Fine Art Nude Photography: Let’s Get Naked

Posted by Jerry Avenaim on February 20, 2009 – 10:47 pm

Helena © Jerry Avenaim

Helena © Jerry Avenaim

Jerry has devoted over ten years to a personal project titled “Naked Truth,” which showcases the human form in the organic environment of our natural landscape. This beautiful collection of images is shot wholly on film, with nothing retouched, and is slated for completion this year.

If you want to be like Jerry, perhaps I can help by lending a model’s perspective on how to get a girl naked in front of your camera (that is why you own the camera in the first place, isn’t it?) and once you’ve got her naked, how to conduct a comfortable shoot.

SECURING THE SHOOT

1. Make No Assumptions: Never assume that just because a model has posed nude for someone else, she will pose nude for you.

2. Success Lies in the Details: Take a moment to introduce yourself, explain your concept, provide all pertinent details relating to the shoot and tell the model why you think she’d be a great fit for your project.

3. Your Work Speaks for Itself: The odds that a model will agree to do a fine art shoot with you increase exponentially if you can show her a substantial body of similar work.

Mimi © Jerry Avenaim

Mimi © Jerry Avenaim

If you have never shot fine art, clearly conceptualize exactly what you’re going for. Then pull together a collection of similar images by other photographers whose work you admire. Present those to the model and either convince her that you have the skill to replicate them, or tell her honestly that you have no idea how your stuff will come out but you’re looking for a muse who is willing to experiment with you. Either way, clear communication is the key.

DURING THE SHOOT

1. Modesty Matters: Models have varying degrees of modesty, just like anyone else. Take the extra minute to make sure the model is comfortable stripping down in whatever environment you may be using.

2. Bite Your Tongue: Even the most jaw-droppingly beautiful women sometimes harbor insecurities and body image issues. Snorts of, “Thank god for Photoshop” are never welcome, least of all by a woman who has generously agreed to bare all in front of your lens.

3. Professionalism is Paramount: When you’re fully clothed and the model you’re shooting is nude, excessive flattery intended to bolster her confidence may become uncomfortable for both parties.

If anyone has questions related to fine art photography that they’d like answered from a model’s perspective, please feel free to leave them in your comments and I will happily address them. And launch questions you’d like answered from a photographer’s perspective to Jerry. Or if any of you have any secrets, successes or nightmares in this arena that you’d like to share, have at it.

Enjoy shooting naked!

Deborah Fujiwara photo by Renee Jacobs

Deborah Fujiwara photo by Renee Jacobs

This entry written by: Deborah Fujiwara

Many thanks, Jerry Avenaim

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8 Responds so far- Add one»

  1. 1. Nicole Eldridge Said:

    A wonderfully written post.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Avenaim Reply:

    I will give thanks to the art model that wrote this entry.

    [Reply]

  2. 2. Dentists El Paso Said:

    Great tips…and great photos. These were very artistically done..

    [Reply]

    Jerry Avenaim Reply:

    You can often see a lot, without seeing a lot…

    [Reply]

  3. 3. Nick Gregan Said:

    Hi Jerry

    I love your stuff man, as a fine art photographer myself I am inspired by your work. I too like to share my techniques and tips for other guys as I believe it makes for a stronger me. I also love the fact that I can share my knowledge with others and hopefully help them past the nervous start to a first nude shoot. Kep up the great work buddy.

    Nick

    [Reply]

  4. 4. Yucel Said:

    The shot of Mimi while exquisitely angular, retains its poignancy of expression, all the while the tones… ah the tones..

    [Reply]

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