Currently I'm very interested in nude photography. I did a little session in the past and I'm going to start a new one in less than a month.

Do you have any advice? I'm interested in photographic topics, like how to get rid of clothing marks or How do you avoid pornographic shots and concentrate in erotic/suggestive shots.

Bonus points for anyone mentioning his/her favorite nude photographer.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you make this into a more specific question? (Perhaps more than one separate question?) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 25, 2011 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm Maybe another solution could be turning this into a CW? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andres
    Jun 25, 2011 at 16:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Andres: I do agree, this question would probably be better suited by breaking it up. For one, the favorite nude photographer should be its own CW, assuming it is not already covered by other "favorite photographer" wikis. You could probably break this question up into "how to compose the shot" and "how to work with the model" questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Jun 25, 2011 at 16:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Those are a lot of complex questions. Are you willing to pay for the answers? If so, check out moneyshotsbook.com/MONEY_SHOTS.html - It is incredibly detailed and covers everything on the topic. No affiliation with the product but the author was a guest writer for a publication of mine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Jun 25, 2011 at 17:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ I recommend against nude photography. At least wear a lens vest! If you're built like most photographers, your models would probably prefer that you left your clothes on anyway. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26, 2011 at 5:10

3 Answers 3


An important advice I learned from Zack Arias watching his OneLight workshop - not particularly for nude but in general - is to never touch your model. Always make her/him do the required adjustment, be it posing or fixing hair, etc.

In a recent creativeLIVE workshop Bambi Cantrell demonstrated the mastery of controlling your model with gestures, never touching physically. if you are serious enough about portraiture or boudoir you are highly recommended to watch this workshop.

EDIT: Found this page (NSFW!) on the subject, and a few more are linked to from there, dealing with different aspects of this art.

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    \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand... I touch my subjects all the time. I'd even call it a fundamental aspect of how I build rapport with them and I'd never want to do it differently. One of my mentors was a big fan of 'posing' his subjects and you can find guys like Clay Blackmore advising that photographers physically pose and adjust subjects at will on all of his instructional DVDs. At best the notion of 'never touch your model' is one approach, but it's definitely not the only approach. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 25, 2011 at 17:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jay It's a very sensitive topic. Once model I was going to work with made it very clear before starting the shoot: she didn't wanted anyone to touch her, no matter what or she would decline the shooting proposal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andres
    Jun 26, 2011 at 23:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd say that the same rules for touching anyone go doubly so for models and 10x for nude models. Touch them only if they have a strong rapport/friendship with you. Clients are not (typically) friends. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12, 2011 at 20:54

The question in its current form is kind of broad—so broad that the answer could be a book. Keeping that in mind, I can give you few book recommendations of books I've flipped through.


Generally Benjamin's book has more text that describes the photographs, while Baetens' book has more photographs to describe the text. Still, both have good textual info and a lot of example photographs.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think these are less adult-industry-ish than the Money Shots @Itai suggested (but who am I to judge a book by its cover). While I was at it, I made this answer as CW, so others could add own suggestions / in-depth notes on the books. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26, 2011 at 12:54
  1. Experiment. This doesn't mean just trying new things, but to branch out repeatedly from the same point of departure.
  2. To avoid pornographic shots, practice abstract drawing exercises. Learn about art and composition, not just the mechanics of photography.
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you can't draw, go download a copy of DAZ Studio and play with the free content it comes with. More is available online. Don't sink money into paid content if all you want to learn is composition. Better to just play with the software's render camera: set the aspect ratio to the same as your camera's, then play around with focal length, most objects around, etc. You can compose a shot with a 24mm focal length, change to 50mm and recompose to enclose the same frame, and it'll look different! \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2013 at 2:30

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