When Is Nude Photography Art or Porn?

Nude photography has to be one of the most controversial and polarising art forms in existence today. This type of photography is extremely hard to define and the boundaries of what is considered art, and what is pure porn are often blurred – there is a real grey area between tasteful art that depicts the human form in a natural way, and objectifying photos that have been created for lustful purposes only.

How can we define nude photography as an art form? When do nude art pics turn into porn and when are the lines blurred? This article dissects this topic and provides enlightenment on the never-ended debacle of art vs. porn.

The never-ending debate - a piece of art, or a piece of porn


So why is this even an issue for debate? Unfortunately, some people have a negative view of any type of depiction of the naked human form – regardless of if the photograph is artistic or not, they still look at it with disdain purely based on the fact that it displays nudity. Others accept that our bodies are beautiful and that the naked human form can be a true piece of art. It is these polarising opinions that cause debate and arguments – this is why it is important to try and classify when nude photography is considered art.

Some people are simply uncomfortable with displays of nudity


As mentioned, some people simply have an innate feeling of discomfort when viewing nude photography. Maybe this is because how they have been brought up, or their personal circumstance, or the surroundings they have been subject to, or even their moral beliefs. Even if the photograph is truly artistic and tasteful, just because it shows a breast, for example, they may never be able to look at it an artistic light.

The subject is intensely personal and subjective

Whilst we will try and classify what is considered nude art or pure porn, this subject is hugely personal. Everyone will have their own opinion and what someone considers to be art, someone else may consider to be pornography. This is why any definition should be taken with an open mind.

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The subject is intensely personal and subjective

So when can we consider nude photography art? Can we put a definition on this subject? What could be considered tasteful nude art pics? For a photo containing nudity to be considered art, the actual nudity shouldn’t be the main or sole focus of the photo. The nudity should merely be a secondary subject that enhances the whole concept and composition of the photo. Nude photography should not sexualize the human body and the concept and subject matter should not be about sex.

To look at it from a different angle – if the human subject in a nude photo had clothes, would this interfere with the flow and composition of the shot? Nude art photography uses nudity as a positive tool to create an image that evokes emotions and a mental response – a response that is not lustful, but thought-provoking. Nude photography as art shouldn’t be based on the idea of turning someone on or invoking a sexual reaction – if it does, then fine, but that shouldn’t be the purpose of the photo.

When does that photograph change into pornography?

You can generally see straight away when a photo is intended to be pornography – the central subject will usually be the genital area of a person, or they will be engaged in a sexual act. For example, if the photo is of a nude woman who is sitting in a sexual pose with her breasts clearly exposed, this is most likely porn!


You can generally see straight away when a photo is intended to be pornography – the central subject will usually be the genital area of a person, or they will be engaged in a sexual act. For example, if the photo is of a nude woman who is sitting in a sexual pose with her breasts clearly exposed, this is most likely porn!


We hope you now have a better idea of when nude photography is art or porn – there is a difference and you just have to use your common sense!

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