Thursday, 4 June 2009

Fine Art Nudes

Jenny WaitingShooting fine art nudes is a cross between portraiture and abstraction styles. While there is a model involved, if you focus on the model, you end up with a portrait. For example, this shot is definitely about Jenny and there is nothing 'fine art' about it, so it would certainly be classified as a portrait, albeit not a great one. I caught Jenny in a reflective mood as she was waiting for me to work through my lighting set up.

Note: not safe for work (NSFW).

For a fine art nude, you need to think about how you want the lines and planes in your shot to relate. You want people to remark on the image as a whole and not on the person in the shot. However, as you drift into the 'abstract' mindset, you cannot forget that the model is a person and not just some graphic element to juggle in your composition. The shots also have to be safe and you have to talk to the model about what you have in mind. In fact, you will have 67.98% fewer curse words after the shoot if you talk to your model. Most have great insight and can contribute significantly to your work if you let them.

I had the pleasure of working with Jenny, Andree, and Haileigh this past week-end. We met during a fine art workshop hosted by Brian Larter at his Aperture Studios and taught by Steve Richard. If you have 10 minutes to spare, hit the link to Steve's gallery. His images are stunning.

I didn't walk away with too many shots from this session, as I spent most of my time trying to wrap my mind around shooting models without shooting portraits. We were also shooting with a stopwatch and had only 20 minutes to shoot each setup. If a concept didn't work, such as my session with Haileigh, then there wasn't a lot of time to re-shoot.

I have two favorites from this shot. This is one of them and is of Andree on a couch.

Contrasting rigid lines with womanly curves turns out to be a bit of a theme with me when I shot Andree. However, the shot below turned out to be more of a portrait. In the original file, there is a warm glow that reflects Andree's wonderfully fun personality, although the warmness is lost when viewing a JPG photo through your web browser.


Jenny is wonderful model to work with. With only a little discussion between us on the concept for a shot, she ran through a series of poses with ease, like this one where we were using an old hat for a prop.

Jenny and Hat

My other favorite shot, aside from Andree's couch shot above, is this one of Jenny with an old steamer trunk. Seeing the trunk, I immediately thought of an old post card.

Jenny and the Trunk

Thanks to Jenny, Andree, Haileigh, Brian, and Steve for an awesome week-end of shooting. Special thanks to my partners in shooting, Stephane and Mike, for their help in the above shots.

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