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The Art Of The Nude In Today’s Photography

Nude photography has had a popular growth among photographers in recent years, and nobody can deny that the beauty of the body, its silhouettes, curves, skin tones and sculptural forms of the human body are really interesting and they generate artistic photographs and with a very peculiar subtlety, however, not everyone achieves these images of good taste, beautiful, with the presence of nudity as an element of the composition, some nude photographs can fall into the vulgar if you do not have Be careful, we must take into account that within nude photography there are different styles, from the artistic and conceptual nude to the erotic and even the pornographic.

In this article we are going to focus on the artistic nude and I will give you some recommendations so that you can achieve very good results. I will explain everything from the light settings to the poses and details that you must see before taking the photograph.

Configuration of the study and contracting of the model.


The lighting setups used in photography are not very complicated: with two basic lights with their smoothing boxes you will be able to get the light you need.


My recommendation is that you use a black or even gray cardboard cyclorama, this gives greater strength and presence to the nude (this could vary if your model has darker skin, in this case gray or white could work for you)


Choosing your model is key, you must bear in mind that each body is different and generates very different results, even if the poses are the same, it will not be the same as a tall woman with a body with a lot of volume that make them a slim woman of average height, or even a woman with tattoos or blue hair. First define what you want to convey with your photographs, conceptualize the session and based on that, choose the model that has the body that suits your idea.


Make sure the studio has a warm temperature that the model is comfortable in. Play music to create a more relaxing environment, and make sure you have a robe so your model can cover up while you change the lights or it’s time to rest. Take regular breaks.

Hire a makeup artist

Spending a little money on your model’s hair and makeup can make all the difference in your photos. Make sure that the makeup artist knows how to do makeup for photography, the type of makeup, the amount that is put on the model is very different, these professionals know how to kill reflections on the faces, improve the complexion or give it the style you want, without a doubt, it is worth using part of your budget for the makeup artist.

Before starting the session

It is important that you first verify that your model is of legal age and then sign a letter of transfer of rights or “model release form” so that there is no misunderstanding and it is clear from the beginning how the images that result from the model can be used. session. There is a work method called TFCD or TFP (Time for CD or Time for print) this is the most used by amateur photographers who do not have a large budget, the idea is that the model and the photographer can make common use of these images that were made.

Assemble the studio

As I mentioned before, the only thing you are going to need is two lamps or flashes with their smoothing boxes, here the challenge is to achieve the ideal configurations to be able to highlight the shapes, tones, and silhouettes of the body in an artistic way.

Here are some light setups and the results you get:

two headlights

Using two lights in front of the model at a 45° angle creates even lighting. As you can see, it is somewhat dull and flat.

a side light

With just a light placed next to the model you can start to create more interesting shapes and show the body shape as it is.


Two lights are used, both are placed to the side but slightly behind the model. This is a great setting for these types of photos, it’s a wonderful way to reveal dynamic body shapes using deep shadows.

One side in front and the other back

With a light placed behind the model (left) and one in front of the model (right) images can be made to have more depth.

These are just examples, remember that you can experiment until you get the type of photography you want and the results you are looking for.

Poses for artistic nude photography

Before starting with the poses, you must first be clear about the classic forms of artistic nudity:

Naked torso: It is usually of a female body and presents the upper part of the body without exhibiting the erogenous or private zones.

Transparencies: Allows the skin to be seen to a certain extent under some vaporous or transparent fabric.

Strategic: Placing the body in such a way that it is aesthetic, taking care of the composition so that censorship is not necessary.

Posterior: Image from the rear, allowing the buttocks or part of them to be revealed.

Frontal: This is the most controversial type of nudity, since it is performed with the naked body facing the viewer allowing the pubis to be clearly visible.

Now let’s look at some other recommendations before moving on to the posing examples.

The art of nude photography is subtle. It requires the photographer to use nudity as an element of the composition, going so far as to only suggest nudity rather than fully reveal it. Thanks to the taboos related to the nudity of the human body, we have led it to see it as a mystery, if as a photographer you manage to play with that element and lead the viewer to intrigue and imagination, you will be able to catch their attention and take it where you want it to go. .

Use of curves and silhouettes. The curves in the photograph direct and guide the viewer’s gaze, when we see a photograph that has the curve of a road, our eye travels the entire curve from beginning to end, the curves are harmonic and also subtle, that is why it is important that you use them in your photographs as a compositional element.

Associate with your model. The best advice to achieve good poses is to collaborate with your model, since she or he probably has a better idea of what kind of positions he can do or which ones from her experience look better.

Learn from the teachers. A visit to an art gallery or seeing the work of some top nude photographers can trigger a lot of ideas and if you haven’t conceptualized the idea for your shoot yet this could lead you to clarify it.