My photographs are published on book covers, calendars and in magazines. There’s a lot to think about when shooting commercial nudes. Here is a small portfolio of my most popular glamour nudes and a few tips.
It is a common misconception that better technique will help you take better photographs of nudes. I recently took part in a critique where a photographer put up a technically perfect but aesthetically boring picture of a nude. He commented that he had no concept or message when taking the picture but would like to do more ‘artistic’ work. I suggested that if he worked on having the former then the latter might naturally flow.
I always try and get my students to have a concept or reason for taking a picture. This doesn’t have to be a highly intellectual artistic message which will emphasise the need for world peace. It can be as simple as documenting a walk or taking a portrait that tells the viewer something about that person. Think about a simple holiday snap. The reason for taking it may simply to provide a record of the place you visited, which is perfectly valid but, as soon as we add the idea of showing that it was really pretty, or a complete dump, what a good time we had, the people we met or even how much we drank the dynamics of our picture taking change. We are trying to produce a picture in response to our feelings about a place and convey an idea. As soon as you as a photographer start to work towards a specific theme or concept the creation process becomes much more interesting and creative.
It is very difficult to separate the artistic (fine art nude photography) of the nude from the erotic and the sexual.
When is a nude an attempt to produce a meaningful picture
and when is it merely a body displayed for erotic titillation?
Even the word artistic carries certain connotations. Many of the paintings that are now considered works of art by old masters were created for his Lordship to hang in his personal salon. In a later era it conjures up an image of a 1950s bloke in a Trilby accosting a gent with the words ‘Oy mate – want to buy some artistic postcards?’
20. Nude women portraits. Still Counting
I have to admit that I could not decide on number twenty so here is just a small selection of the rest
Between glamour and the more formal naked figure lies a wide expanse of the erotic, the documentary and the personal. Personality, whether it is the model’s genuine personality or make believe conjured from the photographer’s and model’s creative collaboration is largely created in the viewers mind by setting, clothes and props. In creating images of the erotic photographers tend to swing between hard and soft styles. Whether poised and flawless in a hard-edged setting or soft an innocent lying in a meadow both create an inhuman woman. A creation in which the photographer, model and viewer are all compliant.
That is not to say that these images are not valid. The hard lines of modern architecture, scrap yards or decaying buildings can contrast with and emphasise the sensual lines of the human body. Hidden meanings and subtexts can lie within the images. Even if it is only the disdainful self-mocking of the modern world.
The model needs to project her real or imaginary personality, to be able to adopt poses beyond the stereotyped repertoire of standard glamour and become an object of fascination to the viewer.
Millions of photos are taken from about five feet eight inches (1.75 m) above the ground because that’s the average persons eye line. Whether photographing fine art nudes, boudoir or glamour nudes it pays to look for a different point of view.
19. Mary. Nudes from the 1980s
Nudes from the 1980s when hair was big and everything was a little soft focus
Nude (or naked) black and white portraits of confident women, exposed to the eye of the camera. Read the definition of nude or naked in Portfolio
There’s something sensual about food. Perhaps it satisfies one of out basic appitites whilst stimulating another. A collection of nude women and food
No 18. Kaye
The Meat Inspector
Kaye wearing the tools of her trade
It is easy to take better photographs. Anyone, even the best at something can always get better at it. All you have to do is acquire more knowledge, practice, and maybe have a bit of inspiration.
1.2 trillion photographs are taken worldwide per year (statista.com). Before the introduction of mobile phone cameras ninety five percent of these billions of photographs where taken in horizontal format; compact cameras are ergonomically designed to be held that way. Now that eighty five percent of the population uses a smart phone to take photographs ninety five percent are vertical because that’s the way they hold it.
Out of 1.2 trillion how many created rather than taken? How many are composed, and I don’t mean just with the subject fitted in to the frame? Let’s guess at 10% good composition is subjective anyway. So out of that billion or so how many are well composed? Think about your composition
A professional nude model and owner of a customized XR2. Sam featured in Penthouse, [nu] and on numerous erotic fiction book covers
Emily was a talented nude figure model. She appeared on several Silvermoon book covers and in the Scrapyard Girls calendars. She always showed up at my studio in jeans and trainers so I included them in her portraits.