Welcome to this Artistic Light Podcast. Podcasts dedicated to creators of artistic nude photography. I am your host, Andrew Anderson.
Photography is my passion, especially the artistic nude.
In this episode, I’m going to discuss working with nude models, and specifically what happens before the photoshoot.
My Milanote Example: https://app.milanote.com/1N6HJf1J7hClas?p=F3ipcNSEJYL
The Artistic Light Podcast is created by Andrew Anderson www.artisticlight.com
Hello and welcome to this Artistic Light podcast podcast dedicated to creators of artistic and nude photography. I'm your host, Andrew Anderson. Photography is my passion, especially the artistic nude. In this episode, I'm going to discuss working with Newton models and specifically what happens before the photo shoot, what happens during and after the session will be covered in a subsequent episode. Of course, these tips are equally useful to non nude photo shoots, but there are some things that are specific to photographing nudes. I think you're going to be surprised about all of the aspects you need to consider and prepare before session, but investing time and preparing is going to save you a lot. Heartache will help you present yourself as a professional and create a better photo shoot for you and the model in the end, it means better results.
Now, before the photo shoot, one thing that is the first step is create a concept in as much detail as possible. Of course, you can just get a beautiful, uh, woman or man deposed partially or fully nude in front of you, and no matter what you do, basically you can create something that is enticing, looks pretty, but that's not the right approach. You're not going to get as good a result as if you prepare ahead of time and create a concept. Envision what you want. Sometimes I get motivated by a collection of colors or the flow of powder in the air water, and I use that as an inspiration to create an image. I'll start to take that and I'll say, okay, that that powder that came out of that boxer's glove when he hit them together, I like the movement of that powder. I want to capture that, and I want to take a nude form and have it run through that powder and see the pattern it creates.
These are the kinds of things you, you need to start that process. Think it through and create a concept. Doing so will help you, and it will help everyone you work with recognize you as a professional. Write it the a text description of what you want, if that works for you. Um, look at other images that have the style or feel that you're after and use those. Put those out as a collection. Look at them. This is the beginning of like a concept board, and I'm going to show you more about that in a minute. Talk more about that in a minute. But a concept board will help you, uh, a sketching if you have the ability to draw it all, or even not. It's, this is just for you sketch the image that you would like to create. I had one friend, a photographer, he could draw the image he wanted to create in great detail before he ever picked up the camera.
Uh, that's not my gift, and I don't work that way, but you find what works for you and create a vision. One of the tools that I use that helps me with this is called ode. It's a note program on, um, the web and available for clients on mobile and computers, and it helps create these kinds of concept boards. They have some pre stocked images or pre stocked, uh, layouts and things, and it's a really good, great tool. I'm not associated with them or making any referral fee from them, but I would reference that. And in the links below, in the, in the description, I'll put a link to mill note and I'll also link to an example of one that I created for my photo shoot to give an idea to models what I wanted to do. And so this is a really a great thing.
I think it's the first thing that you should have, and it gives you the ability to refine your idea in your head, to brainstorm and trigger off other ideas. And when you present it to the model or other teammates that you're working with of, um, makeup artist, hair stylist, they may have some thoughts that they give you some insight and you say, oh, that's a great idea, and you come up with more. But at the end of the day, the product you're gonna produce with this concept is going to be better, and it's going to drive and guide you in the rest of your, uh, development of the session. Nude models are not always comfortable modeling nude. Uh, if it's a client that you're has paid you to do it, it might be a wife or a woman wanting to do images for her, uh, boyfriend, they probably have not imposed nude before and is going to be a very nerve-wracking session for them.
One of the things that helps or can help is an assistant or chaperone to know that they're not going to be alone with you. Now, some people, they want that alone. They don't want anyone else there. They're very nervous. So it, you're going to have to find out and ask, uh, especially if you need an assistant to hold the fan lights, move fabric around during this shoot to help you, uh, move props. So you might need an assistant. So you need to discuss with the model ahead of time about the aspect of having an assistant onset chaperone, makeup artist, other, um, people that might be there and find out what the model's preference is. If they do want an assistant to be there, uh, ask if it's they want a female or male assistant, what's gonna make them most comfortable? Now, in bringing a sh a chaperone, there should be some rules.
I've had some experiences where a, a woman has said, oh, yes, I want my husband to be there. I'm gonna feel more comfortable. Great, and no problem. That's perfectly fine. But what I don't like and have experience with is the chaperone wanting to participate in the photo shoot. They will potentially say, oh, you should see her from this angle. It's the best. Or, Hey, her, her tush is her best aspect, and you're not capturing enough of that. Uh, he may try to move her or tell her how to pose. Um, he might wanna get in the photo. All of these things are bad. You are the photographer. It is your vision. You are in control. You are responsible for the result. So do not let that happen. Make sure they know ahead of time if the woman is going to bring a chaperone or the man that the chaperones role is to observe silently they are not to participate in this photo shoot.
Again, things can be up to you, but I have found that to be a problem. It disturbs the flow of my thought. It interferes. I don't get the images that I want, and I'm having to deal with another personality in this session, that photo shoot, but should be between you and the model. You two are the ones creating the image. Some another topic that you would think you would not have to discuss, but seemingly has become. The biggest problem for me with models from the start is promptness. You're often dealing with, uh, pretty, uh, people that are young, immature, and their beauty has given them a sense of, uh, not having to obey the rules or be professional. So I've had photo models try to show up, you know, an hour or two late to a session. I've actually had one show up three hours later, no call or anything.
I make sure my models understand the start time and I tell them about being prompt. I clearly communicate when the photo shoot will end because that's what we're negotiating. I'm paying for either in my money or in trading of photos for a certain amount of time. That time is partly dictated by my concept. How long is it going to take me to achieve this vision that I have? So start times and stop times need to be clearly communicated and it needs to be emphasized that these are important. And if they do not appear on time that the photo shoot will be canceled, now it's up to you. If they're five minutes late, you want to go ahead, fine. Uh, if they're half an hour late, I usually say no unless there's a good reason. If there's been an auto accident, some kind of crisis that they had no control over, and then we were not able to communicate with me, then okay, I can understand if they call me and say, Hey, I'm really stuck in traffic.
There's problems, okay, but I need to have that communicated and there needs to be a effort to be on time. The next thing you'll want to discuss with the model is model releases and legal proof of age. When you take a photograph as a photographer, you are the copyright holder. You created the image and the the image is yours. Other people are not allowed to steal that image. However, the model is the owner of her image to use that to take that photograph that you've now, uh, created and publish it somewhere like in the, um, in a magazine on the web, you need her permission to use her image. There are standardized release forms of all type. You can search the web and and find them. There's short forms and more long forms. Uh, the short form is not what you want. The short form basically is a few sentences that says, Hey, the photographer can use my image.
I'm giving him permission. While it's better than nothing, it's really not the tool that you want in the situation, especially with, uh, nude models, you want a model release that is, uh, in detail. It gives you the permission to alter the image. It gives you permission to publish the image, and it it covers you more fully. And there are several places you can find this one. You could go to a stock agency and just download their recommended, uh, release from the, uh, their website. But a tool I have been using for years is called Easy Release. It's a, uh, application that works on Android and Apple Mobile devices, and it presents a model release that the model can sign. It's very detailed. It lets you take a photo and you need that photo. You need a photo of the legal proof of age. That could be a driver's license or a passport, but it needs to be a current one.
It cannot be a expired, an expired, uh, uh, driver's license. So, and it needs to show their birthdate and illustrate that they are over 18 years of age. Um, when you create the release with easy release, you will photograph, uh, that ID and, um, uh, have her sign. Now the model needs to sign a model release that is written in her native language. So if you are photographing a person that speaks Spanish, the model release needs to be in Spanish. Easy release is great because it lets me publish any model release that I want in any language. So I'd highly recommend doing that. Now, one of the things that you're going to discover is that, okay, the model was, uh, a Mexican and she wrote, uh, signed a model release that was in Spanish. But if you go to a US stock agency and want to use the photograph, they're going to say, no, we need model releases in English even though legally it's not enforceable because that's not her language.
So what I recommend is print out a model release in Spanish and one in English. Um, so try to get both. If you're going to publish in the US with a model that does not natively speak English and make sure the model understands that the photo shoot will not commence until the release is signed. I have it as the first step. When a model comes through the door, I greet them, say hello, but then they sign that release, they give me their photo ID so that I can photograph it. At that point, I then pay them and we commence working together. But it is important that you have that because without it, if you ever wish to publish that and you don't have that release, you're at the risk of the model being able to sue you and the model, being able to demand that that publication take it down off the web, uh, explain to the model that she should be rested and prepared and ready for work.
Again, it seems kind of like, uh, common sense. I've had models show up after they have partied all night. I've had models show up with eyes so red that, you know, you could, you could make Rudolph's, uh, red nose reindeer pale in comparison. So make sure that that's clearly communicated and the day before the shoot, uh, I usually contact the model. I make sure that they've reviewed the concept board, see if they have any questions about the idea. I make sure they've, uh, reviewed the model release and that they're prepared to sign that I make sure that they have the address of the photo shoot location, the studio, and, uh, my phone number so that if there's any problems, they can call me and I make sure that they are aware of where the studio or the photo shoot location is, and they know how to get there.
Um, see if they have any questions and calm their nerves. Especially if, and again, if this is a, a client and it's a wife or boyfriend of someone and they've never posed like this before, they're going to be nervous. So calm their nerves. Tell them that that's natural. Tell them that if they want to cancel the shoot, they're free to do so. Um, even if you know an hour before coming, they just can't, uh, uh, feel comfortable with it and they want to cancel, tell them that that's okay. Just the only requirements you really have is to call you before the photo shoot's supposed to start so that you can deal with it. Um, and that's about it. That does it for this episode. And I want to thank you for listening to this Artistic Light podcast. I hope you enjoyed it. And join me for more insights into creating artistic nude photography. If you have any comments or questions, please email me andrew artistic light.com. Thanks again, and take care.