Here at GCPhoto, we've done many nude photoshoots in a variety of different styles and with different types of subjects from professional models to old-age pensioners.
The thought of a nude photoshoot can be a bit intimidating so I've written this brief guide to make sure you get the very best out of your shoot.
Although this is a general guide, we'd love to shoot with you so, get in touch with GCPhoto now to discuss your photoshoot.
Safety first!Sadly, there are many 'photographers' out there offering cheap or free nude photoshoots that, at best, will give you poor images and you won't have a good time. So, before we start, just a few commonsense tips about safety.
• Use a professional with experience of nude photography, and make sure they have a website, a real business, and a phone number.
• Make sure you speak to the photographer first and that you're comfortable with them.
• Tell the photographer what style of nude photography you're interested in and any limits to what can be shown.
• Bring a friend, if you'd prefer, for safety, encouragement and fun. There are some photographers who would rather work alone with their subject and if that's the case, then they may not be the right photographer for you.
• During the shoot, if you're not comfortable, ask the photographer to stop. A professional photographer will be perfectly happy to pause or to start again with a different pose.
• Check if your photos will be published elsewhere. Some photographers may assume that they can use the images on their own website, social media or even advertising. Make sure that it is clearly explained, in writing, what they will do the photos.
Styles of nude photographyThere are several different types and styles of nude photography. It's important that the photographer knows in advance what style you're looking for and that you're comfortable with the poses required.
• Implied nude photography
This is a type of portrait photography and can be applied in most styles – for example, boudoir photography – but for implied nude photography, nipples and genitals are not exposed. Keeping things hidden may be using specific poses and angles, shadowy lighting, or clothing.
• Boudoir photography
Images from a boudoir photoshoot are sexy, sensual and intimate. Typically, boudoir photography will involve lingerie rather than complete nudity and can be as revealing as you wish.
• Glamour photography
This type of photography will highlight the subjects beauty and involve more striking make-up and poses, and the images will typically be more heavily edited to give soft skin tones.
• Artistic nude photography
Artistic or fine-art nude photography is, as it sounds, using a nude model to produce a work of art.
• Other styles of nude photography
There are lots of other types of nude photography that don't quite fit into any of those categories including nude portraits, body sculpture, and bodypainting. Like most types of photography, only your imagination is the limit!
LocationAlthough the choice of location for your photoshoot will depend on what type and style of nude photography you have in mind, it's also about where you'll feel most comfortable and have the most fun.
• Studio nude photography
In the studio, the photographer has complete control of the lighting and the shadows and can produce exceptionally high-quality images. A smaller, boutique studio is often better for nude photography than a cavernous commercial studio, so check the size and type of studio before you book.
• Home nude photography
Your own home is where you're likely to be most comfortable and, in some cases, a nude photography session can be arranged at your place. However, a photographer needs space and an uncluttered environment, so most home photoshoots require large rooms, preferably in neutral colours.
• Location photography - Inside
An increasingly popular option for nude photography sessions is a hotel room or an AirBnB apartment. Although some hotels and hosts do not allow photoshoots in the rooms, many will be happy to hire the room for the day and to help you arrange your photoshoot. Location photoshoots are a fun way to make fabulous images and are particularly suited to boudoir photography and glamour photoshoots.
• Location photography - Outside
Nude photography outside using the natural light produces beautiful and striking images. Ideally, the location should be discreet and on private property so that there are no interruptions. Outside nude photography is especially suitable for implied nude, artistic photography and nude portraiture.
Before the photoshootYou've booked your photoshoot and you're getting prepared! Many of the hints and tips for before a nude photoshoot are similar to those for any other photoshoot, but there are a couple of extra things to particularly highlight about revealing photoshoots.
• Take a look at our What To Wear To Your Photoshoot page.
• Discuss with the photographer what shots you'll take before the photoshoot. The style of the images, how revealing you wish the images to be – the more the photographer knows beforehand, the better the photoshoot will go.
• Send some examples. It's a good idea to send a couple of photographs from Google images, Instagram or wherever to the photographer before the shoot so that you're both clear about the style.
• Tan lines. With the possible exception of the bikini line, tan lines usually look terrible, so if you don't have even skin tones, a spray-tan a few days before the shoot will sort that out.
• Hair removal. If it's coming off, make sure that it's done with enough of a gap before the photoshoot so that there aren't red patches or irritation.
• Tight clothes. Don't wear tight clothing on the day of the photography, it leaves marks on the skin for hours. Better to turn up in your trackie-daks and save the glamour for the photoshoot.
• Prepare a number of different outfits and accessories. Even if you're not wearing much, you'll want a couple of outfits or accessories – shoes and jewellery, for example – for a good variety of images.
• Bring a robe. There'll be times during the photoshoot when the photographer needs to change the lighting set-up or you might want to review the images, or you might just want a break, so bring a comfy robe to relax in between shots.
During the photoshootAs well as getting great images, the most important thing is to enjoy your photoshoot! Here are a few tips to make your nude photography session as fun as possible.
• Bring music. Make sure that you have a suitable playlist for your photoshoot on your phone. Some people like a mellow, relaxed soundtrack, while others like a more up-tempo feel. Or bring a couple of different playlists – it can make a surprisingly large difference to how the images look.
• Set the air-conditioning for your own comfort. It's quite easy for the photographer – who's busy and, not to mention, fully dressed – to forget about the AC so make sure you're warm/cool enough.
• Take regular breaks. If you're shooting for more than 20 or 30 minutes, you'll need a break so factor that into the schedule.
• Chat with the photographer. Photoshoots are much more fun, and the images much better, when there's a bit of back and forth between the subject and the photographer. There's no need for stony silence!
PosingPosing is the thing that is usually the biggest worry for most people. Fortunately, a professional photographer will guide you and do much of the work with the lighting and where they shoot from. How to pose is too big a subject to go into detail for this blog post, but a few general points about posing for a nude photography shoot are below.
• Follow the photographer's directions. The photographer can see where the light is falling and what you look like through the viewfinder, so they'll usually have a better idea of what needs to be adjusted.
• Be confident with your pose. A confident, even slightly exaggerated pose always looks better than a timid or half-hearted one. Go for it, enjoy yourself.
• Face towards the light. It'll depend on the style of photograph and the lighting, so follow the photographer's directions, but turning your face up towards the light is usually flattering.
• Partly side-on is usually more flattering than straight on.
• If you can bend it, bend it. A curved spine or a bend in the knee, elbows, and fingers is a often a good start for posing.
• If the pose is physically uncomfortable, stop. Some poses look fantastic but are quite hard to hold for any length of time. Pause for a moment or tell the photographer that you'd like to move onto a different pose.
• If the pose makes you feel uncomfortable or exposes anything you don't want to, stop and ask to move on. A good professional photographer with experience in nude photography will completely understand and will stop shooting immediately.
• Have fun with the poses, get silly, suggest ideas. Some of the most fun photoshoots can be when the subject takes the lead. If you have an idea, let the photographer know. If you want to try a dramatic pose, just throw it in there!
That's the end of my very brief guide to nude photography. There's loads more that we could talk about, but a lot of it depends on exactly what type of photograph that's being taken, the location, the photographer, and – most importantly – the subject. If you'd like to know more or if if you'd like to book a nude photography session, then get in touch with me via the GCPhoto contact page.
matt at GCPhoto