Writing With Light

How to Photograph Nudes, Lighting

The word photography means painting, drawing or writing with light. It is impossible to make a photograph without light and the direction, intensity and quality of the light falling on and then reflected by our subject is what creates our images.

Creating The Scrapyard Nudes Calendar

How to Photograph Nudes

The Scrapyard Nudes calendar was conceived by the sales director of a metal recycling group. The company wanted to produce a glamour calendar that was more interesting than the average cheesecake versions available off the shelf. Commissioning original photography would allow the company’s products, several thousand tons of recycled metal, to feature in the pictures alongside local, East Anglian, models.

Take Better Nude Photographs

How to Photograph Nudes, Thinking About Nude Photography

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.

Take better nude photographs
Artistic black and white nude of woman in kitchen

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

Lighting – Daylight or Artificial?

How to Photograph Nudes, Lighting
Two nudes in window light

Daylight or Artificial Light

Nature has given us a large, bright light source complete with some very handy diffusers (clouds) which is wonderful for lighting nude photographs. Unfortunately we have no control over when these diffusers appear and, although the sun is always shinning it reaches us with varying intensity.

What Camera Do I Need When Shooting Creative Nudes?

How to Photograph Nudes

What lens have you got on that?

I hate talking about gear when I am using it. As a long suffering wedding photographer I used to dread the approach of the serious looking old gentleman, scuffed brown leather cased, 50’s vintage, camera round his neck. Usually he had just been fiddling with for at least ten minutes to take one photograph of his rather overweight, and definitely bored, wife in her best hat.  I knew the inevitable question was coming.
‘What sort of lens have you got on that?’

‘That’ was usually a 6×4.5 Bronica film camera. We used to use medium format cameras because no one believed you were a pro with a 35mm SLR
My reply was often a completely genuine, ‘I don’t know.’
I could see him debating as to whether to rush off and exclaim to the bride that she had booked a complete idiot to take her wedding pictures, or whether to tell me not to be such a sarcastic bugger.

One Model – One Light

How to Photograph Nudes, Lighting, Nude Portraits

Nude Photography with one light (and one model)

Keep it simple stupid is often pretty good advice. These photographs were taken in my studio with one light and one model. OK sometimes I used a reflector to lighten the shadows because the cameras dynamic range doesn’t match the human eye. What’s dynamic range? Free downloadable PDF on Exposure.

Photographing Location Nudes – Woods

How to Photograph Nudes
Photographing location nudes in woods
Nude woman in woodland. Dryad is a female tree spirit from Greek mythology. Art print from digital original
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If you go down to the woods today.

nude in woodland stream

Photographing location nudes is always challenging (and fun) but does need a certain amount of planning. Ideally you will be working with a model that you are familiar with and in a location that you have visited regularly. That way you’ll be prepared for the idiosyncrasies of both. Some models that I work with are downright blasé about public nudity and  would happily walk naked through the centre of town. I am continually looking over my shoulder for the blue flashing lights. Others can be embarrassed by a bloke and his dog appearing when they are fully dressed, but both need to feel relaxed.

Photographing Nudes on Location – Deserted Buildings

How to Photograph Nudes

Location Nudes – Deserted Buildings

Location Nudes Nude in abandoned house
A abandoned doll lies in the corner of an empty room. Pink plastic glowing against the decay of the deserted building a reminder of lost inhabitants.

The walls seem to hold echoes of the past. It is easy to visualise the ghosts of previous occupants wandering through their empty rooms. Maybe it takes a creative leap to see them as attractive naked women but when photographing location nudes you can capture whatever you want. This is about interpreting an idea to create an interesting image

Studio Nudes

How to Photograph Nudes, Nude Portraits

A Quick Guide to Shooting Studio Nudes

studio nude model with camera

Producing studio nudes gives you a choice. Use a plain background, strip away the real world, and produce an image that depicts the human body only. Alternatively add props or build a setting to create an illusion. These tactics along with extensive make up are used to produce glamour images  but can also be used to produce pictures that depict the models personality.

Model Weather – The Hazards of Location Photography

How to Photograph Nudes
model on location
Location Photography

Having finally taken the plunge and given up my studio, there seemed no other way to get me out of its cozy confines I booked Meg for a location shoot.