Nude Tuesday

Maile Wilson, one of my favorite photographers ever, blogs and previews her work over at Daily Relish. Check it out–beautiful stuff happens there.

Maile has begun hosting a fun activity each week, Crapshoot Tuesday. She picks a photo that she might have thrown away for technical imperfections, but saves for what it captured. I love it! And boy, do I have one for you this week.

I was lucky enough to enjoy a walk on New York’s Fire Island this weekend on what had to be one of the most gorgeous days of the year. I had my camera out on our walk through the dunes, I snapped one quick snapshot of the beach to show my boys and then put it away when I saw the salt spray flying on a beautiful, nearly deserted stretch of barrier beach. Deep in conversation, it was several minutes later before Jess, Dan and I realized we were about to walk through a short stretch of nudists. On a nude beach.

With nowhere to go but forward, we forged on. Bodies, bodies, bodies, naked, naked, naked, naked. One guy even wore a crisp polo shirt—and no pants. Naked bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, genders and grooming standards—all just running, jumping, playing in the surf, playing volleyball, lying on the beach, resting a leg casually on the back of a lawn chair, I don’t think I need to show you a picture for you to have a clear image in your mind.

But I will.

Because I got home, and downloaded my photos. And as you Facebook friends noticed, I was startled to discover that last photo I shot? Had the entire nude colony in the background.

Behold.  Just a lovely day along the Atlantic Ocean, yes? Beach behind us is almost completely empty. See crowd ahead.

Come closer, won’t you?

And a little closer…

And if THAT isn’t a keeper for Crapshoot Tuesday, I don’t know what is! If you’ve got something to share at Crapshoot Tuesday, I encourage you to post your crappy photo and a comment over at Maile’s!

And before I get angry mail saying “some of my best friends are nudists,” let me just say, nudists–you’re amazing and lovely. I admire your confidence and take on the world. You all looked like you were having a wonderful time, and thank you for sharing your stretch of beach with our Puritanical ideals for a few minutes.

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Anna Sawin

Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.


  1. Brooke on September 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

    That is hilarious!!!!

  2. applecyder on September 23, 2008 at 10:05 am

    too funny. i got used to topless beaches in europe–but total nudity is another story!

  3. Kelly on September 23, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Oh my gosh! That is sooo funny!

  4. ChiaLynn on September 23, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I went to the nude end of Ocean Beach in San Francisco on a day I thought was too chilly for being nude, and settled in to read at the foot of the cliff. Pretty soon I found myself in conversation with a naked man, which was okay, except that I was sitting and he was standing, which put me at eye level with… Yeah. Then he got chilly, too. So he put on a sweatshirt. Somehow, that made it worse. Nice guy, though – unlike the really creepy guy wearing black mesh bikini briefs who’d tried to talk me out of my clothes earlier in the day.

    And that is a fantastic picture – really nice detail even in that extreme crop. You use a Canon, don’t you?

  5. Anna on September 23, 2008 at 11:32 am


    I so hear you about the eye level thing–can you see the cliff-like berm of sand as you go down the beach?

    Yeah. LYING DOWN, they were, as we walked by.

    And yes, I was pretty amazed at the crop myself, since when I took it I was too far to see nudies. It’s a Canon 30D, and I used my cheapie walkaround lens, a Tamron 28-75 mm 2.8.
    Clearly very good at capturing, uh, detail!


  6. Sarah G now B on September 23, 2008 at 11:42 am

    That is so funny! Hopefully they were at least wearing sunscreen.

  7. JenBun on September 23, 2008 at 11:57 am

    HA! Hilarious, that you just stumbled upon them.

    No desires to take off all your clothes and run around too? 😉

  8. Sara on September 23, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I wonder if any of those nudists reads your blog? They might find more of themselves than they bargained for in today’s post! It is a beautiful picture though, nudies and all. (no judgment)

  9. ELK on September 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I cannot “TOP” that!

  10. melodya on September 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    that is hilarious. What’s funny is that you came across them like they were a hidden treasure. What a discovery!

  11. Stephanie on September 23, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I am cracking up!

  12. Katy on September 23, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Naked beach. There’s an idea that sounds good until it’s actually done. The word chafing comes to mind. Love the pic!

  13. libound on September 23, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Oh thank you thank you! I KNOW the BLT was the hilight of the weekend, but I am so glad to see that there is documentation for our “Stroll.” That gauntlet is the fastest I have walked since before pregnancy. Great annotations, great day, great giggles – I was 14 again! 🙂

  14. carrievoris on September 23, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    OMG! I am laughing so hard at the last photo. Priceless….snort!

  15. Michelle on September 23, 2008 at 7:54 pm


  16. Jessi on September 23, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I like the woman in the bottom left-hand corner.

  17. Stacy on September 23, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    lol…only you, Anna, only you! 😉 Thanks for pointing out which ones were nude, though. I think my tired eyes might have missed it!

  18. Erin on September 24, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Classic! I wish I could have seen the look on your face!

  19. maile on September 24, 2008 at 9:26 am

    omg, i love how you wrote this! You are so funny! This whole post just cracks me up!

  20. Maya on September 24, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Ha ha ha! That is so funny!

  21. Maria on September 24, 2008 at 9:54 am

    the best is the kite-flying nudist in the right hand portion of the picture.
    So brazenly nude!

  22. Christina on September 24, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Oh. My. Goodness! The picture is funny enough by itself, but your words make it hysterical. I needed a laugh today – thanks!

  23. Mike on September 24, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    The naked dogs in the foreground should have tipped you off…

  24. Sheila on September 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Oh. That is hilarious. I can just imagine the conversation that happened while this was unfolding.
    What a great beach, such a beautiful day. Hm…. it’s pretty popular here. What a minute, is that? Oh my….
    Wish I could have seen that. Making memories.

  25. Mike on September 24, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    That woman? third from the right? She looks familiar! 😉

  26. JC on September 25, 2008 at 8:00 am

    I just wanted to say….

    i’m nude

    under my clothing.

    just thought i’d share that with you.

  27. ChiaLynn on September 25, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Thanks, Anna. I just got a new Fuji f100d, which I’m very happy with (though 12MP on a snapshot cam? Seriously?), as a replacement for the Fuji F20 I lost at Burning Man. I really looked at the Canon sd950, but the Fujis just do so well in low light. In bright light, though? Canon does take beautiful, beautiful pictures. (Especially when wielded by a good photographer!)

    I’ll work my way up to a dSLR one of these days – but I do love being able to stick my camera in my pocket.

  28. Shannon on September 26, 2008 at 8:48 am


  29. threeundertwo on September 28, 2008 at 10:31 am

    What a great concept for a meme, and you picked a great shot. So funny.

  30. Suzanne on October 1, 2008 at 3:07 am

    Ahhh, you were ‘to the left of Field 5’! In my younger days, when I had the body that didn’t embarrass me (or have too many scars of age), I enjoyed that portion of the beach. Just so long as I had someone along with me to apply LOTS of sunscreen!

    Very tasteful pictures, you can’t tell that they’re all naked!

  31. Pat on March 7, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Haha, I am in that picture! I love lighthouse beach!

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Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.