Tips for the nude model getting started

This relates to the freelance nude model, more so than a commercial or agency model. There are websites to network and promote / barter your services. Before getting started, do your homework and familiarize yourself with how trade or otherwise known as TFP shoots work, how photo usage and model releases work, as well as familiarizing yourself with the different nude genres and knowing which style ranges you are most drawn to. I would encourage you to first attend a figure drawing class and go as a guest or a model, to gauge your comfort level pertaining to nudity around others. And if you feel drawn to photos as well, check out www.modelmayhem.com where many freelance models and photographers meet. Many are hobbyists and some are pros. Good mix, but like anything you have to use common sense and education as your best defense. There are many learning tools there and tips against falling prey to scams, safety on shoots, determining your market, etc. Here are some general points I want to make to help you get started.

What is your goal? – Are you thinking about pursuing nude modeling for fun or an art form, or potential opportunity to travel and get some paid gigs? First determine your look and market, and if your look fits your desired style. For example, there isn’t much use for a 5’2″ model who won’t do nudes, in the fashion or commercial market. There are many types of nudes. Fetish, erotic, artistic / figure study (my best general description), glamour (Playboy style), etc. If you can’t tell the difference between the different genres, do more research. Only you as a model can know how you are ok with being portrayed and what style you like best. And if your particular look fits it. Sometimes you don’t figure it out completely until you shoot, photographers go through this too. Lastly, trade or barter shoots are ideal to get things started, but do be picky and work with those who you feel are reputable and capture their subjects in a way you like. You are not ready to expect pay with no experience or portfolio. Nudity does not equate worth. What the model brings to the table does, like how they can better a photographer’s portfolio. Even very experienced traveling nude models do trade shoots with select photographers they have a track record with, as I do with select models too.

Photo usage- I can’t stress this point enough…..assume any photos taken can and will be used online and in a photographer’s portfolio, unless you are a private client. As a model, that’s how it works. Bottom line, if you pursue modeling of any kind, nude especially, you have to be ok with that. This means being ready to face idiots who try to shame you for it, judgmental parents or significant others, etc. and stand strong to your passion and belief. As a fine art nude photographer, I’ve experienced this as well. On a less public level than a model would. But definitely on a personal level…as far as significant others not accepting what I do. You know what? This is what I do….if you have an issue with that, it won’t end there. Funny how many think it’s ok for them to bring baggage into a relationship and they expect you to accept it or lump it, but we have to conform to them. No. lol. That’s a whole other topic for next time…..but bottom line, you can’t turn back time once images are out there. Be proud of your work and don’t be easily shamed by ignorant parties….or else don’t waste your time and others’ time pursuing it.

Setting up shoots and building a body of work- It’s fine to start a page with a few images shot by a friend or student photographer you know, not self shot crap in a mirror. You need to show what you look like. Then make an effort to search for photographers to work with, whose work you admire. You have to be on point in your search. Not every photographer who does great work in one area is capable of capturing the nude body well. Look at the photographer’s style of work, their representation of the model, post production work, etc. This is the style your photos would be. Set up trade shoots, where you receive images for your portfolio. Agree on terms up front, like the photographers’ process, estimated delivery time, etc. Be reliable and do follow ups, don’t waste peoples’ time. And don’t be demanding, or start thinking bringing a chaperone will make you safer. That’s laziness. And not many photographers will allow that. Research how things work and how you qualify people, not re write the book according to your own logic. If you get inquiries from those whose style of work doesn’t fit you, a polite response stating so is sufficient. More to come….this gets you started 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Tips for the nude model getting started

  1. I have friends who like to model nutde and post pictures, so I had this idea and said how would you like to do some nude modeling and some were quiet interested in pursuing this as a profession. If you would share more information with me of how to promote them into the industry, I would be most grateful!!! Thank you.

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