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Thread: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

  1. #1
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    questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    a bunch of years ago, not sure how many, maybe 5 or 6 ?
    frank petronio was posting a lot of his nudes and was asked questions
    about photographing nude models. he spoke about the logistics
    and equipment a little bit but he also talked about state of mind.
    before he even picked up a camera to photograph them,
    he put himself out there in the same vulnerable position models were in.

    i wish i could find the thread to post a quote from the conversation,
    (if someone knows were it is, please post a link )
    because i might get some of it wrong, but he pretty much said he
    went to an art school and volunteered as a nude model in life drawing
    and (?) photography classes. he did this so he knew what his subjects
    were dealing with. so he could have some sort of understanding about what
    it was like to be totally vulnerable ...

    i don't shoot nudes, i have plenty of other things to keep me occupied
    but for those who do shoot ( have shot, might shoot ) nudes have you
    and modeled yourself, amongst strangers or do you just photograph models
    and not worry about how vulnerable &c they may be. i'm not talking about edgy
    photography, things that may turn heads or get called out as being one thing or another
    i mean pretty much any work.

  2. #2

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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    I think that Frank was one of the few people banned from the forum; I don't know if his posts may have been deleted, too.
    (Personally, I think the ideal punishment would have been to limit him to just one post a month, to keep things stirred up.)
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  3. #3
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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    hi bill

    his posts are still here and plentiful
    but i can't seem to find the one i am looking for when i search for it
    i used advanced search window and him for the user name and certain phrases
    i remember from what he wrote but wasn't able to dig it up.
    it was after he posted some images somebody/bodies asked "how we can get into photographing nudes like you"

    it was an interesting conversation to say the least because a lot of folks i am sure
    imagined him just searching for models who routinely have no issue with figurative work
    and just photographing them ... but it was really nothing like that, as i have mentioned...

  4. #4
    Scott Davis
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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    I don't know where it was he said it, but I do also recall a similar comment from him at some point. I do photograph nudes, but I've never been a nude model. I think the dynamic is different because I'm photographing male nudes, and there's either a different tension or perhaps little to none when working with someone of the same gender. Which is silly, but still real. Guys have their own hang-ups about posing nude - unless they're pretty secure people, they have this fear that posing nude somehow reflects upon their sexuality. Their fear is that it either paints them as gay (which they may or may not be, and the fact is quite irrelevant to the job at hand) or is somehow a reflection upon their morals (I'm sure that female models have that same concern). I do my best to reassure them by my demeanor, conversation and actions that I'm sympathetic. I don't know that you have to actually go be a model to understand things from their perspective. Being empathetic should be enough to translate your own anxiety to theirs.

  5. #5

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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    I took a workshop with Peter LeGrand at a View Camera Conference and the first thing I remember him saying is "it's okay to look". He was giving a "figure/portraiture" workshop. I was so naive I thought I was going to learn how to make portraits, I was surprised when the model removed her robe. I still see Peter once a month or so and have talked to him extensively about his work with nudes. I've seen quite a bit of his work, past and present and none of it ever comes across as anything but art.

    I've never modeled but I always talk to the model first and convey to her my ideas and ask her questions to find her comfort level. It helps to look them in the eye when talking to them, especially when they are nude. I work with professional models and expect professional behavior from them. This means come prepared and ready to work. I never, ever make any kind of remarks in jest that could be misconstrued.

  6. #6

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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post


    ...searching for models who routinely have no issue with figurative work
    and just photographing them ...


    that's what I did

    I found out quick that it's way easier to tell a stripper to 'cover up a bit'

    than it is to tell that art studio major to maybe reveal a bit more

  7. #7
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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    Frank's got a blog and posts regularly on Facebook if you want to get in touch.

  8. #8
    Scott Davis
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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    I've found strippers make really bad models, actually. The best models are either people who have studied modeling, dancers, and/or actors. Strippers always try to go for "sexy", or they only know how to move and pose in certain ways. Dancers can move and bend and flex; actors can emote through gesture and expression; professional figure models are a blend of the two. But it all depends on what you're going for in your images. Also, strippers tend to have A: an inflated perception of the value of their modeling work, often coupled with underestimating the value of your time, and B: they don't always have the best work ethic when it comes to showing up on time, if at all. The models I've paid have been the least reliable; the ones I've worked with 'in the name of art' have been the most reliable.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTang View Post
    that's what I did

    I found out quick that it's way easier to tell a stripper to 'cover up a bit'

    than it is to tell that art studio major to maybe reveal a bit more

  9. #9

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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    I used to do naked performance art, then I got old. Very well perceived by hundreds of students, art teachers and silent administration.

    If you were my FB friend you could even see it, as it was my response to Marcel Duchamp's sexist work.

    Role reversal is the game.

  10. #10

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    Re: questions for people who regularly shoot nudes

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Davis View Post
    I've found strippers make really bad models, actually. The best models are either people who have studied modeling, dancers, and/or actors. Strippers always try to go for "sexy", or they only know how to move and pose in certain ways. Dancers can move and bend and flex; actors can emote through gesture and expression; professional figure models are a blend of the two. But it all depends on what you're going for in your images. Also, strippers tend to have A: an inflated perception of the value of their modeling work, often coupled with underestimating the value of your time, and B: they don't always have the best work ethic when it comes to showing up on time, if at all. The models I've paid have been the least reliable; the ones I've worked with 'in the name of art' have been the most reliable.

    Oh...I never paid

    I had friends who had friends..like that

    I have a secret technique that helps get rid of 'photo face' or 'photo pose'

    it's called incompetence

    after 20 minutes of me dropping crap and strobes not going off and darkslides not pulled - most models get tired of the fake pose/face thing and better pix happen

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