, creating a dramatic contrast against my skin tone. I photographed a few ‘selfies’ against the rocky backdrop of the beach.

Confident that the clay would create some incredible results, I booked a shoot with a beautiful couple, who were willing to be my ‘guinea pigs’!

AJ and Sid have been together for over 30 years and are part of the ‘GNA’ (that’s Get Naked Australia) Facebook group. The GNA community is a group of naturists who practice outdoor, non-sexual naturism. Core values include “empowering a community dedicated to promoting body positivity”. 

What came as a surprise to me however, is that even naturists can have body image issues. Like almost every woman on the planet, most naturists are also on their own body image journeys, learning to love the skin they are in.

At the beginning of the shoot, when I asked AJ “what’s the thing you like most about your body”, she faltered. But Sid was quick to respond, “I love everything about her body”. What a beautiful sentiment and a testament to the love and support he gives the wife he clearly adores.

The shoot was an absolute joy. It quickly became clear to me that the chemistry between these two soul mates was something that I just had to capture, so I encouraged them to paint each other with the clay, using their fingers. This resulted in some hilarious, intimate, and very touching moments.

After they had created their body art, I took a few shots and then it was time to wash each other off in the ocean. Again, this created some wonderfully joyful moments that I'm sure they will remember for a lifetime.

All in all, we had a magical morning and I believe the photos really speak for themselves.

As for this stunning couple, they were absolutely delighted with the results of the photoshoot. Sid said that he liked his bum! And AJ pointed out that this is the first time he has complimented himself in 31 years.

Music to my ears!

If you are interested in a photoshoot, click here for more info.

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