Stu Williamson details some of the important considerations when shooting the nude form
One of the biggest challenges that all photographers are facing at the moment is that the photograph has become a throwaway item. Billions of photos are taken every day which has actually devalued the image industry, especially with the advent of new phones with every technique and filter known to man. One press of a button and it’s art, and indeed some of the pictures are absolutely amazing. But what are the differences between a casual snapper and a professional with a vision?
The painted nude is everywhere and it’s classed as art. However, a photographic nude is generally perceived as erotic soft porn. I am trying to bridge the gap between the photographic nude and the painted nude by using a combination of mixed media and Photoshop techniques.
The first step to success in this genre is to find immediate inspiration, and that doesn’t mean simply copying an image. If you haven’t already, check out Pinterest – it’s amazing. By doing so you can gain a good idea of the type of imagery that inspires you and the main style or path you wish to take. Transpose those inspirations into ideas. I aim to take a little from everywhere.
So once you have your inspiration in mind, we now need to set the scene to photograph the nude. The main thing we need to consider is making the model comfortable. You will be able to see it in their eyes in the final image whether or not you connected to the model – the eyes are the windows to the soul. Music plays a big part in creating a comfortable atmosphere. Play their music so they are relaxed. Temperature also plays a role; if the studio is too cold, you’ll have goose bumps which are a nightmare to work with digitally.
One of the biggest elements to consider is to make sure that you keep the shoot professional; great care has to be taken in directing the model.