Copyright 2005 Roy Barker
There are major obstacles to overcome to get into nude photography, not least of which is need to practise technique. By its very nature there has to be at least one subject, and big problem for photographer here is image. To some image of nude photographer is tied in with ďdirty MacintoshĒ brigade, with false wig and dark glasses.
Not everyone believes adage that an erotic photograph, does not have to be nude, and a nude photograph is not necessarily erotic. The biggest challenge is to find a suitable model, and certainly in small town rural backwater areas, it is not brightest propaganda move to put an advertisement in Post Office window. It is also suspect to approach someone in street.
Impeccable credentials help here, an image of a bona fide photographer, with a studio, and a business card with a portfolio. A professionally created business card also helps; a ripped off part of an old envelope invites suspicion. It is not necessary to have a portfolio of nudes, but it is essential as an aid of creating feeling of trust. It can be very helpful to not tell a prospective model what you do, but show them, and depending on their responses take it from there.
A lot of nude photographers start with a self portrait an this is better than nothing in some cases. There are several other methods that can be used to find people to model. Your first option is to hire professional (glamour) models. That can be expensive, and they're not often familiar with that type of work. The second option is to hire amateur models, or perhaps even nude still life models, problem here is that latter will have no inhibitions taking their clothes off, and may be able to sit still and hold a specific pose for long periods of time, however they may not be best models to animate themselves. The third option is not to pay a model at all, but find someone with a vested interest in making a portfolio work. Whilst thinking about this matter during research for this article it occurred to me, that ideal person, would be someone who would be prepared to model in exchange for a portfolio, or other photographic service. In other words, a model who has a reason to make session work will undoubtedly put more effort into overcoming any technical difficulties. Perhaps you know someone who is pregnant who might want to model in exchange for photos.
Secondly that type of model will produce better results, than some eighteen year olds with a perfect body and a bad attitude. A personal model with enthusiasm to explore different perspectives and techniques has to produce better results than a wooden, but perfect doll. It does not alter fact that your model must be at peace with thought of nude modelling as a whole, but a sensitive relationship with photographer will work wonders here. The rules are no different for a photographer here than a portrait photographer, he or she must first have self confidence. If you cannot get that across to your model he or she will be reluctant to give it their best shot.