Nude photography suffers from the stigmatization of easily accessible pornography, and many people don’t distinguish between the two. Unlike pornography, though, which seeks to eroticize the human form and titillate the viewer, nude photography celebrates the human body in all its forms. Done correctly, nude photography can engender an appreciation of the human form.
As a beginning photographer with a desire to do nude photography, start first with studying the nude photography of some great photographers, such as Edward Weston and Alfred Stieglitz. Studying their nude photography technique will go a long way toward helping you define what you want to do with your nude photography.
For beginners in nude photography, it might be best to start more simply with still life as you hone your photography skills of lighting, focus and exposure. Portraiture will help hone skills of posing models and building a rapport with your subjects. Joining a class on drawing nudes will help you overcome initial embarrassment before hiring a nude photography model.
When you get ready to approach someone about modeling for your nude photography, make sure you have a portfolio ready. If you don’t have any nude photography experience yet, include the best of your still lifes and portraits.
Make sure with a signed “model release” that your nude photography model is over 18. The release can also stipulate other agreed-upon issues, such as publishing limitations and whether to release the model’s name. Make certain your nude photography doesn’t violate city ordinances.
Ensure that your models feel secure. Have a chaperone or assistant or suggest that they bring a friend with them to your nude photography sessions. If they feel comfortable, you’ll get better photos.
You may be expecting to fill your nude photography portfolio with beautiful, young models; consider broadening your range in order to make nude photography as respectable as portraiture.