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At some point in their photographic journey, a photographer has probably at least contemplated trying their hand at nude photography. Actually doing it is another thing, and doing it well might be a challenge. Nude photography for beginners can be both challenging and a lot of fun.
As a beginner’s guide for nude photography you might review our article on 10 Nude Photography Tips. It has some great tips, techniques, and methods listed and illustrated. There are 3 crucial tips you might need for nude photography for beginners.
Nude Photography Tip #1: Have a Plan
When starting out with nude photography for beginners, having a plan of action will definitely make things run more smoothly. What would a plan of action for a nude photography session look like?
One of the points would be deciding where to have the photo shoot. Finding a place to use for nude photography for beginners is pretty straightforward. Just use your own home studio, a spare room, a room in the subject’s home, a private patio, a yard with high fences, or any place else that is comfortable for you and the model and that affords a great deal of privacy.
Another point on the action plan step for our beginner’s guide for nude photography is figuring out ahead of time what types of poses and composition to use. If you’ve done previous portrait sessions with the subject, you already know what poses, positions, and compositions are flattering to them and which ones they feel are comfortable.
Talk with the subject about those poses, gather their input. It’s also a good idea at this point to decide on how far the model wants to go in regards to nudity. Some male or female models may be perfectly fine with full frontal nude views, while others may prefer to not have their face recognizable for fully nude poses. Others may opt for partially clothed or only implied nudity.
The overall style of the shoot is another aspect of the initial planning stage of nude photography for beginners. This where we decide for color or black and white, glamour or fine art, lighting effects or a natural look. All of these aspects can and should be decided on before the camera comes out of the bag.
Nude Photography Tip #2: Keep the Mood Light
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels
We don’t mean the exposure or lighting effects here. We’re talking about keeping the model and the photographer relaxed and calm. The mood of the images can be anything you want, light and airy, romantic, dark and moody, while maintaining a comfortable mood for the act of making the images.
Considering all the nerves that may be involved in nude photography for beginners, maintaining our own calm is essential. If we are relaxed, our model will be, too. If we are nervous or uptight, the subject will pick up on that, affecting their own nervousness. The resulting images will reflect the comfort level of you and your subject.
Every person is different in what calms them enough for a relaxed nude photo shoot. Most of the time, it’s a good practice to limit the participants in a beginner nude photoshoot to the photographer and the subject. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to one or the other to have a third party present. The third party can even make themselves useful by holding the reflectors or something like that. You can get more information about how to take good nudes on our website PhotographyTalk.com.
Some other things that help with a relaxed mood could be music. Soft rock, country, classical, pop, whatever is the favorite of the subject will work. A helpful hint in our beginner’s guide for nude photography concerning music is to keep the volume low. You want it as background to make the model comfortable, you lose a calm mood if you have to shout instructions.
Nude Photography Tip #3: Use Simple Poses
Deciding on the best nude poses is part of our tip number one for nude photography for beginners, but now that we are in the light mood of the photo shoot, we don’t want to overthink our previous decisions.
A posing guide, either printed out or on a tablet, is handy to keep around and refer to from time to time. Complicated poses might seem interesting, but directing those poses could be difficult for us as a photographer and uncomfortable for the subject to attempt.
Enjoyable Nude Photography for Beginners
Using these tips as your own beginner’s guide to learn nude photography should result in fun images and a pleasant experience for all, photographer, model, and your viewers.