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6 Tips When Shooting Nude Photography


Tips When Shooting Nude Photography

In a previous article I gave an introduction to nude photography. Today I will be laying out some advice to help you better explore this genre. These tips will also be helpful in your boudoir photography if you choose to shoot nude there as well.


Be Aware of your Focal Length

Tips When Shooting Nude Photography

Wider lenses cause distortion when you photograph up close. To avoid this, use a longer focal length; something above 50mm works best for this purpose. Alternatively, you can also use that distortion created by a wider focal length to your advantage. A prime example of this are shots taken from a low angle that help accentuate and lengthen the legs.


Skin Care

Tips When Shooting Nude Photography

This section is more for the models, but photographers can get useful information as well. Because so much skin is exposed during nude shoots it pays to take care of it.

  • Be Hydrated: This mostly goes for the days before the shoot, but also having plenty of water if shooting outside is a must.

  • Moisturize: In addition to staying hydrated, slather on some moisturizer too.

  • Tanning & Spray Tans: Be careful with spray tanning before your shoot as they can streak in the wrong conditions and the color doesn’t always turn out the way you hope.

  • Clothing Marks: Avoid wearing tight clothing the day of your shoot to help prevent clothing marks.

Go Black and White

Tips When Shooting Nude Photography

Taking the color out of your photo helps to simplify the image and focus attention on the lighting, composition, and posing. This is one of the big reasons I like taking pictures in black & white. It also helps to reduce any noticeable blemishes the model might have.


Plan for the Temperature

Tips When Shooting Nude Photography

The primary purpose of clothing is to protect us from the weather. As such if your model isn’t wearing any then you need to keep her comfortable and have her safety in mind. This goes for both shooting inside and out.

  • Inside: Adjust the temperature to a comfortable level for the model. It’s hard to relax while cold, and goosebumps won’t always make for flattering images. Some photographers in big studios use large mobile heat lamps to help keep their models warm.

  • Outside: If it’s cold, have a puffy coat and a place to warm up nearby, such as a car or a cabin. If it’s hot, you may need to take breaks in the shade or somewhere with air conditioning and be sure to have plenty of water on hand.

Shooting Outdoors

Tips When Shooting Nude Photography

Not all photography is done indoors. If you want to do a nude shoot outdoors here are some things you should think about.

  • Be aware of nudity laws.

  • Select locations that won't have kids in the area.

  • Go on days and times when it’s not as busy.

  • Getting off the beaten path will help to keep the gawkers away.

  • Have something the model can put on quickly. A wrap or sundress works well for this.

  • Remember bug screen and sunblock where appropriate.

  • Bring a pair of slip on sandals or flip flops to help protect her feet.

  • If you are going to take any water shots, remember to bring a towel.

Be Time Efficient

Tips When Shooting Nude Photography

While on location you will want to be time efficient. Not only so you can take better advantage of any good light you have but also to avoid any complicated situations. Especially if you are shooting in a location that isn’t pro-nudity. This is where a shot list comes in handy. You can also rehearse the shoot with clothes on if needed.


Final Thoughts

I hope you find these tips helpful in your photography adventures to come. I do want to leave off on one important point. Always respect your model/subject. I know I have said this before but it needs repeating. Do your best to help your model feel comfortable. No hitting on the model, being pushy, or making inappropriate comments.



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