14 Nude Photography Tips For Beginners

Have you already photographed your girlfriend or boyfriend on vacation, at a party, at home or in the great outdoors? And now you want to dare to take some very special shots? Then you will see: successful nudes are an art in themselves. On the one hand, because very few amateur models really feel comfortable in their (naked) skin. On the other hand, because a lot of experimentation is called for until your own nude photos look as aesthetic, sensual and sexy as the big role models. The UPDATED tips will help you on the way to an aesthetic photo.

Equipment and Preparation

When it comes to nude photography, finding the right pose, the best light and the right environment are more important than the equipment. But one thing is also clear: the better the equipment, the more varied the possibilities. You should consider the following

Better a SLR than a compact camera

In order not to be too dependent on the prevailing lighting conditions – especially when taking pictures outdoors – it is better to use a digital single-lens reflex camera, or DSLR for short. The manual settings for exposure time and aperture give you more options when composing the picture.

Choose the lens that matches the subject

For full-body shots, you need a lens that is as bright as possible and has a focal length of around 50 mm. For detailed shots, you should use a telephoto lens with a focal length of 80 mm or more – just so you don’t get too close to your model.

Go for diffuse light

Light is the be-all and end-all in nude photography. Everything is possible, from accentuated body curves in front of a dark background to slight overexposure. Basically, however, the following applies: Avoid “hard” light that makes the body appear unnatural. If you have your own studio corner, use diffusers and reflectors, but white bed sheets or polystyrene plates are also suitable. Outdoors you can use a portable mini flash system with a softbox.

Create the right atmosphere

If the recordings are to be made at your home, prepare the location carefully. Above all, the background should be free of disturbing elements – this applies to both a light and a dark background. If something cannot be put away, cover it with a large cloth or bed sheet. In order for your model to feel comfortable, the room should be pleasantly warm. Beverages provided as well as a protective wall for undressing and changing promote the necessary trust of the model – especially if it is not your life partner, but perhaps a good friend or a professional Model.

Motif and image design

Just hold it up and snap away? Nowhere are the results more unsatisfactory than in nude photography. Because a body wants to be skilfully staged so that it looks appealing and erotic, instead of just being naked. These tips will help you.

Details instead of full body

Put the charms of the model in the limelight. The advantage: You can direct the posture better if your model only has to concentrate on a certain part of the body. In addition, the lighting is easier. For example, emphasize the contrast of light skin against a dark background.

Use props

Nothing beats the imagination. That’s why the most erotic thing about a nude photo is often what you don’t see. So have a few accessories ready, like a hat, an umbrella, or a feather boa. Let your model play with them and cover one part of the body or the other. Nice side effect: your model will feel less naked and insecure.

Put on a blurred background

Your model is the star! Therefore, it should be clearly visible in the foreground, while disturbing elements in the background disappear better in the blur. Use a large aperture (f/1.4 — f/8) and long focal lengths.

Better low-key than high-key

Low-key shots rely on photos that are as dark as possible. They are therefore much more suitable for nude photographs than high-key images, in whose glistening bright atmosphere every problem area, no matter how small, is illuminated. Extra tip: Choose a low aperture, say f/3.5, and an additional light source, such as a candle, to bring out a single detail sharp and bright while keeping the rest of the picture vague.

You can find out more about the background and camera settings in the guide to high-key & low-key photography.

Games with water

Especially in detail shots, water pearls provide a sparkling effect – in the truest sense of the word. The easiest way to do this is to do a photoshoot in the shower. Place drops of water with a spray bottle even more precisely. By the way: If the skin is properly creamed beforehand, the water drops roll off even more clearly.

Focus on curves

Round and soft, instead of straight and angular – that’s perfect for an erotic, aesthetic overall impression. In detail shots, the bottom, the breasts or the back are among the most photographed motifs. An exposed hip or angled leg, on the other hand, creates an interesting, “crooked” perspective. Have your model stand up straight and then lean against the wall at an angle and compare the result. can you see the difference

Dare to take outdoor pictures

It is already unusual for an amateur model to pose naked in front of the camera. In the great outdoors, possibly with the danger of strangers watching, it’s hardly easier. Nevertheless, you should – perhaps after the first attempts in a protected home atmosphere – dare to go outside. Because it’s worth it.

The sun provides the right mood lighting, especially in the morning and evening. Shadows can provide an additional effect. In addition, you will find many locations outside in which a naked body creates special tension: trees, a watercourse, bushes. Or how about a shooting in a mountain landscape or on a completely empty place?

But keep in mind that passers-by could disturb you. It is therefore best to look for lonely areas or use times of the day when only a few people are out and about.

shoot and pose

The interplay of model and photographer is crucial for the success of a shoot – especially in nude photography. But what can both sides do to create inspiring recordings?

Always stay energized

Body tension is even more important in nudes than in clothed models. Finally, this time all the muscles are clearly visible. In order to achieve the right tension, you can, for example, stand on tiptoe – the effect can also be seen in higher parts of the body. For a firmer bust, the model raises his arm, casually puts it on his shoulder or even over his head. And of course, as always, chest out – belly in.

Clear instructions from both sides

Even experienced models do not always know which image the photographer has in mind. Therefore, give clear instructions as to which pose your model should adopt and where the gaze should go. This of course only verbally – touching is taboo. A clear speech also applies to the model. If they are uncomfortable with a situation or pose, they should say so. Take away your model’s insecurity by talking a lot. Small talk distracts a little from the unfamiliar situation, compliments strengthen self-confidence.

Include the model

In between, show the model the results. Discuss together what worked and what didn’t. Explain what vision you have of the ideal image – the model may have their own ideas on how best to implement this. The more openly both sides deal with each other, the stronger the trust in each other – and the better the result.

Together to the successful picture

For many amateur photographers, nude photography is unfamiliar territory. As a rule, you work with an amateur model, so both sides are initially uncertain. But if you both agree on which pictures should be taken, you can concentrate on the location, the posing and the togetherness. Good nude photos are created (almost) all by themselves.