Stefan Rappo: Nude
The book is published by teNeues, so you can expect the usual high print quality. A precious hard cover, 208 pages and lovely heavy paper for pleasing haptics. All filled with 120 color and 80 black and white images that Stefan photographed over the past seven years. It's bound on the short side, so this book comes in landscape format of 30x23,5cm. This is pretty clever as it allows the majority of photos to be landscape size which is the natural human field of view.
I was very excited when I heard that Stefan Rappo's book had been published, because his work is so outstanding, I definitely wanted to have it in my shelf.
Usually I am a very visual person and don't read explanations on art, but reading his foreword to the book was highly interesting. I nodded my head all the time.
I could totally relate to what he wrote, found his words extremely honest and even a bit daring. Therefore I would recommend everyone to read the foreword, before browsing the pictures.
I know some of the models that are in the book. For example Gabriella, the cover model of my book Frisky. Stefan photographed an impressive pool series with her in Los Angeles. There are other women in Nude that I always wanted to work with, but never got the chance to. Needless to mention, Stefan has very good taste and is highly selective with models.
He prefers natural women and pure beauty without makeup. All of the images were taken with available light only. No flash, not even reflectors have been used. Stefan's favorite lens is the 24-70mm — it is so versatile he can create his compositions perfectly with it.
The 47 year old photographer told me, during a shoot he takes around 3,000 images. Sometimes people think, they already have taken a nice or good image. But that's not enough for him. He strives for taking the photograph that triggers emotions. This does not have to be a perfect shot in a commercial sense, but it is one where you immediately hold your breath when you see it.
This is hard to put into words, but seeing so many photographs myself every day, I understood what he meant.
What impresses me most about Stefan's work is how he manages to display naked women without any extras or accessories. He accomplishes to create modern nude photographs with a maximum of reduction. It sounds so simple, yet it is so hard to achieve. His photographs feel strong and full of emotion. Yet real and unstaged.
There's a certain atmosphere throughout the book. Something that creates a great yearning. You feel welcome and invited, but somehow like you already miss what you have just seen. It's an enchanting feeling. Similar to nostalgia but not quite the same.
All of his photos have a very intimate aura. Browsing the book, you feel like an observer and as if the women allow you to gaze in awe. In most of the images, they won't even look into the camera which leads to a yet closer connection, I believe.
Another remarkable thing are the poses and moments Stefan captured. These are very expressive and there are many poses that are far from the usual, the often seen.
This feels very refreshing to me, because I often think, I have already seen it all in nude photography.
Female nude photography is fascinating to me and always has been. It's the interplay of emotions, shapes, lines and erotism; and of reality and fiction.
There is a great rhythm to the layout. You stay hungry and curious on every page. And with a total of 39 women, the photographs are both exciting and diversified throughout the book.
Water is an element that subliminal is the red thread in the book. It's never overdone and Stefan's underwater photographs are stunning!
I am amazed by the way the Swiss photographer works with color. He manages to reduce his color palette in such an intense way that it feels pleasing. I felt hugged by the soft tones. They underline the emotion of the poses and just feel perfectly right. And what I really liked was that his color grading spans the whole book — without ever getting boring.
So, it's obvious, this book is a huge inspiration to me. His erotism is something both men and women love. The photos feel mature, honest and powerful.
In love with this coffee table book, I highly recommend you to buy a copy of Nude by Stefan Rappo.
P.S. teNeues made this book ridiculously inexpensive. It's worth much more than the 40 € they ask for!
Stefan Rappo: Nude
ISBN: 978-3-96171-223-6 Hardcover
30 x 23,5 cm ( 11.8” x 9.3”)
208 pages with 200 photos