Quote Originally Posted by BobNewYork View Post
I've done few "personal" nude studies, but quite a few commissions for individuals who, for various reasons want nude B&W photographs of themselves. I frankly find these very difficult sessions because there is a very fine line between "evocative" and "provocative." Clients

I think it's essential that there be an honesty between the photographer and model - nude or not - otherwise any uncomfortableness, (different to discomfort!) is clearly evident in the eyes.

I usually give the negs to the model as a form of adding comfort. None of them figure in my portfolio as, for commissions at least, I believe that while I may well have the legal rights to the images I should not ethically show these photographs to others. In fact I think a photographer should never display or show images that may embarrass a subject. This does not apply to photojournalism, of course; although even here I believe that the photographer should exercise some integrity.


Bob -

I agree and disagree with what you're saying. As far as my nude work in general (and I think I can speak for Ian on this count as well), my models are fully cognizant of the fact that this work is being done to show in a public forum. I do give them my assurances that I will not place it in a forum that they might find distasteful or inappropriate.

As far as commissioned work goes, I don't give away the negatives because I would not want my work being reproduced during my lifetime in a way that might discredit me, either through mis-placement or through poor reproduction. I also would not want clients who ask for me to shoot them, and ask for the negatives begging privacy, to turn around and sell those images without proper credit and compensation (this has happened before!). As to boudoir or other kinds of "edgy" work that someone might commission, of course I would ask permission from the subject to include said work in a portfolio, but if it was a service I wanted to sell, I'd not give away any and all rights to the work in such a way that I could not use it to promote (discreetly) the service. Maybe in a book form only that is shown to clients in face-to-face meetings. Maybe on a password-protected website (most likely not though). Regardless, it would have to be model-released to show it to anyone, but I'd always ask for the release. Your work does you no good if you can't use it to get more work.