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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Glamour & Nude Talk
Thread started 30 Aug 2016 (Tuesday) 07:04
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Advice on first time nude photo shoot?

 
Transient ­ W.A.S.P.
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Joined May 2016
Prague, Czech Republic
Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Transient W.A.S.P..
Aug 30, 2016 07:04 |  #1

Hello, all. I am interested in trying a nude photo shoot for the first time and I would appreciate some advice. I would like to do something tasteful and artistic, not pornographic. So, how does one go about getting a model for an amateur with no experience? Best type of location to try first? Black and white or color? Rules and appropriate behavior? As for location and style I know its largely up to my taste, but common practices and suggestions for how to approach a model from some of you that have experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


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Transient W.A.S.P.

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tdlavigne
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292 posts
Joined Mar 2015
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 30, 2016 19:26 |  #2

For a first timer, unless your clothed work is really (and I mean REALLY) good, you're likely going to have to pay a model. In that case, they generally don't care about your skill level, and you can relax and just treat it as a practice shoot for yourself. The other option would be if you're good at shooting something else that the model needs (for example pretty portraity stuff, headshots, fitness, blog style photos, etc) then you can offer to trade a look for her for a look for you. If you are going to go the route of paying, figure out a budget that works for you, and stick to it. Often times the models that rely on photographers to pay their bills will try to take advantage of you if you seem new to the whole process.

The average rates for nude models varies, but the fact that it's fairly inconsistent work and that very few models support themselves with that type of work can work in your favor. I've seen models charge $100/hr, but that's more of a starting point it seems. You can offer $50/hr and I'm sure some would accept it depending on how long and where the shoot is. I know a guy who said he paid $200/hr for a model...I don't see the point of that to be honest. Long story short, offer what you can and stay open minded and treat it as a negotiation. I'd start with $200/half day (4hrs) and work from there. Have example images of what you'd like to shoot, and be open/honest with the fact that you're new and this is your first time with this particular style of photography. Show examples of your other work to show that you do in fact know how to operate a camera though. Most models who do nude for pay modeling will be open to helping you out and giving you tips/pointers as far as directing them and how to pose best for your setup.

Best location? I'd suggest a rented studio. It's private, and since it's rented (and likely in an area with other people just a short distance away) you don't have to worry about scaring off girls by telling them you're shooting in your basement in some out of the way home in the boondocks. On top of that you can have the time to set up some lighting, test it out, and if it doesn't work then redo it and try something else. Nudes in public or outdoors require you to be very quick and know what you want and how to accomplish it in short order.

Black and white or color? Up to you. Best advice I can give you is to have an idea of what you want to do and how you want to have the finished images to look. If you're relying too heavily on other people's opinions of what your style should be, or if you're too intent on having the photos look like your inspiration photos then the shoot will not turn out as well as you would like, or as good as it could. My suggestion: know exactly what you want before you do this, then if it doesn't work out you can figure out from a technical standpoint what went wrong and work to fix that in the future. If you are rather open ended and just trying anything then you won't know where you went wrong or how to improve, because you didnt' really have a set goal to begin with.

Rules and appropriate behavior:
The big one: don't touch the model. When you're super experienced and have a large portfolio of work that shows you shoot nudes, and have a ton of references then you can treat it like any other shoot and move a model's shoulder or arm or something. Breasts, butt, thighs, etc (ie. all the common sense areas) are off limits. As a new photographer I wouldn't suggest even touching the model anywhere. Save yourself the trouble.

Next, don't stare at her while she (or he if you're shooting guys) is getting undressed. That's private time. Doesn't matter if you're shooting super sexual/suggestive stuff...the act of undressing is the model's private time. Find something else to do (play with lights, sweep up the floor, drink some water, etc) while she's getting ready. Once she's at the shooting area (let's assume on some seamless) then you obviously need to look at her to see how light is falling on her, how different poses/positions affect the lines of her body, etc. Treat it like another day at the job, and don't stare longer than necessary. If you're speaking to her, remember she has eyes...ie. don't stare at her breasts/crotch (or his bits if it's a dude).

It's good to communicate and be social, but one mistake I see is guys who make sexual jokes or comment on how "hot/sexy" a model is. Avoid that.

Be sure the model is comfortable, so if it's hot ask if she wants the AC on or a fan. If it's cold turn the heat on or take frequent breaks and allow her to put on a robe or something. Offer water. Allow for frequent breaks, etc.

Don't change the concepts that you've previously discussed. If you hired a model to model topless, don't wait until an hour into the shoot and ask her to remove her bottoms. Discuss what you want ahead of time, and stick to it.

That's pretty much all I can think of off the top of my head. Good luck!




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98kellrs
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Perth, Australia
Aug 30, 2016 22:18 as a reply to tdlavigne's post |  #3

^That's a really good explanation.

I would also say just treat the model exactly as you would if they were clothed. It's really no different, especially to a professional model who will likely be as comfortable out of her clothes as they are in them.


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Transient ­ W.A.S.P.
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Joined May 2016
Prague, Czech Republic
Aug 31, 2016 04:47 |  #4

Thank's for the in depth info. Really good advice. As far as the price is concerned, I think I am in luck, because I am in Prague and the going rate for everything but electronics is far cheaper than anything in the U.S. Also, the Czechs are much more comfortable with nudity in general, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a subject for the shoot. Thanks again!


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Transient W.A.S.P.

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olafs ­ osh
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Joined Apr 2012
Latvia and Lithuania
Aug 31, 2016 05:48 |  #5

I would suggest a tasteful hotel room for first shoot.
Have your poses/concept ready.
Nail the lighting +/- beforehand.

If you plan to use a model from aside - check her portfolio. Go with the best - they are more confident and professional, which will help YOU enourmosly. Seriously - dont go cheap :)


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troehr
Senior Member
681 posts
Joined Dec 2010
Chiang Rai, Thailand
Aug 31, 2016 21:32 |  #6

tdlavigne wrote in post #18111886 (external link)
For a first timer, unless your clothed work is really (and I mean REALLY) good, you're likely going to have to pay a model. In that case, they generally don't care about your skill level, and you can relax and just treat it as a practice shoot for yourself. The other option would be if you're good at shooting something else that the model needs (for example pretty portraity stuff, headshots, fitness, blog style photos, etc) then you can offer to trade a look for her for a look for you. If you are going to go the route of paying, figure out a budget that works for you, and stick to it. Often times the models that rely on photographers to pay their bills will try to take advantage of you if you seem new to the whole process.

The average rates for nude models varies, but the fact that it's fairly inconsistent work and that very few models support themselves with that type of work can work in your favor. I've seen models charge $100/hr, but that's more of a starting point it seems. You can offer $50/hr and I'm sure some would accept it depending on how long and where the shoot is. I know a guy who said he paid $200/hr for a model...I don't see the point of that to be honest. Long story short, offer what you can and stay open minded and treat it as a negotiation. I'd start with $200/half day (4hrs) and work from there. Have example images of what you'd like to shoot, and be open/honest with the fact that you're new and this is your first time with this particular style of photography. Show examples of your other work to show that you do in fact know how to operate a camera though. Most models who do nude for pay modeling will be open to helping you out and giving you tips/pointers as far as directing them and how to pose best for your setup.

Best location? I'd suggest a rented studio. It's private, and since it's rented (and likely in an area with other people just a short distance away) you don't have to worry about scaring off girls by telling them you're shooting in your basement in some out of the way home in the boondocks. On top of that you can have the time to set up some lighting, test it out, and if it doesn't work then redo it and try something else. Nudes in public or outdoors require you to be very quick and know what you want and how to accomplish it in short order.

Black and white or color? Up to you. Best advice I can give you is to have an idea of what you want to do and how you want to have the finished images to look. If you're relying too heavily on other people's opinions of what your style should be, or if you're too intent on having the photos look like your inspiration photos then the shoot will not turn out as well as you would like, or as good as it could. My suggestion: know exactly what you want before you do this, then if it doesn't work out you can figure out from a technical standpoint what went wrong and work to fix that in the future. If you are rather open ended and just trying anything then you won't know where you went wrong or how to improve, because you didnt' really have a set goal to begin with.

Rules and appropriate behavior:
The big one: don't touch the model. When you're super experienced and have a large portfolio of work that shows you shoot nudes, and have a ton of references then you can treat it like any other shoot and move a model's shoulder or arm or something. Breasts, butt, thighs, etc (ie. all the common sense areas) are off limits. As a new photographer I wouldn't suggest even touching the model anywhere. Save yourself the trouble.

Next, don't stare at her while she (or he if you're shooting guys) is getting undressed. That's private time. Doesn't matter if you're shooting super sexual/suggestive stuff...the act of undressing is the model's private time. Find something else to do (play with lights, sweep up the floor, drink some water, etc) while she's getting ready. Once she's at the shooting area (let's assume on some seamless) then you obviously need to look at her to see how light is falling on her, how different poses/positions affect the lines of her body, etc. Treat it like another day at the job, and don't stare longer than necessary. If you're speaking to her, remember she has eyes...ie. don't stare at her breasts/crotch (or his bits if it's a dude).

It's good to communicate and be social, but one mistake I see is guys who make sexual jokes or comment on how "hot/sexy" a model is. Avoid that.

Be sure the model is comfortable, so if it's hot ask if she wants the AC on or a fan. If it's cold turn the heat on or take frequent breaks and allow her to put on a robe or something. Offer water. Allow for frequent breaks, etc.

Don't change the concepts that you've previously discussed. If you hired a model to model topless, don't wait until an hour into the shoot and ask her to remove her bottoms. Discuss what you want ahead of time, and stick to it.

That's pretty much all I can think of off the top of my head. Good luck!


This is a very well thought out and clear response. You have covered pretty much everything.




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ashleykaryl
Member
202 posts
Joined Aug 2009
Post has been edited 11 months ago by ashleykaryl.
Oct 28, 2016 16:21 |  #7

Some good advice here already. For a first shoot I would suggest an indoor location with readily available natural props like curtains, stairs or a sofa. This gives the model something to do, but more importantly it takes some of the pressure off you having to make suggestions, especially if the model is a bit static. Try to find a location with adequate space for lighting and camera angles, but don't be afraid to shoot with natural light.

It's good to play some music during the shoot, but not too loud and find what the model likes. Above all just try to be natural and matter of fact. Frankly it's no big deal shooting nudes and if you take a relaxed approach you will both be happier with the experience.

One final golden rule. Always make 100% sure the model is a legal age. That's 18 in most places but 21 in some areas. I've shot nudes in Prague and it's just about the best place on the planet for finding good models.


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Advice on first time nude photo shoot?
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