With lockdown easing and studios re-opening their doors, Britain Uncovered wasted no time planning out our latest body positivity photoshoot – and on March 30, 2021, we were officially back in business! Joining us down in Brighton on this occasion were Jess Hake and Verity Pitts, and here, for the first time, is an exclusive look at how the day unfolded.
As Brighton sizzled on the UK's hottest March day for 53 years – and with many people in the city flocking to the seafront as temperatures soared – Britain Uncovered had other plans, trading in the beachfront for the plush and comparatively cooler confines of the Capture Factory Studios; which is quickly becoming our home from home whenever we're seeking to promote the body positivity cause down on the south coast.
Nearly five months on from our previous shoot at the venue (which was held at the start of November), the heat was a welcome contrast and helped generate a completely different atmosphere from last time around. And with lockdown easing, daylight savings time kicking in and the apparent arrival of spring, there was definitely a sense of optimism in the air!
We were pleased to once again have the company of Jess and Verity, who first met whilst modelling at Sophie Tea’s ‘Send Nudes’ event back in 2019. Both individuals have always seemed effortlessly at ease in front of the camera, not to mention great fun to shoot with – and as champions of the body positivity cause themselves (via their own channels, I C ME and The Body Confidence Issue), they have always been the perfect fit for Britain Uncovered’s photoshoot series.
The concept and format of the day didn’t stray too far from what we’ve opted for in the past, and we got the ball rolling with some casual, laid-back poses featuring a variety of outfits and scenery – which led to an impromptu picnic display that turned out to be surprisingly luxurious – and this set a relaxed vibe and helped us find our groove as we settled in for our afternoon of shooting. With the ambient sounds of ABBA’s greatest hits softly serenading us from the other end of the room, and a whole table’s worth of quirky props to keep ourselves occupied with, we certainly weren’t going to be short of ideas or inspiration!
With temperatures rising and sunshine flooding into the studio, it didn’t take long for the clothes to come off, and about half-way through the afternoon we officially launched into the nude body positivity portion of the shoot we'd mapped out! Britain Uncovered has long been an advocate for social nudity experiences such as these, and if seeing these types of celebratory images can help our readers look at themselves in a different, more positive light - and one that helps them embrace their bodies - then we’re satisfied that we're doing our job and helping to further the increasingly-important body positivity cause.
As Esme told us in a recent interview – “One of the things that elevated me learning how to love my body was accepting it naked, not hiding under any clothes, and I honestly think this is really important for everyone. There have literally been studies showing that being naked makes you happier, and increases your body acceptance, so I would say [social nudity experiences] are definitely very very valuable.”
Jess and Verity made their way through a wide range of poses and scenes during this 45-minute segment of the shoot, and as you'll see in our slideshow above, we managed to generate a really diverse and creative set of images that illustrate just how liberating and empowering social nudity experiences like these can be. Despite baring all, there was an impressive air of nonchalance displayed by both models throughout, and they seemed just as relaxed and composed without clothes as they were with; and although I won't speak for them, it's surely plausible that such high levels of body confidence have been attained and cemented as a result of their previous social nudity experiences.
Having worked together on several photoshoots in the past, the three of us were keen to come up with some different concepts and ideas to keep things fresh, and among the highlights on this occasion were a quick read through the day's news; some moments of self-reflection in our handheld mirrors; Jess glancing through her copy of Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class whilst lounging on the studio sofa; and even an opportunity for our models to cool themselves down with some Chinese-style bamboo hand fans (which, given the unseasonably warm weather on the day, were perhaps more useful than we'd realised they might be heading into the shoot!)
After a quick break, we decided to end the day with another round of costume shots - which included Verity reaching for the popcorn boxes and Jess briefly reliving her ballerina days - and with an entire afternoon's worth of memories in the can, we finally called it a day shortly before 5pm. It's no exaggeration to say that each chapter of the day's shoot made an immediate and long-lasting impact, and the juxtaposition between vulnerability and a genuine air of jubilation made for a truly memorable and body positive occasion.
We hope that the photos above do the day justice and illustrate just how liberating the event was for all involved - including myself, on the other side of the camera - and as always, I'd like to extend my gratitude to both Jess and Verity, who are doing such great things for the body confidence movement and who continue to inspire each and every time we have the pleasure of their company!
- To hear Jess and Verity's in-depth discussion on relationships, sex and virginity, along with some of their memories of taking part in Sophie Tea's nude catwalk, check out their special Body Confidence Issue podcast episode over on Spotify.
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