Photo by DynamicWang on Unsplash
Nude photography can be one of the most challenging - and rewarding - photography niches for photographers. But, there’s also a lot more preparation for nude photography.
For instance, finding nude photography models is more difficult than other photography niches because of its intimacy. For this reason, you’ll want to start planning months in advance for your first nude photography shoot.
Here’s a list of things you’ll need to keep in mind if you’re thinking about starting nude photography.
You Absolutely Need a Shot List
photo by ALEAIMAGE via iStock
A lot of photographers imagine that nude photography is much more laid back than other types of photography because one of the people in the room is naked.
This is obviously not true, especially if you’re working with a model who hasn’t done any nude photography before. You’ll need to know what nude poses you want your model to try, and if available, it can be helpful to have a laptop or tablet to show them the positions as well.
Shoot for at least 30-40 poses on your first shot list. As you’re working your way through your first nude photoshoot, make sure to star the shots you like so you’ll be able to perfect those poses later on.
Thankfully, there are a ton of pre-made nude photography shot lists online if you’re uncomfortable creating your first one.
You Cannot Touch Your Model
photo by Maksym Dovgodko via iStock
This one goes without saying, but I’ve been guilty of touching my portraiture models when I want them precisely one inch over.
You can’t do this with nude photography if you want to work with that model again. Use your words to get your model to change positions slightly. This will ensure your model feels safe working with you and means you’ll probably get better nude photography in the future because good models understand how their bodies look best. Also, check post on nude photoshoots.
This is why having a laptop or tablet on hand is especially helpful for showing models the poses you’d like them to try. Conversely, they can show you poses they want to try too.
Now, I have worked with models in the past who were fine with me moving them, but this type of trust between a model and photographer needs to be built up over time. Even one misstep when working with a model for the first time means you may never get the opportunity to shoot with them again.
Until they give you the go ahead to move them, use your words.
Get the Model Release Form Out of the Way
Since nude photography automatically makes you more liable because of its delicate nature, you’ll want to get your model release form out of the way before you take a single shot.
If you can, email the model release form to your model so you have it signed before they even show up for the nude photo shoot.
If you can’t, then make sure you have it printed out when they get to your studio. If this is your first time working with that model, you can go over the model release form with them. You can use this opportunity as a good transition to talk about exactly what types of poses that model is and is not comfortable with and what you hope to get out of the shoot.
While you’re having your model sign their model release form, it can also be helpful to ask what they want to get out of the shoot. If your model works professionally often, they may have their own creative vision for the shoot that you can work off of from the very beginning.
Nude photography can be a ton of fun, as long as you come prepared.