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Why You Should Pose Nude

I was warned about nude modeling on my very first shoot. The photographer I was working with told me in serious tones that she would never ask me to pose nude—and to be wary of any photographer that did. According to her, anyone who wanted me to disrobe was a predator and a pervert.

The warnings didn’t stop there. As I did more research into modeling, I read countless articles that cautioned against posing nude, especially for new models. The pictures would be on the Internet forever, the authors warned, and could ruin future job opportunities. Besides, what would your mother think if she found out?


Model: Katja Gee; Photographer: Art Silva

To an extent, these warnings hold water. (Although for the record, none of my art nude photographers have ever been predatory, and my mother loves my work). It’s true that the images will be around forever. If you want to go into a career like teaching or politics in the future, nude modeling might not be for you.

But I went ahead and posed nude anyway, because I felt that images were beautiful and that the art was worthwhile. And I’m so glad that I did. Besides creating beautiful images and giving me a full-time career, posing nude has helped me grow both as a model and as a person.

Now when I meet new models, seven years after that first shoot, I encourage them to pose nude. There are some practical reasons why. Art nude modeling is one of the few genres that does not have any physical requirements to participate. Models don’t have to be a specific height, weight, or age. Instead, art nude modeling is about celebrating the human form in all its diversity. Anyone can pose nude, and I think everyone should.


Model: Katja Gee; Photographer: Foto by Messina

Nude modeling also taught me to run a successful business. When I first started modeling, I never expected it to become a full-time career. But over my first year of modeling, it grew into my profession. With that transition, I’ve learned everything from email etiquette to freelance tax forms. I’ve learned the responsibility necessary to work for yourself as a freelance artist, and the joys of traveling for work and connecting with other creatives.

Most importantly, nude modeling taught me to be brave. Remember that first photo shoot, with the photographer warning me in dire tones? Well, there’s a stigma in our society against nudity. People assume that it is inherently sexual, when it’s often nothing of the sort. We automatically think porn instead of classical art. We censor images, as if there’s something wrong with seeing a female nipple. And we warn new models about nude modeling.

It takes bravery to stand up to these social norms and say, “I’ll try it anyway.” Over the years, I’ve had the joy of coaching several brand new models through their first nude shoot. They’re always nervous when they come into the studio. But once they start posing, they start to glow. They tell me that it’s liberating, and it’s fun.


Model: Katja Gee; Photographer: Art Silva

That lesson I learned about bravery—to try it anyway—is the most important thing nude modeling has taught me. Without it, all the things I learned about accepting my body and running my business would have never happened. I would have never looked past the fact that I’m not built like a fashion model. I would have assumed that people like me couldn’t be professionals in this industry. And I certainly wouldn’t have had the guts to try and make it my job.

So if you’re interested in nude modeling, I encourage you to try it out. Yes, do your homework: check references, and take the future into account. But if you pose nude, you may discover how brave you are—and how fun it can be.

Katja Gee

Katja Gee is a professional fine art nude and underwater model who wants to live in a world where nudity isn't remarkable, but art is. She writes about the experience of modeling nude and the creative process on her blog at www.katjagee.com/blog. You can also follow @katja_gee on Instagram.

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77 Responses to “Why You Should Pose Nude”

  1. January 28, 2019 at 6:05 pm, steven marcus said:

    do you find it different for males or females to pose for the first time? does age make a difference?

    Reply

  2. October 30, 2018 at 11:49 am, nolcon said:

    This is an interesting topic to me. My wife and I (Nolan Conley) make a living photographing nudes and lingerie in our studio called My Sensual Gift. We have been doing this full time for 34 years. To make the conversation even more interesting, we attend a Southern Baptist Church every Sunday morning and put our faith and trust in God and Jesus Christ. We are very conservative too! Some churchgoers think we are strange… that doesn’t bother me!

    Nudity is not a problem. We LOVE shooting artistic nudes and sensual lingerie shots. Nude Art can be very beautiful. We also have over 100 5-star reviews on Google alone. It’s not difficult, treat the model with respect and you’ll get great results. Be upfront with your model on what you wish to achieve. Beautiful nudes won’t damage most anyone’s career unless you are a teacher, police officer or such.

    Porn, on the other hand is quite different from artistic nudity and does damage careers and lives. There is quite a difference between artistic nudes and porn. The former is beautiful and the latter is not.

    Bottom line, artistic nudity is beautiful. Stay there and you’ll do fine.

    Reply

  3. October 28, 2018 at 7:16 am, Jorge Goytizolo said:

    Fantastic article Katja. Nude modelling seems to be seeing as scandalous thanks to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram and that is an attitude we need to change. As an artist that works with nudity, I am proud of what I produce, because I think that the human figure is a beautiful machine that should not be put to shame, and if we all (models and artists) talk about our work regarding nudity instead of trying to hide it, maybe in a future it wouldn’t be so controversial.

    Reply

  4. October 28, 2018 at 4:18 am, Tycho said:

    I like posing nude but only done once.

    Reply

  5. October 27, 2018 at 10:45 pm, Charlie said:

    Perhaps one day women won’t be encouraged to pose nude by men, and then ostracised from their jobs and lifestyles by men because they posed nude…

    I used to be a nude model. A decade and a bit on and careers are closed off to me. It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life to pose nude (to be honest, the money wasn’t even that good, looking back).

    I will encourage people to pose nude when two things happen.
    1- ‘male beauty’ is celebrated as much as ‘female beauty’ and all those middle-aged male photographers start enthusing about naked men as much as naked women.
    2- The male gatekeepers in industry and society stop making women’s lives difficult once they’ve posed nude.

    Reply

  6. October 27, 2018 at 7:22 pm, Giss64WB said:

    Great article, and very true. Artistic nude photography, painting and sculpture is Al about the estetics and beauty of the human body. It can only work when everyone has a professional approach and the people involved show respect to each other.

    Reply

  7. October 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm, Roman Lao-gosney said:

    While it is true that there’s “…a stigma in our society against nudity”, and that, “It takes bravery to stand up to these social norms and say, “I’ll try it anyway”, it is also true that many photographers AND models these days pose nude for attention– likes, follows, etc.

    There is a difference between a photographer and/or model who pursues nude photography for the reason of art/bravery and the ones that do so for attention and it seems to me that many people don’t make a distinction between the two. It is NOT an act of bravery to reveal your body in order to garner attention.

    The pictures of you, above, seek to depict the nude body as a form of art, and not a form of attention-seeking provocation. It is in the details. Too often, mostly on social media, I see models going nude in tasteless photography.

    I think it is equally important for Women to set standards for their nude modeling and for them to be more critical of the photographers they choose to shoot them nude. How one chooses to reveal themselves says a lot about who they are and about where their principles lie.

    Reply

  8. October 27, 2018 at 3:11 pm, Roy Hiller said:

    one can also pose nude for figure drawing.

    Reply

  9. October 27, 2018 at 12:24 pm, smokn Joe said:

    the first is the worst… after that, easy breezy.

    Reply

  10. October 27, 2018 at 9:21 am, PIXbyGrant said:

    Well written indeed.
    I love it when my clients sometimes tell me it was the best fun they had in a while.
    It also helps you to love yourself more.
    Freedom in nature is lovely.

    Reply

  11. October 27, 2018 at 9:06 am, Eric James said:

    Nicely stated.. I hope this encourages more models to try nude posing. However, it is extremely important to research the photographer your about to work with to make certain they provide a safe environment and produce quality work.

    Reply

  12. October 27, 2018 at 9:04 am, Mitch Rapp said:

    There is nothing more beautiful than God’s divine sculpture of living human flesh.

    Reply

  13. October 27, 2018 at 8:38 am, ND said:

    You guys got this all wrong. Its not about religion or being a prude, its about business.
    I know lots of models who travel around the country booking nude modeling gigs that do very well. There are plenty of guys with cameras who want to photograph nude women.

    The issue depends on what segment of the industry you want to work in.

    For example: As a commercial photographer / director a nude portfolio is of no use. If I am working on an ad campaign for a car company, home builder or a pharmaceutical company and want to submit my suggestions for models, I can not show them a portfolio of nudes. Also someone covered in tats head to toe limits the type of work for which you can get booked.

    It seems like the majority of MM portfolios are models are either wannabee fashion or fine art (nude). That’s perfectly fine but commercial clients want to see versatility. They want models who can convey and connect with every day consumers. This is why I quit hiring models and try to hire actors and actresses. They know how to take direction, emote and take on a role of the person using a product or service.

    Nude modeling is big business and if you want to specialize in that aspect of the industry then I say go for it. But realize it also narrows the type calls you might get.

    Reply

  14. April 12, 2018 at 11:17 pm, eyeamnicegirl said:

    In her bio at the end of the article, Katja Gee says, she “wants to live in a world where nudity isn’t remarkable . . . ” Thing is, if nudity was simply the norm and not the exception, the “nude” artist would no longer have a product (the willingness to pose/perform nude) that customers would pay to see.

    Reply

  15. March 04, 2018 at 5:51 am, tsigili said:

    This is the first well written article I have seen from MM. It speaks from the model’s perspective however, and I might add some comments from the photographer’s perspective.

    First, most photographers are looking for models to express the artistic side, of what they do. Making photographs to order, fro commercial clients, may pay the bills, but there is actually NOT a lot of creative license in making such images. For people photographers, the freedom to create art of the human variety, is a driving force. Whether clothed or unclothed, creating interesting, artistic photos of models, is what many photographers like to do, and while clothed works for a while, sooner or later, the challenge to do beautiful nudes, also calls out for creative expression.

    For non-agency models, the demand for nude models drives the business. The agency models have their own share of that, especially in the editorial market, because that segment loves to create such imagery in their publications, and sexy images are going to always be a part of advertising, especially for certain products, and skin care, perfume, and similar products, use nudity quite a lot.

    Non-agency models need to recognize that the main thing they have demand for, is to be available for the things agency models are less likely to do……..unless they get paid very well to do it.

    That means doing the photographic experiments, of photographers, of all kinds, as well as offbeat, and unusual ideas, for creative outlet. That also means the creative side of photographing the human body, whether with female or male bodies.

    The overall look of the model, is more important, than the height, or weight, of the model in that case. How well the look fits with the concept to be done, is the hiring factor, as well as the comfort level of the model, in working in various levels of undress. A model who has no experience, is seldom successful, because of their comfort level, which hinders their posing and expression. Once they have gained some experience, they may find that will become less of a problem, and the imagery they produce becomes far better.

    Too many non-agency models think that they don’t have to have, any skills, or experience. That simply isn’t true. Professional photographers invest a lot of money in their personal projects, as well as time. I have done fully clothed shoots on experimental concepts, that cost me $1000. or more. Doing that, with unskilled models, is simply a waste of money. We do not hire models to waste money.

    The demand for glamour, and nude, or what we call figure models, is high, in the non-agency world, for such experimental and free expression purposes. Those who recognize that fact, will work far more than those who do not. Those who think they are worth more than they really are, will also work less than those who recognize their true value, in those situations. Realize that most such sessions, are not income producing for the photographers. They will only invest up to a point, for such models, and they are only going to do a limited number of sessions, in a period of time, as they are personally funding those sessions.

    The decision is yours, but the honest truth is, most professionals are professional, in their conduct, and not something to fear. GWC’s, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. Nor, will you find only guys doing nudity in their imagery. A lot of female photographers are doing the same types of imagery.

    If you really want to work, as a model, then you have to look at all types of work, realistically, and learn all you can about the market, and what the demand is. The more flexible you can be, and the more skilled you are, the more in demand you will be.

    Reply

  16. March 02, 2018 at 3:01 am, Luis Cavaco-Cruz said:

    Dear friends, this article raised so many polemical utterances because MM, fortunately, reaches a worldwide audience. Each culture perceives nudity in its own way, and it is useless one trying to be righter than the other. I am both European and American, so I am able to pinpoint the differences easily between these two cultures.
    Let’s imagine the movie industry: in the U.S., you get a red circle on the right top screen (i.e., non-proper for children) if the movie has nudity; in Europe, you ONLY get the same red circle if the movie entails violence or horror.

    Nudity is seen very differently in Europe and in the U.S. because of the religious factor. 85%+ of Americans are religious, against a minimal percentage in Europe. That makes all the difference. It is cultural, being it right or wrong.

    Thus, wannabe photographers also have different attitudes depending on their cultural backgrounds. The more restrictive cultures tend to produce more deranged individuals nudity wise, because such nudity is more scarce in their culture, hence those individuals tend to be more abusive, exactly because they are deranged and want to use photography as means to plainly see naked women. Whereas in Europe, to see people nude, you just need to go to the beach, and children are raised this way, seeing the body in a different manner. Thus, a wannabe European photographer is probably more interested in art work then in seeing nude girls.

    Make no mistake: deranged people exist everywhere, but in what regards to nudity, they are more prone to exist in more religiously restrictive countries.
    All being said, I finish as I started: it is all a cultural issue that must be regarded as such. It’s no use to point fingers at anyone. Realities are what they are, no better, no worse.

    Reply

  17. March 02, 2018 at 1:37 am, Jon L. Miller said:

    I’m a fine art nude photographer and have been for some 20 years. I never could understand why some folks have a problem with nudity. If you study or view painting from the masters you will see nude images of both men and women and yet not one complains about it, but as soon as its a photograph folks get their knickers in a knot. Relax people its only a body and its a beautiful body. leave the sex out of the equation and maybe you will see the beauty that lies within and on the surface of the model. I’m extremely grateful to those models I’ve worked with and continue to work with for without their strong and bold attitude I would not have been able to express my vision in the images in galleries and shows around the world.

    Reply

  18. March 01, 2018 at 7:54 pm, Michael McIntosh said:

    Hi Katja woowww I loooove it.As a professional photographer and who does nude fig drawing for a hobby “though persons say I should take it more seriously” I respect you for your outlook and step you took. I actually also love taking self portrait nudes of myself and I draw from them too. Hope some day I can meet and shoot with you.

    Reply

  19. March 01, 2018 at 4:29 pm, Zekov said:

    I had the stigma of the “pervert” put on me because I wanted to do nude photography. Anytime I spoke about it with my friends, they immediately would tell me that it gave people an air of “ew” and good luck finding anyone to pose nude for me for art’s sake. I ended up getting quite a few women to pose for me, never any men because they thought I was gay. The women I had pose for me were usually women whom I was already intimate with, so that made it easier, but I wanted to separate sex from art and that is when it became hard to find models. The first model I found willing to pose for me turned out to have ulterior motives and when she realized I only wanted to do the photography, not the sex, she got cold and wouldn’t work with me anymore. That told me that she maybe felt like she wasn’t a person, that if I had tried to sleep with her then she would have felt more human, but instead she felt uncomfortable because she was being used as an object. Yet, since then, I’ve met a lot of models who preferred to be treated like objects and just wanted to do their job and get paid. In the end, that was the message I received: if I want someone to pose for me I need to pay them in either money or sex, but nobody (or very, very few) will do it for arts’ sake. That depresses me. But I guess it’s the reality we live in, or so it seems from my experience.

    Reply

  20. March 01, 2018 at 4:05 pm, cyclist451 said:

    Interesting article. i think a better title that would seem to fit what you have to say is “Why You Should Consider Posing Nude.”

    Reply

  21. March 01, 2018 at 3:58 pm, Dana Delikat said:

    I really like this article and I believe it brings up valid points. I do, however,recognize the very real fact that some photographers do photograpy lessons for aspiring photographers and in the last half hour of the teaching require the model to be nude. That, in and of itself, is still not suspect. The problem that abounds, however, is if that said model is told that she MUST do this if she is considereing a modeling career in fashion or editorial.
    I was at a very reputable (supposedly) casting agency, and was introduced to a male photographer that I was assured was reputable, happily married, and respectable. However, within the first 15 minutes behind closed doors at the agency, was cornered, groped, and told that I need to do what he wants and get nude if I want any chance of making it. I was a day over 18 years old.
    That was enough to have me walk out and leave, and pursue my college degree and career in skincare and beauty.
    That is the problem. Not nude photos.

    Reply

    • October 31, 2018 at 6:04 pm, Jon L. Miller said:

      Should have reported him then and now, this industry does not need predators like him as he will no doubt do it again and again.

      Reply

  22. March 01, 2018 at 3:47 pm, ThePParadigm said:

    I’m going to disagree with you on your premise that ‘others’ should pose nude. YOU chose that activity for yourself despite the warnings and are now relying on nude modeling for your income. Women don’t need to bare all to find confidence. And men don’t need to encourage women (almost exclusively) to bare all to proclaim art.

    Too many people can’t tell the difference between art and trash and that’s where the porn mentality comes in. Unless your ‘art’ is marketable or genuinely appreciated as actual art, not trash posing as such; then, perhaps, ‘some’ nude modeling may be beneficial. But to make it your career, without any meaningful provenance, reduces it to stripping, pole dancing – the usual male fantasy nonsense that desperate types flock to.

    And to those ‘male’ photographers who refuse to shoot MEN or anything other than semi-clad to nude women – you’re sad as f. Yes, you’re creeps. And yes you use a camera to get next to pretty women. “But I’m a skilled photographer!” you cry… Technical ability has nothing to do with it; there are plenty of ‘technicaly correct’ images out there that are still trash and man-bait.

    There’s a reason 90+ percent of photographers are male and that over
    90 percent of what they shoot are women; and, a good deal of those
    images are focused on sexuality and engratiating the male ego as people respond with the classic sexist fanfare (again, mostly males). The very small percentage of actual artistic provenance in nude photography still reigns with the even smaller crowd of photographers who have integrity and creative talent.

    Last point: To those who claim it’s about being ‘brave’ and to try new things but be careful who you deal with – so check references. Please! References are available from those you’ve worked with…and it worked out! They do not reflect on those times when things went horribly wrong and someone got hurt. Since when is exposing oneself to a stranger supposed to be about bravery? If it were the right situation with the right photographer and for the right creative prospect (to be significantly debated) then it’s less about bravery and more about confidence and faith, which is part of what this article tries to convey (I think) But let’s not confuse female empowerment with the encouragement to get women to do things that, for decades, we’ve tried to protect them from… and for obvious and good reason.

    Reply

  23. March 01, 2018 at 3:23 pm, Richard Hart said:

    If I am being finicky, the sample images are actually implied nude, not nude, which is a slightly different category. There is nothing particularly sexual or predatory about them. If they were, then they would be in a different category again. I think this should be made clear as it makes a big difference in the perception of what nude modeling is.

    Many people gain confidence just by having a photoshoot. I have done thousands of portrait sessions, I should know. I can appreciate how strong it makes someone feel to pose nude. Shooting portraits is about appreciating the qualities, not just physical, in everyone and showing their best side. We all have good, bad and outstanding aspects. I think lots of people enjoy being free from clothes as it feels nice, as long as it is warm. Some people are exhibitionist which makes them feel free. It is almost like therapy.

    If you are not sure about the photographer, ask them if you can bring a friend. This will make it clear where their interests lie.

    I think it would be great if everybody was happy in their own skin to pose nude, or at least be nude by themselves. If you are happy posing nude, then why would you feel embarrassed about it later in life? Be proud of who you are at this stage of life. Have a stage name to make yourself less identifiable.

    Photographers – don’t jump in the deep end. Let the model relax, build confidence and feel comfortable, then make suggestions on more revealing outfits.

    Reply

  24. March 01, 2018 at 2:57 pm, Doug Mungavin said:

    Good article, thanks for sharing your perspective.

    Reply

  25. March 01, 2018 at 2:35 pm, LJRhodes said:

    The only way artists advance is to continuously step outside our comfort zones. Every time we encounter a situation, project, etc. that makes us feel nervous or even afraid, we should go ahead and dive into it. It’s outside our comfort zones where all the magic happens. If I never stepped outside my comfort zone, I’d still be turning out snapshots of nothing worth noting. The only way to stand out from the crowd is to be intrepid, to embrace challenging and even downright scary ideas, because these things aren’t easy to do. If they were, everyone would do them.

    The more often you step outside your comfort zone, the more often you learn that the things we tend to fear most also tend to be things we didn’t need to fear at all. The world and the people, places and things within it become less frightening and can even become downright exhilarating. Were it not for my getting over my deep fear of approaching strangers to try to recruit new models for my work, especially male models in the southern U.S., which can be particularly terrifying, I wouldn’t have the body of work I do and for which I’m known.

    I see stepping outside my comfort zone as necessary a routine as practicing new photography and post-processing techniques. It’s just part of doing business. :)

    Reply

  26. September 17, 2017 at 5:06 pm, Jessica Hamlin said:

    I love this it’s inspiring I have don’t one nude photo shoot and loved it keep in mind I have had 5 kids do my body is not perfect I loved how they turned out and I hope my kids have the courage to try it cause no matter what you look like on the outside true beauty is inside yourself found in the heart and soul

    Reply

  27. September 14, 2017 at 1:10 am, PIXbyGrant said:

    I shoot nudes and love the comments around: I’ve never felt so strong before. IS that really me? Gosh I feel so alive! and things like that……
    Also enjoy the friendships made and trust built.

    Reply

  28. September 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm, Schwanger said:

    I don’t really have the skill to convey what I want to say. But, I will try. And as Kala writes, A lecher is a lecher, rape is rape, not art. No matter, what tool or technique he uses. Linda Sobek, was murdered by a nut job posing as a photographer. Does not mean a real photographer is going to kill or rape you. Having said that…We have a society, that is obsessed with sex. But, sex and photography is different, here’s an analogy. If Russian model Irina Shayk, told me, that I have to choose one option, have sex with with her, or I could photograph her, I’d choose to have a photography session. Here’s more prove we are overly obsessed with sex. I am in Austin, Texas, sitting in a 6th street bar. Outside a mentally ill person is walking around screaming threats and obscene language. Nobody, pays him much attention. However, the screaming man, takes off all his clothes. Wow, everyone whips out their phones and dial 911. Austin police arrive and he is arrested.

    Reply

  29. September 13, 2017 at 5:55 pm, Kala said:

    A lot of European cultures don’t place a taboo on nudity. Problems with nudity come from uber-religious countries. Nudity isn’t perversion. It’s your own sickness & upbringing that feels nude is unnatural or forbidden or taboo. It’s entirely enough to just say you’re religious and want to be a religious model. Good luck with that.

    Reply

    • September 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm, Schwanger said:

      Kala, I agree.

      Reply

    • March 01, 2018 at 2:36 pm, LJRhodes said:

      We’re more like Middle Eastern countries governed by Sharia law than the militant Christian conservatives here in the U.S. are willing to admit.

      Reply

      • March 01, 2018 at 4:11 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

        If you will forgive a slight plagiarism . . . “Amen”!

        Reply

    • March 01, 2018 at 4:10 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

      A contradiction in terms!

      Reply

    • March 05, 2018 at 6:23 am, Patrick Co said:

      Religion is an easy target in this Youtube era. Lots of nude artworks at the Vatican

      Reply

      • March 05, 2018 at 6:42 am, Chinarabbit said:

        Most of Europe is religious to some degree. Again, Europeans don’t have these problems, only Americans do, with their muricun religions. Fk American religious zealots.

        Reply

        • October 03, 2018 at 5:31 pm, RodneySmedley said:

          Fk Chinese Pekinese whatever, chinuh with the minds of duh.

          Reply

          • October 03, 2018 at 7:15 pm, Chinarabbit said:

            Wow.. Speak of American Hillbilly Inbred Religious Zealots, and American Hillbilly Inbred Religious Zealots appear, eh?

        • January 09, 2019 at 5:45 pm, eyeamnicegirl said:

          I’m in the US. Why all the hate? Walking down the street in the buff is obviously frowned upon. Yet, there isn’t a bit cultural issue with posing nude, at least no in the “art” genre of nude. At the extreme of the nude, that which is called pornography, sure, there is a lot of negative with that. No matter where you go, there are local customs, or expectations if you prefer. No need to be hateful because some people look at things (including nudity) differently than you do.

          On a similar note, I’ve been to topless beaches, and went topless. I’ve been to “please keep your top on” beaches, too; and I kept my top on. It’s no big deal. I see no reason to push my personal agenda on the majority.

          P.S. I’m a Bible believing Christian.

          Reply

  30. September 12, 2017 at 10:45 am, Cully Firmin said:

    Thank you Katja!

    Reply

  31. September 07, 2017 at 8:01 pm, MatureModelMM said:

    I didn’t start modelling until I was 35, but I quickly realized that posing naked was the single most empowering thing I could possibly ever have done for myself as a woman. Now I’m 65 and still continue to pose for artists and photographers, and I’m still naked. The freedom of being without clothing in the presence of others, and the artistic expression of creating things I never thought possible with my naked body are both very rewarding emotionally.

    Reply

    • March 01, 2018 at 4:14 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

      Beautifully put! Wish there were more like you!

      Reply

    • March 02, 2018 at 2:20 am, Andrew Greig said:

      As a photographer who shoots nudes I am very jealous of my reputation as a considerate and respectful person and my studio is recognised as a safe place. I make sure that the model has a private space, and I never go near it if she is changing. A robe is offered to the model for lighting or set changes, or for a discussion of our next direction. I have seen some models who say “they are going to have to pay me a stack of money to get naked”. But I make the distinction this way: a naked woman is often a victim because she senses her nakedness acutely, it is uncomfortable and can be distressing. A nude model on the other hand is fully clothed ….. in her own skin. She is skilled to collaborate with the photographer or artist to present a work of art. The models I engage charge the same rate whether nude or clothed, which is fair because I am hiring them to bring their best, that is all. I do not use coarse or suggestive language, I always have a discussion about what is captured and what is not. If I think that a particular shot might have more information than the model would like I show her and if she thinks it is too much I delete it in camera immediately. My primary concern, more than the vision to be achieved, is that my models ARE safe and FEEL safe.

      Reply

  32. September 07, 2017 at 6:24 pm, Bruce Albert said:

    In the late 1990’s “Marie Claire” magazine ran an artical about how posing nude for a photographer (assuming male) would “empower” you. Most nudes I ever shot, best money I ever made with a camera. but the problem was these were readers not models.
    Nudity imparts 3 messages:A) “My medical needs” (Journal of the American Medical Association B) Comfortable Familiarity, love, trust, sexual partner or available to be, or Association C) Victim in peril “Taboo” “Hustler” female subservient to male.
    Note the author’s “implied” poses, there is full blown NUDE

    Reply

  33. September 07, 2017 at 2:54 pm, Michael Berry said:

    From my own perspective as a photographer who has a style that is closer to fashion and glamour than fine arts. I never set out in my career to photograph nudes, it just sort of evolved from my appreciation of dance and performing arts. The key is that the model must want to experiment or satisfy her curiosity and not feel coerced. Probably a good first step would be art model posing since the work created is more abstract and does not lend itself to internet disclosure.
    Certainly a prospective model should thoroughly vet a photographer’s portfolio to be sure she admires the technical aspects and also can recognize a respectful engagement with the subject. Every woman I have worked with has felt “empowered” and visibly gained poise and self-confidence with each session. This is life affirming.

    Reply

    • March 01, 2018 at 4:18 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

      Michael, my career went that way also. I was a commercial photographer (Portraiture, Weddings, etc.) for about 15 years when a girlfriend, that I was living with at the time, suggested that my Creativity would be better served if I forgot money (Commercial Photography for hire) and photographed Nudes – just for MY satisfaction. It worked!

      Reply

  34. September 07, 2017 at 7:56 am, Nikonron Digitaldude said:

    …..the ‘STIGMA’ is real…..but not warranted…my fav figure model was very clear when she told me she would ‘NEVER’ pose nude….to date she has become a superb figure muse…confident and very proud of her body…. it takes major courage to bare it all, set yourself out there…flaws and all……BRAVO to all of you….

    Reply

  35. September 06, 2017 at 9:34 pm, crash55 said:

    I have generally found that there are two viewpoints on nudity in photography. Either the model considers it embarrassing, a lower form of modelling or they are supportive of the nude form and consider it a legitimate artistic expression. The proliferation of porn today has unfortunately resulted in some equating nudity with pornography. In some cases the boundaries have been blurred, but the expression of the nude form is still an honourable artistic expression that has a long tradition in art. I am not interested in erotic or glamour photography, but I have shot with a number of nude art models. To me, the human form is the ultimate and most powerful artistic expression that cannot be duplicated in any other way.

    Reply

    • March 01, 2018 at 4:25 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

      I agree with the part where you said, “The proliferation of porn today has unfortunately resulted in some equating nudity with pornography.” But, only by ‘MINDLESS people. However, I do NOT agree that In some cases the boundaries have been blurred. Absolutely NO ONE could mistake my Nudes (after they see them; i.e. the deciding factor) with pornography. Porn is 100% Sex- AND perverted sex at that; my work is about 100% Beauty: I feel that taking a Beautiful girl, posing her in a style that enhances her beauty, along with a location and lighting that does the same, is both challenging and rewarding (all my models agreed)!

      Reply

  36. September 06, 2017 at 7:54 pm, Bill Kelly said:

    One thought that came to mind as I read these words about the images being “around forever” is that if the session produces great art, both model and photographer can only hope that the images will be “around forever” on the internet or anywhere else. Maybe nothing I’ve done has reached that level, but that’s my goal for every shoot.

    Another point that some models might want to keep in mind is that shooting nudes can make the photographer nervous as well. Without getting into the whole debate about society’s attitude towards nudity, a nude shoot does seem to have higher stakes for everyone involved. If I shoot a model in ski pants and a parka and the images don’t look great, telling myself that the whole thing is just a learning experience doesn’t feel bad. Because we all see nudity as being different in some way, not producing great images causes me to have intense feelings of self-disappointment. Part of those feelings may be concern about whether others will think that I hired a nude model just to look at her myself, but most of the bad feelings are from a sense that shooting nudes is a step up and that I didn’t make that step successfully. Because nudes are seen as different, I feel particularly responsible to give the model worthwhile images even if she never wants to use them. I’d like to think that I don’t seem nervous during the shoot, but my mind ran on double-speed to get every setting right during the few nude shoots that I’ve done.

    I’m not a professional photographer and certainly not a professional art nude photographer. While I understand the idea of being selective about photographers for nude photography, ignoring everyone without a long pedigree will mean getting fewer jobs. If everyone is clear about expectations, people without the big credentials can still do good stuff together and enjoy the process.

    Another piece of advice for my fellow amateurs is to let the model have her (or his) way, particularly when she’s (he’s) an experienced model. Experienced models may see things that will look good based on experience. I try to establish general ideas, but when shooting starts, I mostly think about keeping the technical stuff right and keeping the image framed properly while the model creates art with her figure. My “inner control freak” would like to think that I can stipulate every detail and make great images, but with a good, experienced model, doing so is silly. Even with less experienced models, a part of me thinks that both of us will learn more if I don’t micro-manage.

    I agree that posing nude can be problematic for women who want to pursue certain careers. Oddly enough, two teachers at my high school had posed nude for Playboy, and I went to high school in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Of course, the 70’s were a time when people seemed a bit less rude. Nudity was more taboo in the area where I grew up, but the thought of confronting either of those teachers seemed more inappropriate than their having posed in the past. Today, people seem to think that confronting someone for any reason is always justified. That’s still a tough call.

    Reply

    • March 01, 2018 at 4:34 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

      Hey Bill, You’re absolutely correct; but it doesn’t have to be that ‘uncomfortable’. If the photographer KNOWS that he is NOT doing ANYTHING illicit, he should be relaxed- I was, even from the beginning. But, there was the initial uncertainty on the part of the model. I did have to develop an ‘approach’ that put the models at ease. And almost all (over 200) the girls I worked with were “1st timers”. My GF, that I was living with at the time, (who suggested I get into Nude photography) humorously remarked, “I am the only one I know that has a string of Nude girls from my front door, down the street, and around the corner” ( slight exaggeration, to be sure)!

      Reply

  37. September 06, 2017 at 7:34 pm, David Edward Martin said:

    Singer/songwriter Judy Collins said “Every woman should pose nude at least once. It gives you perspective.”

    On the other hand, Ford Modelling Agency founder Eileen Ford was a notorious prude. As far as she was concerned the only legitimate nude modeling was the small amount of photos needed for medical texts. Despite VOGUE and HARPER’S BAZAAR promotion of nudity as high fashion Ford opposed any of “her” girls doing such work.

    Reply

    • March 01, 2018 at 4:12 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

      And just what ‘denomination’ was she?

      Reply

      • March 01, 2018 at 4:32 pm, Zekov said:

        The one devoid of creativity

        Reply

        • March 01, 2018 at 4:41 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

          THEY ALL ARE, Zekov!
          BTW, are you Russian, by any chance?

          Reply

      • March 02, 2018 at 2:45 pm, David Edward Martin said:

        From what I’ve read if her, I’d say “First Church of the Control Freak.”
        In a book she wrote directed to would-be neophyte models it was clear the only nude modeling she accepted was photography for medical textbooks, a very, very small part of the business.
        By contrast when John Cassavetes began his agency he announced his approach with a group shot of himself in a tropical suit surrounded by all his models clad in their birthday suits.,

        Reply

  38. September 06, 2017 at 4:06 pm, DHM said:

    Check the portfolio of the photographer you’re supposed to work with, check their references, and sure, take precautions if you have reasons not to trust them (be it your lack of confidence in yourself or lack of confidence in the photographer – but this applies to every genre). And also, if you’re planning a career where nude modelling can ruin it, don’t do it. In a perfect world nobody should care about that sort of stuff, but we don’t live in a perfect world.
    I wouldn’t say that every model should do nudes or that every photographer should do nudes, but if you both feel confident about it, I think it’s one of the most peaceful genres there is. Great article.

    Reply

    • March 02, 2018 at 2:43 am, Andrew Greig said:

      I worked with a model who was prepared to shoot nude but could not afford for any of her images to “escape” into the wild as she was a business manager for a medical facility. So I gave her a rock solid undertaking that once she had her collection of images, any image in which she could be recognised would be deleted. And the images we took of her which we specifically shot to obscure her identity were separated into another folder in my port called Miss X. Her other clothed shots were alphabetically separated. She felt really valued and SAFE because her concerns were supported by appropriate controls.

      Reply

  39. September 06, 2017 at 3:15 pm, Maleko Wine said:

    I think Katja hit the nail on the head. The message I got was to be brave, try new things, but be careful who you do it with. As a professional, you should check references and make sure that you’re dealing with a serious artist. I had my share of weirdos when I started but as I matured, I began to understand how the process works. One thing I did learn was that if that little voice in your head says “be careful”, you should probably listen. It is unfortunate that our society has bifurcated into “nudity is OK” and “nudity is perverted” with little middle ground. I hope that through hard work and some talented artists that we can change people’s opinion to a positive and tolerant one.

    Reply

    • March 01, 2018 at 4:13 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

      DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH!

      Reply

  40. September 06, 2017 at 2:15 pm, Clint Hobson said:

    I think it’s sad civilised society has gone back to a point where nudity has to be defended so often and so strongly once again. I think we’re seeing more censoring, more shame, than even just 10 years ago.

    Reply

  41. September 06, 2017 at 1:47 pm, Maria Al-Masani said:

    A lot of women got raped or harassed posing nude. A lot of my friends had a bad experience. I am also friends with great awesome respectful art nude photographers.
    The models who had a good experience went to a professional art nude photographer who had excellent references from a local university and a degree in photography. He specialized in nudes and compensated models. Another was an instructor of photography, lots of references. If a person asks you to pose nude, say no. If the person has nudes in their port, and is a specialist nude photographer – rather than a guy using a camera to grope young women he can’t otherwise get, then you approach them. However, also consider that what’s “liberating” to an artist is “bad judgement” “trouble maker” to a non-artist accountant or lawyer or someone in a left-brain (hence more conservative) profession.

    If a professional nude photographer approaches you, they have nudes in their port, and ask you to pose nude and state the compensation and don’t care if you say no. An unprofessional “guy with a camera” may go for a bikini shoot and ask you to take more and more off then goes grabby. Make sure you are working with a nude-art photographer, with references. When you found a good one – then you can go with his references or other references. Don’t shoot nude without references. Photographer must have high quality art nudes in his portfolio. If they don’t look like the quality close the the top

    Also, if you are doing a nude, for the first time with a photographer – bring someone with you, preferably male. If the photographer is not comfortable – they are a fauxtographer or “guy with a camera” trying to use the camera to grab girls. The professional photographers who shoot nude I know prefer you bring someone when you first work with them- so there are no accusations. Google top 10 art nude photographers, etc. Is the work kind of close to that level, or does it look very amateur. Only take amateur work if you are the model for a workshop or only with recommendation by an art school, and get compensation.

    Nude photography is something you have to be smart about. A “guy with a camera” could think its a license to sexually assault you. A professional photographer sees it as art. Know the difference and stay safe.

    Reply

    • September 13, 2017 at 5:51 pm, Kala said:

      You’re ridiculous..there’s a bit of a difference between photography and rape. Rape is rape, be it during photography or at a party or walking alone on a university campus at night, its rape. You don’t avoid going to college because you might get raped. You obviously have a personal vendetta against men. You sound like a misandrist, and probably a misanthrope. I think you are on a campaign. Photography is an art medium, no different from oil or charcoal. Photographers and models are Artists. You don’t only pose for Michaelangelo because you are a “serious model”. You must be joking. You are obviously just anti-nudity and hyper-conservative. Artists work together. Liberal-minded people are generally artists. You’re free to go take your religious photos all you want. All artists are free to explore their art, and like-minded artists can work with other like-minded artists to reach their goals & potential.

      Its entirely enough for you to say that you don’t do nudes. Take a hard stance. And go be with other ultra conservative artists, if they even actually exist. That’s nothing more than a red flag for everyone else.

      Reply

      • September 14, 2017 at 1:33 am, Maria Al-Masani said:

        Kala, I reported someone to cops… you just sound like communist trying to destroy western civilization. I am a fashion designer. I am the future. Feel free to believe that Gen Z is interested in your aging Boomer blue pill bullshit because we are not. Modernists and post modernists can only rot a classic but they can’t create anything new.

        So you say that a men’s rights activist has a vendetta against men – and men’s rights activists say I go to far about trying to reform divorce laws to stop women from divorce raping men and making shared custody more common. Where did you blue pill cuck crawl out of, your wife’s boyfriend’s bed room. So Boomer. You sound so old.

        Actually Gen Z is Red Pill, and we think older generations are degenerate. We aren’t into cuckservative crap – we are into revolution, rebelling against our Boomer parents. It will be amusing to watch you old folk die alone in nursing homes, unlike the Great Generation, where people died in the arms of their families – but you guys rarely marry/stay married, have few kids and usually a bad relationship with them.

        Laugh at the youth all you want, but you are the past and we are the future. You rebelled against your parents, we rebel against ours. Your generation taught us that. So there were so many jobs when you were growing up your grandparents brought you, but your generation destroyed the jobs, the church, everything and left your kids poor, jobless with opiates as a support system… and you wonder why youth don’t share your values? And what exactly did you artists produce without a church – pee with a cross? How does one compare the pleasure and social utility of Mona Lisa to that? the art that your generation produced was a waste of tax dollars.

        With a censorship board, we had a “golden age of Hollywood”. Without it, artists race to the bottom, decay and degenerate to a point of lack of creativity descending into cookie cutter gore and pornography, each image looks the same as the next. Creativity works best within the set of restrictions. Artists produce better work in conservative environments that require standards. The work in the Vatican is more awe aspiring and aesthetically pleasing to non westerners than anything in a modern art music. Vatican is not acquired taste and modernism is acquired taste – acquired taste is making excuses for why something sucks and pretending it doesn’t.

        No censorship board, no Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, Marlyin Monroe. Today’s actresses and models are not memorable, a see of interchangable bodies. The world is changing, youth are rebelling, get used to it. We are not your dad’s weird Reagan conservatives. We are Red Pill. We are a return of kings and queens on this earth. Get with it

        Reply

        • March 01, 2018 at 2:34 pm, twobe1 said:

          Ma’am, yes there are a lot of bad people out there but I suggest you have some serious psycho-sexual issues that fall well outside this discussion board.

          Reply

        • March 17, 2018 at 4:08 am, Chinarabbit said:

          Gen Z ya, I think you mean millenial. I’m Gen X, clown. The last non-clown generation. No, you’re a hate group. Muslim is no different from Christian, that’s why you feel right at home with your radical right-wing conservative views. For fucks sake, you can’t even show your fucking ears, why the fuck are you even commenting on nudity except that your entire agenda is to implement a law of ear shaming. Take that shit over to the radical right-wing Christian sites and explain to them that you are really an even more extreme version of them and therefore you should join forces against nudity and abortion and naked ears and other shit that women shouldn’t do. Tell them you will even murder those infidels who have abortions or flaunt their ears. You’re definitely going to be super popular in the south, if you can just explain to them that you are essentially a non-white version of them, which I’m not sure they could get past.

          Reply

        • March 17, 2018 at 4:15 am, Chinarabbit said:

          “Creativity works best within the set of restrictions. Artists produce better work in conservative environments that require standards.”

          Nice.. Yes, wow.. Amazing. The best artists are ultra-conservative, wow. You’re just buying into your own bullshit aren’t you, drinking your own kool-aid.

          Now we’ve heard it all. For sure, all the artists we know are in church /mosque all the time, mos def.

          I think you may want to consider that you’ve actually just been brainwashed, if you’re free to consider such things without punishment from god, that is.

          That sounds exactly like what they say over the city intercom in Muslim countries. “you do your most beautiful and creative works whilst being forced to not do anything you want to do”

          I like it, this will no doubt be super popular with your new Southern Confederate friends.

          Reply

        • March 17, 2018 at 4:21 am, Chinarabbit said:

          In fact, the most creative people are actually the most queer, different, unusual, strange, non-conforming people. People who’ve dealt with and/or are dealing with trauma, drama, hardship, etc. People who’ve been raped, abused, physically, emotionally, psychologically, etc.

          Crying rape to a bunch of artists isn’t going to elicit the most tears for you. You’re really just that much closer to being part of the club.

          You need to go cry that shit over to the entitled Christians and Muslims, who literally cause all of the problems in the world, because nothing has ever really happened to them and they will get right on throwing people in hell or blowing them up for you.

          Reply

      • September 14, 2017 at 1:50 am, Maria Al-Masani said:

        You lazy boomer, you thought after you squandered the inhertiance of the the greatest civilization on earth from your parents, that you can say mean words to bully Gen Z, and we’d cave. Fuck that shit. Your generation messed up our lives and the world. You do not produce children for the white race and encourage behaviors that reduce the white population – then you laugh at the Muslims who replace you? LOOOOL.

        “And go be with other ultra conservative artists, if they even actually exist.” Because Muslim countries don’t have art in your opinion. You sound more racist than the KKK, but claim you are progressive on nudity. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world and it’s the hand of a Muslim women. Some smart white gen Z youth figured this out, and produce their own conservative values. I’m Sufi… for you to call me ultra conservative like a Wahabi just shows the level of degeneracy that you have that has decreasing marginal returns in creativity and art production quality over time.

        “You are obviously just anti-nudity and hyper-conservative.” Sounds like a triggered cuck. Do you have a “my wife is your wife” since at your front entrance? I don’t think I have a Muslim cousin interested in raping her, but you won’t mind us finding some homeless guy to rape her and get her pregnant as you sit and watch then raise his child, as it is an open relationship because we said so and you don’t want to be an intolerant conservative Christian as Merkel calls them, do you? It doesn’t matter what you think as people like you have few kids, and thus have to import us fertile red pilled Muslims. LOL, haters gonna but we pay your pension.

        Reply

        • March 01, 2018 at 7:33 pm, Eric said:

          I was behind you before w/your first post. Now you’re just off the rails man.

          Reply

          • January 22, 2019 at 2:25 pm, eyeamnicegirl said:

            She is a radical muslim, and even confused about that. The notion that a muslim woman would pose nude and at the same time be proclaiming islam taking over America, sort of doesn’t fit together very well. Women are oppressed in muslim nations in ways that nobody who grew up in the USA has ever experienced. She is right about white people not having many babies, and effectively, over several decades, diminishing in influence as people of other races/ethnicities multiply in great numbers and slowly take their position of power (via sheer numbers, not with bullets); Do you realize that hispanics are the dominant race in California, and that is a direct result of unfettered (and illegal) immigration, combined with a fair amount of white flight and to some degree, the fact that white women are averaging less than 2 babies (at least 2 babies fathered by a white man). The muslims have lots and lots of babies, as to the hispanics (because of their catholic tradition, they don’t use birth control). Rest assured, as crazy as Maria may seem, she is also serious about muslims taking over America. Look at Dearborn, and you will understand what is going to happen to the rest of America over the next 40 years. The hispanics are more or less peaceful; the muslims, not so much.

      • March 01, 2018 at 4:02 pm, ThePParadigm said:

        Your response to Maria is rather shocking. Why so spiteful and argumentative to someone reporting rape and victimization? That’s her experience, not yours and you dismiss it with aggression. THAT is what women ought to fear – that ugly dismissive attitude against anything that suggests caution and skepticism to what you want – to get women naked…calling it art, freedom, natural, non-religious blah blah. What a creep. And you certainly make my list of suspicious persons claiming to be an artist, Chinarabbit.

        Reply

        • March 17, 2018 at 3:59 am, Chinarabbit said:

          Spiteful is attacking all male photographers and the art in general because of your own personal bad experience, be it rape or anything else. Yes, it is dismissed by everyone who’s not a fucking rapist, as the rantings of an obviously abused person. No, she’s not getting preferential treatment. I work on a daily basis with children and teens who have actual fucking problems, serious shit you can’t even image. The solution to nobody’s problem is to attack the world. We don’t accuse all parents or tell everyone they can’t have kids. This lady can go fuck herself. Go get help. Serious professional help for your rape. But no, we’re not closing down Universities because you got raped on one. Nor are we going to be putting an end to nudity because you got raped, sorry to disappoint you.

          Reply

    • September 14, 2017 at 12:14 am, Rootin Tootin said:

      This sounds like total BS: “A lot of my friends had a bad experience”.

      I’ve shot over 200 nude models over the last ten years, and even I don’t know any friends who pose nude, outside of friends I’ve made through my professional life, so for you to say “a lot” of your friends had bad experiences, sends up my BS antenna.

      By the way, I started out as a “guy with a camera”, and learnt my craft with experience. I was a nude model in my late teens for two years and never met any other professional model who had a bad experience.

      I’ve never had even one of my models tell me of a bad experience with any other photographer, and they would tell me, because I usually get to know my models quite well or in some cases very well, because the way I work is to chat a lot, to take the focus off the modelling, to get more relaxed shots.

      My guess is there’s more chance of being sexually assaulted by someone you meet in a bar than by a photographer. If you feel uncomfortable posing nude, just say so. firmly but respectfully.

      Reply

      • September 14, 2017 at 1:16 am, Maria Al-Masani said:

        Working in the arts, high quality male photographers do understand that there will be people trying to take advantage of their profession the same way child molestors try to hang around playgrounds or volunteer with kids. Belittling the industry danger instead of addressing it is a red flag.

        Actually a photographer I worked with raped someone, and other photoraphers and models on model mayhem caught him, and we filed a report with police. Also another guy got in trouble with the cops, one can just google and find hobby models who disappeared, crimes happen. The fact you discourage responsibility with crime shows you are not a professional and are likely not professional with how you touch girls or cover up for your friends who do.

        You know and I know professional photographers, even ones who started as the guy at the nude photography workshop with a DSLR and zero experience – want to make sure a nude model feels safe and that they are above being accused of sexual harassment, and thus are happy there is another person at the shoot as a witness to good behavior.

        A professional nude photographer cuts to the chase about nudes, “I would like to shoot a nude series with you,” and if you say no firmly, no pressure, they find someone else as they are proud of beautiful classical art they create. A creep trying to get in the pants says something like ” I want to do a high fashion photoshoot” etc and then it becomes a lingerie shoot and then pressure into a topless and so on, and eventually grab. A photographer is proud of his work and doesn’t feel ashamed asking models that fit their work, who look like they are open to posing nude to pose nude. If one is a nude model, and a famous nude photographer asks for a pose, it’s an honor. The problem is creeps pressuring women.

        When women know how to distinguish between a photographer interested in art, and a creep who tries to grab her by the pussy cat, that’s when they stop having problems in nude modeling. I agree, firm nos are important.

        Reply

      • March 01, 2018 at 4:05 pm, ThePParadigm said:

        You said this 16 days ago: “This cvnt is going to end up with all the other Feminist has-beens, on The View, or The Spew as it’s otherwise known.”

        You have absolutely NO credibility whatsoever. Adding you to the list.

        Reply

  42. September 06, 2017 at 12:36 pm, wonderhussy said:

    WOW!!! Finally an article about nude modeling that actually has something useful to say… Most of these mm edu articles are utter rubbish/waste of time, but this is on point!

    Reply

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