Help With Nudes.....
Okay, I have a model that approached me to take pics of her nude... I have done some partial nudes of my girlfriend, which were a lot of fun but this is different. We were drunk, and I could physically grab her and put her body in positions I wanted.... This woman is a friend. She seems to be very open and comfortable with me. but... Well, you get the idea....
Anyway, she is in her mid 30's and has had a couple of children. She is a pretty woman, with beautiful shiny eyes (that I will exploit). I'm sure her body is far from perfect but she has a nice figure (so it seems)... Which really doesn't matter.
Quote.... "I am happier now about my figure than I have ever been in my life.. Its more mental than physical, I'm sure, but I want to capture this moment.. This could be my last chance to capture my youth."
These will be total nudes, but tasteful... No porn style shots... Well, there may be some implied porn, but nothing graphic... Mostly B&W... Maybe some E6, in a second camera.. I will probably be splitting duty with my Mamiya C330 and my Nikon 35mm.. I'd love to use my new Pentax 645, but I don't anything but my 75mm...
Anyway, mostly some one light set ups, with a reflector.. Maybe a background light, just for interest... All indoors, probably no window light available....
So, any pointers?? What sort of filter should I use to even skin tones?
If you use a nice fine-grained, medium-speed film (e.g. FP4+ or even PanF if you have the light), I wouldn't worry too much about filtration - except, perhaps, a soft-focus filter on some of the shots.
If you have books of nudes in your home photo library, I'd suggest going through them with your friend, and have her pick poses she likes. Mark those with Post-it notes, and use them for reference for her during the shoot. Unless she is accustomed to posing, she may have trouble understanding your verbal posing instructions. Once her body is in position, I'd suggest asking her to stretch her torso a bit, then relax her shoulders down. Then, take a moment to have her think of an emotion she wants to project. That will shift the concentration to facial expressions and away from the nudity.
If she's interested in "classic" nudes, I'd stick with B&W, and forget the E6. Color introduces various emotional elements, shifting the effort more toward glamour shots.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
Ask her to be gentle with you... I would do a study. First time together, only available light a chair for both of you some atmosphere. Once she is disrobed sit down and talk get up shoot a few angles then sit down and talk again. while talking watch her for gestures that are interesting then ask that she hold her position then move in with the camera. Process the film then review it together find out her favorites of what you did together then explain to her what you would like to try next to improve the images together.
Stop trying to get into my mind, There is nothing there!
You mention 35mm, some medium format, some black and white, some e6...
I'd say keep it simple and work in one format and one style. Switching back and forth is difficult if you're just starting out... While you're likely thinking that you'll cover your bases... You'll end up spreading yourself too thin and will result in more shots but less usuable work in the end.
Discuss things ahead of time so that you're both on the same page and approach it as a learning experience for the both of you. Perhaps mention that it may prove to be a springboard... and what images you create in an initial shoot may lead to ideas you both might like to explore with a follow up shoot. It doesn't have to be a one and only chance shoot.
Make sure she wears loose fitting clothing and no underwear when she comes to your studio/home.
Any of those clothing lines on the skin take a while to go away. The more loose the clothing the better. Also don't shoot until the ones that are there are gone, they will ruin your shot.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
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I sent her to a photo sharing website that I like... photosig.com... Its got a lot of crap and a lot of digital but it has a great variety. She sat down with her husband and they chose about 30 shots that they liked and discribed why... She has seen my work and knows what I do, so many of them fell right in with some ideas of my own.. She knows our basic timeline.... 4 "locations" (in my home), each with 1 or 2 key shots and lots of wiggle room... The last location is in the shower, (dual purpose).. That is where I will probably shoot some E6, T balanced, with hotlights for some close up work... She likes the blue tone with that subject matter... Wet, close ups.... We have 3 hours... A few drinks and I promissed her I would turn on the heat in my house.....
Originally Posted by rbarker
Thats actually going to be our starting point.... She is going to change into a specific shirt and underwear and we are going to work our way out of those... Sit, talk, drink and I shoot... Once she adapts, we'll proceed.
Originally Posted by Thomassauerwein
Treat her like you would like to be treated if someone photograph you nude. In fact, let someone to photograph you nude before. That way you will have idea how she can feel when you photograph her...
I agree with Thomassauerwein talk to the model.
This is a new experience for both of you. Even if she is very comfortable with herself nude, that doesn't always mean she'll be comfortable nude with you.
I usually like to start a session by sitting down with the model on the backdrop and talking to her. I do this with her still in her rob. Find out something about her, tell her about yourself. This model is a friend, but I'm sure there are things you can say that the other doesn't know. Talking breaks down the defenses and builds trust.
Take your time.
Also don't shoot from a distance with long lenses. I've seen too many people stand ten or twelve feet away and zoooom in on the model. What this usually happens is this does not allow for you or the model to get comfortable.
last thing to remember is to have fun. I know that sounds like its a simple thing to do but sometimes it isn't. Don't get too worried about this or that, relax, and enjoy the experience. If you both have a good experience with this first session, it will make you both want to shoot another session.
All great advice.... Luckily, she is a friend. This will give me a chance to get used to the idea of nudes...... And to respond, I have been naked in front of a camera and yes, its quite awkward.
One thing, although not nude-specific, came to my mind when you mentioned all the different formats: I remember the first "paying" job I did, and opted to use a film I was unfamiliar with... It all turned out OK, but I do not wish the anxiety I went through on anyone. I assume this is not something you do every day, so I would think that picking what you are very, very comfortable with would eliminate one source of worry. Best of luck!