How To Take Candid and Playful Nude Photos

What’s your first thought when you see this picture?

For me, it’s the “realness” of it. I’m struck by the authenticity of the shot. I think you’ll agree that a piece of the model’s true personality seems to come through in this image.

Shooting candid shots is certainly not difficult. Walk down any busy street and you can take 50 candid shots within a single block.

However, shooting candid nude shots is a far more difficult task. But on the rare occasion when you’re able to capture a model in a truly unguarded moment, the result is often quite charming.

Taking casual nude images is difficult because a nude photo shoot tends to have a certain structure to it; and a great deal of that structure usually involves some degree of posing by the model.

In other words, whether you’re shooting glamour, nude, or erotic images, most likely you’ll be directing your model into poses of some type.

Since I didn’t take this picture, I have no way of knowing what lead up to this particular image. For all I know, the authenticity I see when I view this shot might all be a ruse. Still, as ruses go, you’ve got to admit this would be a pretty good one.

But in this particular case, I don’t think it’s a ruse. I believe the picture represents an authentic sliver of time that occurred between the photographer and the model.

And though I don’t know the details of this specific shot, I can share with you the circumstances that have enabled me to capture similar shots during my own career.

For myself, shots like these tend to occur soon after finishing a specific set of images. Many of my sets consist of about 150 shots; with each shot featuring a different pose (requiring quite a bit of effort and concentration on the part of the model).

When I eventually tell the model, “Okay, we’re done,” she’ll inevitably fall into a comfortable body position and allow herself to relax, both physically and mentally. At this point, we may talk for a few moments before moving to the next set.

If you’ve developed a good rapport with your model over the course of the shoot, she’ll likely feel comfortable simply being herself while also being completely nude.

It’s during these “in-between” times that casual and candid shots like the one seen here are most likely to be captured.

 

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 Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Glamour and Nude Photography

 

Are There Limits in Glamour and Nude Photography?

 

By almost any standard of glamour photography, this image is definitely unique. In contrast to the usual intent to portray models as attractively as possible, this particular shot presents a model in apparent anguish.

I find pictures like this one to be very interesting. It’s as if the picture is part of a story that the viewer knows nothing about. And since the viewer has no idea what’s going on, he gets to make up his own narrative regarding the shot.

But instead of trying to come up with our own explanation of the picture, let’s examine some of the techniques that went into making it such an effective image.

First, the mere fact that it’s in black & white adds a “documentary” style vibe to the shot.

Second, the contorted body position is also very different then what is typically seen in glamour work. The expression on the women’s face accurately conveys a true sense of despair (not an easy thing for a model to do).

However, what I like most about this picture is the unusual perspective of the model’s hand reaching toward the camera (with her arm creating an interesting diagonal to the composition). To get this perspective, use a low shooting angle and a wide-angle lens.

 

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 Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Glamour and Nude Photography


 

How to Choose The Perfect Nude Model For The Job

This image is from one of my favorite nude shoots ever. Though the paint makes things appear a bit messy, it was actually a very simple shoot to execute. The model, Jubilee, is one of the most free-spirited and experimental nude young models I’ve ever worked with.

The scene was very simply lit. I simply used four flash heads bounced into four umbrellas to light the set very evenly. This was done so Jubilee could freely move around a fairly large area and still be well lit.

Apart from the lighting, all that was required was putting up some seamless white paper and making a quick trip to the art supply store to pick up some inexpensive paints.

I gave Jubilee the paints, a few foam brushes, placed her in the middle of the large white “canvas” and gave her the instruction, “Do whatever you want.”

From that point on, all I had to do was photographically document the proceedings.

With this type of shoot (one in which the model will be setting the pace), the most important thing you can do is find the right model. Preferably, one who is fearless in front of the camera, likes to experiment, has few inhibitions, and is willing to do just about anything it takes to get great pictures.

Since I had worked with Jubilee many times before, I knew she would be the perfect girl for the job.

From a purely business standpoint, this set of pictures has been one of my most profitable ever.

Not only did I sell the pictures from the set you see here many times over, I also sold images that I took immediately after the shoot featuring Jubilee in the shower and bath washing the paint off her body.

The most important lesson to be learned from this shot is that sometimes the most important talent a nude photographer can possess is the ability to choose the right nude model for the job.

 

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 Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Glamour and Nude Photography

 

 

 

How to Use Only One Light For Dramatic Nude Pictures

I’ve always been very fond of this particular image.

Not only because it’s a very sculptural photograph of a nude female torso; but also because it’s a shot of my girlfriend, Penny.

This image was taken using a single tungsten hot light. My goal was to accentuate Penny’s muscularity and body definition as much as possible while using only a single light source.

When your goal is to emphasize detailed body definition, it’s a good idea to use hot lights. Hot lights are commonly used when shooting bodybuilders and fitness models.

The benefit of using hot lights when shooting this type of image is that the light stays on constantly (in contrast to flash lighting). This constant light enables you to easily move the light equipment around the subject and observe how different positions effect how the light falls upon your subject.

Side-lighting (or a position very close to side-lighting) will further serve to bring out details of your model’s body.

In this shot, I love the look of the deep crevice in Penny’s back. I was able to accent this area by positioning the light into a location that I felt was ideal.

As you can probably imagine, this would have been a drastically different – and far less dramatic – picture if the light had been positioned directly in front of her.

To further enhance musculature and body definition, a light layer of body oil was applied just before we began shooting.

Finally, a dappled dark grey muslin backdrop was used to give the background a bit of texture and to contrast sharply with her naked body. I remember this shoot like it was yesterday.

Thanks, Penny. Q

 

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 Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Glamour and Nude Photography


 

Glamour Photography: The Art Of Naked Deception


This is a deceptive photograph (even more deceptive than most glamour photographs – and that’s saying a lot).

At first glance, it has a very casual feel to it. It succeeds in giving the impression that the shot was made in a very spontaneous manner. A nude woman simply lying amongst the sheets of a bed.

However, getting shots like this is not as simple as this picture makes it appear.

In other words, you probably won’t have much success if you stake out the bed of your wife or girlfriend, wait for her to open her eyes, and start snapping away.

Closer inspection of this picture shows that it wasn’t taken quite as spontaneously as it seems. For one, the white background provides a great contrast to the model’s skin. Also, there’s no clutter in the shot: no drapes, no clock radio, not a single distraction to be found. Not many actual bedrooms would provide such a clean “canvas.”

Add the beautifully soft and even lighting, the perfect manicure, the professionally applied makeup, the tousled hair that probably took an hour to get just right, and suddenly you have a glamour photograph that isn’t so casual after all.

 

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 Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Glamour and Nude Photography