Photography At Nudist Resorts Part Deux

| November 25, 2015 | 28 Comments

Nude Photo Policies at Nudist Resorts: The Discussion Continues

My recent article about photography policies at nudist clubs and resorts garnered a lot of attention and a ton of responses.

I found that most people agreed with my reasoning in favor of a consent-based photo policy. To recap, this policy can be summed up in one line: “While at a nudist venue, don’t take pictures of other people without their consent.”

However there were some objections and concerns that frequently came up, so I’d like to address those in this follow-up post.

Before we get to that, I’d also like to have everyone weigh in with a poll! Please vote in this simple poll question below:


There is also a second poll at the end of this post regarding the question of whether clubs should ban the use of cell phones, laptops, etc so feel free to answer that poll as well!

Now on to the comments and issues brought up that I would like to address:

1. “This consent rule would work in theory, but then there will always be people who don’t follow it or don’t get it!”

Alright, I know there are a lot of stupid people in the world, but I really believe that 99% of people will be capable of understanding and abiding by this consent rule.

I could see a need to have this elaborated on when people first arrive at a nudist resort. It should be explained that asking for consent applies to people who may appear in the background of a picture as well and therefore, it may be recommended to take photos in less populated areas. Or just be aware of who is around you and respect their boundaries.

But that is about as “complicated” as it gets here… As I wrote in the first article, there are people who will break the rules regardless of whether there’s a ban on cameras or not. Club management just has to deal with creeps on a case-by-case basis.

Let’s also not forget that this policy DOES already work at certain nudist resorts! From others’ comments, I learned that Mountain Air Ranch in Colorado and Serendipity Park in Georgia have both utilized this common-sense policy (among others).

2. “What about big events with lots of new visitors who have never tried social nudism before? How can it be regulated there?”

There are a few ways to educate people and it starts before they even arrive at your event. Rules should be clearly written and posted or linked to anywhere you’re talking about the event online. If they’re buying tickets online and get an email confirmation, it’s easy to include a link / reminder about rules.

Then, generally when people enter a club they are given a printed list of rules to read and take with them. At check-in, management also has the opportunity to explain or emphasize certain rules.

nudist resorts photography consent nude naked nudism clubs yna

Example of a consent notice


Most nudist clubs already have a few permanent signs around the facilities that list rules. For events, special signs can be printed and posted. Above is just a basic example of what a consent notice might look like. You’ll notice I added a bit about Instagram / Twitter at the bottom. Most clubs are not on these sites, but for any that are, this would be a nice opportunity to promote that! (I’ve also met club owners who feel like it’s over-policing to have signs everywhere, and it takes away from a friendly atmosphere. They prefer to trust those who enter to act like adults.)

Lastly, a club’s members can help ensure that new visitors follow the rules. BUT they need to be cool about it! I’ve heard so many stories of club members yelling at and being rude to newcomers when it’s entirely unnecessary. It goes back to the same issue I discussed previously where so many clubs have a pretty paranoid mentality. They tend to assume that people are guilty and can’t be trusted until they prove otherwise.

As one commenter said, “The assumption that people who break the varied rules different clubs make are malicious, instead of ignorant, puts things on the wrong foot.”

Then there were comments raised about the select group of people who, because of their job, never want their picture taken and don’t want to accidentally appear in another person’s photo. The fear or concern is that it will end up online, be seen by their employer and get them fired.

The people who are anti photos tend to claim:

A: “Some people could lose their job if a photo of them were to end up online, so don’t we need to ban cameras for their sake?”

The people who are in favor of picture-taking tend to claim:

B: “People are way too uptight about photos. We need to loosen up about photography or nudism will never obtain mainstream acceptance!”

First, I just want to say that I personally think some people are overly paranoid about photos. If a photo is posted online without your full name attached to it, it is highly unlikely that it will ever be seen by your employer (or a coworker who wants you fired). Even if your name is on it, what are the chances of someone you know seeing it? Still very low.

There is the issue of posting pictures on social media like Facebook. That said, those people who sincerely run the risk of being fired for the wrong photo would more than likely keep a low profile or no profile at all. The reason being that those people have to be vigilant about every tagged photo, naked or not.

To those who seemed to think that I was advocating for a picture free-for-all… My point was never, “Everyone should be able to take photos, and if others don’t want to be in them, too bad!”

We still need to respect everybody’s privacy and consent. I’m not out to shame anyone for wanting privacy. Nor am I looking to pressure people into doing something that makes them uncomfortable. We don’t need to put every person’s photos on the Internet in order for nudism to become more accepted. We just need to make it easier for people who DO want to promote nudism and nudist clubs to document their experiences and share them.

* As a side note… There are already plenty of naturists who don’t mind photos!

But having no rules whatsoever about photography is a fast way to deter newbies from any club.

I’ve also learned from comments that some nudist clubs are still absurdly militant about cell phones and other devices.

One commenter said that White Thorn Lodge not only forbids any and all photography at the naked volleyball Super Bowl. Apparently, they’re also super strict about using cell phones for any purpose in any of the common areas. If you want to make calls or use your phone, they make you go into a small tent designated for this purpose. Breaking this rule can easily get you kicked out of the place.

nudist resorts cell phones nude photos photography consent naturist clubs yna

I have been to clubs that don’t want you to use your phone or other devices around the pool at all because of cameras. (And then strangely, some will let you use it just outside the pool…as if that makes a difference.)

Some people see this strict cell phone rule as a surefire way to deter young adults from visiting and enjoying a club. I think these days, it’s going to annoy people of all ages.

It’s not just young people using smartphones and other little computers anymore. Lots of older baby boomers have upgraded to smartphones or have started to use devices like iPads, Kindles, etc. (Not that many didn’t already upgrade years ago, too.) I think the ubiquity of these devices is going to eventually force the nudist world to change.

But today’s policies are already considered draconian and outdated by many.

Will young people actually decide NOT to visit a nudist club because their weird cell phone policy? Some will and some will not.

But I think it’s clear that it’s time to update these picture-taking policies at nudist resorts and get with the times!


Young Naturists & Nudists America

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Category: Felicity's Nudist Blog, Nudist Resorts, Nudism and Naturism

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
  • macnude

    IvanAkirov  I would much rather have my nude photo discovered on the internet than to be the one that had to explain how it was found.

  • news = 6 corporations

    Deven_R Deven_R The thing I don’t like about the child p. law is people should not be locked in a cage because of what they click on.  Some of the younger people themselves have also been persecuted for using their own camera to take their own picture!   A lot of countries don’t even have that type of age discrimination.

  • Felicity, I basically agree with your approach to try to find a less draconian way of dealing with photo-taking.  I still see a lot of problems and loopholes though, in the way the issue is being looked at. My question is:  When you say “permission”, what kind of permission is it exactly?  Q-1: “At this moment in time, in this place, are you comfortable with the sight of me holding a camera and the good possibility that you will recognizably appear in photos that I shoot?” Or is it: Q-2: “Are you OK with me shooting a photo of you and presenting the photo in various venues where other people can see it, and BTW where it can be further copied by others and further distributed?”

    I assume that if you shoot a photo you are not just going to let it sit in your archive, unseen.  By not addressing exactly what sort of permission you are asking for, it is actually no kind of permission at all.  It is more of a showing of respect in the moment.  Many people will say “Yeah, it’s ok” just out of politeness, even if it is really not fully OK.  They are still thinking “what’s going to happen to that photo?”.  And it’s not even a matter of maybe getting fired or not.  A lot of people are just not that crazy about having their picture taken, nude or not.  And that should be somewhat respected.  There is one leap for people to just get socially naked.  It is maybe an even bigger leap to being completely okay appearing naked in photos.  Resort owners are sensitive to the varying degrees of comfort their guests will feel if they see a camera present at the side of the pool.

    At our Naked Club events, when there is NO official photography from us, the rule I have set is that you should not be taking photos except when you clearly know the people you are shooting and have already established a “photo-taking relationship” with them.  If new people are around you must announce that you have a camera and will not shoot them unless they want to be in photos.  What happens is that the photo-taking moments become very defined and some people will step out of the way.  There is no or little random shooting going on.  And I think something like that could work at resorts.  If I were running a resort I would say “there’s basically no shooting allowed unless you are clearly in an isolated spot and only with people who are ok with the photos you are taking – shooting in other circumstances could get you evicted, so be careful!”  The problem is that the nature of rules is that they are best understood when black and white.  When you introduce grays, which you and I are suggesting, enforcement becomes very difficult.  I can understand why some places will just flat out say “no cameras, no pictures”. It’s totally clear to all guests, managers, and security people.

  • j238

    “Even if your name is on it, what are the chances of someone you know seeing it?”  Um, do you ever google your friends?  Think your friends ever Google you?  The chances of that are pretty high actually. 
    As it happens, on two occasions I’ve come across people I know in photos which they’d probably rather keep private.  These things do happen.

  • AlexHartman

    FelicityJones I think I’m with you on this. I wasn’t as specific as you are here, but my statement “certain locations” was intended to convey something akin to your “specific small areas.”

    Admittedly, I have had similar issues to those you mention relating to taking pictures of yourself in nudist areas. As a wounded veteran, I have a lot of issues with anxiety and stress and was thankful to know I’m not the only one who found respite in the nude. I feel so incredibly at ease, comfortable, and away from my emotional scars in naturist areas. I want to document the rare occasions I get to be nude in public with a photo. Since I’m not lucky enough to live in NYC, I’m restricted by the rules of the club.

    Regardless, we all need to find a way to get society past the fear of perpetually sexualizing nudism, while at the same time figure out how to show their hypocritical ignorance as they continue to cover less and less with clothing. As you and many others have stated so well, we could save society from some of its vices through an honest conversation about the value of nudism.

  • PeterVernon I actually wrote about the issues of nude beach photography in a previous post:

  • Deven_R j238 AlexHartman I’ve written about the issue of photography at nude beaches as well:
    I don’t think the nudie world is ready for a policy of “implicit consent” except maybe in specific small areas. Maybe someday when nudity is no big deal, that will be an acceptable thing. I actually think express consent should be required at public nude beaches, though I know it is currently legal to take photos without it since they are public. Asking for consent at a nude beach should be common courtesy and a basic part of naturist etiquette.

  • PeterVernon

    Automatic Gain Control.
    Effectively makes yelling useless

  • MrSandy

    PeterVernon And for those who don’t know it?

  • PeterVernon

    A lot of these responses seem to indicate that these images will help promote the lifestyle we’ve chosen.
    While I’m happy for “holiday snaps”, he’ll took more than three thousand last trip many with friends nude, using images to promote needs to be very carefully considered.

  • PeterVernon

    Why ban laptops?
    Most of them with cameras face the user, unlike tablets and phones with dual cameras.

  • PeterVernon

    Which in itself is a whole other topic.
    It’s not like you need to yell for your voice to travel to the cell tower.
    One acronym for those that know it: AGC

  • Deven_R

    j238 “No one else complained about my post.”
    I would have, but by the time I saw it  had AlexHartman already done so. If you look at the number of likes on your post, it seems only one person actually agrees with you enough to let you know.
    Perhaps the truth about what “people here” believe is actually somewhere between what you said and what AlexHartman and I would say. That’s what the number of likes on those two comments implies.

  • j238

    No one else complained about my post.  Maybe people here haven’t achieved your level of nonsexuality.
    Pretend I just said “people.”  
    Best to keep all electronics out of sight “simply because the presence of cameras makes many people uncomfortable.”

  • Deven_R

    influence culture wear less 
    Unfortunately those already exist all over the place, and they’re easy to find. Most are termed as “nudist sites” to get around the child pornography law but I’m sure many people don’t use them for that.
    If you don’t believe me, just do a google search for “nudist photos” and you’ll find plenty of websites on the first results page with children in them.

    Allowing cameras into resorts with a consent based policy will not increase this problem all that much, so it’s not much of a reason to be against such a policy.
    What it will do is allow people who wish to promote nudism, reduce body shame, or lessen the nudity taboo through photography more chances to do so. This is why I believe the potential positive effects of such a policy would definitely outweigh the negatives.

  • AlexHartman

    J, that’s the thing that irritates me about many male naturist posts. They are often antithetical to the non sexual goals of naturism. If we are truly interested in the value naturism will bring to our hypersexual culture, we shouldn’t care who shows up in naturist areas. Nevermind the fact that Felicity and her NYC crew invalidate your claim, because there are lots of beautiful people, not to mention photography, at YNA events.

  • Randybej

    Maybe designated areas, events or specific time (or combination of all of them) and we can all be happy with and without pictures

  • Randybej

    Let’s keep thinking. We all can find the way to please everyone and allow people who want take nudist pictures, and respect the ones who don’t.

  • j238

    AlexHartman If your goal is to discourage pretty young ladies from visiting naturist areas, signage like that will be very effective.

  • AlexHartman

    I totally agreed with your first post. After reading it, I happened upon this sign. While I don’t believe something like this should be a blanket policy for an entire club, camp, etc, but I think it would be appropriate in certain locations. It would have some similarities with the signs at Haulover Beach, but instead of “beyond this point you may encounter nude sunbathers” it would state, “proceeding beyond this point provides implicit content that you may be photographed”, etc.

  • MrSandy

    If the concern is just about photography, it seems pretty silly to ban cell phones but allow cameras. (Either the only-with-consent photo policy will be observed or it won’t.) At Rock Lodge Club, cell phone emailing or texting is ok anywhere, but cell phone conversations are restricted to a designated area. That’s because EVERYONE IS APT TO  TALK LOUDLY ON A CELL PHONE. (Yes, me too.) It’s really annoying. It’s the same idea as our policy that you can listen to whatever music you want, but only if you use ear-phones. It’s about consideration for others.

  • Randybej

    Ooops. Fair* (my bad)

  • Randybej

    I think pictures with cameras, Yes;
    – No cellphones or tablets nor laptops.
    – All pictures should be showed to all people in the picture and deleted immediately if not accepted by anyone in the picture.
    That’s a good way to control the sharing on social networks and avoid streaming video.
    – Also, everyone in the picture has the right to have a copy of the picture.
    Many pictures of me had been taken and I had never seen most of them. That’s not fear.

  • IvanAkirov

    Once again, you put things the way they gotta be. I totally agree with you. And for those afraid to be spotted by employers and the like in pictures, beside your considerations here, they must think too, what the h*ck where they looking at websites where nude pics are if they think that’s wrong, immoral, inadequate, whatsoever…? Free your body, free your mind, free your cameras!

  • At beaches and other public venues I still believe in the ask first and respect the persons preference.  However, no one has control over admittance and generally the laws allow for the taking of photos so my recommendation for public locations is that if you don’t want your photo taken and are concerned it may be published on the internet then simply don’t go to public events. 
    More and more I find people at the World Naked Bike Ride and at Clothing Optional Hot Springs that don’t mind and are more than happy to comply when someone politely asks to take their photo.  What most don’t like are voyeurs and other that try to sneak a photo secretly simply because they have the confidence to go nude in public.

  • PeterVernon

    I’d suggest that I’m one of the no phone no show types.
    I use it for work, that is its part of what I use to make the money to pay the entry fee venues charge.
    Next question. What about beaches and other public venue?

  • Kevin Klawitter

    Great follow-up. I don’t see the issue in such a clean-cut way (though I certainly support more open photography policies), but you do a terrific job of responding to the arguments people are likely to bring up.

    It’s borderline hypocritical that nudist organizations can call for increased normalization while continuing to enforce policies that, in an increasingly social media-driven world, could hardly be more restrictive and isolating. It’s like having frosted glass on the door of the Teacher’s Lounge… It may have a purpose, but the greater result is a feeling of  forbiddenness.

    People will be more interested in taking part in clothing optional activities if they can see that their friends like them. Increased photography opportunities can help that.

  • Great job Felicity, I agree 100% with all that you are saying here.