Touching subjects and models

The subject comes up many times about photographers touching subjects and models during photoshoots, not just nude, intimate, or boudoir photoshoots. It’s been discussed in various social media groups and modeling related websites and there will be a variety of viewpoints. I am here to share mine, it’s really quite simple. When I am photographing a model, or a private client for any kind of intimate work, I am asking them for their trust based on my work, reputation, and personality. Many don’t have much time to know me well prior to working with me, only feeling me out in the initial vetting process. I refuse to take part in the silly stigmas that male photographers have to automatically be up to something, always bring bodyguards, all that fear mongering horse shit. But in return, I make sure that my reputation stays above board.

Every subject that comes to me for any nude or other intimate photos comes to me for my ability to capture the female form in it’s simple but elegant beauty. I want it to be a fun, and discreet experience for them. A photographer touching a scantily dressed or nude subject can make even an experienced model uncomfortable. Usually I ask the subject to move her shoulder back, space her fingers apart, loosen her grip, etc. Just simple yet important details to a photograph and it’s mood….and that usually suffices. If I need them to do something complex or if they are having difficulty understanding what I need them to do, I simply ask if I can adjust them. I’ve never been told no. I’ve never asked unless necessary, and it’s fairly rare. And even then, it’s adjusting an arm or shoulder. So in short…touching a subject isn’t usually necessary. But if it is necessary, only do so after asking. It removes any element of surprise and only buys the photographer credibility. Part of the accountability process.

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Inspirations for your boudoir shoot

Or other nude / intimate photoshoot. A little free advice on this subject, by your friendly Nashville female form artist. Selecting the right photographer for this very personal project is very important. That you feel passionate about their style of capture of the body, lighting, mood, anything else that is distinctive about their style. Also, their level of respect and discretion towards their clients.

When making these selections, you should be able to give examples to that photographer about what inspires you about their work, whether it’s about a specific angle, lighting style, mood of a specific photo or series. That way they know what motivates you the most and be able to use that to help personalize your intimate photoshoot effectively.

Boudoir photography Nashville

In other words, if you want a specific result or style, that you have seen from other photographers, and see none of that in the photographer’s work you are looking at, it’s a clear sign that you need to go to the photographers who created the work you are most passionate about. Usually, clients who come to me are looking or my style specifically instead of the standard boudoir photographer / pillow arrangers. But it’s happened, where prospective clients show me a slew of ideas they send me on Pinterest or from other local photographers, and most of which, are NOT even my style. In that case, it’s clear that if that’s what they are looking for, we’re a mismatch.

Logic should prevail here, but it’s not about our fragile artist egos, it’s about hiring the right person for the right job. Use that person for their strengths that you are most passionate about. If that person doesn’t have it, and you have other preferences, find a way to hire those people. Going to a photographer and asking them to recreate the work of another is limiting, unfair, and often not do-able. Not to mention rude, though most don’t mean it to be. If a client is talking to me about completing her project, I’d want to know what it is about MY style thy like and want to incorporate into my shoot. It’s a specific choice.


Dating observations

Occasionally I bring my iPad to coffee shops, parks, or other random place for an hour or two for a change of scenery and do some writing / blogging away from home. I’m definitely an observer as people are present on the streets and in establishments, but with my photojournalism experience, I can do so without staring or being obvious. There are also times when I don’t care to, and focus on my own projects. I can tell a lot by how people interact with one another, about how mutually rewarding their relationship may be. I stay tuned in for very limited amounts of time, sometimes what I see is inspiring and I learn from it, and other times it’s depressing.

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It’s always rewarding to see two people of any age, totally connected and tuned in to one another, just by subtle body language and a simple but loving touch. There should be someone for everyone, and it’s nice to see those people found it. Sometimes I also see the “relationship of convenience” couple, that are slouchy and look like the soul got zapped out of them. Neither exude happiness, as if both are down on their luck and they’re both over it. Perhaps, given the opportunity, one or both would go out on the other, if one didn’t monitor the other’s phone or watch their every move. Let’s not forget the shallow girl who always picks a certain type of guy, who is divided and disinterested towards her in public. After a string of them, you’d think a connection would be made and it wouldn’t be a surprise when they experience the same result with the next. Nope. Instead, oh all men are so horrible, boo hoo. Own your mess cupcake.

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Occasionally we witness other peoples’ first dates while out and about. It’s great to see two people engaged in conversation, eager to hear about the other, no bored looks while the other speaks, etc. Eye contact even while taking a sip of coffee, wine, water with lemon slice, whatever their pleasure. Not to mention natural laughter as opposed to obligatory or nervous laughter. Always refreshing to know this still exists, without having to vie for second place to a phone. I only hope for both of them that one isn’t rebounding and not ready to date just because they can’t be alone. Always my biggest pet peeve when dating, meeting someone who has no business even dating because she too recently got out of another relationship. Neither the collateral damage to the other person they bring into their mess, or them making themselves the victim helps the overall health of themselves and society.


Occasionally you see the sophomoric dick joke guy meeting his soon to be mortified date. You’d think he’s with his buddies from high school, not a lady he is meeting for the first time. SO….either Shallow Hal is looking for an exit because her photo didn’t match up close enough for him, or he really is as smooth as sandpaper. LOL. Always see full body photos if dating online. Perhaps the girl mentioned in the second paragraph would be all over him? Hm….maybe I should offer this service, for a large fee 🙂

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Let’s not forget the first date that is more like a job interview. The woman walks in there with the same body language as she would a business meeting, trying to select a candidate for a certain position. She’s not about the idle chit chat, she wants to get to the core of the guy quickly so her time isn’t wasted, and so she can interview the host of other men on her list. This poor guy is pretty much eliminated before they sit down together. She is either jaded by the past or is taking advantage of supply and demand and enjoys that control. He’s trying to break the ice with her and lighten the mood, by asking questions about her and covering one thing at a time to keep it organic. But nope, she’s got to act like a douche bag and give him the speed dating quizzes so to speak. Almost looking for a difference of opinion on social issues or politics, or not like the way he holds his fork, coffee mug, etc. If he “passes” that rigorous test maybe he does have a shot, if he’s not turned off.

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I get it, when you meet people to date, you want to make sure something is there, but honestly, there should be an inkling of that feeling before going on an actual date. Any instant incompatibilities and red flags can reveal themselves quickly if some conversation takes place on the phone etc. It also takes time to get to know people. Loud mouthed political and religious discussions do not belong on a first date. Before any conversation like that happens, I’d want to know I’m with someone who keeps an open minded approach to all subjects and knows how to interact with those who feel differently. Of course certain core values need to match up, but what fun is life if everyone thinks the same? I’m fine with being asked some questions, as well as random interests / conversation, and I ask her about herself, it’s all a healthy balance.

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It’s pretty obvious to me when I’m being borderline interrogated, and it will not only make me think this chick is manipulative, but probably what I can offer her wouldn’t be enough. I may intentionally blow the date using a subtle approach that will seem very random but ambiguous to her. Not everyone is oblivious to, or will play your game honey 🙂 Take it down a notch, you might just find some good people. Fortunately, there are all kinds.

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