Erotic photography from behind the female lens....
25 Oct 2007
People often ask me "how do you take such sensual, erotic photographs". There are many components that factor into creating a really outstanding erotic photograph.
Most people think that with a camera and a beautiful model, that they can create an erotic photograph. We have all seen photographs that just do not make the cut, and there are many reasons why.
Here are some of the most important factors in taking an outstanding erotic photograph.
Lighting is the main key in executing an erotic
photograph. I never use flat lighting such as two lights in front of the model. I almost always use lighting on a 45 degree angle or even from one side (or both sides) of the model to achieve a wrap around effect of light on the models body. Never shoot your model with a stark white light, you can white balance the camera, and then filter your light with a nice warming filter, or set your camera on the sunny setting to achieve a beautiful warm skin-tone.
Next is the setting that you place your model in,
whatever you do think of a set-design for your model if you are shooting in studio. You must create an ambiance to surround your model. Should you decide to use a plain backdrop, you can always use props such a scarves, belts, a bench or hang curtains behind the model to add to your concept. Colors are especially important, I tend to stay away from fashion style gray and white backgrounds as they do not usually work with this type of warm lighting. I use a lot of reds, black, blue, yellow, pink, greens and blues.
I find that if you shoot your model in a location such as a hotel, it is much easier to create this ambiance as there are already walls, chairs, beds, and bathrooms readily available to work with which provides you with easy lighting set-ups. Always make sure the models setting compliments the outfit she is wearing, for example I usually shoot black, white, gold, or even leopard print out-fits on a red back ground.
Next is connecting with your model. Even if you are a nervous beginner, you must create a relaxed atmosphere in order to make your model feel at ease and confident in your abilities. Always try asking your model questions about herself like, do you have any hobbies. I find that when I ask these questions I get amazing answers like "I am a dance teacher" or a gymnast etc. These kinds of models are incredible to work with as they already know how to move their bodies, so it gives you a lot to work with. Just ask you model to try a few dance or gymnastic moves and you will be amazed at what you will capture! Once you start shooting you should both begin to connect on an artistic level, and then you will probably forget your nervousness. Realize that your model may be a beginner as well, so all of this is especially important.
whether you are shooting a professional or novice model, always assess your model silently when she walks in (not obviously of course). Keep a conversation going and take note of her best attributes, face, legs breasts etc. The reason for this is if you have an inexperienced model, and you have trouble with getting the creative flow going you can utilize her best attributes to achieve the best erotic shots possible. When I am working with a model that is nervous, or the model is larger in size, I simply start to shoot her assets first, and then the rest of the shoot starts to fall into place. Once she is relaxed and confident in my abilities, she starts to open up and I start to see more photographic possibilities regardless of her shyness or body type.
Direction of your model is another main key to achieving a great erotic photograph.
Take a look at your model and ask her to move her body to the front, side and back, so you get a good look at how she moves. It helps to put some sensual sexy music on as well, to relax your model.
If you can get her to move slowly to the music, you will get a great idea of how you will want to shoot her. I always start the model facing front, and get as many great body poses, and close-ups as possible.
I then turn her to the side, always directing her to dance, move, bend and where to look as well as the feeling I want to get across from her. You cannot just pose a model, there has to be feeling coming from them, otherwise the photo can turn out stiff and awkward looking. Placement of the hands and feet and also crucial, you can get the most amazing photograph and then you realize the a hand was crunched up looking or a foot was cut off in the photo.
When you direct a model always ask her to keep placing her hands softly, and sensually somewhere on her body so that they look natural placed but are in view. As for the feet, this is something I am particularly intense about. Make sure the models feet and toes are pointed when she is on the floor, bed, or on the ground. The reason for this is that when you pose a model say crawling from the side, there is nothing more unsettling than the feet curled up and on an angle. Ask her to point her toes like a ballerina, and that should do the trick!
Once you begin to shoot, you must let yourself go
artistically and mentally. This is where you can really enjoy yourself, and when you are happy the model is happy. Forget about what you think you should shoot or what someone else shot, this is your time create your personal masterpiece. Keep good direction and a connection with your model, and the photo shoot should just naturally fall into place. As your model changes a pose, and you see a shot you like, ask her to hold it for a moment there you will start to feel a creative flow taking place. There is nothing more amazing than the creative process, connecting with your model and capturing the essence of the erotic photograph!
"Push the boundaries of the conventional"