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.
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Shooting glamour nudes for commercial use is vastly different from creating fine art nudes. For a start there are constraints on what you can and cannot show. Book covers can feature nudes but often the depiction of nipples or genitals would lead to the books rejection by the major online distributors. Some glamour magazines and calendars are OK with discreet nudity whilst the men’s magazine market wants to see everything, and in great detail (generally with boring lighting).
Where is it Going to be Published?
The definition of and taste for glamour nudes varies from region to region. One of the pictures above has made it into several Russian newspapers but would never be considered for a UK paper. A major stock library happily sells some of the above worldwide but rejects others as glamour. Publishers have rejected the same images as ‘too arty’ and ‘not arty enough’. Several of the models are loved by the Germans but ignored by the UK market. Most of them are too fat for far Eastern eyes. Read But is it Art? for my definitions of glamour and fine art photography
So What Do We Do?
If you are shooting for a specific client make sure you get a detailed brief. The brief for the Scrapyard girls calendar shoot included in year one ‘topless no nude’. Year two changed to ‘discreet arty but glamourous nudes’ and year three changed again to as before but black and white. The format of the calendar was A3 upright so it was obvious to shoot upright images but there are a lot of horizontal format calendars out there so always check.
If you are shooting on spec or for stock the key is variety. So many publishers have said ‘love that pic but I wish it was vertical (or horizontal)’. ‘Have you got one that does/doesn’t show nipples, pubic hair or the model’s face.
Don’t Expect Clients to Like What You Like
Sometimes the weirdest or most boring shots will sell over and over again whilst the images you thought were absolute winners languish at the back of your files unloved – except by you. One publisher I worked for got fed up with using my cover images that featured bottoms (his brief) and loved some of my other images so used them. Sales of those books dropped by thirty percent so we went back to bums. See Bookcovers
I’ve already mentioned geographic preferences for particular ‘ideal’ body types. Models can also be loved or hated by different publishes or client in the same country. And don’t think it’s a man thing. Women can love or hate images of women with equal ferocity. If you are shooting pics on spec for an established publication look at the images they are already using. Try and adopt a similar style and type of model and hope yours’s are accepted before the editor changes.