A lot of photographers are interested to know how they too can shoot nude women … I know I was.
At first, finding nude models to photograph may seem a bit daunting…
So, how can it be done?
1> Be a good photographer.
If you are not yet a good photographer, improve your skills of photography and in shooting by practicing with clothed people.
Know your gear.
Have confidence of knowing you can deliver the photo.
Confidence makes a world of difference towards any success in photographing models, especially nudes.
2> Have a portfolio of your good works.
These should be readily available to show or display to potential models.
Having a portfolio gives both you and prospective models confidence in your abilities.
Thus your portfolio makes it easier for you to attract models willing to work with you.
Start your portfolio right where you are.
Build and develop your portfolio along with your skills.
You might display your portfolio on a Model/Photography site like ModelMayhem ( MM ) or on a photo hosting site like SmugMug.
- For MM members, to view my portfolio on MM, click here.
- View my website and portfolio on a SmugMug powered site by clicking here.
For walking around, have a few of your best shots available to show on your smart phone or iPad and eventually, printed ready to show in a portfolio book.
3> Have some kind of collection of images of a kind similar to those you are intending to take.
Be prepared to share these images with prospective models.
In this way, everyone knows and agrees what the project is, or is not… ahead of time.
4> Offer money ( $ ) or Trade.
Trade for Prints ( TFP ) or Trade for CD (TFCD), also known as “TF,” offers may be posted on various Modeling and Photography websites.
Some of these sites have free of charge membership levels, like Model Mayhem ( see example of my profile on Model Mayhem here ).
These site can provide excellent networking opportunities to locate potential models in your area willing to work with you.
5> Consider the various questions of legalities.
It may depend if you are in a two-horse town in the bible belt or a big city on one of the coasts what the local constabulary may consider legal.
Make sure the model is of age… that’s clearly and demonstrably 18 or over.
Have her bring official Photo ID
- Be sure it is real
- Photograph a legible copy of the ID and her face together by having her holding the ID near her face
- No ID, no Photography if she is under 35
Check ID and sign the forms before any shooting begins.
6> Get some business cards printed up.
If you have a great shot you are proud of, which displays well in small size, consider using that on your card.
This is your image. On your business card.
So make sure the cards are inexpensive, not cheap looking.
There are several places which can print up inexpensive business cards.
While it’s nice to save money, your cards should be of a high quality. Photography is a business which is often printed.
If your business card quality is printed poorly or it graphics are not up to standard, your card may be the last print you provide your prospect.
Having a card, or not, is one way to take your game up a level … or not.
7> If your talents are not quite up to snuff, you may consider improving your skills on the clothed before you begin getting your lens wet in nudes.
Results may matter.
That said, if you are a bit green, try shooting your first nudes with mature experienced models.
That will address the age thing, and if they are experienced, that might address various confidence issues.
Do not shoot a mature inexperienced model, unless you are talented.
Making someone of age look less than their best can affect self-image. Not a kind thing.
Most great photographers of people are kind people.
They are in fact people persons … go figure..
8> Consider joining a local Glamour or Nude Modeling Photography group like those held in various cities ( see example of a Phoenix Glamour Photography Group here).
These provide networking with experienced photographers to learn from and may provide needed introduction to models.
Often these models are willing to TF ( trade ) or work inexpensively with you to help you both develop portfolios, gain experience and grow your talents.
In the case of portfolio building, the more disparate the experience levels between model and photographer, the greater the chances of money having to change hands.
Money generally flows in the direction to the more experienced from the less experienced.
In the case of commissioned works, trade is reduced and the likelihood of everyone needing to get paid increases significantly.
9> Finally, be serious, be confident, be fun.
Be serious about your work. This is not dating. Be about the photo.
Be confident. Work within your capabilities and at the margins.
Confidence is contagious.
The model must have confidence in you and in herself to give you her best.
Any lack of confidence is also contagious, often disastrously so by effecting reductions in the models abilities as much as your own.
Consistently good photographs require confidence on the parts of both model and photographer.
Do the homework and prep to be confident.
Be Fun. Have fun shooting.
This is fun. It’s why your are here.
Go ahead, feel free. Be creative. Enjoy!