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How to Shoot Beautiful Nude Photography (7 Artistic Tips)

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 6 min read
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This genre might be intimidating if you’ve never tried nude art photography. You have to keep some strict guidelines in mind throughout your photoshoot. But you can make nude photography a fun and creative experience for everyone involved. Here’s how!


9 Tips to Shoot Beautiful Nude Photography Artistically

Keep these seven guidelines in mind as you delve into shooting artistic nudes.

1. Develop Your Style with Nude Photography Art

Nude or semi-nude, photography doesn’t have to look a specific way. You can photograph your nude models from the shoulders or only take close-ups.
You can use dramatic light to cover up most of their body parts. Or you can do the complete opposite and go for soft lighting.
The key to this art form is knowing your style. Experiment with different lighting and posing techniques at your nude photo shoot. It’ll make it easier to have a creative shooting experience.
Regular portrait photography techniques can make your nude photography stand out. Shooting through mirrors, creating double exposures, and using special lens filters are still okay in this genre.
Nude photo of a female model shot through a mirror


2. Make Sure the Location Is Warm

Every professional nude photographer has the same tip they share with everyone. Make sure your model is warm!
If you’re shooting outside, ensure the location is peaceful and has a spot where the model can change or warm up. Indoors, make sure the heating is up. In any case, have a robe nearby in case your model needs to take a break.
Artistic nude photography of a female model shot against a soft grey background


3. Ask Your Model for Feedback and Treat Them With Respect

It’s easy to feel vulnerable standing naked in front of a stranger. To make your subject’s modeling experience easier, prioritize their comfort.
You can do this by asking them for feedback, showing them your photos, and complimenting them. But make sure not to make them uncomfortable. If your model feels acknowledged and heard, they might even share their own creative ideas.
No matter what, treat your nude photography models with respect. That way, you’re guaranteed a comfortable business relationship if you do.
Artistic nude photography of a female model sitting on a chair


4. Start With Limited Light to Make Your Model Feel More Comfortable

Even if your nude photography model is a professional, they might still feel uncomfortable if they’ve never worked with you. First, introduce them to your boudoir style by working with limited light.
Limited and anonymous light hides parts of your model’s body, working as a cover-up. It gives them room to experiment with different poses. It will also let them know your unique approach to nude photography.
In turn, you can experiment with creative boudoir lighting techniques.
Artistic low key nude photography of a female model


5. Use Body Makeup to Add Emotional Depth to Your Nude Images

You might associate nude photography with minimalistic photos of faces and human forms. But you don’t have to create this specific look in all your photos.
Use traditional art techniques during your photo shoot to make your nude art stand out from everyone else’s. This might mean using body or face makeup to create very specific emotions. You can hire a professional artist or paint something abstract on the body yourself.
Paint a realistic image on your model’s face to get even more creative with your nude portraits. Andrea Hübner’s close-up portrait is a great example of this.
You can also use your painting in conceptual nude photography. The design can blend in with the background, for example.
Artistic nude photography of a female model with paint on her face


6. Give Your Model Lots of Space By Using a Zoom Lens

Giving everyone enough space to move and think is important to create artistic nude photography. If you stand close to (or worse, touch) a nude model, you’ll have a very negative experience.
One of the many ways you can make your model feel comfortable at a nude photoshoot is to give them a lot of physical space. Once everyone feels comfortable, you can brainstorm how to take the most beautiful images possible.
You can start with a zoom lens. This lets you take high-quality photos of your model without standing too close to them. Zoom lenses are also perfect for nude photography because they help avoid distortion.
If you were to take a close-up of the model using a normal lens, parts of their face would look wider than others. But a zoom lens will capture everything as you see it in real life.
These are some of the best zoom lenses for portrait photography.
DSLR camera zoom Lenses:

Mirrorless camera zoom lenses:

Artistic close up of a female model - nude photography tips


7. Hide Body Parts Using Clever Props

Another way to make your portraiture more creative is to use creative props to cover up the model’s body. Instead of revealing the entire human body, you can hide parts of it. Use blankets, clothes, flowers, trees, etc. This will help you shoot nude images that are both tasteful and mysterious.
Using a large aperture (such as f/2.8) and covering part of the lens with a prop will create beautiful blurred shapes. You can also use these to cover specific parts of a composition.
Ensure your model has something to cover themselves with throughout the photoshoot. Again, a simple robe keeps them warm and gives them little privacy whenever needed. Plus, it’s another prop to use to playfully hide parts of the body.
Artistic outdoor portrait of a naked female model posing in a tree trunk


8. Organize Several Models to Create a Sense of Familiarity

Ask your model if they are comfortable posing next to another nude person. You’ll have many opportunities for more creative shots if they are.
Having two models in one frame creates a sense of familiarity, even if unrelated. This is a popular design concept that’s called “proximity.” It can help you take photos that are both emotional and relatable.
You can also use several models to emphasize differences or similarities in makeup, hairstyles, face shape, etc.
Artistic nude photography of two naked female models with purple eyeliner and emphasized freckles


9. Shoot in Black and White to Focus on Shapes and Light

Nude photography can easily be sexualized if it’s approached the wrong way. Focus more on lighting and shapes than specific body parts to make your photos artistic.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to look at photography from an unusual perspective or style, like black and white photography.
Shooting nude photography in black and white takes you out of your comfort zone and helps you look at the human form from a creative point of view. It might also conceal blemishes or distractions that stand out in color.
Artistic low key nude photography of a female model shot from a high angle


Conclusion: Shooting Beautiful Nude Photography

Nude art has been around for centuries. It has helped many people improve their knowledge of lighting, posing, and communicating with models. You can use nude photography to improve your work and take artistic and empowering photos.
Check out our Creative Portrait Concepts eBook for more artful and unique portrait ideas!