5 Tips For Nude Photography For Beginners


The majority of all nude photos are printed or published in black and white. The majority of these are low-key shots: in front of a deep black background, the contours of the model look almost like a silhouette. Classic black and white shots are still the most popular genre in nude photography. But models and photographers also have to face big challenges to get decent results. With these 5 tips, even beginners can take really good nude photos.

Location & Scenery: Let’s go outdoor

The first big question before a nude shoot is of course the location, because the effect of the pictures depends heavily on the surroundings. Anyone who has decided on indoor or outdoor can then search for a suitable location. Objects in the background distract or destroy the composition of the picture. So put away the coffee table, drying rack, etc., avoid all disruptive factors and cover them with sheets.

Light is the most important factor: It is best to observe the surroundings in advance at different times of the day to determine the optimal lighting conditions. Natural light or indirect, soft artificial light are the right choice – the frontal flash is taboo. And renting a small professional flash unit might be a good idea.

Style and genre: The erotic moment decides

The choice of the shooting location often goes hand in hand with the image ideas. The transition between classic nude photography and eroticism in pictures is fluid, but dirty poses are not appropriate. The artistic aspect predominates in nudes, while eroticism stimulates the imagination. Eroticism is heightened when the model is looking directly at the camera, while looking further away emphasizes the art.

Photographer & Model: Tension requires trust

Especially in nude photography, it is very important that the chemistry between model and photographer is right and that there is a basis of trust. Therefore, the topic and framework conditions of the shooting are discussed together beforehand. Clear agreements, trust and a good mood are the best ingredients for great photo series.

Also during the shooting, motivate the model with a lot of praise and put them in the right light with small instructions. Appropriate breaks with snacks or small catering should be planned. In addition, the model needs a place to undisturbed and undress.

Important: Models should be changed about half an hour before the start of the recording to avoid unsightly marks from underwear etc. When shooting outdoors, a place to warm up and warm clothing for breaks are important, especially in the cold season.

Technology & aesthetics: play of light in front of the lens

With compact digital cameras, the photographer is too dependent on the lighting conditions when taking nude photographs. Therefore, the use of a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) is recommended, as it allows manual setting of exposure time and aperture. The optimal tool is a portrait telephoto lens with focal lengths between 80 and 135 mm. A standard 18-55mm zoom lens can also provide good results.

When choosing the light intensity, the question arises whether high- or low-key shots work better. Light-accentuated high-key shots also highlight any problem areas of the model and quickly appear overcooled due to the low contrasts. In contrast to this is the mystical effect of low-key photos – the play with weak light and shadows. In any case, a tripod helps to avoid blurred shots with longer exposure times.

Image and exploitation rights: Always regulate image rights contractually

To be on the safe side, the model and photographer should contractually regulate the use of the images. This model release is a written consent of the person photographed for the use and publication of their image by the photographer.

If the nudes were taken on someone else’s property, it is advisable to obtain a photography permit from the owner. This property release is the written consent of a rights holder e.g. B. Property owner for the dissemination and publication by the photographer of an image created on his property or property.