Shootin Professional (nude) model for first time. Advice?

LowSociety

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Hi,

I have arranged to shoot a professional model at her apartment in a couple of weeks. This will be my first shoot with a professional (and first time doing nude images), and I'm a little nervous to say the least.

I have a 6 hour session booked, and I'm not sure how much equipment to take, or what modifiers I should be using.

I have 3 600w studio lights and 3 flashes. For modifiers for my studio lights, I have barn doors, gels, snoot, 2 octobox, medium sized black/white umbrella, 32" X 48" softbox, 70cm beauty dish and lastolite hilite.

I realise that taking all this is overkill, but want to make the most of my time and get some great photos.

I'm sure the model will be patient, but I don't want to waste her time or take too much equipment. I'm used to using the hilite as a background, but as I'll be shooting in her apartment, I have other scenarios to work with - e.g. bedroom, lounge, bathroom etc.

I realise this is a massive area to cover, but any suggestions as to how I can best prepare for this?

Thanks,
LowSociety
 
Have a complete illustrated shot list on paper; every pose with lighting details and camera/lens configuration. Make the shot list so long that you won't get through it in six hours (six hours, yikes!). This way you'll know what the next set up is and the model will have some idea of the results you want.

The last thing you need is to be two hours in and totally out of ideas, inspiration, and energy.
 
Let me play devils advocate here a little and ask some questions. Perhaps if you answer them you will answer your own question and be better prepared for this first shoot.

Why did you hire this model? Is she just to stand there while you think of poses or do you have a specific purpose/theme in mind. What kind of look are you going for? Do you or does she have the necessary props, clothing etc?

Have you seen the working environment? Do you know what room(s) you will be using? Do you know the dimension and layout of those rooms? Do you know the good points and bad points of the location.

How many shots do you plan to take? You are paying her for 6 hours, so to her it probably does not matter whether you get one shot or 1,000 during that 6 hours of time.


The reason I asked those questions is because I never shoot a model unless I or she has a particular project in mind. I have an idea of what I want to shoot, how I want it to look and I already know the location I am going to be shooting in. I have my props planned out, what natural lighting I might be able to use etc. All of that dictates what gear I will need and what gear I might want sitting there just in case during the shoot a change in ideas comes about.

Currently I am shooting a for fun series of shots based on Art Frahm's Ladies in Distress series. Each shot has it's own unique location and props. I am working hard to keep true to the original series in terms of clothing, hair, makeup, and location looks. All of this takes some time as many of the shots require either 40's-50's vehicles, and clothing. I have managed to find two human operated elevators in my city, some smaller towns around with older looking buildings and parking meters and many of the local car club members have been most generous in letting me use some of their vehicles.

Each shot takes plenty of planning to not only get the right gear but get everything there on time and the shot with out to much distraction. All of these are implied nudity shots so I have not had any real problems in getting my shots. Planning has been the key.

One quick suggestion. When working with a nude model or for that matter any model, never touch them, even to pose them without asking permission to do so be it an arm, leg, head etc. It is something I learned 40 years ago and it has made shooting models much easier, be they fully clothed or not.

Also for you sake, make sure that there is another person there with them and you. Personally, I never shoot nudes/semi-nudes without another person I know and trust there during the shoot.
 
Thanks for the helpful responses, particularly from kalmkidd.

I booked the model because of her extensive experience as a model, and I know that she's happy to work with amateur togs too.

The main reason for my shoot was to get experience with working with a model who knows what she's doing and will (hopefully) have some ideas of her own, particularly when it comes to posing.

My pictures will not be sold, but simply used to held develop a portfolio for myself, so a range of styles and images may be beneficial. In terms of specific ideas, poses and lighting diagrams as suggested by maris, I totally agree - I don't want to run out of steam. The problem is, I'm really not sure what I want in terms of photos. All I know is I need more experience and practice.

I'm beginning to think that 6 hours is overkill, but I've committed to that length of time now. I'm sure that my naievity is now painfully obvious, but I'd rather embarass myself here beforehand rather than at the shoot.

I haven't checked on details for her apartment - rooms and size etc, but will do so. I don;t want to bombard her with too many emails or calls before the shoot, but also want her to appreciate that I am serious about my photography and not just there to see her naked.

On a final note, she has confirmed that she is willing to work to nude level, though I know that she will work to hard g/g level with others. I appreciate that she would not wish to do so with a new photographer that she hasn't met (plus that kind of thing isn't what I want from this anyway), but would you interpret this as implied nudity or something stronger? Again, perhaps I should check...

Thanks again for the comments. Any further responses would I'm sure be equally helpful.
 
Ok, all things considered (all very valid points listed above already), if you are unsure about what you would like to get out of the shoot (result wise) I would advise browsing the net for a while. Have a look at what other photographers have done, get inspired by their work...

What I like to do when working with new models (nude or non-nude) is actually meet them before the shoot. Sit down and have a coffee, or tea if so preferred.
In your case, you could even ask her, what ideas she might have...surely she could tell that on the day of shooting, but then you run the risk of not having the correct equipment.

Share some ideas with her, and I am sure, she will help to guide you along the way a bit (or a bit more, depending...)

Seeing that she is experienced working with amateurs and first-timers I am sure that she knows the most general problems faced during the first few shoots. So be honest and open about it, thus also erasing the risk that she thinks your a perv (which of course you are not...).

Just my two cents on this
 
Ok, all things considered (all very valid points listed above already), if you are unsure about what you would like to get out of the shoot (result wise) I would advise browsing the net for a while. Have a look at what other photographers have done, get inspired by their work...

What I like to do when working with new models (nude or non-nude) is actually meet them before the shoot. Sit down and have a coffee, or tea if so preferred.
In your case, you could even ask her, what ideas she might have...surely she could tell that on the day of shooting, but then you run the risk of not having the correct equipment.

Share some ideas with her, and I am sure, she will help to guide you along the way a bit (or a bit more, depending...)

Seeing that she is experienced working with amateurs and first-timers I am sure that she knows the most general problems faced during the first few shoots. So be honest and open about it, thus also erasing the risk that she thinks your a perv (which of course you are not...).

Just my two cents on this

:thumbup:

Good place to browse: photoSIG » Main
 
Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day...
Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day...
Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day...
 
btw since you're shooting nudes...

1. when you're moving to the next location or preparing equipment etc give her a robe let her know you respect her

2. keep talking. keep her comfortable...remember shes naked and avoid having your eyes trail away from your view finder...

3. no touchie touchie...keep everything vocal, avoid getting too close without asking and dont touch at all without asking...

4. did you ask her if she wants someone to tag along? its a nice gesture and one you should allow her to do

5. someone mentioned poses, make sure she's comfortable with the poses, even though she's already naked...certain poses do 'expose' more of her than she might want. so you'll need to discuss that either in advance or on site (remember the robe)...

6. make it fun. keep it clean. bring snacks/drinks...6 hours is a long time...
 
On the subject of having someone there from what I've read about this subject - never ever have the boy/girl friend as that person when its nude shots. They get jealous and stuff and it gets complicated - a friend of the person is preferable, but having your own assistant also helps a lot (it also helps greatly if this assistant is female rather than male).

I'd also say keep an eye on the rooms temperature (or the temp outside if you are there) and make sure there is a robe or something for her/him to get into when you're not shooting (last thing you want is a cold model with the shivers ;)).

Being as she is experienced both with modeling and with new photographers chances are you should be able to pick up a lot of tips from her and it should give her a level of confidence which will greatly aid things.
 
If the model is off Model Mayhem don't always beleive them when they say the are experienced, ive shot some that are pig ugly and don't have a clue
 
Good luck! I'd be nervous as hell :meh:
 
My last project was nudes and this is probably just me but I had my eye in the viewfinder the whole time and just let me model move around and if I saw something interesting, or what I wanted, I would either tell her to stop or get an idea of what I wanted and tell her and let her pose. It was also easier since she was my best friend...lol.

I think having a written plan is a good idea, but you don't want to get too caught on that because then (again, this might be just me) you'll have too much of a preconceived view of how you want the shot to be and might miss out on some other great shots you can get.

I also suggest letting her put on music she likes, to make her more comfortable and probably make the situation less awkward.:p

Will this be the first time you meet her? Maybe you should have a meeting with her first and discuss your ideas with her and see if she thinks she can portray them or what.

Just my .02 cents :)
 
Ok, all things considered (all very valid points listed above already), if you are unsure about what you would like to get out of the shoot (result wise) I would advise browsing the net for a while. Have a look at what other photographers have done, get inspired by their work...

What I like to do when working with new models (nude or non-nude) is actually meet them before the shoot. Sit down and have a coffee, or tea if so preferred.
In your case, you could even ask her, what ideas she might have...surely she could tell that on the day of shooting, but then you run the risk of not having the correct equipment.

Share some ideas with her, and I am sure, she will help to guide you along the way a bit (or a bit more, depending...)

Seeing that she is experienced working with amateurs and first-timers I am sure that she knows the most general problems faced during the first few shoots. So be honest and open about it, thus also erasing the risk that she thinks your a perv (which of course you are not...).

Just my two cents on this

Very good advice! Didn't read it until after I posted, I agree with the meeting, it could help a lot!
 
I also suggest letting her put on music she likes, to make her more comfortable and probably make the situation less awkward.:p

Very very good advice, very important. Wow, completely missed that one :lol:
 

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