A naked profile of Bettina Rheims

Photographer Bettina Rheims is primarily known for her perspective on sexuality and fantasy that is prominent in her work. Originally from Paris, France, the former model began photography in 1976 when she was 26 and has since devoted herself to the art form.

She has created her own concept of the modern woman by photographing the nude female form in ways that challenge the norm. Rheims tends to photograph women and explains that the relationship between her and the models is based on trust. Since she first began shooting women in the nude, she has continued to focus on the female body and its erotic impression.

Her work was first recognized in parts of Europe but then eventually spread to other parts of the world such as North America, Asia, and Australia.

Her books, Chambre Close (1992), is a compilation of photographs of half-naked and fully naked women in various poses in hotel rooms. The book generated intense controversy with various Christian groups as well as conservative North Americans.

Other popular and controversial works she’s released include Modern Lovers (1990) and most recently The Book of Olga (2008). Modern Lovers pushed the boundaries of gender identity by photographing androgynous teenagers in various states of undress and her most recent work featured Russia model and actress Olga Rodionova. Rheims shot the photos for the former French Vogue model’s husband, who liked the results so much he decided to make them widely available.

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