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Shoot Your Own Portraits, Artistic Nudes and Glamour Photos

The Best Ways to Capture Your Model's Image


Yes, you can use your digital camera to take your own portraits, artistic nudes and glamour photos. There are key tips to make the session successful, and enjoyable for both photographer and model. Find out how to take great portraits, artistic nudes and glamour photos.

Taking pictures of people, in my opinion, is one of the hardest subjects in photography. Most of the time you’re not just a photographer, but also a director for subject placement and sometimes a psychologist by keeping your subject(s) happy.

Set the stage

There's no need to worry if you don’t have a state of the art studio, many of us don’t. A homemade studio can be put together relatively cheap nowadays, and that’s really if you want a studio where you have control over everything! A lot of nice portraits are done outside or on location. You can find backdrops that you could never get in a studio.

That special place

Everyone seems to have a little place they love to go to. If the model you’re working with does, then that can work to your advantage. Keeping your model happy and relaxed reflects in your photographs.

Watch your back

Simplify the photo. Keep the focus of your photograph on the subject. Get rid of the clutter in the background either by removing it or keeping it out of focus. Backgrounds have a major effect on your portraits. There are no definite dos and don’ts, but that fair skinned blonde might stand out more against a dark background than a lighter one.

Choose the right position

Your camera positioning can have a strong impact on your subject and overall theme of the portrait. Using eye level height is where you should always start. Shooting your subject from a lower height will give your subject a more “I’m in charge” look.

The eyes have it

Where do you want to focus? This is a question I get asked a lot and the plain and simple answer is the eyes, always the eyes. You get those eyes focused, then everything else just comes together. Using the subjects eyes can give your model different expressions.

See the light

The lighting you choose will also have a major factor in your photo. The lighting in your photograph can give you the mood you want or take it away if its not set up correctly. Lighting can make that beautiful swan look like an ugly duckling and vice versa, and lighting is something that will change from person to person. You should be prepared to constantly examine and adjust the lighting!

The naked truth

I remember watching a "M*A*S*H" episode in which Hawkeye has a Polaroid camera. He's trying to explain how it instantly develops its own pictures. After a brief pause, Hawkeye chuckles and states, "Yeah, I guess you can take THOSE type of pictures." Well, with the emergence of digital cameras, anyone now has the ability to take your own tasteful nude photos. You don’t have to worry about the person at developing film seeing your pictures and sharing them with everyone at the store.

Get creative

Taking nudes doesn’t have to be just someone standing there in their birthday suits. You can be just as creative as you would be with any other subject. The subject still can be clothed or using material, props or even shadows you can shoot implied nudes. You can shoot nudes without even showing anything that usually isn’t seen. It all depends on what you and the model agree upon.

No crowds allowed

When shooting nudes its best to have the least amount of people in the room to keep the model comfortable. There's no need for a thousand eyes to be on the model if they’re not really needed there. If the model wants someone with them during any type of shoot, nude or not, allow it. Otherwise, you probably wont have too many models working with you.
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