Nude Photo Shoots: Sometimes You Get Lucky

In my previous post, I wrote how shoots rarely come off exactly as planned.

Every glamour and nude shoot is unpredictable and takes on a life of its own. There are simply too many variables involved in a photography shoot to know for sure how things will play out.

Almost without exception, each job will present you with at least one problem you’ll have to solve if you’re going to get the pictures you want.

But as I mentioned in my previous post, this situation doesn’t need to be viewed as a negative.

Instead, simply approach each problem that arises as a puzzle to be solved and an opportunity to learn something new. Taking this view will quickly make you a better and more efficient photographer.

Furthermore, since things rarely go exactly as planned, a bit of uncertainty going into shoots is a feeling you’ll need to get used to if you’re going to shoot high quality glamour and nude images.

 

BUT SOMETIMES YOU GET LUCKY…

On extremely rare occasions, you’ll find that the stars line up just right and a shoot flows perfectly from start to finish. You never know when a shoot like this is going to take place and you can’t really do anything to make it occur.

Sometimes it just happens.

Of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of jobs I’ve done, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve experienced this type of shoot.

The shot seen here is from one of those rare times.

Though it may not look like it, this image is from Lily’s first ever photo shoot. Without question, she was an absolute natural: Fearless in front of the camera, completely uninhibited, and possessing great natural modeling instincts.

I met Lily through another model I had worked with. That model mentioned that she had a friend who was interested in trying nude modeling. I agreed to meet with her friend and the next day Lily showed up at my door.

I quickly saw that she had a very interesting look and immediately arranged to shoot her for a website called MoonAngel. MoonAngel is a cool website that focuses  on Asian women. The site succeeds in pulling off the often difficult combination of beautiful, yet still very sensual, images.

The owners of MoonAngel like to have a lot of color in their pictures – colorful sets, colorful clothing, colorful makeup, colorful everything.

When I spoke to Lily on the phone before the shoot, I briefly explained the job and asked her to bring a few colorful things with her. A fairly ambiguous request such as that will usually not get great results. However, this particular time – thanks to Lily – it worked like a dream.

She arrived at my house on the night of the shoot carrying three shopping bags of new clothes that she had bought specifically for the job. She told me she had spent the previous few hours on Hollywood Boulevard, “Looking for colorful stuff!”

Considering the requirements for this particular shoot, the world’s best stylist couldn’t have done a better job. Not only did Lily succeed in getting colorful stuff, she also succeeded in getting unique and fun items that worked perfectly.

Her shopping bags contained panties, T-shirts, skirts, stockings, knee socks, leggings, lingerie, shoes, and much more. Additionally, everything was in bright pinks, oranges, lime greens, and yellows.

Along with the clothing, she brought a selection of very cool accessories: bracelets, anklets, rings, necklaces, and even a pink lollipop.

She was also extremely skilled at doing her own makeup and hair in ways that perfectly matched the colorful themes. She put together three different looks that night; and every one of them was spot on.

And to top it off, Lily had the rare ability to come up with some amazingly unique poses that were…well…you just had to be there.

The pictures I took that night are still some of my all-time favorites.

As I said, sometimes you get lucky.

Sometimes it just happens.

 
 
 
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Warning: Glamour Shoot Troubles Ahead!

There are two things you can count on when it comes to photo shoots: 1) No two are alike; and 2) At some point, something’s going to go wrong.

Nearly every shoot will present you with an unexpected situation that you’ll have to deal with in order to make the shoot work. That’s just way it is.

No matter how much time you devote to coming up with a pre-shoot plan, there are simply too many variables involved for things to come off perfectly and without a hitch.

The hard truth is just about every shoot you do will present you with some sort of situation that you couldn’t have possibly anticipated. And if you’re going to make the shoot work, you’ll have to find a way to deal with this unexpected situation. That’s the nature of the beast.

Sometimes the problem will be a significant one (such as your entire lighting system breaking down). Sometimes the problem will be smaller (having to take time recharging a battery, for example).

But whether the unexpected circumstance is big or small, you’ll need to temporarily stop being a photographer and become a “problem-solver” instead.

And here’s another factor to keep in mind: When you’re shooting glamour or nude images, the potential problems are multiplied.

Let’s face it, if your goal is to capture an image of a tranquil lake at sunrise, you don’t have a great deal to worry about. You need to bring the necessary equipment. You have to compose the shot in the way you feel works best. And, most difficult of all, you have to wake up early enough to arrive at the lake before sunrise (this is the reason I don’t take too many pictures of tranquil lakes).

It’s true that you may run into unforeseen circumstances even with this type of shoot. For example, the weather may not be what you were hoping for, or you may find yourself chased up a tree by a grizzly bear.

However, even the grizzly bear problem pales in comparison to the multitude of unexpected situations that can arise when working with live models (especially nude or nearly nude ones).

Trust me, working with models opens up a seemingly endless array of potential problems.

Here are just a few of them: personality clashes, late arriving models, makeup and wardrobe issues, posing problems, and various versions of model meltdowns.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But here’s the good part:

The inevitable difficulties you encounter during shoots shouldn’t be viewed as negatives. On the contrary, every problem that arises during a shoot presents you with an opportunity to learn something new. And learning something new is always a positive.

The ability to solve unexpected occurrences that happen during shoots is an important talent for every photographer to possess.

And since every glamour and nude shoot is completely unique and takes on a life of it’s own, you’ll have the opportunity to learn something new on every shoot you do.

The bottom line:

Every problem you run into will have a solution. If you allow yourself to embrace the challenge of finding that solution, your abilities will greatly improve.

And best of all, when you face a similar situation in the future, you’ll be far more capable of dealing with it quickly and efficiently.

 

 
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 Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Glamour and Nude Photography