- Last Updated: Monday, 10 February 2020 09:24
- Real. Sexy. Photography.: The Art and Business of Boudoir
- Nudes on Location: Posing and Lighting for Photographers
- The Beginner's Guide to Photographing Nudes
- Ruth Bernhard: The Eternal Body: A Collection of Fifty Nudes
- The Nude: Conceptual Approaches to Fine Art Photography
Nude Photography Tip #8: Use a Longer Lens
photo by AleksandarNakic via iStock
Using a longer focal length lens accomplishes a couple of things.
First, longer focal lengths mean you have to be further away from the model, and they will likely appreciate that extra bit of personal space during their nude photography session.
Quick Tip: Another lens option to consider for nude photography is a 70-200mm zoom. Though prime lenses rein supreme for portraiture, a 70-200mm zoom gives you excellent focal length variability while offering sharp results throughout.
Nude Photography Tip #9: Omit the Model’s Face
photo by Milkos via iStock
If you’ve seen much nude boudoir photography or artistic nude photography, you know that often the model’s face doesn’t appear in the shot.
Instead, as mentioned earlier, nude photography often concentrates on the form of the human body.
Don’t be afraid to capture shots of the model from behind or the side, or to crop images in post to omit the model’s face. Faceless portraits can often be equally, if not more powerful, than those that show the model’s face!
Nude Photography Tip #10: Try Black and White
photo by miljko via iStock
Like I mentioned earlier, nude photography is more about the shape and form of the body and its interaction with light than it is about the fact that the model is nude.
When you consider things like shapes, forms, and textures, your mind should immediately go to black and white photos, as those elements are perfect for a photo without color.
Just like stripping down and being nude simplifies how a body is presented, removing color from an image simplifies the photo.
The trick, of course, is to focus your attention on those elements that make black and white photos stand out. Find ways to increase contrast. Experiment with different lighting setups and type of lighting, for that matter (which you can learn how to do in the video above by Michael's Photo Tips. Doing so will help you create nude photography compositions that have a classic, artistic look that will impress the model and viewers alike.
Bonus Nude Photography Tip #1: Never Touch the Model
Photo by PeopleImages via iStock
This should go without saying, but let's say it anyway: don't touch the model.
This is good advice for any kind of portraiture, but especially nude portraiture.
It's easy to get lost in the moment and simply reach out to position the model's leg, arm, or hand. Doing so is a violation of their space, unless you've asked them and they've give you the go-ahead to touch them.
Instead of feeling like you need to help the model pose by physically moving them, communicate with them what you want them to do. It's a much more respectful and safer approach!
Bonus Nude Photography Tip #2: Get Outside
Photo by Kharchenko_irina7 via iStock
Not all nude photography should take place in the dark recesses of your studio.
Instead, find a location outdoors where you can capture some au naturel shots amongst the beauty of the world around us.
Obviously, nude outdoor photography requires a whole other set of precautions, like ensuring it's a private location where passersby won't get an eyeful of your models.
But, as you can see above, in the right setting, this type of nude photography can be quite breathtaking!
Quick Tip: Find outdoor locations with lots of texture, like a forest where the bark of the trees and the shape of the leaves provide interesting contrast with the smooth skin of the model. Likewise, avoid shooting at midday so the shot isn't overrun with harsh shadows. Find a shady spot, wait for some cloud cover, or shoot at golden hour to get the best results.
Bonus Nude Photography Tip #3: Don't Be a Copycat
Photo by Casarsa via iStock
As with any kind of photography, it's important for you to find inspiration in what others have done before you.
But taking inspiration from someone is a totally different animal than simply copying what they do.
Photo by proxyminder via iStock
Below, I've listed some nude photography recommended reading to help get your creative ideas flowing. Discover what prominent nude photographers have done, identify what you like and don't like, learn a few more tips and tricks, and utilize that knowledge to create nude photos of your own.
Often, finding your unique creative voice is the hardest part of photography. The same applies to nude photography, too. But developing your personal style is also supremely satisfying because you create things unlike anyone else has created before. How cool is that?!
Nude Photography Recommended Reading