Tips, preparing for nude or intimate photoshoot

The best nude models I have worked with are very careful about taking care of their skin and body. A combination of balanced healthy diet, skin care, exercise, stretching, and getting enough rest. Not everyone doing a boudoir / intimate photoshoot needs to make it a full time gig, but I’m just sharing what goes into it for those who do. No one is perfect, but I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to do the best we can to take care of the only body we have. With that said, I will share some tips that can help the every day wife or girlfriend prepare for their shoot.

It’s proven that drinking enough water and refraining from smoking cigarettes helps the skin and overall health. Stretching is also critical. Some poses and angles may not be easy or comfortable, this will help your flexibility and reduce soreness after the shoot. Express any concerns you have with your photographer. Remember, this is a very personal service. They should listen to you and help you, and have the best results in their interest. Leading up to the shoot, I definitely suggest proper diet (not starve yourself), drinking enough water, stretching and exercise. Also avoid spray tanning and even tanning booths within a few days of the shoot. I hate what tanning does to skin anyhow. Nothing like some speckled leather, lol. Practice and move in the mirror, don’t be afraid how great or stupid you might think it looks. Be your beautiful self and be unabashed. This will loosen you up come the day of the shoot. These things help you mentally and physically prepare for your shoot. Lastly, the day of the shoot, avoid any bras or panties that leave marks on your skin. Wear loose fitting clothes to the shoot, this way no marks are left. If needed, talk to your aesthetician about how to avoid bumps or irritation / razor stubble in the bikini area. I hope this helps….now let’s make some art 🙂

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Enhancing the butt / fullness

I’ve had clients say, oh my husband / boyfriend is an ass man but I hate my butt because it isn’t as shapely as I want it to be, etc. Well, there are some tricks to enhance that. There are wooden apple boxes used for that purpose, slightly higher than a phone book. The subject stands and places the foot closest to the camera up on that apple box and tip toes some, and that adds a nice little extra curve to her butt. Also, shooting from a slightly lower angle emphasizes the shape of the butt better. As always, arching the lower back and sucking the stomach in really helps the overall flattery of the photo 🙂

When laying a subject on her stomach, arching her lower back and tightening butt muscles puffs it up as well….and again, avoiding shooting “down” on the butt really helps bring out a flattering shape. I really love using some shadowing to help the shaping, especially with some brush light on the hip / cheek it becomes a work in progress. Even sitting in a chair backwards, and scooting the butt backwards, and arching the back, leaning chest forward also helps shape the butt better. No need to go super extreme. It really is the little things that make simple and elegant nude / intimate photography that much better.

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Avoiding unflattering angles

A common misconception of nude or intimate photography is it’s a gravy train and that the subjects always feel beautiful. Anyone learning the craft are well suited to work with experienced models who can teach them about posing and capturing each person’s flattering angle….all before marketing themselves to the public. Little details suchas avoiding one twist or turn that could make the image unflattering. An experienced nude model knows this, and is ok with herself. But the every day woman doing an intimate shoot can be more self conscious and should have a photographer who understands this.

Examples of potential trouble areas, when twisting, it can leave creases in the skin. That’s natural, skin moves. LOL. But stretching the body and a simple twist can eliminate that or make it much less pronounced to where it’s sexy and not unflattering. When proofing the images with the client, it makes a huge difference in their level of happiness with not only my services, but happiness with themselves. The less I have to Photoshop on them, the better they feel. Of course I make needed repairs, but the shorter the list, the better they generally feel. Plus it saves me retouch time.

Curving the lower back / spine, pronouncing the jawline, making the butt full, and avoiding straight on side angle for a laying down subject are good tricks for nude photography. Especially for shorter subjects, even if they are slender, that angle can make the side of their legs look more bulky and this is something that can make a woman self conscious. It helps to have a basic understanding of women, not just know how to compose a photo and create lighting. The pose may be more twisty and uncomfortable, but it avoids revealing (or creating) problem areas, which would be a failure. The whole purpose is not only to make art, but to make the client feel good about herself….and the recipient of the gift see her in a whole new light. 😀

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The nude model dealing with judgmental family and peers

In the last article I addressed the common stereotypes and ignorant beliefs about nude models and nude art as a whole. The nude female form has been an art form admired for centuries. The unfortunate thing is that it’s somewhat common for nude models of all sorts to be faced with judgmental peers and family. Some people think of all nude art as being dirty, or porn. Not hardly. But any living breathing adult who really thinks that has no desire to be enlightened, but would rather bask in their own ignorance. The reason why Farrell gallery even exists is to separate this body of work from my wedding and portrait photography, which sometimes has a more conservative client base. I understand if people don’t wish to view nude work, I respect that enough to separate it for them, and make this body of work stand out better. Most people, even if nude photography isn’t their cup of tea, can appreciate the beauty in it. Fair enough, I respect that!

But I’ve known some nude models who have had some very hurtful things said to them, by people who are supposed to love them unconditionally….yes….close friends and family. This is why I recommend models go into this educated and having done research, so they do not regret their decision, and so they can stand strong and not cave into judgements from others. Some may mean well and think they’re saving a damsel in distress. In reality, if they’re trying to shame her, all they are doing is driving a wedge in their relationship. Others are mean spirited and like to bring negativity to others….and this is often the target. Because not everyone has the look or the courage to be a nude model. The models who are good at it love it and find it liberating, and are openly proud of their work.

I shot some lovely artistic style implied nudes for a new 19 year old model years ago, she was lovely and it took her a while to develop the confidence to do the shoot. I made sure she was ready. She kept saying even after the shoot how much she enjoyed it, and how I put her at ease, she did not even feel “naked” . A good nude art photographer does that. I never published any online or anywhere until she got more shoots under her belt. Well, soon after, her mom learned about her new interest and soon both her parents were threatening her to either stop, as it was shameful to them as Christians, or all financial support would stop. She was in college and still staying there over the Summers. They knew they had her cornered unless she did all but disown them. Really nice people huh? Fucking scum bags as far as I’m concerned. That’s just judgmental and manipulative behavior, and they used their own agenda, and God as a weapon against their own daughter, who was an adult and needs to make decisions for herself. Fuck, you’d think they caught her doing meth or being a sex slave to a satanic cult. I can’t blame her for stopping in this case, but you can bet the humiliation they tried to put her through and the manipulation, she won’t forget. I just think it’s sad. Fortunately, most who are able to support themselves aren’t backed into a corner like that. Once they do it long enough, they’re usually able to say “I love you even if you can’t accept my decision to pursue my passions, but you are the one letting it come between us, it’s you disappointing me. I’m here if you decide to continue loving me for who I am” It’s not forever this lasts, some things have to be done before it’s too late. The world would be a wonderful place with less ignorance and more acceptance of what doesn’t hurt them, or they aren’t familiar with. Many of us share your pain and appreciate you for who you are, be inspired and stay inspired. We’re in this together.

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