The mind set Lurking in the back of your mind is always that 'taught' idea that nudity is bad. Sinful in some way. Even the most carefree among us knows that little feeling tugging at us when we are naked, even to get into the shower. It's there and to acknowledge it and know that it's just an embedded notion is important for some people.
There are two forms of Fine Art Nudes. Society has drawn the line for us. Oddly it's as simple as nipples and vaginas. One form of fine art, and what I shoot most, shows very little in the way of actual nudity, based on society's opinion. A shot like this for example shows no more than a bikini, yet it is obviously nude modeling.
Note that, for some people the simple lack of strings showing that there IS a bikini is objectionable. Those are the few that see something evil or nasty instead of the beauty of the skin tones, fine lines and curves, and often mood and emotion. Most of the time, any reluctance of a model to do fine art is based on what others may think of him or her if they posed like this. It's a valid concern. Without a supporting spouse or significant other, moving forward is nearly impossible. More on this in part 3.
The second form of fine art is full nudity, where we cross society's lines and open the body to a more free form of expression. Often this form alludes to a bit more confidence and allows for more freedom of expression because there isn't a need to cover certain body parts. In both cases the same basic beauty and art are present of course.
Here is where you do have a choice of how far you want to go as a model. And this usually depends on your life goals. If you are a teacher you probably wouldn't want to go beyond the implied most certainly, as an example. And maybe avoid this form of expression all together. If one of my images ever cost someone their job, career, or significant other, I would be devastated. This is a life choice that, unfortunately, could be a limiting factor in your future life so consider it carefully. I've found those that display full nudity are super confident and will never care what others think and aren't worried about it getting in the way of their careers.
So, what is it like in the studio the day of the shoot? If you've never done fine art before it's always a bit stressful to start. Nervousness about the whole process. That little nagging feeling about being nude in front of a stranger. Well, here's how a shoot usually goes. First we will do some shooting with a simple top just to get you comfortable with the music, lights flashing, the sound of my voice directing you, we'll go over some modeling tips and basically spend the first 30 minutes warming up. It's an important time to get into the creative groove.
You'll find a large changing room for makeup, changing, and in the event you end up covered in baby oil there's even a shower. That's your room for the shoot. Most notably, there are robes. You are welcome to wear a robe when we aren't actually shooting. While doing light tests, or discussing the next pose, you can wear a robe if that is more comfortable for you. You will find a very creative, yet focused, environment once we start shooting. Especially with the fine art. Getting the lighting exactly right and getting every detail of your pose right is key.
You will be comfortable in no time and excited about what we are shooting. You'll also find I put my camera down unless you are in position and we are ready to catch the look. After 3-6 different looks or poses we'll be done. Exhausted. And 3 or 4 hours went by yet it will seem like just 1. And in the case of those who did fine art nudes for the first time, they wonder what they were nervous about in the first place.
So, that's what it's like from the models point of view. Based on my observations and conversations.
Next part I'll discuss the complications of model's and photographer's significant others and the huddles that often need to be overcome for everyone to be happy. It's about communication and understanding.