Nude Photography

Nude Photography

Nude photography is a rather controversial photography genre where your subject is a naked or semi-naked model. Some people like such kind of provocative pictures, while others find them vulgar and indecent. In this article, I will try to explain how to take artistic and appealing nude photos.

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33 Nude Photography Tips

It is not necessary to have a hi-tech photo studio, too expensive gear and many accessories. You may even take nude pictures in a small apartment just following several easy tips described below.

1. Minimum Furniture and Empty Walls

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Having a blank wall in your apartment, you may achieve stunning results. One-colored walls are an amazing background! If there is no empty wall in your room, try to move furniture.

If you cannot rearrange your room, try to find some space where you will be able to embody your photography nude ideas. If you have beautiful furniture, you can use it as a background. However, if there is nothing that suits you, you can purchase a special backdrop for photography of a neutral color.

2. Try Unusual Angles

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If you have a good floor, then you can shoot your model from above so that the camera doesn’t catch unnecessary things. You can also get down to the floor and take a picture from the bottom angle. In this case, the camera will catch empty areas of the wall and ceiling.

It is possible to get a cool perspective with a small home ladder, if you understand how to use it in combination with a human body.

3. Don’t Forget about Photography Ethics

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There are several important rules you need to remember. Firstly, do not touch the model if you have not agreed about this before. Instead of touching her, to get the necessary pose, better work on your communication skills or show a picture with a similar pose.

By the way, it is very helpful to show the model ready-made photos, especially if she is a beginning nude model. This will help her feel more comfortable and understand what she has to do.

4. Choose Proper Lenses

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The lens specifications for professional nude photography may be different. Everything depends on a model and a photographer. Nevertheless, I like to use 35 or 55mm lenses. This is a rather popular choice among nude and portrait photographers.

Such lenses are usually smaller than zoom lenses, so they are less intimidating for your model. Also, they give good proportions and help take close-ups or shoot different parts of the body.

5. Use Additional Props

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When photographing nudes, it is not always necessary to ask the model to be completely naked. Sometimes you can add various details to create a stunning composition.

These special details should fit the color gamut and the general idea of the photoshoot as well as add a special touch to the photo covering the intimate places.

You can use books, musical instruments, large chairs, flowers, feathers or light fabric of pastel colors.

6. Do Not Forget About Photoshop Capabilities

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Even if you do not have interesting accessories, you can always use Photoshop to make the pictures more original and remarkable. It is possible to add special effects, various details and shapes.

7. Anonymity

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If a model doesn’t want to show her face, then a nude photographer should add anonymity to the pictures. It is possible to hide her face using shadows, props or asking her to turn away from the camera.

Also, you can shoot the model’s body without including her head in the frame. The lack of a face in photos often adds some mystery. It is difficult to explain why, but such type of pictures is also less controversial and explicit.

8. Take Advantage of Natural Light

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Natural lighting is perfect for any nude photo shoot, as it can give the image a more artistic look if you shoot during the sunset. Also, it gives good and even lighting if you take nude photographs on a bright sunny day with reflectors.

You can also take photos near the window to create different patterns on your model’s body. These may be shadows from blinds, curtains or trees outside. All you need to do is to place the model almost opposite to the light source. This variant is suitable for photographers who live on the upper floors.

9. Don’t Forget about Artificial Lighting

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In case you don’t have an opportunity to use natural lighting coming through the window, then artificial lighting is a good alternative. You can use softboxes, special kits or a couple of bright lamps.

10. Make the Absence of Light Effect

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You can get the best nude photography results when you leave a little mystery by covering intimate places. There is no need to photograph always the fully naked body to impress your client with stunning shots.

Ask the model to use her hands or legs to cover intimate parts. You can also use additional lighting and shadows to make the pictures more intriguing. You can shoot in the darkness and light only some parts of the model’s body using lightning accessories.

11. Try to Shoot Nude in the High Key

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Using this type of lighting, nude photographers usually get rather bright images. High-key lighting is perfect for confident ladies who are not afraid to show everything. To get such an effect, I use two light sources, which I direct on the model and one or two, which light the white background. It is worth mentioning that using this style, you will get rid of hard shadows.

12. Beautiful Low Key

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Using a dark background and side lighting, you can create an amazing interplay of light and shadow on the body, which emphasizes the beautiful curves and shapes of the figure. To get expressive shadows, you should place the light sources behind the model and direct them towards the camera. This may seem illogical, but the results will be impressive. Take a few test shots, evaluate the results and make the necessary corrections to the lighting. The ideal material to create a completely black background is natural black velvet. If you do not have velvet, you can use a black paper background, but you will have to carefully control the light in order to prevent reflections on paper.

13. Silhouette Shooting

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The silhouette photo has an unbelievable artistic effect and can accentuate body curves and add some mysterious tone to the photos. For such type of lighting, I usually use the black background and light sources, which I direct at the model behind her. In this case, I switch off the flash and avoid the light hitting the model’s face. You can take the same picture with the help of natural light from the window.

14. Enhance Her Posture

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When taking a photo in this pose, you need to ask the model to set the shoulders backward, so that she doesn’t seat straight but she is straight up.

In this case, instead of pushing the chest forward, the shoulders position will create a natural and graceful look. Additionally, this position visibly improves the posture and back curves.

15. Straighten up to Show the Body

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In this case, you need to ask the model to draw up and stretch arms as much as possible in order to create the desired effect. All the attention will be drawn to that part of her body.

Additionally, she can sit down on her knees or run her hand over the belly button, to focus the attention on her breasts, waist and hips.

16. Photo from the Back for a Mysterious Effect

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This pose has become a classical one in nude photography when the model stands back to you. This way you can emphasize her back. It allows a girl to be mysterious and flirty, without feeling herself too uncovered.

To add more individuality to the photo, you can ask the girl to give you a back-cast glance and carefully put her hands on the triceps.

17. Pose to Accent the Legs

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The point of this pose is to emphasize the natural curve of the model’s body. From the point of view of the curve illusion creation, (if the model is lying) she needs to slightly bend her upper leg and cross it with her other leg.

In this case, you will achieve a more roundish effect. Shoulders should be set backwards and the corpus extended.

18. Show Beautiful Lingerie

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This pose creates a more roundish rear view and many models will like it. The model needs to cross her legs, no matter if she is standing or lying.

The natural curve of the body creates a deeper angle in the lower back and highlights each curve.

19. Shoot Body Parts in Macro

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In case your model is shy, you can take a photo of different parts of the body that the model likes. It can be hands on the nude body, back, breasts or legs.

20. Use Ice as an Accessory

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Nude photography implies that the photos should be mysterious and even hot. That’s why braver models can use the ice for the photo session and cover themselves with it.

This idea seems to be plain, but it is quite a spectacular view at the same time especially in macro.

21. Use a Bath for a More Sensual Effect

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There is no need to limit yourself just by shooting in the room. You can take a few photos in the bath, placing your model in the water.

You may also add some accessories like flower petals, different fruits or to fill the bath with milk or paints.

22. Show the Flexibility

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You can use the flexibility of your model for taking the pictures, where the major accent will be made not on her nude body, but the on things her body can easily do.

23. Use the Shower

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If you have a beautiful or vintage shower, then you cannot neglect it in your nude photographs. Get ready in advance, fill it with hot water so that the glass perspire and let the nude model in.

Take photos when her body touches the perspired glass or when she turns on the shower. But take care of the cleanliness first, so that model could feel comfortable.

24. Use the Mirror

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You can buy and use a big mirror for professional nude photography. With its help, you can capture the model’s face in the photo or take a picture where the whole body will be visible. For that, you need to place the model opposite the mirror.

25. Take Artistic Photos Across the Window

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This nude photography idea doesn’t need any additional accessories, just a big and bright window. With its help, you can create sharp shadows on the model’s body or create a silhouette photo.

But first, make sure that no one is watching your model from the outside.

26. Use Color Lighting

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For creating unusual nude photography, try to use colored filters, gels, different light sources or transparent overlays.

27. Use Flowers

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A big bouquet of live flowers can enhance any female photoshoot. When photographing nudes, they can cover the intimate parts of the body, which the model doesn’t want to show off. Additionally, you can place just flower buds, not the whole bouquets.

28. Use Candles for Eccentric Photos

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A quite extreme, but still impressive nude photograph can be taken using the candles of any shape and color, which you can place on any part of your model’s body. (or just place it in Photoshop as on the example above)

I really like the idea when many candles are set at the model’s back.

29. Use Flour to Take Dynamic Photos

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This idea will add some dynamic nude pictures into your portfolio and will let you experiment with poses, shots and also to check the speed of your reaction.

In this case, the model needs to throw the flour and make quick movements.

30. Add Some Brightness with Paints

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Get harmless body paints and use the model as a canvas. She can paint herself with her hands or with brushes, as well as just pour the paints on herself. It may also be used as an idea for nude photography.

31. Use the Veil for Tender Photos

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The use of this fabric will add a tender touch to your photo. Also, it will be perfect for a bride photo session. The model can lie on the bed or on the ground, hold the veil in hands or cover herself with it.

32. Play with Shadows

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The shadows can be produced by different objects or by the light that goes through the blinds. Also, the tree shades on a sunny day will be perfect.

You can use this effect for geometrical shapes in order to cover some parts of the body or face.

33. Take Nude Couple Photos

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A nude photographer can shoot not just men or women separately, the couple photos are extremely popular as well. The models can repeat certain poses, cover each other with different parts of the body or even hint at sexual intimacy in the photos.

Freebies for Editing Nude Photography

Here I’ve gathered a few photo color correction and image editing freebies that will make the process faster and easier.

Free Ps Action “Hard Contrast”

Nude photos and black and white color palette perfectly match each other. Using this action, you will have the opportunity to quickly edit the photos and make them more contrasting.

Free Ps Action “Color Tone”

Since during the nude photo session models are almost always naked, you need to take care of the perfect skin tone, without any redness or other tiny defects.

Free Lr Preset “Vintage”

With the help of this preset, you can make photos brighter, more saturated and add a little vintage effect. It will highlight certain scenes and ideas of the photo.

Free Lr Preset “Cold Shadows”

This preset will add some mystery and cool tints to your photos. Each shot will become even more enigmatic, interesting and will get a new look.

Free Ps Overlay “Distressed”

This overlay diversifies the background and makes it more interesting for the viewer with the help of added roughness.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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