Dan Couto’s naked in the house, the Gemini Award-winning photo competition, is back. In a world overrun with visual noise, naked in the house represents a unique photographic vision. This is because the integrity and simplicity that lie at the heart of this one of a kind event resonate with its many fans in a way that can only be described as timeless.
naked in the house began in 2001 as an idea. What would happen if a group of photographers were given
- one camera
- one lens
- one roll of film
- and one half hour
to shoot a beautiful naked model they had never seen before in an architectural setting with a personality as distinct hers? No lights. No assistants. No crutches. Could they deliver art under pressure? And given the parameters of the challenge, would any have the guts to compete?
They did. In spades.
Each photographer got to submit three images that were displayed during an awards party that got the whole city out. The evening culminated in a blind ballot, whereby the photographers decided amongst themselves who took the best photograph.
naked in the house was born.
Thanks to the exposure the competition enjoyed on City TV, Fashion Television and the Fashion Television Digital Channel, naked in the house grew steadily over the next five years. The naked in the house one hour special became one of the most talked about events in Canada and was broadcast by Fashion Television to over three million homes nationally, and one hundred and twenty countries internationally. naked in the house 2002 won a Gemini Award for Best Editing and naked in the house 2004 was nominated for a Gemini for Best Arts Documentary.
After the 2006 competition, it was time to take a step back. Was a photo-competition based on the values of shooting traditional film still relevant in a digital world? A world where the concept of a limited number of frames no longer existed? Was television really the best way to reach the global audience that naked in the house was originally intended for? Was it time to take this project in a new direction?
Founder and Creative Director Dan Couto set out to find new partners with the passion and energy he felt that naked in the house needed. A serendipitous meeting with event producers and photography buffs produced a series of interesting and innovative ideas that have modernized the competition while maintaining its relevancy.
naked in the house today
naked in the house was designed to bring the photographer back to the roots of the craft, when photographers were forced to rely on very few tools, to create art under pressure. I realized that the core of naked in the house was to put photographers back in touch with that essence, that thing that has guided all photographers from the time of film—their eye. This essence was the core of the show and couldn’t be altered. It did, however, need to be technologically adjusted. Thus twelve photographers will still have:
- one camera,
- one lens,
- and one half hour
to photograph a nude model who’s identity is a mystery in a location they have only seen pictures of. But now instead of having one roll of film, they will have one roll of ‘digital’ film in the form of a special smart card that will only hold twelve images. The backs of their cameras will also be taped up so there is no in-camera editing.
Besides the new digital film component, naked in the house will this year focus primarily on finding and interacting with its audience online. The naked in the house website will be the competition’s window on the world. Based on an aesthetic of simplicity, the site will feature:
- archival photographs and video from the five previous competitions,
- photographers who are being considered including bio video and samples of their work,
- pay-per-view of the current show,
- nith magazine, a quarterly online publication devoted to naked in the house news, views, architecture and nude photography in general,
- online store where naked in the house photography can be purchased in the form of lightboxes and where the naked in the house annual coffee table book can be purchased as well.
One of the biggest changes occurs in the naked in the house broadcast strategy. The focus will now be on Internet broadcasts, not terrestrial broadcasts. Although naked in the house is not averse to finding a home with conventional television, I feel that the time when a show like naked in the house was made or unmade at the whims of conservative broadcasters and even specialty channels is fast becoming a thing of the past. People now don’t really care where a program is coming from so long as they can access it and watch it where they are most comfortable. To that end, the new naked in the house will be broadcast as a pay-per-view show (free to members) on the Internet only.
Reinvented year after year through the eyes of the best and brightest photographers in the world, naked in the house is