Nude photography is a genre most photographers dabble in every now and again. I've often thought of nude photography as a natural extension of portraiture; if you're going to spend so much time on trying to capture the 'essence' of who somebody is, in some cases shedding any barriers between the model and the camera such as clothes is the next logical step.
One thing that can be a challenge, is to translate portraiture techniques into nudes. For right or wrong, there are still a few social taboos around nudity - and even in relation to photographing nudes - and I often receive e-mails from people who want to give it a right good go, but can't quite figure out how to get started.
I am often asked where people who are interested in nude photography should start - and after a bit of research, I've finally found a great one-stop shop for all the information you could need about nude photography.
You can find it on Amazon UK or Amazon. I've written about the topic before, and you could do a lot worse than having a look at Try Nude Photography ; my interview with nude photographer Pascal Renoux who is also featured in this list of inspirational nudes , Adding Passion to Nude Photography , and Nude Photography You may also be interested in the short piece by Brigitte I posted on nude self portraiture. The reason I decided to create this post is two-fold; A lot of photographers are posting their first few steps in nude portraiture to Flickr, but many of them don't get the exposure they deserve.
The great thing about this is that even if you are a Flickr veteran, there's likely to be a load of photos in this list that you haven't come across before. The other way of using this list is for 'imitation as inspiration'. If you're only just starting out in nude portraiture, it may be a useful exercise to pick some of the photos you like best, and plagiarise them.
See if you can recreate them as closely as possible, and learn as much as you can about the process. Obviously, I wouldn't necessarily recommend posting the copies to Flickr or, indeed, anywhere ; but imitation can be a great way to get more familiar with a model, with directing your subjects, and getting a 'feel' for what works and what doesn't in nude portraiture.
Once you're comfortable, turn off the 'copying' switch, tune in to your own creative vibe, and start creating your own masterpieces. I did promise you some inspiration, though, and so far it's only been me babbling on Let's get started! This photo stands out by going against that predictable notion and taking a more playful tone by use of bright colors and lighting, an eye-catching pattern of characters and a simple yet effective pose.
Not only is it flattering to accentuate the curves, more importantly it adds an ethereal story to the image. Soft and delicate is a woman See Nude 2 by Andy Hassall in full res on Flickr. It's very obviously a nude, but there is nothing to see. It's intriguing and alluring, almost beguiling. The grains and the black and white do nothing but complement. See Untitled by canarinomannaro in full res on Flickr. There's something pure, innocent, and powerful about this nude; the model isn't without flaws, and the shot itself isn't perfect either - but that's where the beauty comes from.
The relaxed pose and the peaceful look means it doesn't really matter. A lovely example of the nude photography genre indeed! The fear of reality is the attraction of this shot. Wet hair suggests vulnerability. Parted lips infer loss of breath and words.
The hand on her breast declares a longing for comfort. See Day Scar Beneath the Surface. There is a serene beauty when you look at this woman. The pose is almost heartbreaking as she stares out the window and the light soflty hits her skin and her surroundings. The only color in the room is the pink flowers on the wall, which implies that the subject is not sad, but only hushed.
See Untitled by Jenn in full res on Flickr. Raw is the word. It is only human to feel heat and the artist has created a "real" representation of this. Her treatment speaks of grit by having the close appearance of an instamatic or polaroid camera. The ice is not foreign either whether we'd like to admit it or not. See H. T by Nausika Bongard-Bonjour in full res on Flickr. The fun use of lines and color in the composition reminds me of when we were kids. The way our imagination worked during moments of lull is what the image captures - just proof that even as adults, our imagination still runs away with us.
See Bathtub racer by Jaybird in full res on Flickr. The minimalism of this nude is an effective delight. I can't help but enjoy the pose - the model on her tiptoes and the bones of her shoulders make the shot and help us appreciate the supple human body. See Spiderwoman by Rod Monkey in full res on Flickr. I'll be frank with you: There's nothing attractive about this photo; but that's also not the point. It has raw emotion, and a veritable overload of attitude, passion, and even a touch of anger.
Bloody awesome work. The rest of Maxwell's work is worth a peek as well; he's one of those photographers who is able to surprise me in good ways rather consistently. The artist attempts to portray power and strength, that which is intrinsic in a stripped down "real" man. Roots of a tree as a metaphor to the latter are elementally strong and able to withstand nature's maybe even all challenges.
See Grow by Meta-morphosis in full res on Flickr. The photo is haunting as the model's spine presses against her skin. The peculiar spine is what catches the viewer's eye and arrests them to linger on nothing else. The mood is solidified by the predominant grey tones. See Untitled by Yami Ya in full res on Flickr. The image emits a whimsical feel to its viewers. The different hands clutching the woman's back can be interpreted in many different ways and perhaps different emotions.
For example: the hand with red nail polish represents lust by use of color and the hand's slightly stronger grip on the skin. The model's eyes hold the power of this shot. You stare at her as she stares back at you with a brutal sense of honesty. This shot seems simple, but it's far from it when beyond the eyes you start to notice the curious shape of the body, the flaws of the skin and the odd proportions. I guess it's like looking in the mirror. See No heels, no shirt, no skirt All im in is just skin All I want to see you in is just skin.
I did a photo shoot with Tina many years ago, in ; I loved the innocence that shone through in many of her photos. A few years later, she became a glamour model - but I like to think that it was these shots that got the ball rolling It probably wasn't There are so many things one can say about this photo. The texture is lovely. The light adds depth. Your eyes can fool you - it takes a while to notice what you're really looking at in this photo.
This nude is brilliant and unique and maybe even painful. See Untitled by Marko Matus in full res on Flickr. The warm subdued colors give the photo a Sunday morning vibe. The mood is lazy and grateful as you think about the weekend. What makes this photo real is the detail of the hair on the model's buttocks, the light that hits the crack perfectly and the little bokkeh beside it.
Wonderfully lethargic! See Morning by LightDream 7 in full res on Flickr. This sultry, alluring nude is terribly suggestive, but that's because of her eyes. They're drawing you into the shot, whatever of her body is on display. See Nude by Fran Rivero in full res on Flickr. This is an enjoyably light-hearted nude. An offshoot from the expression "the sun shines out your ass," the photo deserves recognition for successfully providing humor to its viewers by using the human form. Smooth lines are an added element to the visual appeal of the photo.
The photo somehow teases and thrills. This nude shot doesn't expose much, except the backside of the model, however the attraction is the model's gaze in his reflection in the mirror. It's just enough to make you wonder how the rest of his body looks and what he could be thinking about you. See Untitled by Dario Torre in full res on Flickr. The photo is a visual craft of highlights and shadows.
Though the shadows envelope a majority of the photo, it doesn't darken the message of the image, but it adds to the charisma of what little highlights there are, as they dance around the subject. She looks almost angelic. See Untitled by Kvn in full res on Flickr.
There is a beautiful angry desperation to this photo. She holds a knife, but looks as if she doesn't have the strength to use it.