All you need to know about nudes
It’s time to talk about nudes. Let’s be clear: we want to talk about how to take them right. If you’re saying to yourself “What could I possibly need to know?”, this article is definitely for you. Nudes are about more than pictures of your genitals. You can send those to your doctor, but if you want to sext, you’ve got to use a bit of imagination.
Of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Sometimes, the best nudes are taken in a hurry in fogged-up bathroom mirrors, or with broken phone cameras. If this is all you’re doing and you constantly succeed, maybe it's time for you to organise your own nude exhibition which celebrates your naked body. We might be looking at the new Helmut Newton here. We talked to a professional photographer, Nikita Cherny, and a nude model from Pure Letti to get some tips on taking the best nudes ever.
The best nudes create a specific context. Nudes in a fitting room or in your favourite locker rooms at your gym can do the trick. But don’t forget about the background. Taking nudes is some kind of an art but nudes aren’t about an interior portrait; just focus on the body itself.
For home nude photography, I would recommend using a white or solid wall background. This way, nothing will distract from the body itself, and attention will go straight to the main thing.
Don’t listen to the the naysayers angles are important. Experiment and find the one that suits you best. Do you want to lengthen your legs? Then shoot from below. Want to accentuate your cheekbones? Look languidly down in a three-quarter spread. Take pictures of yourself from above, from below, however you like, but just be careful with nude selfie-taking: it might remind people of either an exhibitionist or a nymphomaniac who came to take a passport photo.
Shooting with an assistant, of course, is easier, and makes the process more interesting, but don’t forget that your camera has a timer. If you’re alone, you can simply lean the phone against the wall, the back of a chair, or even attach it somewhere on the ceiling. Set the timer and pose like you’re in an old Pirelli Calendar — just like in the good old days.
Remember, only doctors need bright lights for body photography. Shadows create intrigue, give volume and bring out your best angles better than any kind of contouring or highlighter. For the guys out there: we’ve heard that with the right light, your abs will look ripped (but we can’t confirm this).
There’s no need for professional lighting. There are a lot of items that can help you take better nudes: a table lamp, a floor lamp or even Christmas lights can do the trick. Create your own filters by throwing coloured rags or even mesh stockings over fluorescent lamps (so long as they don't heat up!). Now it’s not a bedroom, but a shot from an unfinished Gaspar Noe movie.
Daylight always works better for photos, so getting naked during the day is always a good call. Side light will cast beautiful shadows and add visual curves.
Nudes are an art form. That means you don’t need to shy away from filters — you can do whatever it takes to create the right mood. Use your favourite filter apps or programmes, blur what you want to blur and play with skin tone, contrast and film grain where you need it.
Just forget about FaceTune, please. It's so 2015, and remember: after sexting, real meetings happen. In the words of Kendrick Lamar, “Show me something natural.”
One of the secrets behind the best nudes is good reference material. Even the greatest photographers paid homage to their predecessors, finding the style for which they are loved and remembered in the process.
I am inspired by a lot: from cinema classics to the latest films and exhibitions by young artists. But there are some tips for anyone taking their first steps in nude photography.
by Bernardo Bertolucci
by Jean-Luc Godard
Mylène Farmer’s videos, «Beyond
My Control» and «California»
by Duran Duran
If you want to shoot a sexy video, for instance, dancing to John Hiatt's "Alone In The Dark" is all you need; the Perfect Video app will help you with the rest.
A FEW TIPS FOR THE GUYS
Dick pics are great, but try not to take them the same way you would for your urologist. The “less is more” principle still holds true, even when it comes to nudes. Let there be something besides the main part of your nudes for the perfect balance. Many girls are attracted to hands — and especially to the veins on the arms — the shoulders, the back and a good sense of humour.
By the way, here’s a life hack: to make your muscles stick out a little more, do a few push-ups before shooting (until you are tired), or set up a quick photo session after the gym. Just look at the ancient Greeks and Romans — they knew a lot about male beauty and naked bodies. Black and white shots with increased contrast in post can also give your body extra texture to make your nudes even better.
AND SOMETHING FOR LADIES
Do you know Courbet's painting "The Birth of the World"? Courbet did great work here, but not all of us are Courbet. What we mean is that the most exciting is often mysterious. It can be the shadow of your body on the wall, the lines of your muscles visible through a wet T-shirt, or the shape of your body. Nudes and erotic art are compatible. Even in a medical mask, you can make a scorching-hot nude. That is, if that’s the only thing you’re wearing.
It is definitely not necessary to just take completely naked pics. In my opinion, boudoir photography where you’re partially clothed or in beautiful underwear are much more erotic and interesting. Leaving some room for imagination is always welcome.
You don't need to show everything at once. You just need sensual lips or legs in the frame. The main thing is to not forget about your accoutrements. I personally like buns, stilettos and cigarettes in combination with red lipstick and leather gloves. Aesthetic nudes are highly appreciated.
P.S. Nudes, like memes, should be kept handy any occasion. Nobody knows when you’ll need to send them. Just remember about safety, especially when there’s still the risk of leaked nudes. Make sure to keep them in a separate folder on your phone (or in the Pure Album). Don't be like Chris Evans! And hide your face (and tattoos) — you should never give too much away.
Well, don't forget that your photos are a reflection of your mood, self-esteem and self-confidence. 90% of the photos on my phone are nudes. ;) So go for it, and be yourself!