Twenty Nudes Number 16

Nude Portraits, Twenty Nudes

16. Emily

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.

Twenty Nudes Number 12

Nude Portraits, Twenty Nudes

12. Fiona

Twenty nude portraits of women that reflect their personality and lifestyle. Many of the images have been pulled from my archives and have been re-edited. When I did several shoots with the subject they have been grouped into a set . A new post featuring a different sitter will appear each week

Nude gymnast

Fiona had been turned down by several other photographs because of her disability.

Twenty Nudes Number 11

Nude Portraits, Personal Space Nudes, Twenty Nudes

11. Crystal

Number five in the series of twenty nude portraits of women  that reflect their personality and lifestyle. A new post featuring a different sitter will appear each week

Creative nude portrait

The Nude in Photography

How to Photograph Nudes, Thinking About It
Creative black and white nude

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.

Twenty Nudes Number 8

Nude Portraits, Twenty Nudes

8. Tanya

Twenty nude portraits of women that reflect their personality and lifestyle. Many of the images have been pulled from my archives and have been re-edited. When I did several shoots with the subject they have been grouped into a set . A new post featuring a different sitter will appear each week.

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.

The Concept – Take Better Photographs of Nudes

Thinking About It

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.

Black & white nude. Art print from digital original.

 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.

But is it Fine Art Nude Photography?

Thinking About It
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?’

Photographing Nudes on Location – Woods

How to Photograph Nudes
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.

Shooting location photography, especially 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.