A few months ago, we alerted the internet to the groundbreaking work of Israeli photographer Roni River, who spent 365 consecutive days taking photos of her very, very shy self, often in the nude or in revealing poses. Having finally wrapped up her yearlong experiment, River talked to Scanner Brian about shyness, the naked form, and covering your body in mud.

129

Day 129:

‏"I'm so shy and yet so out there at the same time. It gets confusing and embarrassing quite often."

137-8

Day 137

"It's hard to explain my photos. I don’t like to do it cause I don’t want to tell people what to see when they look at a photo. 
I see my tiredness here... a kind of 'Ah… here we go again…' that is the soundtrack to my life."

153-1

Day 153

"Shooting this was so much fun. I was standing in my apartment making such a mess with the mud -- had it all over my face and hair and everywhere.
 It was like being a kid again and painting your bedroom while laughing and jumping and just being completely uninhibited. Which isn’t me at all, I'm so careful not to break out of my 'safety' zone.... However, 
I do remember feeling very fat and uncomfortable even though I wanted to be nude in this shot."

350

‏Day 250

"250 is definitely one of my favorite days of 365.
 I love how I just don't care if anyone is looking in anymore -- I'm gonna be me and I won't apologize for it."

2741

(To see the full, NSFW photo, you must be signed into Flickr or Yahoo.)

‏Day 274

"This photo was hard to shoot and it was hard to look at as well. 
For me, it talks about wanting to just crawl out of my skin... and about the suffocation I feel being on this earth and in this life, in my body as well."

2851

‏Day 285

‏"I wore this tight underwear on purpose to get that chubby effect, which isn’t hard as I'm not skinny.
 I wanted to start showing the truth and not hide behind the poses that flatter me... to start coming out of that safety zone. 
I wanted to see myself as un-perfect even though I want to be 'perfect'..."

293

‏Day 293

"293 was one of my hardest days. I felt something bubbling inside and I couldn’t reach it and I was getting so frustrated. This was shot at about 3 am after 2 sets already that I hated.
 [But this ended up being] the highlight of 365 because I was finally able to shred the 'being pretty' character and 'what will they think about me'..."

See the full series on Roni River's Flickr page. She's also on Twitter.

Previously: Photographer Breaks Free With 365 Days of Nude Self-Portraits

Commentarium (15 Comments)

Feb 03 10 - 4:36pm
Wrongo

Interesting, Yes. Groundbreaking, Not even close.

Feb 03 10 - 5:00pm
hexoneism

Roni is extremely talented. I have followed every single 365 shot she has done. She is very beautiful. I can not wait for her photo book to be published and distributed. She really does have an amazing eye for self photography, she is tenacious, and will accomplish anything and everything she sets out to conquer. More power to you Roni...

Feb 03 10 - 5:27pm
TwL

Whatever you think, this is quite an accomplishment.

Feb 03 10 - 8:06pm
DezertIage Photo

What Roni Has Done, Has Touched Her And The People Who Look At Her Photos And Reads Her Captions On Each One, These Are Not Simple Photos, Each One Is A Piece Of Who She Is, And What She Keeps Inside Most Of The Time, I Truly Admire Here Work, Both Artistically And As A Person.

Great Work Roni, You've Gone A Long Way From A Year Ago.

Can't Wait For The Book

Feb 04 10 - 2:53am
anonanna

As a woman with an extremely strange body--small tuberous deformed breasts, a serious weight issue that has lead to a large flabby stomach and other less than admirable anomalies, I find it a bit difficult to see so many women with very slight body "problems" (i.e., a tiny bit of flesh here and there) and wonderful, full beautiful breasts, a gorgeous face and a cool sense of style have so many issues with themselves and letting others see them. I should only be so lucky someday to want anyone to see my real body, let alone the world.

Feb 04 10 - 6:52pm
Eli

Interesting concept but nothing out of ordinary. Put a photo of a nude woman on flickr and it will get thousands of views. Is it for its artistic merit? Absolutely not. Once again. Her photos are nice, well composed but as I said nothing exceptional. Millions like it on flickr.

Feb 04 10 - 8:34pm
me

about what Eli here said-
There is allot of very artistic and GOOD nude photography out there. its not fair to say it gets attention because its nudity i know of allot of nudity on flickr that doesnt get any attention. and allot of very bad nudity that does. it has nothing to do with it.

Feb 04 10 - 10:42pm
Arnaldo Sosa

Show some pussy

Feb 05 10 - 12:47am
Scott

Stay classy, Arnaldo! Dork.

Feb 05 10 - 10:52am
Craig

Roni is a beautiful woman capable of beautiful self-portraiture and what she's done by putting herself out there like she has is she's attracted an audience that a) wants her and b) wants to be like her.

The a's stick around because they're blinded by this light she casts that allows them to believe that some day, they might have her. She is real and accessible thus, she is attainable. It's as if she is this celebrity who by responding directly to her audience has developed a personal connection and allowed them to think that if they say the right thing, some day they'll win her heart, or at least a way into her pants.

The b's respect her ability to be so candid even when she struggles with who she is. Society has such a tight grasp on who and what a woman should be that to see Roni be herself and learn to not give a damn about the expectations that society places on women empowers others to want to achieve the same thing.

The issue here is that this shell that houses her damaged soul is practically perfect, making Roni a prime candidate for society's definition of an ideal woman. Save for a little extra meat on her bones, by society's standards she is ultimately void of imperfection in her physical form and because she is, it's hard to come to terms with the fact that she was once so self-conscious about it (or still is?) Anonanna seems to hit the nail on the head with her comment.

There are women out there who actually are deformed. Women who are in no way a part of this ideal image that has been created by the media, causing men to shrug them off because to hold hands with and walk next to one would be an abomination to their reputation. I, of course, do not speak for all men, but the majority want to be seen with a woman that will make other men jealous and Roni is definitely one of those women.

What would really be groundbreaking is an otherwise unattractive woman with extreme deformities (as defined by society) attracting the audience Roni has because, on one hand, what she's ultimately done is she's fueled society's fire. Somehow she was brainwashed into thinking that her body is not to society's standards, even though it is, it effected her deeply, and now she's put her otherwise perfect body out there and coupled it with these sentiments in order to free herself of this pain, but she's done so with an image that is universally appealing, which doesn't help the ones who aren't as fortunate as she is at all. Not that her intentions were to help anyone but herself, as I'm sure she didn't expect the following she's accrued, but the fact is she has become a role model and unfortunately, not a role model for the ones who really need the lift.

Of course, as hard as it may be to believe her sentiments because she is as beautiful as she is, it's easy to see if you've been following along with her project that she does have these issues and, on the other hand, it can't be denied that Roni has discovered a way to deal with them on her own. She has unearthed what works for her to come to terms with who she is. Flickr and the audience she has amassed is her therapy and we should all be so lucky to discover a means of battling our own demons.

Where this following of her physical form isn't aiding in the destruction of self-consciousness, this foundation she is building, allowing a portion of her audience to strive to discover their own brand of self help makes up for it. It is not her photography that is groundbreaking as much as it is this discovery. It may not break the ground for everyone, but it doesn't have to. All that really matters to her is that it breaks the ground she stands on and I find it extremely difficult to find fault in this form of selfishness.

Feb 06 10 - 11:44am
Stephen

She is real and she is honest.. which is more than most people in the world try and be. Why someone would take the time and effort to talk about her perceived "anomalies" is beyond me. Don't ever let anyone ever try and make you feel anything different, you are beautiful.

Feb 09 10 - 7:11am
Arnaldo Sosa

cock teaser. 30 years old and so much baby fat?

Feb 10 10 - 8:04am

I am not saying that nudity is not good. Nudity is a form of art and I agree with the fact that there is amazing nude photography out there. Unfortunately, Flickr has been inundated by nude photos of a dubious quality. Ronis work is nice but,in my opinion and please do not forget that photography is subjective,just nothing out of ordinary.
now..for all you idiots up there who think that her body is not nice, please step out of your fabricated works filled with dreams of barbie dolls like women. Her body is the body of a woman. A perfect one, a natural one. End of story.
Roni. Keep expressing yourself. Dont mind all the comments, inclusive mine :)

Feb 10 10 - 8:06am
Eli

I am not saying that nudity is not good. Nudity is a form of art and I agree with the fact that there is amazing nude photography out there. Unfortunately, Flickr has been inundated by nude photos of a dubious quality. Ronis work is nice but,in my opinion and please do not forget that photography is subjective,just nothing out of ordinary.
now..for all you idiots up there who think that her body is not nice, please step out of your fabricated works filled with dreams of barbie dolls like women. Her body is the body of a woman. A perfect one, a natural one. End of story.
Roni. Keep expressing yourself. Dont mind all the comments, inclusive mine :)

Feb 10 10 - 4:21pm
Arnaldo Sosa

COCK TEASER. GO SUCK A BIG ONE. YOU TOO ELI.