Beyond Glamour Photography

Modelling, Thinking About Nude Photography
nude woman portrait with cat

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.

Photographing Nudes – A Different Point of View

Thinking About Nude Photography
nudes a different point of view

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.

Masked Nudes

Fetish Photography, Nude Portraits, Portfolios, Thinking About Nude Photography
Two masked nudes inspired by the painting by an anonymous artist of Gabrielle d'Estrées and One of Her Sisters.
Two topless women in masks. Inspired by the painting by an anonymous artist of Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters.

There is something intrinsically surreal about masked nudes. Everything is  displayed but we are deprived of the one thing that enables us to identify an individual human. 

The Nude in Photography

Thinking About Nude Photography
About nude photography. Black and white nude portrait

The nude female form elicits a number of, sometimes conflicting, potential responses from the viewer of an artwork. It can be seen as the depiction of a human being as a sex object, an anonymous manifestation of beauty or the nudity can be used to foreground aspects or themes within the picture. The most common criticism levelled at photography is that it simply imitates another art form.

The Concept – Take Better Photographs of Nudes

Thinking About Nude Photography

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.

Nude or Naked Portraits?

Nude Portraits, Portfolios, Thinking About Nude Photography, Twenty Nudes
nude portrait two women

These nude and naked portraits are created with the help of many talented women. The finished images are a result of a collaboration between the photographer and subject rather than an imposition of a style on them. Some of the subjects are models but here you are projecting elements of their character and personality; they are part of the creative process and not merely a blank canvas on which to project my viewpoint.

But is it Fine Art Nude Photography?

Thinking About Nude Photography
Black and white nude
Alice Through The Looking Glass

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?’