Nude Photography has been a genre explored for so many years by some of the world’s best nude photographers. Even though nude photography is sensitive in nature, it often yields some amazing images. It is considered sensitive in nature because they say there is a thin line between artistic nude photography and porn photography which can be a bit disturbing to some viewers if they see nude photographs because they find it erotic. But this is just an interpretation of some individuals who are not as open as others. And as a result of this, you can find viewers who may see the artistic intention through your nude photos of your model. Because for them, nude photography is a form of fine art nude photography. On the other hand, we can also find viewers who may see the nude model in nude photograph as a slightly nude human body while others see it as a completely nude human body in photography.
In this article, we will be exploring how you go about executing a successful nude photography session. Keep in mind that when you are into photo shoot, you must always be creative. As photographers, think of nude photography as fine art nude photography and not an erotic photography. Here are some photography tips of the things nude photographers should do and tips of not do during nude photography shooting. Use these tips to achieve great results of your photos.
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When it comes to certain kinds of photography, the rules of editing go out of the window. But if you’ve been through Photography Courses and Tutorials, you are ready to take on photo editing according to your own ideas. This is the right time to be creative especially when it comes to the colors and tones of your image. You can do this through Lightroom.
Do you want to create great effects with your skin tones? Well, you can do this by adjusting the Camera Calibration Section as well as the Split Toning Panel which you can see in Lightroom. How about a cinematic looking image effect? One of the best ways to do this is to apply a warm tone to your highlights (preferably moving towards the orange hues) and a nice desaturated blue to the shadows of the image. By doing this, you would surely create an instant classic!
If you are want to create amazing effects for your nude and boudoir photography, check out the Shades of Boudoir Lightroom Presets Workflow by Sleeklens. These presets are expertly designed for nude photography and will give you great effects with just one click (yes, All-in-One effects). You will get 50 high-quality presets as well as 10 local adjustment brushes for adding that extra touch of detail every photo needs. Check out the video below for a walkthrough of this amazing collection.
On the other hand, if you feel creative enough, you can explore the Photoshop route with some photo manipulation effects. By this, I’m not referring to alter your model’s body without their express permission, but some cool effects like changing the ambient, using Double Exposure effects… you get the point. Adobe isn’t the only option as there are many competitors in the market providing quality software for digital-post production.
The third way, in case your working gear happens to be limited at the moment, is to use smartphone apps like Snapseed. It’s available for free, of course not niche-intended in this case, but you can create some high-quality results by using the tools offered in there. It’s not complex science but to know your way of how tools create entirely different looks depending on the parameters used. Remember, these are tools, so regardless of the software you choose, your creativity is the only factor that sets the difference.
When doing nude photography, it is important that the nude photographer and the nude model are on the same page. This helps to eliminate any uncertainty with regard to the intention and idea of shoot. Take some time out to make comfortable and get an idea of their personality as you would with another nude model. As photographers, remember that this model is exposing her human body to you willingly so make sure that mutual level of respect is shown most especially when the photographer is male. Run through the poses you have in mind and capture them with your camera. If possible, show ideas to the model on how to maneuver her body movements. You can also add some props. A male model partner can be used as props to be able to capture her best nude shot.
If in doubt, why not preparing a questionnaire? Something as simple as drafting ten questions covering from the basics as ‘what’s your favorite color?’ to hobbies, preferred places to chill out, etc. Out of this exercise not only you are establishing the basis for a closer relationship with your model but also this will – and be sure this is for granted – bring creative ideas along the way of which props you should use for the session, or even if it’s possible to make the session outdoors!
Nude Models tend to feel more appreciated and work a lot better when you share the results of a few frames of nude photos you’ve taken. This helps them to personally establish their best angles and give them confidence in what they’re doing in front of the camera. Plus you don’t want to look like a creep who’s just staring at their nudity through the lens of your camera. Communicate and help to boost their confidence as much as possible because it benefits both you as photographers and the model in the long run. Who knows, maybe the model has some ideas of their own art photography that they would like to share and execute during the session.
Another fool-proof way of making your model feel comfortable is to let them see what’s going on from your side of the lens. Allow the models to take a glance at the scene from the camera itself, so they know exactly which areas are being portrayed and how lighting is working for the scene. Maybe you can even use a dummy to showcase your idea.
This not only helps to develop confidence from your model to you but also gives them the chance of exploring something that, maybe, they were always curious about (not all professional photographers are this carefree to allow models to be nearby their pricey gear!)
Don’t touch the model unless permitted to. In nude photography, this should be a given but often times photographers become so zoned and engulfed in the craft that we forget about a few things such as this. The moment you find yourself getting ready to go touch the model to adjust to the pose you’re looking for, remember how sensitive in nature this session is. Instead of wanting to touch the model, try and mirror the poses to them or give them an example to look at them communicate with them from there.
Here are some tips I can share with you in nude photography. Try to use props throughout some of your shots as it often adds a lot of character to your image and gives it that extra punch to capture your viewer’s attention. Another tip is anything from a curtain, table or even chair helps to get the job done. You can then center some of your poses around that for a more interesting concept. You can apply these tips to enhance your concept of nude photography.
In case you don’t feel confident enough, photo editing can compensate a bit, but remember it’s part of a proper scene setup to include props matching to the topic you desire to cover.
While shooting nude photography, I’ve found out that less can be more and I can consider it as one of the best tips when asking my models to get nude. Your model doesn’t always need to be completely nude or practically showing everything in nude photography. He or she can use their hands or legs to cover a few key areas. Even an oversized shirt can come in handy to make the session a lot less raunchy and porn like and more artistic. You as a nude photographer is not as open-minded and artistic when it comes to nude photography as others so they probably won’t see what you’re trying to evoke through your photography unless you make it obvious. Doing nude photography teaches you a lot more than one may think. It teaches you more about respecting and appreciating the human body as an art form when it’s nude and furthermore opens the mind of others to view things like this in photography.
Keeping your nude image model anonymous and posing her strategically to hide her face adds mystery and also helps to tell a story in nude photography. This also adds some comfort to your model being nude as she won’t be easily identified if the image is posted on social media or her image printed in a portfolio.
On the same line of thought, it’s important to count on a disclosure contract for your models so they can feel comfortable with regards to where are their photos going to be published and under which conditions. Maybe some people would like to have a private nude photography session but they withheld because of a preconceived idea that their photos are going to be all over racy magazines. Instead, be clear. Ask your lawyer (or more experienced photographers in the field) about which paperwork needs to be filled so both parts feel secure about image distribution – mostly in the era where social media profiles are a mean of building a portfolio for us photographers around.
Maybe something as simple as to consider if there’s enough heating for the area where the studio session is taking place can be ignored without intending it. Let’s be real: your models are wearing their birthday suits, meaning that’s essential to provide an ambient in which they feel not only warm but comfortable.
Consider your interior decor to add some cushions around if the model needs to sit on the floor for a long period. If in doubt, just remember to have some blankets around – neutral tones preferred – as they can also be used as part of the scene you are portraying.
If you happen to be starting and feel nervous about the session, imagine what’s going on for your model! Instead, prior to asking the model for a complex pose you may have seen in a magazine or while studying, ask what’s the opinion of the subject of your photos. This point goes alongside #3, but instead of just being the suave photographer that likes to have an insight from its models consider what would be like to be on the other side of the lens.
Instead of wasting countless minutes by planning the scene at the moment, just plan ahead for most of the event. Yes, it’s true that you have to interact with your model as a key element of the session, but one thing is to decide which pose to portray and another is to discuss over half an hour if the lighting is okay for the scene, if the backdrop is set in place, if your laptop starts, if the camera tether is working and many other etcéteras that you can imagine. Things happen, so best to be ready and be time-efficient.
Another key aspect of this point is to consider taking mid-session breaks. It not only relieves the tension of the session itself but also gives you enough time to gather your thoughts on how the photos are turning out to be if you need to repeat a pose… and why not, grab a bite for you and your team. Set aside areas where coffee, tea, water, and small bites like finger food or biscuits are available when needed. The prolonged exposure to intense artificial lights can affect the health of your model by lowering its blood pressure, so another good reason to take breaks in between.
Nude photography is such a tricky topic and if not handled carefully, can go south pretty fast and easy. Try to be as professional when it comes to photography especially in nude photography as by showing respect and consideration to the model for taking part in such a sensitive but rather amazing genre of photography. Nude photography can be so exciting. Your shooting skills can be trained as you get some tips on how you can capture great nude photos. I do hope this article has served as a great help in executing your first nude session.
Well, we hope this guide has given you an insight into the craft behind nude photography. If somehow, this article has awakened your creativity of nude photography feel free to subscribe with us or drop a line in the comments below. See you next time!