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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Glamour & Nude Talk 
Thread started 18 Mar 2014 (Tuesday) 13:05
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Nudity "virgin"

 
Pearlallica
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Mar 18, 2014 13:05 |  #1

Been shooting professionally and full time for 6 years now. I'm more in the wedding and portraits fields - haven't gotten into glamour yet but have always admired the artistic aspects of it. I'm a bit old fashioned and strive to abstain from sensual imagery mainly because faithfulness and marriage and well, reasoning not relatable to many people this day and age. Anyhow, that background is relevant because I'm not sure how to break past the whole nudity issue in my photography amidst some bashfulness on my part. I've had clients willing to do nudity (infant sessions, maternity) but have been successful at covering up my clients with the right materials and clothing without being too revealing but still appearing nude (haven't seen a nipple in my studio yet LOL) In college we had nude models pose for us and it was always extremely awkward for most 1st year students. I just don't know how it's possible to not get too excited with a nude female subject. My wife can get me tongue tied with the right lingerie on, so factor in a younger, hair-styled model in a provocative pose - I don't know you guys do it and keep your cameras steady. Obviously you must get used to it especially once you're in the zone, but I guess the advise I'm looking for has more to do with dealing with the first time (photographer's) and nerves or bashfulness and how to make the model comfortable enough, especially not to detect any natural male anticipation to see them in the raw.

I have access to friends and friends of friends, young girls willing to take it off for my camera which I'd love to get into artistically and build up my portfolio, but haven't really put one of these sessions on my calendar yet because I'm not sure how on earth to not become a giddy high school boy once all those assets are out in the open to the delight of my eyes LOL


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Vetteography
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Mar 18, 2014 13:50 |  #2

I have only done a few, but I was more worried about getting a good shot that getting a...er... getting excited. When I started shooting, I was too focused on the light and camera to really care if they were clothed or not.




  
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Pearlallica
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Mar 18, 2014 13:59 |  #3

Vetteography wrote in post #16767938 (external link)
I have only done a few, but I was more worried about getting a good shot that getting a...er... getting excited. When I started shooting, I was too focused on the light and camera to really care if they were clothed or not.

Good to know. Maybe my brain would just go right into the typical mode of studio logistics, equipment setup etc.. Those were anxieties I remember having in the first stages of portraiture which overshadowed anything to do with the subject directly.

I've shot so many brides over the years now that I'm past the technicalities and I get excited to capture her beauty and radiant joy. It is now more of an emotional experience compared to a common job where you're just "going through the motions". I suppose if I'm appreciating a model's physical features openly on a professional level as an artist, which is exactly what I am at heart, I shouldn't worry about sexual tension ever coming up..


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taemo
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Mar 18, 2014 14:00 |  #4

talk to them prior to the shoot, also have the session start with clothes on then once both of you are comfortable to each other, she can slowly undress.

also make sure that your wife is ok with you shooting other women naked first.


edit: i know on my very first time shooting boudoir, i couldn't concentrate properly for the first 5-10 minutes but once you get used to it, then it's all about the posing and lighting.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Mar 18, 2014 14:14 as a reply to  @ taemo's post |  #5

I am from the thought that once you see one naked they more or less all look the same. When shooting my mind is no where near the "o look a naked girl lets get excited" area lol unless its the rare time my wife poses and is not a helper. I have shot tight bodies 22 year olds and women who I have known my entire life and are old enough to be mom. If tou think your honna get all excited then your probably not ready lol. Then again im the guy that can be at a "nudy bar" for a birthday party and pay more attention to the football game thats on the tv then the girl taking her xlothes off right in front of us. Nudity does not have to equal sexual.




  
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Pearlallica
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Mar 18, 2014 14:17 |  #6

taemo wrote in post #16767959 (external link)
talk to them prior to the shoot, also have the session start with clothes on then once both of you are comfortable to each other, she can slowly undress.

also make sure that your wife is ok with you shooting other women naked first.


edit: i know on my very first time shooting boudoir, i couldn't concentrate properly for the first 5-10 minutes but once you get used to it, then it's all about the posing and lighting.

I have a young girl in mind and she said she'd be happy to allow me to practice on her for any style of glamour I have in mind. Both my me and my wife know her and my wife is accepting of the idea - she's probably not 100% comfortable (she has body image issues herself) but she understands it's a part of my line of work, especially if I want to expand my portrait offerings (boudoir, nude maternity, glamour). My wife understands that my motives aren't to be able to have girls strip down for my own enjoyment but rather being an artistic requirement.

Hearing that you too had concentration issues on your first shoot is reassuring and that you're very much human. I guess I sometimes see very... err, arousing photos on here and think to myself, "how the heck to you guys not lose your cool". Some of these models are insanely GORGEOUS.


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Pearlallica
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Mar 18, 2014 14:21 |  #7

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #16767984 (external link)
I am from the thought that once you see one naked they more or less all look the same. When shooting my mind is no where near the "o look a naked girl lets get excited" area lol unless its the rare time my wife poses and is not a helper. I have shot tight bodies 22 year olds and women who I have known my entire life and are old enough to be mom. If tou think your honna get all excited then your probably not ready lol. Then again im the guy that can be at a "nudy bar" for a birthday party and pay more attention to the football game thats on the tv then the girl taking her xlothes off right in front of us. Nudity does not have to equal sexual.

I'm also a PSW and see real world nudity every day on the job, which I probably should have mentioned. I agree - nudity DOES NOT have to equal sexual! bw! Perhaps I see glamour photos and am merely looking at the fantasy aspect of the final product. I'm experienced enough to know that studio conditions and the final product are two separate things. What you are describing in glamour terms is exactly this. Having not tried glamour I suppose is probably my greater anxiety than the actual experience itself. Sounds like I should just schedule a shoot and stop sweating! lol :cool: Thanks for sharing. :)


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macrochem
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Mar 18, 2014 14:27 |  #8

I think that as long as you have the intention of being a real professional, aren't trying to perv out on the naked model, and tell the model that she has absolute control to stop the session or tell you when she's feeling uncomfortable, you'll be fine.




  
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Pearlallica
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Mar 18, 2014 15:15 |  #9

macrochem wrote in post #16768005 (external link)
I think that as long as you have the intention of being a real professional, aren't trying to perv out on the naked model, and tell the model that she has absolute control to stop the session or tell you when she's feeling uncomfortable, you'll be fine.

These are great tips. I'm not accustomed to having to give my subjects this kind of assurance in the basic world of portraiture and may have not considered this in a preliminary discussion. My concern is more for the model's comfort more than my initial anxieties, and this is good advice in paving the way for a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all involved.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Mar 18, 2014 15:32 |  #10

If you really stop to think about it and are honest with yourself, it might help to ask yourself the question: what is my real motivation for wanting to do this ? Your fears might be tied up in the answer.

There are a multitude of ways we can look at a nude model standing in front of us. We can see them as an object of desire, we can see them as a mother or librarian, as a biological organism, as a friend; we can see their bodies as light reflectors and shadow projectors; we can look and see shape.

When I occasionally have the opportunity of shooting nudes, the latter ways of seeing dominate. Concern about my ability to light and photograph that form in a way that satisfies my artistic goals seems to totally usurp whatever base desires I would have.

I suspect you would respond in a similar way.



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jetcode
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Mar 18, 2014 15:46 |  #11

I have experience shooting nudes. I must have shot around 25 models during a year or two in the late 90's. First, and foremost respect is at the top of the list. Provide them a clean dressing room with bathroom and a robe. Second, if they need someone on set for security honor the request. Third, educate your model and anyone else who is there. You are not just shooting a naked human being you are shooting shape, light, and shadow. The best nudes are not about exposing the human body but in creating dramatic lines, shapes, and textures using the human form as a seed for expression. There is nothing to be ashamed of. You need to handle what will come up for you. It is natural to be stimulated. Always show utmost respect for your models and focus that energy into producing a great photograph. Never cross the line. Ever. They are there to model and you are there to make images. Pay your models. Use an assistant to help them and I find that female assistants work best when working with female models. Particularly beginners. Some models are long past barriers. They will be flexible and easy to work with. Beginning models will need to be coached. Do not expect to capture something that is beyond your models comfort zone. Always inquire. I planned my model sessions in advance. I would shoot a trial on 35mm and then plan how I wanted to shoot them using a 4x5 or 5x7. Always discuss your shots with your model so they have some sense of what you are attempting to create. Your model gets last say in everything. Again, respect is the cornerstone to a working relationship with models.




  
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Pearlallica
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Mar 18, 2014 16:10 |  #12

I hear everything you are both saying and agree completely - having high respect for women from a very early age and throughout life has always been close to my core.

More great tips about approaching the session. Thanks guys! I've actually been creating a storyboard for my first glamour/boudoir session for the past 6 months. (yes, that's how long I've been procrastinating) Before scheduling the shoot I had planned to share the storyboard with my first photographic subject. (not a professional model). It is more an educational shoot than for pay. Later shoots are with subjects wanting portfolio images and are free models. It is all to help build up comfort with nudity in the studio and be able to take on more work in that area. I'm prominently listed in the yellow pages and frequently get phone calls from guys that want sensual images of their girlfriends and have turned down the work. Part of my resistance has of course been out of respect for my wife's comfort levels just as much! Which has been easing as of late...

I think my anxiety comes from that which I haven't yet faced. In my PSW work great lengths are made to make the client feel comfortable when ever there is nudity. I just need to remind myself the same applies in the studio - if they are comfortable then there should be no awkwardness to get in the way of great pictures being made.


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FeXL
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Mar 19, 2014 11:39 as a reply to  @ Pearlallica's post |  #13

Honestly, if I were you, I'd photograph my wife first. Deal with the familiar before you deal with the unfamiliar. Treat her as you would a new model, be as objective as possible, get her feedback, adjust & move on. Perhaps a couple of sessions, even.

Prior to shooting a new nude model, try to get some feedback on what they're looking for in finished images (assuming it's Trade For), what their comfort level is (nude, implied, lingerie, whatever), where their headspace is at. Ask them if they have any body areas that they would rather you not photograph.

Get them to pick a dozen or so images from the internet pertaining to the session theme & email them to you prior to the session, then sit down with them & discuss the images. What about the images caught their eye? Light? Composition? Pose? Something else? Collect a file of images of your own, not to duplicate but to provide inspiration for. You may even tailor a set of collected images for a particular model, depending on personality, comfort, body style, whatever.

Design a session workflow prior to the session, write it down, so that if you do get flustered you can do a quick dross-check & move on. Don't be afraid to skip a portion of the workflow if it's not working. Realize when you've hit a dead end & quit flogging it. Every idea isn't going to pan out. Move smoothly onto the next concept, be flexible.

Keep the energy high, the mood positive, engage the model by showing her successful images on the camera back occasionally, tell her how beautiful she looks. Reassure, reassure, reassure. If she is not relaxed, it will show in the images. Chimp constantly, watch your histogram (exposure).

Take a break every so often, everyone can catch their breath, laugh, get a sip of water, relax for a minute. Talk about what you've accomplished so far, ask if she is comfortable with what you've done, let her know what's coming up next. Ask her if she has any ideas.

Keep the studio warm, have a robe handy for her at all times, make sure water is available for both of you.

Take your shoes off.

Good luck.




  
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mjklunk
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Mar 19, 2014 14:42 |  #14

I think many have chimed in with very accurate and good advice. I think once you get into the session of shooting nudes you will find that it is really no different than shooting a good portrait. You will be concentrating too much on the technical side and the goal of getting the shot. When shooting people it doesn't matter the the level of or lack of clothing. Your main focus will still be the eyes and flattering posing.




  
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nathancarter
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Mar 19, 2014 14:55 |  #15

FeXL wrote in post #16770355 (external link)
Prior to shooting a new nude model, try to get some feedback on what they're looking for in finished images (assuming it's Trade For), what their comfort level is (nude, implied, lingerie, whatever), where their headspace is at. Ask them if they have any body areas that they would rather you not photograph.

All great advice.

The question I've bolded, I would preface that with "What do you like most about yourself, and what do you want to show off or emphasize?" - to keep the tone positive. The conversation may naturally progress to things she doesn't want photographed, or you might have to gently steer it that way.


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