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How to Take a Nude Portrait

The human body is art, and a nude portrait is a great way to capture its details and nuances.


  • Step 1: Decide on type of nude image First decide on what type of nude images you want to shoot. Frontal? Partially obscured? Something else?
  • TIP: Try to imagine that you’ve never seen the human body before and attempt to find new ways to approach this subject.
  • Step 2: Select appropriate model Select a model who understands fully that you want them to take off all their clothes.
  • Step 3: Describe idea to model Talk to your model. Describe what it is that you are trying to convey through your imagery, whether that is a story, an emotion, or just a celebration of the human form.
  • Step 4: Explain your process Explain how you work to your model, especially if you will need to get close to the subject when using a wider angle lens, so there are no surprises and your model is completely at ease.
  • Step 5: Give model a robe and changing room Provide your model with a robe and a pleasant place to change.
  • Step 6: Set up lighting Set up any lighting systems you may be using.
  • TIP: Use an even, soft light to light your subject for a pleasant, flattering look.
  • Step 7: Bring out model Invite your model onto the set.
  • Step 8: Review poses Review the poses you want to shoot with your model.
  • Step 9: Set up camera Pick up your camera, and select your film, aperture, and shutter speed.
  • Step 10: Ask model to disrobe Ask the model to disrobe.
  • TIP: Your model should be in control of the shoot at all times. Make sure you tell your model that they can stop the shoot and cover up if they feel uncomfortable.
  • Step 11: Compose the shot Compose your shot.
  • Step 12: Meter and focus Meter and focus on the subject.
  • Step 13: Shoot through each pose Start shooting, working through each pose one at a time.
  • TIP: Make sure to snap as many frames as possible with slight adjustments to ensure just the right pose and angle.
  • Step 14: Re-robe model when finished When the shoot is finished, hand the model their robe and thank them for their time.
  • FACT: There are approximately 650 skeletal muscles in the human body.

You Will Need

  • A camera
  • A nude model
  • A changing room
  • A robe
  • A comfortable working environment or studio
  • Good lighting

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