I am an amateur photographer who mostly shoots landscapes. Fine art and nude photography interest me, too. However, I have little experience shooting people and I have some problems dealing with photo models.

I registered on a website where I can find models. When I write them my offer, they just "see" my message or they respond with "No, thanks".

I want to know best practises on dealing with photo models, how to make them interested in me.


4 Answers 4


You've got to show them examples of your work that make them want you to produce similar work with them. In other words, you need a portfolio that demonstrates you can make it worth their time and effort.

Of course that poses the question, "How can I build a portfolio if no one will work with me?" You have to start small. Check among your friends or family to see if anyone is willing to let you photograph them. You don't necessarily need to start right off with photographing those you know well for nude sessions. But doing portrait work, especially that is creative and demonstrates your ability to visualize a setting, control the light in the scene, and compose the shot will go a long way to show that you are serious about doing good work and not just another guy with a camera that wants to take snapshots of young, attractive women in various states of undress.

As other answers have suggested, you might also look into taking a class that would provide the opportunity to work with models in a group setting. This would give you the opportunity to build and improve your portfolio. It might also give you a chance to meet and become acquainted with models that could potentially be more comfortable working alone with you in the future after having been around you a bit.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not to mention that he should be equally interested in shooting male nudes. It's a human form thing, not a teen-wanking thing (one hopes). \$\endgroup\$ Jul 28, 2016 at 11:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ I tried nude photography once - I just got cold... \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve Ives
    Jul 28, 2016 at 14:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CarlWitthoft - So if I am interested in taking pictures of Ferraris I also have to want to take pictures of Trabants, to satisfy your misguided opinion of my art? You don't get to make those decisions for me, or any other photographer. \$\endgroup\$
    – db9dreamer
    Jul 28, 2016 at 17:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ In the case of the Ferrari the owner likely wants you to salivate and drool over his car... \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 28, 2016 at 17:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CarlWitthoft I think the issue may be with the wording "equally interested." There's a mighty gap between "interested" and "equally interested," especially when it comes to a topic where personal artistic tastes come into play. Consider, for instance, the number of paintings of nude males vs. nude females. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cort Ammon
    Jul 29, 2016 at 2:06

How do you feel about photographing yourself in the nude?

No, I'm not suggesting the typical selfie (selfy?).

I am suggesting that you take the project on with all the deliberation you would photographing a model. Light, accessorize, pose, and compose for your optimal effects for your available "model." I think it will present some significant and relevant challenge to you creatively and technically.

Immediately, I am also suggesting if you do want to progress from portrait to figure studies, there are several stages of development in the art. Showing the progression of your skills in your portfolio may help you communicate your ultimate interest to future models of your choosing. It will also sharpen your sensitivity to distinctions between what appears attractive, weird human contortion, or some pornographic crap.

Look around at what's already available and very similar. Sports photography can be challenging from a figure-study point of view. Boxing, gymnastics, track & field, etc. also are great. Expressive dance, ballet, and even ballroom dancing can make exciting figure studies.

Sometimes an otherwise uneventful portrait session will present opportunities for a discrete (the model's identity obscured) reveal.


Check your local arts and painting classes to see if they have nude modeling classes; go check them out and ask the models directly.

Have a clear notion of what kind of nude photography you want to do (boudoir, nude, sexual or not...).

As Michael wrote, have a small portfolio available to show potential models.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There might also be photography classes that include a session with a nude model. That has the benefit of minimum negotiation required. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Jul 27, 2016 at 19:34

If you have no existing rep, it's hard to get a start because you just come off as some kind of Leisure Suit Larry sleeze bag. Not sure how people get established on the internet. Friend of mine had the problem.

Solution: Always have female with you when you make contact. Even on phone calls, skypes etc. Wives are best, girlfriends second, then sisters, mothers etc. If they're not available or your using email or text, mention the women in your life.

Besides, you'll need a female wingman anyway. It's professional and certainly protects against liability to have at least one other female besides the model at the photoshoot.


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