I'll have to start shooting nudes on film I guess...
In the mean time, a short(ish) story..
I was at a friends house who shoots a lot for Vogue Italia. I was contemplating going to school for photography (now I had been shooting with an SLR for 15 years or so by this point and 7 as a professional (including traveling the country shooing kodachrome for the end of kodachrome event) but I just felt I was lacking something. He had seen my work and knew I was good but I had felt like because I didn't learn from school that there were simple things that normal photographers knew that I did not and was embarrassed to ask. He got mad at me, went to his bookshelf and pulled out a book (Gregory Crewdson, to which my lighting style is similar) and he slammed the book down threw open a random page and said "Stone, you don't need school, you need this! This book is all you need..." Amd walked out of the room.
Then I understood, I had the talent but I needed to understand more concepts in lighting, more ideas and to really learn from the greats.
So my suggestion is simply to study some of your favorite nude images, really state at them, analyze the light and how it hits the body, try and figure out how many lights the person used, what kind, what kind of natural light etc.
Then do some tests... If you can't find anyone, shoot some self portraits with a timer or get a long cable release. As someone pointed out, they don't have to be good subjects to be good, learn how to light yourself and you'll learn how to bring the light out in others
There's a life metaphor somewhere in there...
Good luck, I'll go shoot some nudes on film and post them in a week or two...
The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic
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