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10 Things You Might Not Know About Nude Models

1. Yes, it is possible to make a living doing this

But it takes a lot of hard work and a good reputation. For every hour spent in front of the lens or canvas, roughly 9 million are spent networking, updating portfolios, organizing work, advertising, applying to castings, travelling to and from locations, packing/unpacking for jobs (because even nude models are often expected to bring props/accessories/ clothing) and attacking what I like to affectionately refer to as ‘the email mountain’. (We are grateful for the email mountain—it keeps us in business. We just wish we could hire some hobbit minions to live underneath it and help us out every now and then so that we don’t accidentally offend the creative types who grow more and more anxious by our lack of reply because we are busy modelling by day, sleeping by night or, you know, doing other important stuff.)


Model: Ella Rose Muse; Photographer: britalicus

2. We don’t assume you’re a pervert

When you hire us for your artwork, personal projects or even just to test your ability to turn a lump of wax into a decent human-shaped figure. (But we do seek standard references before meeting new clients if we take our personal safety seriously.) Nudity is perfectly normal, but I have modelled for the occasional ‘newbie’ whose hands have visibly shaken at the experience, who’ve wanted very much to mention their wives and happy marriages within the first two or three sentences (perhaps in the opening email) to assure me of their lack of intention, and who announce that they will be leaving the room every time I change pose. It’s sweet, but largely unnecessary.

3. We don’t want you to touch us, especially when we’re nude

We are not made of fire (you don’t need to bounce away from us as though we might burn you), but if you think it’s appropriate to move our limbs for us instead of at least attempting to first describe a pose you are trying to capture, or push/poke us into position without asking permission first (not while you brush our hair away from our faces) we may find you rude at best and threatening at worst. Any contact should be careful and brief; this isn’t because we’re precious (seriously, nude models are not divas!) but because we value respect. It’s best to steer clear of any physical contact unless specifically agreed upon by the model.


Model: Ella Rose Muse; Photographer: Rayment Kirby 

4. We really do care about your results

Chances are, if we weren’t in some way artistically inclined or interested in modelling as a creative ‘vocation,’ we wouldn’t be in this job at all; we’d be doing something else completely. When hiring us, you are under no obligation to show us the final images, and we know that, but we really hope that you might anyway – it makes the whole thing more satisfying for us. This isn’t vanity; it’s fun to see the fruits of our labors, and we like to celebrate successes with you.

5. We are full of doubts

About whether we’re not slightly mad for being involved in this quest for producing interesting, beautiful and engaging imagery. We know this isn’t a normal job. We secretly quite enjoy the surprise on people’s faces when we tell them what we do for a living, but we also know it doesn’t quite sound like a ‘real’ grown-up job. We can’t pretend we have an office or a company car. We’re proud anyway.


Model: Ella Rose Muse; Photographer: Faye Yerbury 

6. We consider ourselves lucky

We get to experience things that other people might never even think of doing, in places we might otherwise never think of visiting. There is something very special about posing in a field of tall sunflowers in Germany, tiptoeing around beautiful old, derelict baths in Manchester, and lying on your back on amazing, cracked earth as a Californian storm builds over the desert. When we’re old and wrinkly, we’ll look back at these varied and surreal experiences with such excitement that we did them, that we didn’t say no, that we didn’t take the conventional path through life.

7. We really don’t mind at all if you forget to take your lens cap off your camera

We know there’s a lot to think about at once when photographing a subject, especially if you’re not that experienced (and sometimes even if you are). We don’t think you’re an idiot, even when you put your camera down and then can’t remember where you left it afterwards (my most amusing memory of this particular mishap to date involves a camera being discovered in a draining board next to a kitchen sink).


Model: Ella Rose Muse; Photographer & Makeup Artist: Rebecca Parker

8. We like it when you talk to us but don’t over-direct us

Sometimes we’re booked specifically for our own style of posing, and essentially ‘lead’ a shoot. (It’s surprisingly common that a photographer will set up the lights and then basically say “go!,” offering no input from then on.) That’s OK; we can work with that. But it’s nice when you balance that out by telling us what you want, what you don’t want, what you like and don’t like. Don’t be silent; it can make even the best models nervous (“Does he hate what I’m doing? Is she still there?”). Instead, offer some encouragement or at least evidence that you are alive and haven’t accidentally morphed into a human/camera hybrid.

Unless we are new, we probably already know how to pose for flattering angles and interesting imagery. It’s nice when we’re allowed to get into the ‘flow’ of things. It can sometimes work against your own interests to interfere too much, unless we are doing something wrong (in which case, please do intervene). I was once directed into each and every pose after each individual camera click by a beginner photographer who, after tiring himself out towards the end, suggested I do my own thing for the last 15 minutes and marveled at how much more productive we were.

9. We don’t like being compared to other models

It’s not healthy, helpful or clever. Being told that a previous model you’ve worked with was x, y and z is all well and good, but can be deflating if you’re implying that you don’t think we’ll be as good. Appreciate what’s in front of you. After all, you hired us. We can offer something different!


Model: Ella Rose Muse; Photographer: Karen Jones 

10. Don’t assume your model is stupid

Personally, I have a degree in philosophy; utterly impractical, of course, but at the very least I came away from university with the ability to win every single argument I am ever involved with for the rest of my life, using the much underrated tool of logic. Most models I know are quite prolific and multi-talented (check out this list of MM models in college, with undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees). You’ve got to be on the ball to make a career like this work. We’re probably not complete airheads. But you knew that.

Ella Rose

Ella Rose is a professional (traveling) model. She is primarily an art model but experienced in dance/movement, nude, fashion, lingerie, sports/fitness, commercial/lifestyle, wedding, beauty, portraits and artistic/classy glamour modeling. Ella is also an accomplished writer with a BA (Hons) degree in Philosophy and English Studies. Her website is www.ellarosemuse.co.uk.

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68 Responses to “10 Things You Might Not Know About Nude Models”

  1. July 07, 2017 at 8:47 pm, Bob LeGlob said:

    thank you. very helpful

    Reply

  2. May 05, 2017 at 12:30 am, David Rich said:

    I just ran across this article. It was well written with wit. I knew most of this, but it was a fun read anyway. Well done

    Reply

  3. April 07, 2017 at 9:50 am, Craig Andrew said:

    Great article… was doing a fashion course years ago. I was an old hand at this by then but had a newbie partner holding the ring flash we were using. The model unzipped her jacket revealing she wasn’t wearing anything underneath. My “assistant” dropped the flash! This article should be mandatory for anyone dealing with models!

    Reply

  4. April 07, 2017 at 9:25 am, Jerry J. Davis said:

    Good article! I’ve only worked with a few nude models and it’s because I’ve known them a long time. I’ve always been … I guess, shy? … to try and work with a nude model who I don’t already know. I think it’s because I know a photographer who is a total creep and I don’t want anyone to ever think I’m anything like him, so I pretty much stay away from it.

    Reply

  5. April 06, 2017 at 11:48 pm, Chris Jones said:

    I occasionally leave the lens cap on even if the model isn’t nude. I also bring a my crew to aid in the shoot as well as tell me when said lens cap is on, hehehe. I can only shoot this if there’s a story so I can get the proper emotion, as the nudity is only complementary and not the main factor. The things that gives these types of shoots the greenlight or a pause are particular questions like: what could they express differently unclothed vs. clothed, would it matter(incl. why and how is it a benefit), etc. If I cant answer, then I wont do it.

    Reply

  6. April 06, 2017 at 6:00 pm, Dale McCabe said:

    OMG. You are not stupid. Models are not stupid. Wow . Who would have thought and to think you use logic to win arguments. That is ground breaking. I always thought that sprouting populist rhetoric was far more convincing than reasoned argument. Damn it I now have to rethink my strategies for winning arguments. Great article Ella, I might have to book you just to practice my argument style.

    Reply

  7. April 06, 2017 at 5:18 pm, Ken Johnstone said:

    Great article and some very good points. Its my next venture and its great to have some basic guidelines along with common sense. Well put thanks

    Reply

  8. April 06, 2017 at 2:34 pm, Reinaldokool said:

    So delighted to read this. At an early point in my nude work, I bought a “ticket” to a group shoot. Six photographers and two very well-known professional models. I did get some good images, but mostly I let them teach me. I discovered how hard they work, how much they continued to learn new poses or practice and perfect old ones. That was when I decided that while this is all non-commercial (“Hobby” is kind of demeaning.) and I don’t have much money, I would NEVER ask anyone to model TFP/CD. A photographer should offer real compensation. It may not be as much as she deserves, but I will always offer what I can afford. If that’s not enough for her–and it well may not be–that’s her decision. I understand and honor it.

    When a model accepts my pittance, I try to show my appreciation for her by doing the best I know how. Part of this is to ALSO offer her a set of the finished images for personal non-commercial use.

    Reply

  9. April 06, 2017 at 12:09 pm, cyclist451 said:

    PS, I just noticed this is at least two years old, but it just showed up on Model Mayhem.

    Reply

  10. April 06, 2017 at 12:09 pm, cyclist451 said:

    Nothing new or surprising but always good to have a refresher. I particularly liked #7. I have been shooting for quite some time, but still forget the lens cap, oh and forgetting where I put my camera happens more often than I would like to admit (though it is usually quickly found, just have to turn my head a bit). The nervousness factor passed after a few shoots. It is always good working with a model who is comfortable with being nude. In those situations the interactions are pretty much the same as if the model was clothed, as you say, nudity is natural. I personally think #3 is the most important. The odds are, if a photographer is paying attention to that, then things like #s 9 and 10 will probably not happen. Nice list, thanks.

    Reply

  11. April 06, 2017 at 12:08 pm, Leslie Savage said:

    Tell me something I don’t know.

    Reply

  12. April 06, 2017 at 10:59 am, Nashrambler said:

    Thank you!

    Reply

  13. April 06, 2017 at 10:51 am, Doug Buckmaster said:

    This was a awesome article. Very well done. As a photographer of fine art nudes I follow the article rules to the letter. after all you both want to create art and beauty. The photographer should have an outline for the shoot to convey his/her wishes to achieve the vision they have for the shoot and results. I try to keep a female assistant with me during the shoots to make the model more comfortable.

    Reply

  14. April 06, 2017 at 10:41 am, silvinogonzlezm said:

    Love it, it is wonderful to have that kind of insight.

    Reply

  15. April 06, 2017 at 10:35 am, William Bruce Matthews said:

    I keep re reading this every time I am about to hire a model. I never want to be that creepy guy.

    Reply

  16. July 24, 2016 at 6:43 am, drevulphd said:

    Well said!

    Reply

  17. November 30, 2015 at 11:20 am, Jay Amari said:

    As a former model having worked nude I can only add that it is more difficult to pose without clothes, as so much can be said with the right outfit- working nude require that the inner landscape as well as the outer body-scape has to flex to say more.
    Otherwise working without clothes does have a certain freeness attached to it.

    Reply

  18. November 29, 2015 at 11:51 am, Rich Zane said:

    Thank you Ella. It is nice to actually hear the models side of the story. Something that seldom ever happens. I enjoyed this very much and really appreciate your taking the time to write this. Your photos are lovely. I really like studying the human form and the loveliness that is woman.

    Reply

  19. November 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm, Ed said:

    Hello. Responding to Jennie and bad Billy’s comments. Age has nothing to do with women’s beauty but it seems, that society, has said that about men. I have never seen a portly , balding, middle aged man on the cover of a magazine. I have seen a very over weight woman and even Caitlyn Jenner , And we have all this hoopla about weight shaming towards women, which is wrong so why don’t men get the same consideration? Many women will look over a man with the characteristics i just described in favor of a thinner , maybe even muscular man with a full head of air. . Sounds like a superficial double standard to me.

    Reply

  20. November 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm, Mariana Quiroz-Garces said:

    I love this post. I personally don’t shoot nude, but admire the women who live by this kind of confidence, value, and respect. Words were put so nicely. It’s quite insulting when people assume certain things because we “model.” I majored in psychology and mass communications and love it. Job-wise, we obviously just like modeling more.

    Reply

  21. November 26, 2015 at 7:48 am, Thomas Alan Christensen said:

    I found the article very interesting and informative. Every aspiring photographer should read it before attempting to do nude photography.

    Reply

  22. November 26, 2015 at 2:53 am, tiny said:

    it was and still is one of the things i have done in my life that i will bring with me forever, the first nude shoot was suppose to be with a fellow photographer. well he could not make it and I did the shoot myself. not knowing how to proceed, and with some working with models under my belt, i went for it! it went very well. I did not screw up as much as i thought i would and I could have gotten better results, but me not being a PRO i made it a shoot to not only get images but to talk to the model and get some incite from her as to what she thought about the shoot, etc. I am doing this type of shoot in a way that not many even if any shoot it. I am also nude, now all of you are going, he is shooting porn or something. well your all wrong. For the beginning anyway, I am shooting on a public nude beach. I would love to hear from you all what you think now of my concept. i started shooting with a fellow photographer and he was not nude as i was, i decided to see how it went when the photographer was also nude. i have now done it this way every time and not had even one female mention to me that she would rather have me clothed or what ever. I do have one story about the topic one female brought up during the shoot, i will perhaps tell it when and if i continue this post at another time.

    Reply

  23. November 25, 2015 at 10:43 pm, Donald Bruce Edward Wilson said:

    Nice tone and great philosophy. My experience shooting models, either nude or not, has been a profoundly humbling one. I have learned first hand the truth of much of what you have said here… models bring a kind of fire and spiritual wisdom to their posing.

    Reply

  24. November 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm, Hugh McCullough said:

    Ella,
    Very well written. Most of your comments were ‘right on’ and already known and practised. However, as MM is, in part, a Learning site, allow me to put my ‘2 cents’ in. Throughout all of th e’70’s & some of the ’80’s, I photographed hundreds of pretty girls [not all models and not all professionals]. Many had never modeled nude; however, inasmuch as “Hustler Magazine” had not made its appearance, young women were not a reluctant then as now [and with good reason]. Where my style was different from some of your comments is as follows: 2. I accept it if you assume I’m a pervert; it’s good to be VERY cautious as many ARE! Plus, I also accept the fact that I have to EARN your trust. 4. I not only show the model the results, we critique them- together. And since this is a ‘partnership’ [you’re doing your thing- I’m doing mine], it’s NOT MY results, it’s OUR results. 5. Understandable . . . especially for girls that have never modeled nude. Again, it’s the photographer’s place to alleviate those doubts & fears. 7. I hope I’m not being too critical, but even in the ‘Days of Film’, that never happened and I would be a bit suspect if it did [initially because the Hasselblad is a single lens reflex- kinda hard to shoot if you can see what you’re shooting- but, later, I switched to a twin lens reflex because the images were sharper]. 8. I always ‘directed’. As I saw [and see] it, my ‘talent is my Creativity [not my photography- I am an Artist, by Nature, and a Photographer, by Trade] while yours is your beauth. Yes, there were times when I asked the model for suggestions [usually when my creativity had run out].
    I hope this helps a little. Some of my nudes are on MM for viewing.

    Reply

  25. November 25, 2015 at 9:04 pm, Rudy Ocasion Jr said:

    This is so helpful as I have not shot a nude yet. I was offered, but being a new photographer, I needed to learn more about my camera and settings. Now it has been a year and now I am ready to shoot my first nude. Thank you for the tips it will help this photographer.

    Reply

  26. November 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm, uaio said:

    Wonderful, clear, polite, no BS article. Probably the best I’ve read.

    Reply

  27. November 25, 2015 at 5:47 pm, Marc Medios said:

    Best tip… if you need to move the hair out of the way, use a pencil (eraser side first) or any other kind of stick.

    Second tip… have a small (10-12) collection of pictures of poses you like and work from those.

    Reply

  28. November 25, 2015 at 3:35 pm, Alan Levin said:

    A photograph is a collaboration between the model and photographer. Respect is essential. I NEVER touch a model (male or female) without permission. Some of the male models have been touched without permission; some people assume guys are just used to it. Regardless of the gender of the photographer and model, unpermitted touching is a no-no.

    I have had female models who want to try nude work referred to me by female models I have worked with because they know I don’t touch without permission. And some men have been referred to me because I have an ironclad rule of no dating or messing around with models. I have had permission refused on occasion, and I make sure the model knows that is OK.

    Reply

  29. November 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm, Shoreline Photos said:

    Wow! Beautiful and smart. What a great, well written essay on the do’s and don’ts of nude photography from the eyes of a model. Your thoughtfulness comes through in this article which is why you are a successful model along with your amazing beauty and posing skills.
    Hope we can collaborate someday.

    Reply

  30. November 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm, Alan MacRae said:

    Great information. Lots of things I never considered. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  31. November 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm, Dan Spector said:

    My lifecasting art demands touching but I keep it professional and I make sure the model knows what the process is going to entail, and I am surprised how most models welcome me applying the oil/skincream after I give them the choice of doing it themselves or having me do it.

    Reply

  32. November 25, 2015 at 12:25 pm, Todd said:

    Well said and thank you! (wish I’d read this before my first time photographing nude models)

    Reply

  33. November 25, 2015 at 12:15 pm, Morgane Piraux said:

    It makes me feel so good, thank you Ella Rose Muse!

    Reply

  34. November 25, 2015 at 11:28 am, Brian07663NJ said:

    honestly – regarding being touched. I do think it is sometimes much easier to just be moved even that slightest bit by the artist but respect that it is a very personal decision. I always alert the artist that I am working with if I am comfortable with them touching me to adjust the pose because many times words just cannot adequately make that slight adjustment.

    Reply

  35. November 25, 2015 at 11:25 am, Ed Hicks said:

    Great Commentary A lot of good things for us photographers to know. Especially artists like me who dont do photography for a living , but use it as a tool for our art work. Thanks
    p.s. I usually send pictures of my paintings to the models I use. They are always appreciated

    Reply

  36. November 25, 2015 at 11:23 am, tekwrite said:

    Well done! I don’t touch a model clothed or unclothed. if I need to adjust a tag she cannot reach I will ASK. The female figure is a unique work of art to be appreciated AND respected.

    Reply

  37. November 25, 2015 at 11:19 am, jaime a said:

    Simply wonderful! I appreciate you even more now…

    Reply

  38. October 20, 2015 at 4:06 pm, Karel Paragh said:

    Very nice pictures. Regards, Karel Koes Hiranjgarbh Missier Paragh

    Reply

  39. July 02, 2015 at 1:27 am, Ron McDonald said:

    Talked to my model almost the whole time. We had a great political discussion and talked about past jobs she had done, and all the weirdos she had to deal with. A real hoot.

    Reply

  40. July 01, 2015 at 10:05 am, Bill Kelly said:

    Thank you for a very interesting article. I’ve done one shoot with a professional nude model. For the most part, she was directing things, but I had some ideas that she liked. We ended up shooting for five hours. I was exhausted at the end, but the experience was great.

    Reply

  41. July 01, 2015 at 9:20 am, Ashley Toni Gerspach said:

    Love this! As a model I agree with this so much. =)

    Reply

  42. April 01, 2015 at 7:47 am, Christelle Trottier Gallant said:

    I agree with every point! I guess it took you a while to write this list cause its like if you were able to think about everything! I’ve been a travelling nude model for 7 years. I think exactly like you.
    The only point where i slightly disagree with your point of view is about beeing compaired. If the photographer tell us the other model was so x, y and z, he probably doesn’t mean that we aren’t ‘as’ good or ‘as’ pretty. Maybe he doesn’t even realize it can create discomfort, maybe he’s just talking about a memory.
    Going through past our ego is an obvisouly a lesson we have to learn as a nude model, and its also obvisouly something that might end up beeing painfull if we cannot get through this.
    I think whatever an other photographer say about another beautiful model, it won’t change how we pose, or how we look. So if we get mad or offenced it will only hurt ourselves.
    When a photographer tells me about the model he booked last week and how pretty she was, how well she could moove or pose, i just change my point of view, and instead of beeing the model next to him, i become a friend, and i react as a friend.
    Then it becomes like a normal candid conversation and you can share opinion it or introduce another subject.

    Over the last 7 years of modelling in the States, Canada and Europe i’ve never heard any photographer who said they thought i couldn’t be as good as another model.
    I only heard photographer talking about other models, and my own ego beeing afraid to not be as good 😉

    Reply

  43. February 22, 2015 at 6:49 am, Ella Rose Muse said:

    I just want to thank everyone for their kind comments here. I’m grateful that this article is appreciated and thought to be helpful by so many, and have had many messages from fellow models expressing their agreement with the points made.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  44. February 17, 2015 at 3:18 am, Tommy may said:

    wheres the nudes?

    Reply

  45. February 11, 2015 at 12:34 pm, Bad Billy said:

    After one has spent ten, fifteen twenty years doing this–what next? Okay, I understand a lot of you are smart. But a woman’s beauty fades, as strength in men also fades with age. This gig is not a life long career. When everyone else was out working in professions and business, you were posing for cameras. Those years are gone, and in a way, you are then starting out where most of your peers were fifteen years ago. Do you anticipate having any regrets? Maybe the money is awesome and financial independence is the norm after doing this for ten to twenty years. I don’t know. It’s easy to feel like one has life by the balls when young, strong and beautiful. The world is not so welcoming – especially for women – at forty five.

    Reply

    • February 22, 2015 at 6:53 am, Ella Rose Muse said:

      I think this is a valid point, worth making.

      I personally am working towards a different career alongside my modelling, and always have been; it’s in my nature to be pursuing multiple things at once.

      Reply

      • June 23, 2015 at 5:07 am, Jennie Reid said:

        As a culture we’ve got to get over this idea that a woman who is over 45 is no longer beautiful. I’m 61, I look after myself, I’m slim, I have long hair – I get as many, if not more, looks of appreciation as I did 20 years ago. From your photos, you will be at least as stunning at 60 or more as you are now!

        Reply

        • June 23, 2015 at 9:19 am, Ella Rose said:

          That’s also a very good point!! :-)
          (And thank you for the compliment!)

          Reply

        • September 24, 2015 at 4:44 pm, Bad Billy said:

          Jennie Reid–Not sure if you were responding to me or not. But if you were, nowhere do I suggest that women over 45, or 35, or 55, are no longer beautiful. Bit of a straw man I’d say. I was speaking to the realities of the modeling world as I perceive them to be. That is, young and beautiful women get the lion’s share of the work. And what life offers women who have labored in that field for most of their younger years after they retire, or simply stop getting enough work due to their advancing age, and the diminution of beauty that everyone understands accompanies it. It wasn’t a rip on anyone. I was just trying to get some insight in to an aspect of the life that wasn’t explored in the article. I’m a man in my early fifties. I’m not as strong or fleet of foot as I was at twenty-five. Nor as good looking to be frank. And I would find nothing offensive about anyone who would make that assessment.

          Reply

          • September 25, 2015 at 5:23 am, Jennie Reid said:

            I think it’s wonderful that there are now a few catwalk models who are far older that what, a few years ago, would be have been seen as the norm. Perhaps not in the US yet, but definitely in Europe. But also, Bad Billy, why put yourself down because you are not as fast or as strong as you once were? I’m sure you have other attributes that have improved with age, and those lines on your face have come from life experience. Men in their fifties can definitely still be handsome – and in their sixties and seventies. When I walk down the street I see genuinely beautiful people whose age is irrelevant. I also see ugly people, embittered by the hand they’ve been dealt, with hatred etched in their faces. There are few things uglier than a woman of 50 trying to pretend she’s still 25. There is no universal standard of beauty, there is only the current fashion in the prevalent culture. My point is, that it is time this fashion for everything youthful changed in our culture. Perhaps it is changing already.

  46. February 11, 2015 at 12:04 pm, A K Nicholas said:

    Lots of info that I think will help people. I’m sure there are a range of opinions from other models that are not covered by the above generalizations. Some of the statements could begin with “I” rather than “we”. It would be interesting to hear some of those other voices.

    Reply

    • November 25, 2015 at 10:08 pm, Dave S said:

      some of these are really depending the model and photographers relationship. Also maybe the model might not be the only one who feels unsure in this situation.

      Reply

  47. February 03, 2015 at 5:39 am, Jenny Marquis said:

    Thanks for this fascinating insight, I am pleased to say that I highly regard and respect any models I work with especially in the body painting world as its a long day at the end of which the model has to step up and then bring my artwork to life. I would personally frown upon anyone who doesn’t treat a model with respect and be mindful of dignity and privacy, we all deserve at least that! Keep enjoying your work and feeling free, I envy anyone who is that comfortable in their own skin, what a great feeling :)

    Reply

  48. January 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm, Bill Walters said:

    Beautiful and insightful article Ella!!
    As a professional fashion and beauty photographer, I have probably seen
    more beautiful women at various stages of being undressed than any good
    christian white boy should ever be allowed to in one lifetime.
    Whether a model is dressed or nude i think there is always that initial awkwardness the first time you shoot together until you start to connect like dance partners. I feel that if that ever went away I would give serious thought to how open and passionate I still am about my work……..

    Reply

  49. January 29, 2015 at 10:00 pm, hughmc1000 . said:

    I agree with most of what Ella has said; however,would like to add my ‘take’ on some: #3- it is rare that a photographer has to touch a model; 90% of reasonable poses can be ‘verbally directed’. #4- My attitude is that photographing a model is a ‘Partnership’ and NEITHER is ‘superior’ to the other. #7- Really? Having been in the ‘business’ far longer than I like to mention, I have found ONLY 2 cases where a ‘photographer’ forgot to take off a lens cap: #1- he is a Pervert, pure & simple . . . as related to me by a model regarding another ‘photographer’, and #2- probably a kid who has NEVER seen a naked female and was NOT using a SLR! #8- Direction: being ‘Artistic’ doesn’t help as no 2 ‘Artists’ see the same thing in the same way. I ALWAYS ‘Paint’ a verbal picture of what I want the model to do prior to starting. I used to do many portfolios for Actors & Actresses [when I lived in Hollywood & SOCAL] and many volunteered that I was a very good ‘Director’. I will admit that probably 75% of the models I worked with were amateur [some even stated they had never modeled Nude before our session. Most, said they were completely comfortable modeling Nude after the session], and NEEDED the direction; however, even with a Pro, it helps to eliminate misunderstanding.
    My apologies for the length of this.

    Reply

    • January 31, 2015 at 4:28 pm, lastrid said:

      A sculptor may need to touch a model to make measurements or place a limb in a specific pose. All with explicit consent, of course.

      Reply

      • February 01, 2015 at 3:39 pm, hughmc1000 . said:

        No more than a photographer or a painter. The ONLY difference is the ‘Medium” [Marble, clay, canvas, or photo]. NOT normally a requirement as verbal direction is usually sufficient.

        Reply

        • February 01, 2015 at 4:38 pm, lastrid said:

          Not actually true. There is also the added difference of three dimensions as opposed to two. Painters (which I also am) and photographers do not need the same sort of measurements. Measurements cannot be accurate if not taken precisely from very specific points.

          Reply

          • February 01, 2015 at 4:39 pm, lastrid said:

            To clarify, measurements are relative in 2D media. Measurements are actual in realist sculpture and must be taken accordingly.

  50. January 29, 2015 at 10:50 am, Image Analogy said:

    Well written, and well said. The only thing I’d add is don’t be afraid (as a photographer) to be agile and open to evolving ideas, unless you are on a very specific brief. Seek feedback from a model, even if you are experienced, or learn about her unique skills as you go through a shoot. Some of my favorite models contribute to the creative process not just by posing, but by suggesting ideas, props, or even concepts. If they have a background in gymnastics, dance, theater or athletics they can often suggest ideas that haven’t occurred to me. A lot of this should come from profile and pre-work, but I have been delighted on several occasions to find out a model is skilled in a particular martial art, or obscure but beautiful asian dance. In those situations i often come out with something that exceeds my expectations, and integrating someone else’s ideas is a great way to get me out of a stylistic rut.

    Reply

  51. January 28, 2015 at 2:19 pm, Ruud van Gaal said:

    I’ve only recently really started to shoot more nudes, so I guess I’m still partly a newbie, so it’s very nice to read this model’s view. Especially being a man, shooting primarily women. Thanks for the cheerful write-up!

    Reply

  52. January 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm, ommadawn15 said:

    As per point #4, I am amazed at the number of models who don’t get back to me after posting links to their photos.
    After much hard work, this is a deal breaker for me; and I usually will not work with this person anymore.

    Reply

    • January 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm, Digital Jedi said:

      Then again, there is the second part of point #1.

      Reply

  53. January 27, 2015 at 9:50 pm, Vincent Wolff said:

    Excellent perspective…every photographer, artist, and even every nude model should read this

    Reply

    • November 26, 2015 at 10:26 am, tiny said:

      I agree 100%, and as i also think every photographer should do at least one nude shoot after reading this, of course. And do some research also. but heck, as photographers we should do our homework before doing a shoot of any type, if have never done before. And i also believe every photog. that has never done so, do a nude shoot in the nude in a public location. I do not think that many if anyone photographers here have done a nude shoot in the nude. I will tell you this, it aint the same as when you are fully clothed and the model is nude, def different for sure. I also may add perhaps having someone with you for the first shoot that has done it, and in the nude. The connection you have with the model I cannot explain in words, I can only say it seems to be closer then possible if not nude. I would love to hear what and if even any models here have to say about this, and have any here done nude shoots with the photographer also being nude? [porn don’t count, and everyone here knows what i mean by that, we are all adults.]

      Reply

  54. January 23, 2015 at 10:21 pm, Tricia said:

    wonderfully put… insight is a precious thing:)

    Reply

  55. January 20, 2015 at 9:12 pm, Barry said:

    Having dealt with many nude models, both newbies and experienced, I now realize how wonderful it would have been to have read this article back in my days of the “shaking hands”! I still “lose” my camera every so often

    Reply

  56. January 20, 2015 at 3:12 pm, Scott Kennelly said:

    Thank you for the info. I appreciate the hints.

    Reply

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