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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography...Hi to all, A female acquaintance of mine (in her forties) asked me to take some erotic pictures of her. ...
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Old 04-09-2010, 23:49   #1 (permalink)
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Question Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

Hi to all,

A female acquaintance of mine (in her forties) asked me to take some erotic pictures of her. I have yet to know what exactly does she mean by "erotic" (she has only mentioned she prefers stuff which is suggested as opposed to blatantly shown). It's been years since I had contact with her, so I do not know her that well. She is German, so she's quite cool and open about her showing herself naked.

I prefer images which look a bit more risqué and I hate traditional posed pics (Playboy's aesthetique would be the opposite from I would like to do). I would like something which looks natural, as stolen from real life.

I am no professional photographer. I've only got a Nikon D3000 with a 18-55 and a tripod. Needless to say, I am not planning to buy or rent extra equipment. And I would rather shoot indoors, but I am quite open to any scenario.

It's going to take some time for her to find the time to come to Munich, so I have time to think about it. I would like to ask you guys about

a) general tips about nude shooting without having a professional model. All kinds of tips. I have never done a photo session on assignment, so general tips about "directing" somebody would be very much appreciated.
b) any link to cool, erotic, modern photography you might know of. I'm quite familiar with photographers up to the nineties... but I could get ideas from watching fresher images. Of course I will also be searching in Flickr, but you might already know about somebody doing powerful stuff.


Well, that's it. I will appreciate your feedback on this.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:18   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

Hi Mosh,
I found some videos on "Nude Photography" or "Creative Glamour" photography useful. It better illustrates how to get it done than just reading off the net or book. Try this

Last edited by hanra; 05-09-2010 at 06:23.
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Old 05-09-2010, 23:54   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

Thanks a bunch, Hanra. I am going to watch the video right now.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:30   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

Hey Mosh,
Look for "Boudoir photography". Boudoir is the new trend today for "erotic" photography. It's more tasteful and sexy (IMHO) than the just plain nude photography.
Here is the link to a boudoir photographer that I like: Racy Steeves | Dallas Boudoir Photography
I can't show you examples of my work because so far, my clients did not want their photos publicly shown, but I can give you more tips if you're interested.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:34   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

Hi Daykol,

Thank you very much for your link. Nice pictures, although not exactly what I am looking for. Those images almost look like fashion shots; not erotic enough for my taste. (Funny that the name of the photographer is "Racy") ; ) It's good to know the term, though.
No worries about your portfolio, I understand completely, but if you are willing to share some tips, I'm willing to listen.

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Old 07-09-2010, 14:39   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

She likes suggested nudity & you like risque. You maybe need to ask her how she would like to be portrayed as your photographs might be on the opposite scale of what she wants and what the client wants, the client gets.
Maybe ask her to point out some photographs that she likes as the shots are for her.
As for tips on photographing nudes, the best thing is to make sure your model is relaxed and happy with what you are doing, start with some fully clothed shots to get the lighting right and never push them to do anything that they are uncomfortable with or it will show in the photographs.
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Old 08-09-2010, 00:04   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

Hi Sarah/Whipspeed,

What I meant: there are pictures which imply a risqué situation without showing the whole body. That's more what I'm looking for (and Helmut Newton springs to mind). Erotic does not necessarily mean nudity; I think most of us can agree on that. Sometimes even placing a foreign object in the scene can tell a different story. The boudoir examples DayKol kindly posted are quite nice to look at, but -at least in my opinion- erotica should sexually arouse me and those images I find only beautifully done, but that's about it.
I've already asked her for some examples of what she has in mind. I am just waiting for her response. In the end, it's her image and I should respect that.

Please don't get me wrong, I don't mean to sound like a naysayer. I appreciate the comments and examples you've given me so far, and I am really looking forward to learning. I just want to define – in the best way I can – what I have in mind.

In your opinion, guys & girls, what's best: to have the model adopting specific poses or to suggest a situation, let her interpret that and move around and just try to catch the best moments? Or does it depend on each individual case/person?

Any other particular routine/advice which has helped you obtain the most of the model? Any thing which I should avoid?
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:37   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

Hi Mosh,
my 2 cents: considering that this is probably your model's first time doing this, you definitely have to give her directions. Be prepared. Think about what you want achieve before the shoot. Come up with a concept and don't try to improvise during the shoot. You have to be in control to make your model feel comfortable and give her the feeling you know what you are doing.
Also make sure you know your light and camera set up before the shoot.
You have to direct your model but not "command" her though. There should be some place for interpretation but it's more likely that she won't know what to do so be prepared for that. There is nothing more awkward than a model not knowing which pose to strike next and the photographer just standing there and waiting.
And I agree with Sarah: when photographing nude or erotic, they key is to make your model feel relaxed and comfortable. Have a coffee with her first, chat a bit, start with photos with clothes on so that she gets used to the camera and the flash. And keep the conversation going.

If I were you, I would try and organize some normal shooting before this one just to practice directing a model.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:57   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

I've not done any of this sort of photography, but I guess the posing will depend on the personality of the model. If she has an artistic/actress/dancer/outgoing/confident outlook rather than a shrinking violet (or I'm guessing that she would not be asking you to do the shoot) then giving her a concept to put her own interpretation on would be a good way to start, but you will need to tweak little things like arm and hand positions, and head and eye positions.

This link does deal with these small things and you might find it useful

10. The Rules Of Good Portraiture
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Old 15-09-2010, 12:31   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

Location...... Where will the shots be taken? The location of a shoot of this kind can help define the type of shots you will take.
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Old 24-09-2010, 09:19   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for inspiration and tips on contemporary nude photography

@Dabhand: thanks a lot. VERY interesting information on that site.

@Gary: I have no clue ; ) I don't own a studio, so it's either doing it on my flat or out in the open (the latter is less likely to happen, though).
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