Forums > Model Colloquy > How does it feel to pose nude?

Model

Ida Mae

Posts: 50

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Posing Nude is liberating, exciting and a *usually* a freeing experience. It all depends on the comfort level. It seems that you treated you model (friend) with respect, and that is what matters most to me when I model nude for a photographer. I have many photographers I have modeled for multiple times, but in the case when I am modeling for someone new I try to arrive early so I can sit and talk with them to get a level of trust and comfort going before the clothes come off.
  Agreed, maybe you should pose nude, it helps you in the understanding part.
~ida mae

Jul 05 07 12:53 pm Link

Model

CTD- NYC Model

Posts: 969

Fairfield, Connecticut, US

-So my questions is, how does it feel to pose nude - especially when you are new at it?
At first I was like oh my goodness Im nude.
Then it was: haha Im nude right now lol
(even though I was nude, only my bum and side of breat was shown)lol


-And is it better or worse to know the photographer well first?
I think its the connection/vibe between the model and photographer. I've worked with photographers that I wouldnt do nude or implied not because they werent good or creepy I just didn't feel that vibe.

Jul 05 07 01:02 pm Link

Model

Daniela Victoria

Posts: 25108

Cranford, New Jersey, US

Ben McPhee wrote:
So my questions is, how does it feel to pose nude - especially when you are new at it? And is it better or worse to know the photographer well first?

Sometimes it's cold. I hate the cold, and if you aren't shooting me in the snow, there's no reason for your studio to be sub-zero.

If it IS going to be sub-zero (I did a shoot in late April in a studio with NO heat and my feet literally..literally turned blue) tell me...I will be more than happy to bring a space heater.

Otherwise, nudes are great. As long as it's warm, I heart nudes.

Jul 05 07 01:06 pm Link

Photographer

Greg Kolack

Posts: 17845

Downers Grove, Illinois, US

Ida Mae wrote:
Posing Nude is liberating, exciting and a *usually* a freeing experience. It all depends on the comfort level. It seems that you treated you model (friend) with respect, and that is what matters most to me when I model nude for a photographer. I have many photographers I have modeled for multiple times, but in the case when I am modeling for someone new I try to arrive early so I can sit and talk with them to get a level of trust and comfort going before the clothes come off.
  Agreed, maybe you should pose nude, it helps you in the understanding part.
~ida mae

Slight hijack -

You have some INCREDIBLE work!

OK, back to the subject.

Jul 05 07 01:06 pm Link

Photographer

David Lucein

Posts: 5

Los Angeles, California, US

Ida Mae wrote:
Posing Nude is liberating, exciting and a *usually* a freeing experience. It all depends on the comfort level. It seems that you treated you model (friend) with respect, and that is what matters most to me when I model nude for a photographer. I have many photographers I have modeled for multiple times, but in the case when I am modeling for someone new I try to arrive early so I can sit and talk with them to get a level of trust and comfort going before the clothes come off.
  Agreed, maybe you should pose nude, it helps you in the understanding part.
~ida mae

I agree completely.  Posing nude has given me a complete understanding of my model's perspective.  The connection between model/photographer is a requirement for great images-- you've gotta feel it.  I recommend that all photographers who shoot nudes take their clothes off to grasp and understanding to the answer of this very good question.  How can we ask our models to do something we have not done ourselves?

Jul 05 07 01:07 pm Link

Photographer

LinguaDentata

Posts: 6411

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ben McPhee wrote:
I turned around, and it was then that I first saw her boobs, and I have to admit it gave me a bit of a rush - not in a sexual way - but in an "I can't believe this is happening" way.

ROFLMAO

That's a great climax to the story (pun intended), but sounds so silly. She agreed to pose nude, but you were surprised to see her tits?

Jul 05 07 01:09 pm Link

Model

TxCiara

Posts: 3463

Austin, Texas, US

I enjoy it. My first nude workshop was fun. I was more nervous about doing a great job as far as posing and direction went than about being naked.(considering this was my first paid shoot and there was twelve photographers there)
I loved it !

Jul 05 07 01:19 pm Link

Photographer

bcgphoto

Posts: 520

Henderson, Nevada, US

I recently did a photoshoot with a model who is very interested in photography and I told her that I'd be more than happy to let her use my camera and I'd pose for her and it was very cool and she took some really good shots, although as I told her, she looks 10 times better naked than I did,and she responded that it doesn't matter, it was all about making some cool artistic pictures. 
So I agree that all photographers at least try it - the perspective is enlightening!

And I have done nude photo shoots of numerous friends and we had blast and it wasn't weird or uncomfortable, liberating is the word that comes to mind.

Jul 05 07 01:28 pm Link

Photographer

Doug Lester

Posts: 10591

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Since the models are not jumping in here in big numbers, as a guy who has been successfully photographing figurative art since before many here were born, I'll toss in a couple of comments. Note at least 95% of those on my site were posing for the first time, nude or otherwise.

For the model or photographer doing nudes for the first time, a bit of anxiety or apprehension is to be expected. Hell, even nude dancers were a bit nervous since they were not dancing but posing for photos, a whole different thing. My advice for both is to simply ignore it, get started and work through it, it goes away! For me, what I've discovered to work best is not a gentle or modest start, go straight for the deep end by shooting full frontal nudes as the first shots. It all gets easier after that first big hurdle, everyonme is more relaxed and ready too move toward something more creative. After that first set, I go to the computer ald let the model see how we are doing. It also helps break the tension when the new model sees that they look damn good in the first set of images.

Comments I've gotten after shots ended included, "I felt beautiful!", I felt beautiful for the first time ever!",  I felt like a Hollywood star", "It was liberating". "I felt free!", "It was liberating" and so on. I've never had anyone who posed say they did not enjoy their shoot.   

I've heard many newish nude shooters say they begin with the model fully dressed and slowly undress as they shoot. That isn't a photo session, it's a striptease and is guaranted to make a model become even more nervous.

One cautionary note, if the model for any reason does not want to do the shoot' if she is 'talked into' doing it, if she in any way convinced or compelles to pose, then her discomfort not (as in NOT) go away. The only reason an inexperienced mdoel should pose nude is that she chooses to, she wants to, never because she is made to do so.

For new shooters of the nude and new nude models, relax. Everyone is nervous at first, relax and go with it.

Jul 05 07 01:29 pm Link

Photographer

Jason P Hunt

Posts: 361

Kansas City, Missouri, US

I once shot a TV commercial with nude models. The whole "human body is a work of art" approach. They'd never done nude before. I handled it professionally, concentrating on how the shot looked. I had a monitor up so they could see what I was shooting, and the client was there as well (a Dr.). So the nervousness went away pretty quickly, I'm told.

I got a thank you note from the girl later, telling me she looks forward to working with me again. Her agent said she had a blast.

I guess it varies amongst models and the photogs, how things are handled. Just be as professional as possible, even with people you know.

Jul 05 07 01:29 pm Link

Photographer

Hamza

Posts: 7791

New York, New York, US

Barry Gallegos wrote:
So I agree that all photographers at least try it - the perspective is enlightening!

Now that's the silliest thing I have ever heard!

So with the above logic, I should try giving a blowjob, for perspective...?

Just because the Photographer poses nude for someone doesn't mean he will handle the situation on the other end any better.  It won't mean he will be able to know how a model will feel, the only thing he will know is how HE feels...  What makes the Photographer comfortable or uncomfortable is going to be different than the model, specially if they are of a different sex.

Do you pose in a Bikini if you shoot girls in Bikini's? 

Naked or clothed, the model is the product, if you can't see it like that maybe you need to find another job...

Jul 05 07 02:51 pm Link

Model

Jordan K

Posts: 5523

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I've only been nude for a shoot a couple of times... and I was incredibly nervous. but the photographers basically acted like I was clothed or cracked a few jokes later in the shoot once they realized I was comfortable. my first nude shoot was alone, but my second 2 were with another model...

Jul 05 07 02:55 pm Link

Photographer

Fotticelli

Posts: 12177

Lorton, Virginia, US

Jordan K wrote:
I've only been nude for a shoot a couple of times... and I was incredibly nervous. but the photographers basically acted like I was clothed or cracked a few jokes later in the shoot once they realized I was comfortable. my first nude shoot was alone, but my second 2 were with another model...

It doesn't make any difference to me whether a person has clothes on or not. I'm a bit nervous at first that the person may not feel comfortable but in a few minutes it just doesn't matter.

It's still the same person. Nude or with the clothes on.

Jul 05 07 03:30 pm Link

Photographer

Joe Tomasone

Posts: 5840

Tampa, Florida, US

I must say, I've always been fascinated by the varying attitudes and morals of people concerning the various states of undress.   If it's not a sub-specialty of psychology, it should be.   I get a kick out of how most people would think nothing of going out in a bathing suit, but never in underwear.  Women who would never pose nude will flash mobs of strangers on Bourbon Street.   Men who would love to see a naked woman in public would never -- ever -- do so themselves.     Women can be around other nude women in a changing room and converse as if clothed - Men studiously avoid gazing upon another naked man.   Some people are nudists, some people cover everything they can.    It's fascinating to think about.

I personally feel that being nude is natural, but sociologically inhibited.   Far too many people associate nudity with sexual activity, or nudity with sexual interest.    Altogether too often we judge people on physical appearances, and that is the largest reason why I would have a great degree of difficulty posing nude myself.  It would take a level of comfort with someone that I am not sure that I could achieve outside the bounds of marriage to do - and for this reason I have immense respect for those who have the confidence in their bodies to the point that they can do it.

But to echo other's views, the model is the model, clothed or not.

Jul 05 07 04:01 pm Link

Photographer

Telephoto Studio

Posts: 1436

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

D Wolff wrote:

Hmmm...no model ever wanted to see me SANS clothing. It's a great way to relax a new model though, putting her behind the camera and posing, albeit in clothing.  Last time I got naked on a beach, the Coast Guard showed up with their Marine Biologists.

Funny thing was, this model later worked at a bar where she met the guy who had the problem with her taking my pics.  The other girls who worked at this bar had all seen these photos and thought it was pretty cool that she had taken my pics.  Which probably was the reason why several of the other girls ended up posing for me as well.

Jul 05 07 06:36 pm Link

Photographer

Jeff Fiore

Posts: 9224

Pelham, New York, US

Telephoto Studio wrote:
But it was a great feeling to pose for other artists - it does give the photographer a unique perspective on what the models feel.  I highly recommend it.

I TOTALLY agree with that! I have done it a couple of times and it is an eye opener. It also gives me perspective and respect for what a model goes through posing nude.

Jul 05 07 07:00 pm Link

Model

KariMarie

Posts: 1796

Denver, Colorado, US

For me the bigger point of nervousness was as I was actually undressing.  Once I was naked, that was that.  After a few shoots the inital sense of "Whoa, I'm actually doing this" passed entirely.

Jul 05 07 07:09 pm Link

Model

KariMarie

Posts: 1796

Denver, Colorado, US

Mike White Photography wrote:

I like the trusted friend route (no need to work out). Also, posing for drawing seems easier than for photography. If you can pose five minutes, you can pose all day.

Do you mean if you can hold a pose for five minutes then you can hold it all day?  If so, I disagree.  Strongly.

Jul 05 07 07:10 pm Link

Model

Gennavive Leigh

Posts: 1422

Allentown, Pennsylvania, US

Mind relaxing and you just feel FREE!!!

Jul 05 07 07:11 pm Link

Photographer

Demeter Photography

Posts: 550

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Ashley Haven wrote:
It's always interesting to me... I never even thought twice about posing nude when I first did. I always wonder if I'm strange or something, since so many people post things about how nervous they were to pose nude, or how it was so liberating. To me it wasn't liberating, it was just normal.

I asked my husband what he thought about my modeling when we first got together, and he admitted that it was a little odd how comfortable I am being nude in front of total strangers... 

I guess I'm just strange. Naked... and strange.  smile

And gorgeous!

Jul 05 07 07:13 pm Link

Model

NC17

Posts: 1735

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Shilo Davis wrote:
The first 10 minutes or so of the shoot I stayed nervous. Trying to hide certain body parts with my poses. Then as I continued doing it I started having fun with it and stopped caring. Not like I spread my legs porno-style, but I stopped analyzing every pose I was going to see what would be showing and how I could cover it up!

Trouble is that most of the time what you're trying to "cover up" isn't actually whats being seen by the camera. Poses are often awkward and feel strange, or  very exposing, when in reality they aren't. The key is to build up trust with the photographer so that you KNOW there isn't a cheap shot thrown in there. Once I trust photographers I can end up in all manner of positions where if I were to stop and think about it I'd feel exposed in a negative way, but the trust is there so it doesn't matter, and the images turn out beautifully as a result.

Mike White Photography wrote:
Also, posing for drawing seems easier than for photography. If you can pose five minutes, you can pose all day.

Have you tried this???? Cause I beg to differ. The fatigue that you experience from sustaining a position, at least one that holds a certain amount of tension within the body, is exhausting. Its something that I do well, despite the effort that it takes. Photography poses are rarely held beyond a few minutes, tops, where as drawing poses are usually held for about 20 minutes. Try it some time and see how it feels.

To address the original question: I don't notice being nude, but I don't really care about being nude, and have often been nude in front of those that are clothed in various situations long before I got infront of a camera. Sure, there might be that initial wierdness of being the one that has to remove the clothes, but after that I definately don't care anymore. I just worry about getting the shot.

Jul 05 07 07:20 pm Link

Photographer

Jeff Fiore

Posts: 9224

Pelham, New York, US

Jul 05 07 07:47 pm Link

Photographer

Fotticelli

Posts: 12177

Lorton, Virginia, US

Great Miss Qthulu wrote:
...I love being nude for a camera.
Yet, of course, most of mine are self portraits, as that is what I'm known for.

But damn, if I could model nude for someone else, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

OK, I'll take some naked pictures of you if you insist.

Jul 05 07 11:04 pm Link

Model

Victoria a Taylor

Posts: 2331

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I feel more comfortable when Im doing lingere/nude. And thank goodness for that!
I like to show my body when it comes down to it & we start shooting I get comfortable and into it. I love being sexy

Jul 05 07 11:27 pm Link

Photographer

Gone Til Novus-ember

Posts: 11440

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Victoria a Taylor wrote:
I feel more comfortable when Im doing lingere/nude. And thank goodness for that!
I like to show my body when it comes down to it & we start shooting I get comfortable and into it. I love being sexy

It's easy to love something you're good at.

DUH.

Jul 05 07 11:29 pm Link

Photographer

Lost Coast Photo

Posts: 2674

Ferndale, California, US

I'll need to remember this thread next time I'm at the clothing-optional hot springs.

Seriously though, relative to the comment on the first page about Australia, I can't resist telling a story.  A few years ago I was visiting friends in Perth, and in general  found attitudes about the body to be more liberal than some other cultural attitudes there.  At one dinner party, another American, a woman from the Midwest, was looking at my book of photos and making a big fuss over how she "could never pose naked like this."  The Australian hostess calmly invited all of us into the other room to see the very large B&W print framed on the wall, an absolutely beautiful nude of herself at peak pregnancy.  And she said she'd like to do some more nudes before long.  End of discussion by Ms. Prude.

Jul 05 07 11:42 pm Link

Model

L Mami

Posts: 266

Los Angeles, California, US

...I wouldnt know  ;-P

Jul 05 07 11:45 pm Link

Model

Fergy

Posts: 22387

Fenton, Michigan, US

Once I get into the shoot I am fine with taking off my clothes.  But I do have to feel comfortable with the photographer to make it happen. 

How does it feel to get naked in front of the camera?  As long as the photographer is professional about it and doesn't get the SURPRISED look on his face when you take your top off I am fine with it.. its actually a free feeling- like another poster said.

OHHH  How I would LOVE to take nudes of the photographers before my shoot!! It makes for some great conversation!!  HEHE

Jul 06 07 12:17 am Link

Model

sabrina_gardner

Posts: 172

Louisville, Kentucky, US

I've never done it yet.  But I've been meaning to give it a try and see how it is.

Jul 06 07 01:04 am Link

Wardrobe Stylist

Like an open Rose

Posts: 9754

Los Angeles, California, US

depends.its weird when its with someone you havent slept with.

Jul 06 07 01:06 am Link

Photographer

Jerry Nemeth

Posts: 28008

Dearborn, Michigan, US

Daniela V wrote:

Sometimes it's cold. I hate the cold, and if you aren't shooting me in the snow, there's no reason for your studio to be sub-zero.

If it IS going to be sub-zero (I did a shoot in late April in a studio with NO heat and my feet literally..literally turned blue) tell me...I will be more than happy to bring a space heater.

Otherwise, nudes are great. As long as it's warm, I heart nudes.

No heat!!  He was very inconsiderate!!

Jul 06 07 01:26 am Link

Model

Lady Bronze

Posts: 3775

Los Angeles, California, US

Liberating. I hold VERY many conservative values, although I consider myself neither liberal nor conservative (although I greatly lean towards the latter). It was one of those bold statements that basically let me say, without words, "I dont give a *expletive* what you think".

Actually, I prefer to be nude, clothes are just an accessory. When I'm at home, I'm naked. When I cook, I'm naked. On the phone - naked. On the computer - usually naked. Kind of a nudist I suppose.


Ben McPhee wrote:
I had an interesting experience the other day, and I just wanted to explain how it came to be. But if you don't feel like reading, just skip to somewhere around the bottom. smile

A model I had organised for a shoot backed out at the last minute, leaving me high and dry for an assignment I had due in a few days time.

While it didn't specifically call for nudity, I wanted to explore it because the assignment was to do with Black and White Printing on Fine Art paper, with fine grained film, and skin seemed to suit it.

I was telling a good friend of mine from my course the situation - more just venting than anything - and she volunteered to stand in. I was careful to explain to her that my original ideas involved some level of tasteful nudity, but that they could be adapted to levels she was more comfortable with, but she felt like it was something she was curious about, and agreed to just go with the original plan.

I'd taken nudes before, but every other time, the girl had some expereience or was very open minded, and I was usually way more nervous than they were. smile But this time, the model was a good friend, who had never posed nude before.

It started off slowly, with her in a robe and my back turned until she was in place. When she was ready, I turned around, and it was then that I first saw her boobs, and I have to admit it gave me a bit of a rush - not in a sexual way - but in an "I can't believe this is happening" way. Maybe it was because she was a friend, and it satisfied some curiousity I may have had about what she was like under the clothes, or maybe I'm just a typical guy. smile But I hid my amazement as best I could and got to work.

At one stage - before I'd even really seen more than boobs, I tried to direct her to pose a certain way while she held a piece of fabric in front of her. It wasn't quite working the way I'd planned, and I couldn't find the words to describe to her how I wanted her to hold it, but I was too scared to physically approach since she was naked, you know? smile After a minute or so, she just dropped the fabric and let me see her in her entirety. Jokingly frustrated she said, "Is this what you want"? We both laughed nervously, but from that moment on, things got a lot more comfortable, and the shots improved beyond believe.

But it occured to me during the shoot, that it must be so odd to take your clothes off and be photographed. But I wasn't really sure what feeling would stand out the most.... Fear, Insecurity, Excitement, Freedom or all of the above?

So my questions is, how does it feel to pose nude - especially when you are new at it? And is it better or worse to know the photographer well first?

I'd love to hear some feedback. smile

Ben

Jul 06 07 08:14 am Link

Photographer

ward

Posts: 6135

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Lady Bronze wrote:
Liberating. I hold VERY many conservative values, although I consider myself neither liberal nor conservative (although I greatly lean towards the latter). It was one of those bold statements that basically let me say, without words, "I dont give a *expletive* what you think".

Actually, I prefer to be nude, clothes are just an accessory. When I'm at home, I'm naked. When I cook, I'm naked. On the phone - naked. On the computer - usually naked. Kind of a nudist I suppose.

Toronto misses you R. smile

Jul 06 07 08:24 am Link

Model

blkcontessa

Posts: 4

Brooklyn, New York, US

As a matter of fact my very first shoot was a paid nude. I was pretty nervous about it but I figured I'll never see this photographer again nor did I show my face
so it was fine.

Jul 06 07 08:25 am Link

Model

Lady Bronze

Posts: 3775

Los Angeles, California, US

Youre very kind. I am in Toronto right now smile

ward wrote:

Toronto misses you R. smile

Jul 06 07 08:36 am Link

Photographer

ward

Posts: 6135

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Lady Bronze wrote:
Youre very kind. I am in Toronto right now smile


Oh nooooooo. Now you tell me. sad

Jul 06 07 08:38 am Link

Model

HippieChick

Posts: 2281

D Wolff wrote:

Electrifying Freedom and never-ending confidence?  Very cool.

You summed me up in one sentence...or one question?  tongue

Jul 06 07 08:49 am Link

Photographer

Telephoto Studio

Posts: 1436

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

Fergy wrote:
Once I get into the shoot I am fine with taking off my clothes.  But I do have to feel comfortable with the photographer to make it happen. 

How does it feel to get naked in front of the camera?  As long as the photographer is professional about it and doesn't get the SURPRISED look on his face when you take your top off I am fine with it.. its actually a free feeling- like another poster said.

OHHH  How I would LOVE to take nudes of the photographers before my shoot!! It makes for some great conversation!!  HEHE

You think that makes for great conversation - try shooting pics at a nudist club or resort when the club/resort is your client!  And the rules are - everyone on the property must be nude - everyone! 

The "models" were mostly members of the club who weren't paid, so they were used to being around other nude people all day long.  Some outside models were hired because they had a particular "look" to them - they looked more "Scandanavian or European - because the club/resort was marketing itself to overseas clients.  It was a little bit "odd" for these models to work on location with everyone else being nude - including the photographer.

It was liberating after a while, but it was tough to work with no pockets.  It was also hard to get assistants who had the right "attitude" for the job.

Jul 06 07 08:52 am Link

Photographer

Tortured Artist

Posts: 414

Rockville, Maryland, US

Great Miss Qthulu wrote:
...I love being nude for a camera.
Yet, of course, most of mine are self portraits, as that is what I'm known for.

But damn, if I could model nude for someone else, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

anytime emily:-)

Jul 06 07 08:55 am Link

Photographer

Tito Trelles-MADE IN NY

Posts: 960

Miami, Florida, US

Great Miss Qthulu wrote:
...I love being nude for a camera.
Yet, of course, most of mine are self portraits, as that is what I'm known for.

But damn, if I could model nude for someone else, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I offered you smile T

Jul 06 07 08:59 am Link