Creating artistic nude pictures is a very difficult genre of photography . Its fragile ,sensitive and full of traps. Within a split second the picture could toggle from an artistic nude into an ordinary sex shot only suitable for those glossy magazines. And, that is not the intend of artistic nude.
In my opinion, they should have class, be stylish , clean and acceptable. You don’t want to show the erotic zones, and yet you want to leave an illusion to the viewer. So that he or she sees what is not there.
You want to show the beauty of the human body in all its glory. The body curves , it does not have to be a top model. Because, all of us have nice body shapes. Probably one more then the other, but it is the photographers task to bring out the very best of the model. Look for the best body area’s and emphasise those area’s.
The light is your best friend, and probably the most imported aspect in Aristic Nude photography. My motto is ” play the light ” . You have to make sure that the light is right . Use the light to illuminate the right places . So that you get an interaction between highlights and shadows. The play of highlights and shadows are critical. The lack thereof always results in a picture that is dull and flat with the appearance of an ordinary nude shot. That is not what you want to create, you want mood, beauty and appeal , all within a well balanced composition and a play of body shapes, light and shadows.
Composition is a common trap, often its enough to have an arm or leg in the wrong position and the shot defaults to an ordinary sex shot for some glossy magazine. Again , that is not what you want as an artistic nude.
Nude photography is artwork, glorifying the human body. Special light effects are a great aid to set the mood , don’t be afraid to experiment. It will take time and many shots before you get it right, but eventually you will. Try differed angles, different model poses, move the light and use the pilot light before shooting. See what the light does, up-close, far away . Block some of the light with cardboard or other blinding materials so you only have a split of light. Move that beam of light to the right area’s until you get that magic look.
As I stated before, light is your best ally , use it to its best to create depth and volume in the picture. Don’t be afraid to use special effects. I tend to use low key for artistic nude’s , however you can also use high key. That is entirely up to you .
But whatever you do, do not fall into sleecy pornographic shots.
Remember , you do not need to have the model in full in the shot. Specific selected body area’s or parts work just fine . The same applies to the light. You don’t need to light the model in full, I believe that its much better just to highlight certain area’s . To me that creates the right mood ( of course that is for low key shots.)
The human body is so beautiful , it is our task as photographers to portray it and glorify it as a tribute to nature.
Thanks for reading,