Today’s artistic photography of the nude sits on a foundation woven from the historical threads of art, technology, culture, and law that predate its invention. Photography continues to reference and build upon that rich history — a history that was itself altered by the invention of photography.
If we view artifacts as historical records, then nudes — carved representations of the unclothed body — predate written history and are some of the earliest historical records we have. The nude featured centrally in Renaissance painting and became the cornerstone of the academic system that developed in Europe, beginning in the 16th century. Some of the very first photographs ever produced were nudes, and the nude has been both a powerful theme in art history as well as an important factor in the acceptance of photography as art. Nudes have also figured in the artistic development of some of the best-known photographers—even Atget and Weegee, well-known for other genres, produced photographic nudes of note.
Photography was immediately embraced by artists as a tool, but not as an artistic medium in its own right. It wasn’t recognized as a fine art in the US until the mid to late 1930s. And, it wasn't recognized in England until the 1960s. In its early days, photography was considered too mechanical and precise to render artwork. In fact, it was referred to as “photogenic drawing.” The idea was that “nature herself” reached into the camera and drew the scene. It was a view that invalidated the photographer, and it would be some time before the argument was advanced that the photographer’s choices of where to place the camera and when to trip the shutter were important expressions of artistic intent.
Many masters who painted with a highly realistic style during the early years of photography often relied on photographs (and photographers) to create their works. Paintings based on photos from that time reflect the fact that poses had to be held for a long time during the early years of photography. Manet’s nude Olympia strikes a photo studio pose, and Courbet's realism was enhanced through the use of photography — he kept a collection of photos of female nudes as studies for his paintings. Delacroix learned to make Daguerreotypes and collected photographs of nudes, even directing the poses in some of them. Eakins may have projected photos directly onto the canvas to create some of his works. Photorealistic painting, which emerged from Pop art, is based in transcribing photographs onto canvas.
Also worthy of research is John Edwin Mayall, who has been described as the earliest proponent of fine art photography. Fred Holland Day, who produced a substantial body of male nudes, was the earliest American proponent. Other key advocates of photography as an art form include MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) curators Beaumont Newhall and John Szarkowski, and photographers Edward Steichen (who also ran the department of photography at MoMA prior to Szarkowski) and Alfred Stieglitz, both of whom created exemplary photographic nudes.
Another noteworthy artist who worked tirelessly to legitimize fine art photography by creating extraordinary work was Imogen Cunningham, who was still hard at work in 1975—at 91 years of age. Some of her most celebrated images are nudes. Bill Brandt, André Kertész, Wynn Bullock, and Harry Callahan all expanded the vocabulary of the photographic nude. Other important figures in the history of photography who created exemplary nudes include Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Erwin Blumenfeld (who declared himself “the erotic president of the Dada movement”), and Jan Saudek.
Pictorialism and compositing are two mid-19th century approaches to photography that are worthy of reinterpreting today. Pictorial photography, as exemplified by Julia Margaret Cameron and John Edwin Mayall (who has been described as the earliest proponent of fine art photography), was concerned with imitating what painting and drawing did by incorporating themes from the great works and using techniques such as soft focus. During that same time, more than a hundred years before the development of Photoshop, a number of photographers combined multiple negatives to create sophisticated tableaus and narratives. The technique, known as composition photography, was introduced by Hippolyte Bayard in the 1840s and expanded upon by Henry Peach Robinson and Oscar Gustave Rejlander in the 1860s and 1870s. Beginning in the 1970s, Jerry Uelsmann showed the extraordinary potential of combining images in the darkroom, though few have had the inclination to emulate his precise and demanding process. Since its introduction, Photoshop has brought compositing and photo manipulation within reach of far more photographers.
If you are looking for creative inspiration, there is also much to be gained from exploring early fashion photography and Pop art. Pop artists made photography central to their work. A symbiotic relationship between the worlds of fashion and art developed during the time of the Impressionists in the mid-1860s, as Paris became the fashion center of the world and avant-garde artists incorporated fashion into their paintings. Alfred Stieglitz created fashion photographs in the style of the Pictorialists in 1911, making it some of the earliest published art photography. Art photography reached a broader audience through fashion magazines, particularly Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper’s Bazaar, all of which have featured nudes in their editorials over the years. The magazines also cemented the careers of photographers such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, both of whom are known for exceptional work with nudes. Steichen even shot a nude that appeared in an ad for soap that ran in Vogue.
Helmut Newton, especially famous for his groundbreaking nudes, shot fashion for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. His diptych “Sie Kommen!” (They’re Coming!) for Vogue Paris in 1981 is a high watermark for the fashion nude. Newton also shot pictorials for Playboy. Like the fashion magazines, Playboy aligned itself with the art world, and gained legitimacy as a sophisticated promotor of art and artists. The Playboy aesthetic was also highly influential in artistic circles. Even today, Playboy’s pictorials are offered as exemplars of “tasteful” nudity.
Guy Bourdin was a contemporary of Newton who also shot for Vogue and frequently produced nudes for editorial as well as fashion advertising. A former protégé of Man Ray, Bourdin’s Surrealist-inspired fashion photography established the notion that the product was secondary to the image. His fashion campaigns for Charles Jourdan inspire emulators today.
Taboos about nudity and laws affecting pornography, indecency, and obscenity predate photography; the realism of the medium has only added to the difficulties encountered by photographers of the nude. In 1851, Felix Jacques Moulin was sentenced to a month in prison for producing pornography because the seductive gaze of the models in his nude photographs signified them as prostitutes. The word “pornography” comes from Greek, where it literally means “drawing prostitutes.” The direct gaze in artwork no longer signifies prostitution, but it can still be powerful and unsettling.
Many cultures have tended to treat the male nude as being more immoral or obscene than the female nude. Two 1971 U.S. obscenity cases illustrate the discrepancy: in Huffman v. United States, the court ruled that depictions of female genitalia are not obscene, while in Levin v. Maryland, another court found that penile erections are obscene. The stigma of immorality and obscenity along with resistance to the presentation of male nudity have decreased, beginning with the Sexual Revolution of the 60s and accelerating with the rise of men’s fashion in the 80s (which made substantial use of male nudity in its advertising). However, there is a lingering cultural expectation that male nudes should signify virility and power and a persistent resistance to images that show men in any other way.
Fred Holland Day and Baron Wilhelm Von Gloeden were popular producers of male nudes in the early 1900s, but relatively few male nudes were created between 1910 and 1960 because of resistance, including institutionalized homophobia as well as religious and legal prohibitions. Still, George Platt Lynes (one of the leading fashion and portrait photographers in NYC), Edmund Teske, and Minor White were significant photographers of the male nude in the 30s and 40s. In the 1950s, Bruce of L.A. (Bruce Bellas) pioneered a distinctive style and created an influential body of work photographing male bodybuilders. The work of Lynes and Bellas were inspirations for Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, and Bruce Weber (who shot the iconic first ad for Calvin Klein underwear in 1983 and the 2003 A&F Christmas Field Guide, which is legendary for its use of nudity).
What follows is a loose chronology of some key moments in the evolution of the art of photography and the nude.
Some of the earliest representations of the female figure — prehistoric carvings and fertility idols such as the Venus of Willendorf, date back as far as 28,000 BCE. The Old Testament of the Bible, including Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve, was written between 1500 and 400 BCE. Genesis codified the linkage between nakedness, shame, sex, and sin, while seemingly blaming women for original sin. The Hellenistic period of Greek art (beginning approx 323 BCE, after the death of Alexander the Great) was known for its popular nude representations of Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus). The style of pose known as contrapposto (also known as counter poise), used heavily in contemporary photography, developed during the Hellenistic period. Surviving examples in sculpture date from 480 BCE.
By the Hellenistic period, both the Greeks and the Chinese were beginning to understand the fundamentals of optics and were aware of the camera obscura (Latin for “dark chamber”) — pinhole cameras that existed long before the discovery of photochemistry. The Chinese philosopher Mozi deduced that light travels in straight lines based on the way that the camera obscura flipped images upside down. The New Testament of the Bible was written between 40 and 90 AD.
Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 and Michelangelo was born in 1475. Representation of the nude had fallen out of favor by the height of the Middle Ages in the 13th century, but was embraced again by the artists of the Renaissance, who drew inspiration from the work of the ancient Greeks. Da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and other High Renaissance artists revived contrapposto. Botticelli painted Birth of Venus in 1482. Albrecht Dürer painted a Mannerist style self-portrait in 1500 that would inspire Robert Mapplethorpe’s 1986 portrait of Patti Smith. Titian painted Sleeping Venus in 1510.
Published in 1558, Giambattista della Porta’s Magia Naturalis (“Natural Magic”) mentioned the use of the camera obscura as a drawing aid - a precursor of photography had become a tool of the arts and established at least the initial relationship that fine arts would have with photography. The first academy of art, Accademia e Compagnia delle Arti del Disegno (Academy and Company for the Arts of Drawing) was founded in Florence, Italy by Cosimo I de Medici in 1563.
The Baroque style of painting, with its dramatic high-contrast lighting style known as “chiaroscuro” emerged in 1600 with Caravaggio. In 1648, the Académie des Beaux-Arts was founded in Paris. With its founding, producing academies — drawing and painting from the nude — would become the cornerstone of formal artistic training in Europe. Johannes Vermeer painted Girl with a Pearl Earring in 1665 and Rembrandt van Rijn was born in 1669.
The photochemical basis of photography was discovered in 1725 when Johann Heinrich Schulze proved that silver compounds turned black as a result of exposure to light, not heat or air. In 1777, the year that the thirteen states became known as the United States under the Articles of Confederation, Carl Wilhelm Scheele confirmed Schulze’s findings using silver chloride and found that ammonia, which was known to dissolve silver chloride, did not affect the blackened material. From there, he determined that the blackened material was metallic silver. Neither Schulze nor Scheele figured out how to halt the blackening and neither envisioned photography.
Romanticism, one of the precursors of Pictorialism in photography, emerged in France and Britain around 1800. It would flourish until mid-century.
Between 1826 and 1827, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce shot the earliest known surviving camera photograph, but his process was impractical. In 1835, Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre discovered the basis of the Daguerreotype and William Henry Fox Talbot succeeded in creating stabilized paper negatives.
1839 is considered the advent of practical photography. Daguerre produced the first photograph of a person and introduced the Daguerreotype. That same year, John Herschel made the first glass negative and Fox Talbot was introduced to “hypo” — sodium thiosulfate, a more effective fixer, which dissolves silver salts and stabilizes the negative (sodium thiosulfate was formerly known as sodium hyposulphite).
The first photographic nudes had actually been produced in 1837, two years before the Daguerreotype. The subjects were plaster replicas of Greek and Roman sculpture because of the extremely long exposure time required. Daguerre’s process substantially shortened the time needed to make an exposure, but the exposures could still take as much as seven minutes, meaning that poses were limited to those that could be held still for that long. The first nude photos of live models were produced in 1840, including the first erotic photos. N. P. Lerebours was offering académies or “artist studies” by the summer of 1840. Models posed as classical bathers or odalisques. The daguerreotypes were widely used by artists such as Ingres, Courbet and Delacroix and students as composition aids.
In 1840, Fox Talbot introduced the calotype, which produces a translucent negative, and the salt print process to make a nearly unlimited number of positive contact prints from the negative. That same year, Joseph Petzval created the first wide aperture portrait lens. The four element f/3.6 design would be the dominant lens for nearly a century.
Sir John Herschel developed the cyanotype process to reproduce notes and diagrams in 1842. He also coined the terms “photography,” “negative” and “positive.” A year later, Anna Atkins, the first female photographer, applied Herschel’s process to photography, producing photograms (camera-less photographs created by placing objects directly onto photo-sensitive material and exposing them) of dried seaweed. She also self-published the images in the first book illustrated with photographic images. In response to the explosion of trade in erotic daguerreotypes, the U.S. Tariff Act of 1842 forbade the importation of “obscene or immoral pictures.”
In Paris, photography studios began to proliferate rapidly in the mid-1800s, thanks in large part to shorter exposure times and the ability to mass produce salt prints. Between 1848 and 1860, the number of studios expanded from 13 to over 400. This would lead to an explosion in the production of erotic nudes, with many photographers producing “académies” — nude photographs at least ostensibly marketed as aids to painters, but also sold to well-heeled collectors.
In 1848, seven young artists formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in London. The painters often used photographs as models or inspiration for their works, which emulated the art of late medieval and early Renaissance Europe until the time of Raphael. The movement would influence Pictorialist photography.
In 1849, Count Sergei Lvovich Levitsky was the first to propose using electric lights in a studio to artificially augment daylight. In 1850, Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard introduced albumen-coated paper, which would supersede the salt print by the end of the decade.
In 1851, Felix Jacques Moulin (who described himself as a specialist in académies) was sentenced to a month in prison for producing nude photographs deemed pornographic and seized by police. The pornographic aspect of his photos was the seductive gaze of the model, which signified her as a prostitute. After his release from prison, Moulin continued to photograph nudes, but registered them with the government to avoid legal action.
Also in 1851, Frederick Scott Archer invented the collodion process. Using the Petzval lens, collodion portraits took only 1-2 minutes. Five years later, a 24-year-old Oxford mathematics student named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) took up photography using the process. He would come to be known as one of the most important photographers of the Victorian era, producing portraits or family and acquaintances, including Alfred Lord Tennyson and young Alice Liddell, in his own distinctive and highly personal style.
The early 1850s saw the emergence of photography and the art world’s initial reaction to it. In 1851, John Edwin Mayall, perhaps the earliest exponent of fine art photography, exhibited Daguerreotypes illustrating the Lord’s Prayer. In 1852, the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce presented the first exhibition devoted exclusively to photography; no Daguerreotypes were shown. The following year, the Photographic Society of London (now Royal Photographic Society) was founded. At its first meeting, Sir William Newton lectured “Upon Photography in an Artistic View.” Society founder Roger Fenton, an extremely vocal advocate for photography’s status as art, had come to photography from painting.
The first exhibitions of the Photographic Society of London and the Société Française de la Photographie in Paris were held in 1854 and 1855 respectively. In 1857, the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition featured photographs alongside paintings and other artworks. And, D.A. Woodward constructed the first enlarger, which was known as a solar camera because the sun was its light source. That same year, Oscar Gustav Rejlander created Two Ways of Life, an ambitious “combination print” created from more than 30 separate negatives. The controversial image was intended to demonstrate photography’s ability to depict both the real and the ideal. Photography was exhibited in a museum setting for the first time when the Photographic Society of London presented an exhibition at the South Kensington Museum (now Victoria and Albert) in London in 1858.
Late 1850s: Pictorialism
The technology of photography continued to advance in the late 1850s and early 1860s as the Pictorialist movement in photography and Impressionist painting emerged. William Lake Price published A Manual of Photographic Manipulation, Treating of the Practice of the Art, and its Various Applications in Nature, the first book addressing composition, lighting, and aesthetics in 1858. That same year, John Waterhouse created the first selectable lens stops — brass plates with different diameter holes that were inserted through the side of the lens. The adjustable iris diaphragm used in modern lenses was invented the same year by Charles Harrison and Joseph Schnitzer, but it wouldn’t be until 1880 that photographers came to realize that aperture size affects depth of field. Thomas Sutton produced the first durable color photograph and Louis Jules Duboscq presented the first apparatus for enlarging by electric light to the Paris Photographic Society in 1861. The first successful wide angle lens, the Harrison & Schnitzer Globe, was introduced in 1862.
Édouard Manet and Gustave Courbet were activists who rejected the predominant academic styles of painting and ushered in Impressionism in the late 19th Century. Courbet’s realism pushed the envelope of what was presentable. Manet completed Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) and Olympia in 1863. Both featured nudes, and the figure in Olympia is portrayed in a style reminiscent of early studio photographs. After Déjeuner sur l’herbe was rejected by the Salon of 1863, it was exhibited in the Salon des Refusés, which drew more than 1,000 visitors per day and launched the Impressionists. Gustave Courbet painted L’Origine du mode (the Origin of the World) in 1866. The painting highlighted the hypocrisy of the Second Empire, where eroticism and even pornography were acceptable in mythological paintings.
Julia Margaret Cameron exhibited photographs at the South Kensington Museum in 1865. Henry Peach Robinson published Pictorial Effect in Photography in 1869, urging photographic artists to render the subject a little out of focus, to study the great works of art and apply them to their photographs. Cameron was noted for her use of lighting and soft focus to depict scenes from the Bible. America’s first fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazar (later Harper’s Bazaar) began publication in 1867. Aktiengesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation (Corporation for Aniline Manufacturing), later Agfa-Gevaert N.V., was founded the same year.
Late 1800s: Reaching the Masses and Revealing the Invisible
The invention of the dry plate negative in 1871 triggered another significant advance in the practice of photography. The greater sensitivity of the gelatin emulsion in dry plates would make hand-held cameras possible. In 1872, photographic illustrations by by O.G. Rejlander and Duchenne de Boulogne appeared in Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. William Willis, Jr. made the first platinum print in 1873, and in 1876, Hurter and Driffield began studies of the light sensitivity of photographic emulsions, which would lead to the first quantitative measures of film speed. In 1878, Edward Muybridge photographed a horse at full gallop, freezing motion and proving that all four of the horse’s hoofs left the ground. He described the camera as having the capacity to render the invisible visible. He also developed an early movie projector and used it to re-animate the still frames. The Britannia Works Company was founded in 1879 to make photographic plates. It was later renamed Ilford after the city it was founded in.
In France, the Symbolist movement flourished from 1880-1890. In 1880, Thomas Eakins acquired a medium format camera and began using it to plan compositions for his own paintings and to teach drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
George Eastman developed dry gelatin on film in 1884. The new technology freed photographers from having to carry around boxes of plates and toxic chemicals. Thomas Eakins was dismissed from his professorship in 1886, amid scandal. He had encouraged his male students to pose nude, as did he.
In 1886, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique of Pointillism, which involves rendering colors in a painting by placing small dots of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black paint adjacent to each other on the canvas instead of mixing them. The process is analogous to the four-color CMYK printing process used by many color printers and large presses today.
The first Kodak camera, introduced in 1888, opened up photography to a wider audience. The Zeiss Protar, the first “modern” lens design and the first successful lens to correct for astigmatism, was introduced in 1890. The Taylor, Taylor & Hobson Cooke Triplet lens was introduced in 1893. It would become the standard “economy” lens design of the 20th century.
The Linked Ring was formed in 1892 by Pictorialist George Davidson in England. Its first members included Julia Margret Cameron and Henry Peach Robinson and membership required a declaration that photography was an art form. Its American counterpart would be the Photo Secession in New York.
The iris diaphragm became the standard aperture mechanism 1900. By then, more than 7,000 female professional photographers were operating in the US and UK. Fred Holland Day (the first in the US to advocate that photography should be considered a fine art), Edward Steichen, Anne W. Brigman, and George H. Seely were all using Kodak cameras to create nudes in the style of Symbolist paintings from the 1890s. Fred Holland Day organized “The New School of American Photography” exhibit at Royal Photographic Society in London, which included his own nudes of African-American men, in 1902.
1901 saw the introduction of the first Kodak Brownie camera with the slogan “You push the button, we do the rest.” The initial cost of the camera was $1 (equivalent to about $30 in 2013), making photography affordable to the masses and ushering in the snapshot.
Early 1900s: Camera Work, Fashion, Realism and Surrealism
In 1902, Stieglitz and Steichen formed the Photo Secession and founded Camera Work magazine, which would run for 15 years. They opened the “291” gallery in New York in 1905, the year that Thomas Manly introduced the Ozobrome process, a simplified carbon printing process that became a favorite among Pictorialists such as the members of the Photo Secession. Autochrome, the first widely used method of color photography, was introduced in 1907. Steichen had begun experimenting with the process in 1904. Pablo Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, a precursor to Cubism, in 1907. The Venus of Willendorf was discovered in Austria in 1908.
In 1909, Condé Nast purchased Vogue with the aim of transforming it into a high-class fashion publication; James H. Smith & Sons Corp. (later Smith-Victor) was founded; and the Futurist movement in Italy (1909-1944) emerged. Futurist Giulio Bragaglia used multiple-exposure and time-lapse techniques to show movement and dynamism in still photographs. 1909 was also the year that modernist art critic Roger Fry became the first to apply formalist analysis to contemporary art.
The April 1911 issue of Art et Décoration featured photos by Edward Steichen - 13 soft-focus images of dresses by designer Paul Poiret. Steichen referred to the collaboration as “the first serious fashion photographs ever made.” Rotogravure printing, introduced that year, made it possible to reproduce photographs in magazines. Stieglitz marked his transition from Pictorialism to “straight photography” with the publication of The Steerage (shot in 1907) in Camera Work in 1911. Cubism had taken root by then, having started somewhere around 1907 with Picasso and Braque.
In 1912, František Drtikol documented Russian actress Olga Gzovska performing her Salome dance-drama in a series of 12 photos and Marcel Duchamp painted Nude Descending a Staircase, inspired in part by the work of Muybridge. 1912 is also the approximate year of E.J. Bellocq’s “Storyville Portrait” sessions.
Condé Nast purchased the men’s fashion magazine Dress and renamed it Dress and Vanity Fair in 1913, then relaunched it as Vanity Fair the following year. Constructivism in Russia and Bauhaus in Germany both emerged in 1915. They would have a profound and long-lasting impact on graphic and industrial design. Dada (1915-1923), a forerunner of Surrealism, also developed in Germany.
Nikon was founded in Tokyo as Nippon Kogaku Kogyo Kabushikigaisha in 1917. And, Alfred Stieglitz began a series of more than 300 ground-breaking portraits of Georgia O’Keeffe that would span 30 years. Marcel Duchamp created the readymade “Fountain,” one of the earliest examples of Conceptualism. Alfred Cheney Johnston was hired as a contract photographer by Florenz Ziegfeld around 1917. He would go on to photograph hundreds of actresses and showgirls, including a substantial body of nude portraits, between 1917 and 1930 (although most were not known until after his death in 1971). In 1920, the Taylor, Taylor & Hobson Opic f/2 design, the basis of today’s Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor, was introduced. The Art Directors’ club was founded that year in NY to investigate the idea that advertising can be judged by the same standards as fine art.
Around 1922, August Sander, inspired by the painter Otto Dix and the Neue Sachlichkeit movement (the New Objectivity movement, which advocated a return to realism and social commentary in art), began his People of the Twentieth Century project. It was to be a catalog of “all the characteristics of the universally human.”
Edward Weston left California for Mexico with his muse, lover, and apprentice Tina Modotti in 1923. They opened a portrait studio on Mexico City. Each would each produce exceptional bodies of work over the next three years, including several exemplary nudes of Modotti by Weston. Modotti greatly influenced Weston’s vision during their time together. Edward Steichen was made chief photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue in 1923, a post he would hold until 1938. André Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto and Man Ray created Le Violon d’Ingres in 1924.
35mm became the format of choice for high-end compact cameras with the introduction of the Leica I in 1925. Its portability enabled the photojournalistic styles of Henri Cariter-Bresson, Berenice Abbot, Helen Levitt, and Garry Winogrand. In 1926, photographer Margaret Watkins’ essay “Advertising and Photography” discussed the narrowing gap between fine and commercial artists.
The Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex was introduced in 1928. The standard high-quality, moderate-aperture, normal-perspective lens of the twentieth century, the Zeiss Tessar was refined to f/2.8 in 1930, the beginning of the Great Depression in the US. That same year, Edward Weston placed a green bell pepper inside the opening of a large funnel and made a six-minute exposure with an 8x10 view camera. Pepper No. 30 was the most famous of this series, often viewed as having sexual overtones, though Weston wrote candidly of his frustrations with those interpretations in his daybooks. On the back of a print that he gave to a friend he wrote “…to the impure all things are impure.”
In 1931, MIT Professor Harold “Doc” Edgerton produced the first electronic flash tube. The following year, Steichen produced the first photographic cover for Vogue, the Leica Model II was introduced, and Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogene Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke and others formed the F.64 group. They promoted “straight photography”, rejecting all forms of photo-manipulation. László Moholy-Nagy published The New Vision, from Material to Architecture in 1932. In the book, he acknowledged that photography’s ways of seeing went beyond the capacity of the naked eye, saying “We may say that we see the world with entirely different eyes."
In 1933, André Kertesz published Distortions – a series of nudes shot with a fun-house mirror. Alexy Brodovitch became art director of Harper’s Bazaar in 1934, a position he would hold until 1958. Irving Penn, Hiro, and Richard Avedon would all become protégés. That same year, the DIN system of measuring film sensitivity was established and Brassaï (Gyula Halász) created “Odalisque.” Using a technique called cliché verre, he combined images of nude women and scratched the emulsion of the negatives to create lines and produce a cubist effect.
Mid 1930s: Documentary, Photojournalism, and “Straight” Photography
Documentary photography was born in 1935 with the establishment of the FSA Photography program. Alumni of the program include Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks. Also in 1935, Paul Outerbridge sent a roll of film to Kodak for processing. When it came back to him, the “offending” areas in his images had been scratched out. Edward Steichen shot a nude Dixie Ray in a sculptural pose with suds on her back for Woodbury’s Soap. The ad ran in Vogue January 1, 1936.
1936 was the year of many developments. Edward Weston shot the iconic Nude, 1936 (227N). Charis, his model and muse recalled that he spent hours inspecting the print with a magnifying glass, concerned that the minuscule amount of visible pubic hair might make it illegal to send through the mail. Life magazine launched, and both Kodachrome 35mm slide film and the first Canon camera were introduced. The Hansa Canon Standard Model had a Nikkor 50mm f/3.5 lens with the lens mount, viewfinder optics and rangefinder mechanism all supplied by Nikon. In New York, the Photo League, which included Aaron Siskind and Lisette Model among its members, was founded. The League was active in socially conscious photography and offered classes at a time when few schools were teaching photography. In Germany, the Nazis confiscated and destroyed Antlitz der Zeit (Face of Our Time), the first published version of August Sander’s People of the Twentieth Century project, because the work included gypsies and the unemployed.
Popular Photography magazine launched in 1937, and Doc Edgerton began his lifelong association with photographer Gjon Mili, a collaboration that led to the development of speedlights and multi-flash “stroboscopic” photography. Beaumont Newhall first published The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present in 1937.
In 1938, “straight” photography took the spotlight at MoMA with Walker Evans’ “American Photographs” show and Kodak introduced the first autoexposure still camera. The Kodak Super Six-20 featured a 100mm f/3.5 Tessar lens branded “Kodak Anastigmat Special.” Two years later, Beaumont Newhall became the founding director of the MoMA department of photography.
Kodak introduced Type-C chromogenic print process paper in 1942. In the 1942 case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that obscenity was not protected speech under the First Amendment. While Edwin Land was on vacation with his family in 1943, his three-year-old daughter asked why she couldn’t see the picture he had just taken of her, inspiring the concept of the instant camera. The ASA film speed standard was established the same year, and Irving Penn began working at Vogue. He would have the longest tenure of any photographer in the history of Condé Nast. The Society of Magazine Photographers (later ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers) was founded in 1944. In the early 1940s, Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Beaumont Newhall, Edward Weston and Minor White were all notable photographers who were involved with the Photo League in New York.
Mid-1940s: Iconic Nudes and Environmental Portraits
In 1945, Richard Avedon began his tenure at Harper’s Bazaar (1945-1965) and World War II ended. American culture saw a resurgence of prudishness, with an emphasis on conformity and wholesomeness. The leading photographers of the female nude at the time were Bill Brandt, Harry Callahan, and Wynn Bullock. George Platt Lynes, Edmund Teske, and Minor White were significant photographers of the male nude.
In 1946, the Edward Weston retrospective at MoMA included his nudes and Imogen Cunningham photographed Pregnant Nude, Happy Valley, an unusual subject for the time. Arnold Newman, father of the environmental portrait, shot his signature portrait of Igor Stravinsky seated at a grand piano on assignment for Harper’s Bazaar, though the magazine did not publish the photo.
Irving Penn shot Nude No. 1, part of his most important body of personal work, in 1947. Harry Callahan began figure studies of his wife Eleanor that same year. In 1948, the first Land camera (the Model 95) was sold at Jordan Marsh department store in Boston MA for $89.95 (equivalent to $870 in 2013). The Hasselblad 1600F was introduced that year, as well. In 1949, the f-number markings on lenses (f/1, 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, etc.) were standardized. Abstract Expressionism, which grew out of Surrealism and includes the work of photographer Aaron Siskind, gained mainstream acceptance in the 1950s.
Early 1950s: Pop Art, The Decisive Moment, and the dawn of Playboy
In 1952, the Aperture Foundation was established as a forum for fine art photography by Ansel Adams, Minor White, Barbara Morgan, Dorothea Lange, Nancy Newhall, Beaumont Newhall, Ernest Louie, Melton Ferris, and Dody Warren. The first issue of Aperture magazine was published that same year. The documentary tradition of “candid” photography also began in 1952, when Henri Cartier-Bresson published The Decisive Moment in France.
In 1953, Hugh Hefner founded Playboy in Chicago and Pop art emerged in Britain in 1954. The Pop art movement consciously sought to break down the separation between fine art and commercial art; the placement of fashion photography in museums might be a measure of its impact.
The groundbreaking MoMA exhibition The Family of Man, curated by Edward Steichen, was first shown in 1955. Bruce of L.A. (Bruce Bellas) launched The Male Figure in 1956, nine years after he had begun photographing body builders. His work, especially his male nudes, influenced Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, and Bruce Weber.
In 1957, the Hasselblad 500 C, basis of Hasselblad’s camera line for the next 60 years, was introduced. The seeds of digital photography were planted that year when a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, led by Russell A. Kirsch, developed a way to digitize photographs, diagrams, etc. at a resolution of 176 x 176 pixels, and a bit depth of one bit per pixel (no grayscale). The first digital image was a scan of a head-and-shoulders photo of Kirsch’s three-month-old son Walden.
Early 1960s: The Storyville Cache and the Sexual Revolution
In 1958, the Reverend Ilsley Boone won the right to distribute uncensored nudist materials through the mail. Boone had opened the nudist camp Sunshine Park near Atlantic City, NJ in 1931 and began publishing the first nudist magazine (The Nudist, which later became Sunshine and Health) in 1933. Even with the genitalia airbrushed out, the US Postal Service declared the magazine obscene and would not distribute it, so Boone challenged the decision in court. The victory enabled magazines distributed by mail (which would later include Penthouse and Playboy) to feature full frontal nudity without airbrushing.
In 1959, a chest containing 89 8x10 dry plate glass negatives by E.J. Bellocq (the Storyville Portraits) was discovered. The Nikon F was introduced in April, 1959. It was Nikon’s first SLR camera and the world’s first modular system camera. The first zoom lens for still cameras, the Voigtländer-Zoomar 36-82mm f/2.8, was also introduced that year.
The Sexual Revolution began in 1960. Avedon, Penn, and Hiro shot nudes for top fashion magazines in the 60s and 70s. In 1961, Bill Brandt published Perspective of Nudes. The photographic series was shot using a 1931 Kodak with a wide-angle lens. Polaroid introduced Type 55 film, which produces a positive and a negative, in 1961. Polacolor film was introduced two years later. NASA began using Hasselblad cameras and requesting design modifications in 1962.
1963 was a seminal year for photography and the start of the “Swinging 60s.” Cibachrome was introduced. Lewis Morley photographed Christine Keeler naked in a copy of an Arne Jacobsen 3107 chair. The iconic image was shot at the height of the scandal over her affair with John Profumo, which ultimately brought down the Macmillan government in England. That same year, Diane Arbus shed her own clothes to photograph nudists in Sunshine Park and Andy Warhol opened “The Factory” at 231 E 47 St. in NYC.
In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart defended Louis Malle’s The Lovers against further censorship in the obscenity case of Jacobellis v. Ohio, declining to define obscenity but writing "I know it [hardcore pornography] when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”
In 1965, Hasselblad introduced the 500 EL, the first motor-driven camera, in response to NASA design requests. Penthouse magazine was founded in Britain that year. In 1966, John Szarkowski published The Photographer’s Eye and Lee Friedlander purchased and began printing Bellocq’s “Storyville Portrait” negatives. In the mid-60s, Floris Neusüss began creating life-size photograms of nudes, expanding on the ideas of Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy. To create his works, Neusüss had his his subjects lie directly on photo-sensitized paper.
Late 1960s: New Documents, New Legitimacy, system SLRs, and Pubic Wars
In 1967, the year of the Summer of Love, John Szarkowski opened the New Documents show at MoMA. The show conferred importance on the work of Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, and Garry Winogrand and ushered in a more personal style of documentary photography. All three artists produced their work with handheld 35 mm cameras, allowing them a freedom of movement and a range of perspectives not possible with other camera formats. Jerry Uelsmann, whose Surrealist composited montages were at first rejected as not being photography (and predate Photoshop by decades), had his first solo show at MoMA that same year.
More technological advances occurred in 1968 and 1969. Profoto was founded in Stockholm in 1968, and Seiko introduced the EP-101, the world’s first miniprinter. The model number is the basis for the Epson brand name. In 1969, Willard Boyle and George E. Smith invented the charge-coupled device (CCD — the basis of the first digital sensors) at AT&T Bell Labs.
Andy Warhol launched Interview Magazine in 1969. The magazine helped legitimize photography as art and its large-format spreads gave valuable exposure to Robert Mapplethorpe and Bruce Weber. In the 1969 case of The United States of America v. Ten Erotic Paintings, Customs agents had seized artworks by Hans Bellmer, George Grosz and others under a law prohibiting the importation of obscene materials. The courts found that while the drawings and paintings explicitly depicted sex organs or sexual acts, all of the works had artistic merit and were therefore not obscene.
Penthouse Magazine launched in the US, featuring photos displaying pubic hair in 1969, and Playboy began doing the same in 1970 — touching off what Hugh Hefner referred to as the “Pubic Wars.” In 1970, MoMA exhibited “E.J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits.” In 1971, Larry Clark’s Tulsa was published and Diane Arbus took her own life.
The Canon F-1 system was introduced in 1971. It was the first time a full complement of accessories was released at the same time as the camera body. Photorealism in painting evolved from Pop art in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Photorealists use one or more photographs to gather information and uses a mechanical or semi-mechanical means to transfer that information onto the canvas to render an image that looks like a photograph.
In 1972, Ms Magazine was launched and Marilyn Cole, Miss January, was featured in Playboy’s first full-frontal nude centerfold. Nude imagery was finding increased acceptance in mass media as the US Supreme Court handed down the Row v. Wade and Miller v. California decisions in 1973. In the three-point “Miller test” the court laid out guidelines for defining obscenity based on “community standards.” Justice Potter Stewart had changed his position on defining obscenity by the time of Miller v. California, saying that his prior view was untenable. However the Miller decision only loosely defines obscenity — what is obscene in one locale can be completely legal in another.
In 1974, the International Center of Photography was founded and Judy Dater shot her most famous photograph, Imogen Cunningham with the model Twinka Thiebaud as a nymph in the woods of Yosemite. The ASA and DIN film speed standards were combined into the ISO standard. The Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 macro focusing zoom, the first professional-grade lens of its kind for 35mm SLRs, was released that year.
In 1975, Richard Avedon’s first portrait show was mounted at Marlborough Gallery and Helmut Newton began work on his Big Nudes series. Judy Dater and Jack Welpott published Women and Other Visions that year. The book was a collaboration between the two photographers, married at the time, each shooting portraits of the same models in the same settings and producing dramatically different images.
Also in 1975, Bryce Bayer of Kodak developed the Bayer filter mosaic pattern used in most color image sensors and Steven Sasson of Kodak invented and built the first electronic camera using a CCD image sensor. By 1976, Kodak would enjoy a 90% share of the US market for photographic film.
Late 1970s: Color Photography Gets Cred, Sontag and Barthes Weigh In
William Eggleston’s 1976 solo exhibition of color photographs at MoMA helped lend credibility to color photography as art, even as NYT critic Hilton Kramer dismissed the work at the time as “snapshot chic.” The following year, the nude was made more popular in fashion and advertising when Herb Ritts photographed Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken for TAG Heuer. The photograph is reminiscent of Weston’s Pepper No. 30 and Steichen’s Woodbury’s Soap ad. Also in 1977, Francesca Woodman started a year of study in Rome in a RISD honors program and Cindy Sherman began her Untitled Film Stills series.
Susan Sontag’s On Photography was published in 1977. Robert Mapplethorpe’s X Portfolio, a collection of artistic depictions of gay S&M and a future lightning rod for political controversy, was published in 1978. Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida (in French) and Anaïs Nin’s Delta of Venus were published in 1979. Nin’s book was illustrated with photos by Bob Carlos Clarke. That same year, Kohei Yoshiyuki’s The Park was shown at Komai Gallery in Tokyo. The series documents straight and gay couples having sex and being stalked by voyeurs in Tokyo parks. Yoshiyuki used a small camera fitted with infrared flash bulbs and imitated the voyeurs to blend in and make the photos unobtrusively. And, Lee Friedlander photographed Madonna nude, three years before her first singles were released. He paid her $25 for the session, which is equivalent to $80 in 2013. A print would sell for $37,500 at auction in 2009, though Friedlander did not earn anything from the transaction.
In 1980, Annie Leibovitz shot the iconic portrait of a nude John Lennon kissing a fully-clothed Yoko Ono, the last photograph of Lennon. Leibovitz recalls that after Lennon had gotten undressed, Yoko wanted to take off her top, but the photographer’s gut reaction was to tell her to stay dressed. Lennon then curled up next to Yoko instinctively.
In 1981, Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida was translated into English and American Photographic Artsts (APA) was founded as Advertising Photographers of America. It was the year that Francesca Woodman took her own life. Helmut Newton created Self-portrait with Wife June and Model, illustrating a triangulation of voyeurism and seeming to reference Diego Velazquez’s Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor). Inspired in part by Cubism, David Hockney began creating photo collages he called “joiners”, using Polaroid prints, in the early 1980s.
1980s: Personal Computers Debut, Trouble Brews
The IBM Personal Computer (IBM 5150) was launched August 12, 1981. Time Magazine named The Computer Machine of the year in 1983, the year that Richard Avedon shot Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent for Vogue. To get the shot, Kinski spent two hours naked on the cold concrete floor. The poster would sell two million copies. The World of Jan Saudek was published the same year. Saudek’s work overlays themes of political suppression with eroticism and a 19th-century photographic aesthetic.
Apple’s Macintosh was famously introduced with a TV ad during the 1984 Super Bowl. That year, the Turner Prize was established in the UK to celebrate the best in contemporary art. 16-year-old Nora Kuzma got a fake driver’s license indicating she was 20, adopted the stage name Traci Lords, and had shot three adult movies in the first half of the year. She also appeared in the September issue of Penthouse, the same issue that featured soon to be scandalous nude photos of Vanessa Williams, Miss America 1984.
The International Center of Photography presented its first Infinity Awards in 1985. The first recipients included Sarah Moon, David Hockney, and André Kertesz. The Iris printer was introduced in 1985, and Kodak scientists developed the world’s first megapixel sensor in 1986.
In 1987, Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” won an award from the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts and became a catalyst for the Culture Wars. In 1986, Nan Goldin’s book The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was published. First presented as a slideshow at the Whitney Biennial in 1985, the confessional collection documents Goldin’s friends partying, fighting, getting high, and having sex. Bill Clinton credited her with inventing “heroin chic” and her photos are considered archetypes of the “snapshot aesthetic.”
The record-keeping requirements known as the “2257 Regulations” were created as part of the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988. The regulations require producers of sexually explicit material to obtain proof of age for every model they shoot, and retain those records. Its requirement to document the ID and all aliases of the performer is due in large measure to the Traci Lords case. While the law has been said to target large-scale porn producers, the Department of Justice has declined to make exceptions for artists.
In 1988, Anna Wintour became editor-in-chief of U.S. Vogue. She was highly influential in establishing the global phenomenon of supermodels. In 1989, Herb Ritts shot Stephanie, Cindy, Christy Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood. The poster became a global phenomenon. And, Tim Berners-Lee proposed what would become the World Wide Web.
Robert Mapplethorpe died of complications from AIDS in March, 1989. The exhibition “Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment” toured successfully that year, despite cancelation at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC. The exhibition included photos from the X portfolio and escalated the Culture Wars, including efforts to de-fund the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1990, charges of obscenity were brought against the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and its director Dennis Barrie. They were acquitted by a jury, but the case had a chilling effect on funding in the arts community. 1990 was also the year that the FBI raided the San Francisco studio of Jock Sturges and seized his equipment after a worker at a film lab reported him for suspected child pornography. A grand jury declined to indict him. That same year, Nobuyoshi Araki’s Tokyo Lucky Hole, which documents lesser-known parts of Tokyo’s red light district between 1983 and 1985, was published.
Early 1990s: Advent of Digital and Dot Com
In 1990, Apple released the Macintosh II, the first color Mac and Adobe released Photoshop 1.0. It ran on Macintosh System 6.0.4. The $5500 price tag of the Mac II was equivalent to $9800 in 2013.
In 1991, Bettina Rheims collaborated with Serge Bramly to produce Chambre Close— a collection of erotic portraits of women in bedrooms. Kodak introduced the DCS-100. The 1.3 megapixel camera featured a Kodak sensor mounted inside a Nikon F3 body and cost$13,000 (equivalent to $22,200 in 2013). Graham Nash funded Mac Holbert to start the fine art digital printing company Nash Editions using a modified Iris printer.
WWW became available as a public service on August 23, 1991 and Tim Berners-Lee published the first photograph on the web in 1992. The Mosaic web browser, introduced in 1993, allowed web pages to combine graphics and text. Its popularity made WWW synonymous with the Internet for the average user.
In 1992, Sally Mann published her third collection, Immediate Family, consisting of 65 black-and-white photographs of her three children, all under the age of 10 an shot with a 100-year-old 8 x 10 bellows view camera. Many of the images explore childhood themes such as dressing up, napping, playing board games, and even skinny dipping, but others touch on darker themes that include injury, sexuality and death. The book was met with intense controversy and accusations of child pornography, though she was never charged with any crime.
Gregory Crewdson joined the faculty of Yale University in 1993 and began his Twilight Series in 1998. Working with a view camera and a large production crew and citing painter Edward Hopper, photographer Diane Arbus, and the films Vertigo, The Night of the Hunter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blue Velvet, and Safe as influences, he took staged photography to a new level. Canon released the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, the first interchangeable lens with built-in image stabilization, in 1995.
Late 1990s: dSLRs and Online Communities Take Off, Polaroid Crashes
In 1999, Nikon released the D1, the first dSLR designed from the ground-up by a major manufacturer. The 2.74 megapixel camera cost $6,000 equivalent to $8,400 in 2013. Canon introduced its first “home grown” D30 dSLR in 2000. The 3 megapixel prosumer camera was half the price of the Nikon D1. Epson also introduced the Stylus Pro 9500 large-scale printer in 2000. The 44” wide photo-quality printer featured six pigment-based inks rated to be colorfast under normal indoor fluorescent light for 200 years. That same year, Larry Sultan’s series The Valley documented the porn industry’s use of ordinary San Fernando Valley California homes as film sets.
The earliest known use of the phrase “not safe for work” comes from a headline for a survey posted on Fark.com on August 22nd, 2000. The abbreviation “NSFW” began appearing on USENET in late 2001 and early 2002.
The 2001 Brooklyn Museum exhibition Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers featured Yo Mama’s Last Supper, part of the series Flipping the Script by Renée Cox. The reinterpretation of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper features a nude Cox in the role of Jesus, surrounded by black disciples, except for Judas, who is white. In the ensuing controversy, New York Mayor Rudolph Guiliani called for the formation of a commission to set "decency standards" to keep such works from being shown in any New York museum that received public funds. Polaroid Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. The Polaroid name and most of the company’s assets were sold. A newly-formed company, also called Polaroid Corporation, emerged from bankruptcy some time later.
In 2002, Canon introduced the 11 megapixel EOS-1Ds, its first full-frame dSLR. The camera featured a CMOS-based (not CCD) image sensor with Bayer filters. In 2004, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders released XXX: 30 Porn Star Portraits, which features diptychs of porn stars dressed and undressed, and exhibited photos from the series at the Mary Boone Gallery. The book features a cross section of straight and gay men and women, from porn legends to rising stars, and added to the debate about the "pornification" of the mainstream. Between 2003 and 2006, several major community sites used by photographers launched: Photobucket in 2003, Flickr in 2004, PhotoShelter in 2005, and Bēhance in 2006. Agfa’s imaging spin-off filed for bankruptcy in 2005, just one year after it separated from the parent company. That same year, Ilford split to form Harman Technology Ltd. under a management buyout.
Mid-2000s: The diCorcia case, The Impossible Project
Apple released Aperture in 2005 and Canon introduced the 12.8 megapixel prosumer EOS-5D. It was the first full-frame dSLR with a standard body size. At $3299, the body set a new low price point — less than half the cost of a Canon 1Ds Mk II.
In 2006, New York State ruled in favor of Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Pace/MacGill Gallery in the case of Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia. Mr. Nussenzweig had argued that his privacy and religious rights had been violated by taking and publishing of a photograph of him. The judge dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the candid street photograph was art - not commerce - and therefore protected under the First Amendment. Because the work was considered art, no permission or release was required. Even though diCorcia had sold ten prints at $20,000–$30,000 each, the judge ruled that “profit motive in itself does not necessarily compel a conclusion that art has been used for trade purposes.” In other words, artists did not need to starve for their work to be considered art. The decision was upheld in 2007 by the New York Court of Appeals. That same year, fark.com founder applied for trademark ownership of the acronym NSFW. The move was apparently a stunt. The site’s founder, Drew Curtis said "I originally asked my attorney to send the [application] in, handwritten in crayon, like President Bush does with his legislation.”
Adobe released Lightroom 1.0. and Polaroid stopped making cameras in 2007. The photography community 500px launched in 2009, the same year that Polaroid stopped making film. In 2010, The Impossible Project set up shop in part of the former Polaroid production plant in Enschede, Netherlands and began producing instant film for 8x10, Polaroid 600, SX-70, and Image/Spectra camera types using equipment bought from Polaroid.
Twenty-Teens: Kodak Tumbles, Playboy Goes SFW, Adobe Moves to the Cloud
In 2011, Mona Kuhn released her Bordeaux Series. Modeled after the work of photo pioneer Mike Disfarmer (1884-1959), it represents a slice of modern French society in a series of traditional nude portraits of friends nude in simple settings at her remote house in La Lande-de-Fronsac. Kodak filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012, discontinuing the manufacture of digital cameras, the technology it had invented. A vastly restructured Kodak emerged from bankruptcy in 2013, having exited and spun off several businesses. The new Kodak, like Agfa, is focused on commercial customers.
In 2013, Adobe launched Creative Cloud, switching from perpetual licensing to a cloud-based software-as-service (subscription) model and the CC designation superseded CS (for Creative Suite). The following year, Adobe rolled out the Creative Cloud Photography plan, a set of services tailored for photographers featuring Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, and Bēhance ProSite along with mobile applications and web services at a fraction of the cost of a full Creative Cloud subscription.
In August of 2014, Playboy rebranded playboy.com with a focus on “safe-for-work” content and dropping full nudes from the site. The move paid off with an increase in unique visitors from 5.5 million to 21.5 million between July, 2014 and January, 2015. Video views went from 50,000 to 6 million in the same time frame. Stating that “the Bunny transcends nudity” Playboy announced in October, 2015 that the print magazine would be non-nude beginning with the March, 2016 issue.