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.



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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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