I realize that a lot of people will be like WTF is this and why is Jess getting photographers naked? Let me be super clear, nobody is getting naked! Oh no, it’s not like that – The Naked Tog is a feature that I’ve had in the works for a fair while now, and I want to briefly explain why it started, why it exists and what my hopes are for it.
It began because I was having worrying conversations every day with members of our community. These conversations would begin positive but in the private space that we were in, quite quickly it became clear that the photographers I was speaking with were really struggling, in some cases to the point of being suicidal.
Time and time again the same conversations unfolded, mainly because the individual genuinely thought they were the only one in their position and they couldn’t see light at the end of the tunnel. The position they were in may be a lack of customers, overwhelming self-doubt, imposter syndrome, loneliness, or burnout. Either way, they all felt the same but everybody was alone.
Having worked through my own demons and openly discussed it online in the past, I know the insanely positive effect that just talking truthfully about our lives has on others who may be experiencing the same or similar things. It can be a bit scary, but there’s not yet been a negative comment. In an industry that is isolating yet deeply personal, by way of creativity, we have the perfect mixing pot for mental well-being to suffer. I want to do something to change that, and as content creation is my medium, I feel this is the right place to start.
So, The Naked Tog aims to gather creators and photographers who are doing great things in their niche and give them a platform to discuss the honest truths about our work, lives, and behind-the-scenes. In essence, we’re stripping things back to be honest even at the highest levels, and in doing that I hope to help others around the world to feel a bit better.
The nature of The Naked Tog means that we’ll uncover some uncomfortable topics both in this episode and in the future. It might be suicide, mental health, sexual assault, self-harm, domestic abuse, financial distress or something else entirely but we do get deep. And for that reason, we need to provide trigger warnings and disclaimers. Consider this a general catch-all trigger warning, but each episode will have it’s own attached to it.
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Resources for help and support:
I got you. There is ZERO shame in reaching out – genuinely, none at all. Here are my top resources in times of need:
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We’re in this life together, so together we will continue. I’m with you throughout, so stay strong and fight on!