Common Mistakes in Nude Photography

Painting and sculpture are the roots of creative arts which now include photography. One of the most common subjects for these arts over the centuries has been nudes, and it’s natural that this should also now be a preferred subject for many photographers. Nude photography is really a branch of portrait photography, and the same common principles apply. However, photographers often make common mistakes which can spoil a good nude photograph.

nude photo

Communication between photographer and model is one of the common problems. There should be agreement to the objectives of a nude photography session before the first photograph is taken. During the session, the photographer must clearly communicate to the model what he wants in terms of poses and facial expressions. An experienced model will be comfortable being nude in front of a camera, but an amateur in newcomer will need a different approach.

Lighting is one of the key elements of nude photography. Soft, natural light is the most flattering for this style of photography. Direct light and harsh shadows will kill the essential mood. It’s essential to use reflectors to bounce light back onto a subject, and without these a high-contrast picture will result.

Focussing on the wrong area of the image is another common mistake in nude photography. The model’s eyes are usually the area to focus on. The eyes should be-pin sharp or the picture will look wrong, and all the efforts in lighting and posing will have been wasted. Lenses of a longer focal length or commonly used in nude photography, and focussing is even more important when working with these.

Failing to use the location and surroundings in a nude photography session is something the photographer may regret afterwards. If working indoors, props such as chairs, beds and window frames can be used to great effect. When shooting outdoors, the model should be positioned relative to features of the location for creative effect. For example, a model standing against a tree can make a beautiful picture, contrasting the rough bark of the tree with the soft skin of the human form.

Photographers working with flash lighting for nude photography often spoil the atmosphere of a shot. Flash lighting needs to be carefully controlled and preferably used for fill-lighting rather than as the main source. Reflectors should be used to bounce light into shadows.
A common mistake many photographers make when dealing with an assignment is to get too hung up on their equipment. For nude photography, the best approach is to use equipment you know well, and to stick to a simple approach. This will allow you to concentrate on working with the model and getting the best from them. The technical aspects of a nude photography should be second nature. Your mind should be focussed on the creative aspects of the session.

Choosing the wrong lens is the final common mistake photographers make when approaching the subject of nudes. There’s a place for all lenses for the right type of picture. For example, a model photographed in a sweeping landscape would be best shot with a wide-angle lens. For close-up shots a telephoto lens will produce the best results.

Avoiding these common mistakes will ensure you produce more satisfying results when approaching the subject of nudes in photography.

Written by: Kaizen Marketing


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