You might be an expert in knowing how to shoot family portraits. But working with a (paid) nude model might be quite different.

Now that you have acquired the necessary tools to recognize and determine photo styles, the time is here for you to start taking those dazzling nude pictures too. But remember, there is much more to this than just selecting the right model, deciding on the camera, lighting or the background. Fact is that you must spend considerable time and efforts in looking at the subtleties of nude photography.

It’s not that hard to carry out nude photography. Sure enough, you can feel intimidated at first. But remember, people are among the easiest subjects in photography (well except for the fact that you sometimes have to deal with moody models).

Imagine what would happen if you took landscape shots. First, you would obviously have to reach the place you wish to capture. That alone already takes a lot of time and money. Then there is the issue of weather on top of that. Wildlife photographers don’t have an easy time either. Sometimes, they have to wait for weeks, and even months, for that perfect “snap”.

Nude photography is, to a certain extent, much simpler. You have complete control here. You can select the subject you want to shoot, decide on the lights and camera, and you can also choose the background. Your only limit is your imagination.

However, having said this, you will still need to plan efficiently. A lot of things can indeed go wrong. Here are 12 tips that can help you taking a nude photo like a true professional. Always remember these photo tips, and you will receive great results.

How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential Tips

1) First Talk. Then Observe. Finally Shoot.

First Talk. Then Observe. Finally Shoot - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsEvery model is different. There are those who always appear extremely confident about what they are doing, but you will meet those who seem to be in the wrong place. You will find these clues in the way the model is posing, her clothing, and her general appearance. Then there are good days and bad days too. Or quite simply, the model may be in a bad mood or even bored. You should certainly have a plan and a schedule for your session. But remember, you will need to be flexible as well. Make changes if you are depending on the situation you have on hand.

Always ask your model whether she is feeling good or not. Is the temperature right? Let her talk, and listen attentively. Make her feel comfortable.

Take a good look at her. Are her hands and nails looking fine? Of course, you must have seen your model before, personally or in pictures, but you still have to make sure that her stomach is not sticking out. It will certainly not look very good in the picture. Can you make any suggestions regarding her hair style? Look at her makeup as well. Everything must be perfect for the pictures to come out good.

2. Map It Out. Set Expectations.

Map It Out. Set Expectations - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsYou must already have a plan for the shoot. Explain your schedule to the nude model. Tell her about the kind of pictures you want to take and the poses you are looking for. This will give her an idea about what to expect from the session (show photos from your previous work, magazines, internet etc.). Sure enough, the two of you might have discussed this already. But it makes sense to go through it one last time before you begin to take the pictures.

3. Schmoozing is Important (But NOT Flirting!)

Schmoozing is Important - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsThere will be instances where you will meet models who need a vocal tonic to boost their egos. This makes them get into the right mood. However, don’t just restrict yourself to praising her facial looks or curves. Go beyond that and compliment her hairstyle, smile and eyes. But keep the talk strictly professional and don’t walk off-topic! Shootings are a professional occasion, only meant for doing pro work. It might feel like a thin line but it actually isn’t. No talk about private things like asking about a model’s relation, asking her out (!), not making any (subtle/easy to misunderstand) threads like “when you are doing good we will put you in a publication” or anything alike!

4. Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsPhotography lighting is always an essential part of shooting your live model. There are often temptations of using different types of light to create effects both on the subject and the background. The temptation is even higher if you are an expert in lighting arrangements. Stay away! It is always best to keep it as simple as you can. Remember, the subject is the most important thing here. She should be the center of all attention. Don’t create any special effects that can cause a distraction.

5. Guide Your Model! But Collaborate With Her.

Guide Your Model! But Collaborate With Her - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsIt is you who should know how to shoot nude photos . You are the boss. Tell your nude model what you want, but collaborate with her. This way you draw her into the decision making process but you need to make her understand upfront that you are having the final say. However, don’t ever be rude. You might be an expert in your field, but she is your subject. So always respect her. Take a few sample pictures first and show them to her. Ask for her feedback. This will make her feel as part of the process and more involved. And she will most certainly love it, trust me!

6. Little Things Help

Little Things Help - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsLook out for small little things. They can come in the way of all those sexy pics you want to take, or even, make them better. For instance, if her hair keeps falling to one side, perhaps there is a way in which you can make it work to your advantage. Perhaps those fake eyelashes might bring out her beauty more. Recognized and used in the right way, such things can add a lot of spice.

7. Music Sets the Mood

Music Sets the Mood - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsPlay some music. But be careful about the type of music you select – it needs to go with the type of pictures you want to create. Music works like magic with the lighting arrangements you have already set up. It will allow the model to relax and be at her best. Her facial expressions will come out really nicely. This is among the more important photo tips.

8. Strike the Pose

Strike the Pose - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsSometimes you might have to pose yourself to explain exactly what you need. Yes, it can feel stupid. But often this might be necessary. A real visual helps. After all, you want the best pictures, don’t you? Model posing is certainly among the more important issues in glamour photography.

9. Listening is as Important as Shooting

Listening is as Important as Shooting - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsYou need the full cooperation of your model to take good pictures. And for this, it is absolutely essential that you treat her right. Listening is a big part of this. Some models will speak up themselves, giving you suggestions. But often this is not the case. That’s when you must step in. Always seek her opinion and feedback. If she is an experienced model, she might in fact have a lot to offer. So why miss out?

10. Naked Does Not Always Equal Sexy

Naked Does Not Always Equal Sexy - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsSexy shots are not always about those dark eyes looking at you seductively and trying to invite you. They can be often as simple as the girl lying on the couch and smiling in her tank top. Keep in mind that being naked does not automatically guarantee a sexy look. Be more imaginative and you could come up with just the perfect shot.

11. Keep the “Disturbance” to a Minimum

Keep the “Disturbance” to a Minimum - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsThere are models who do not like to be disturbed too much during a shoot. So relax! Don’t push her too much or compliment her on her sexy looks too often. If you make her work and try to achieve those certain looks too hard, the poses and expressions you receive will look unnatural. And this will most definitely be visible in your photos.

12. Don’t Forget the Safety Shots!

Don't Forget the Safety Shots - How to Shoot Nude Photos – 12 Essential TipsYou must never miss out on the implied nudes. Keep in mind that there are places where you cannot publish completely nude pictures. For instance, you might want to promote your services through your Facebook page. Of course, you cannot upload nude pictures to your Facebook cover. So shoot some implied nudes to be on the safe side. Don’t show those nipples and pubic hairs. Let your model cover them up with hands, arms, hats or scarfs.

My Personal Tip for Starting Out

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