I got a question a few weeks ago from Chad. He wanted to know how I find my models.When thinking how to answer this question, I had to consider two things:
Now and Then.
Now, it’s easier. I have photos of models to post. When people see the work I do, they usually want to work with me. They see that I have worked with others, and they also see nudes I have taken. It builds trust. Think about this. If you posted photos of yourself with a different girl everyday people will think two things. First, he must be good with girls. Second, he’s a player. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best example, but if you do that, people are pretty confident that girls like you.
A good portfolio not only shows off your work, but shows you’ve put your time into your craft and shows others trust you. It shows you’ve built relationships.
This makes it easier to find nude models.
I have fair amount of fast growing social media which is another thing that I have on my side. I can simply reach more people than someone starting out.
But I think Chad wanted to know how he could start, so I had to think back to when I started.
My first two models, non-nude, I found off Craigslist. That was years ago, and I don’t recommend it now. Craigslist is creepy these days.
My first nude models were friends. I shot a friend, she told another friend, and soon, everyone wanted to shoot nudes with me. But here is the thing, the first nude sessions I did looked pretty awesome. Not to brag, but hey, I wasn’t a beginner photographer. I’d already photographed for years.
Here is a little back story: I was dirt poor and when I say I was poor I mean poor, poor. For three months I mostly ate popcorn, peanut butter, and I drank water sometimes mixed with fitness protein. I was also very skinny. The reason I ate that stuff is because a friend gave it to me for free. I didn’t have money for gas so I everyday, after trying and mostly failing at marketing and getting business, in the evening, I would walk down to a graveyard that was about a mile from my studio.
I would wander around, search for the oldest grave, and work on my exposure and lighting skills. This really helped when I started shooting nudes because one of the most important things with nudes is knowing how to use light to accentuate the body. Shadows are as important as where you put the light.
What I am getting at is don’t shoot nudes till you’re ready. If you do a bad job with the models you won’t be shooting nudes for long.
I recommend before shooting nudes you learn the basics, and also, make sure you do lots of things things to protect yourself. There are some dishonest girls out there who will take advantage you if you let them.
Always ask for an ID, I don’t care if she looks 50 years old. You always GET AN I.D.! I also recommend not shooting with anyone under the age of 2o unless you know them. Never shoot anyone who is underage!
I recommend a meeting before the day you shoot. Get to know the girl, and if you have a bad feeling, say no. One more thing, never touch a girl during a photo shoot, and don’t hit on her. If you want to date her, ask her out later. It’s not professional during a photo shoot.
Recap: How do I recommend you start? Know the basics, and then, ask a friend.
Learn lighting, learn to be comfortable, and make the girl comfortable. Always be respectful and kind. Never point out bad photos or flaws to the model. Work on making artistic beautiful nudes, not porn. There is a huge difference, and if you disagree well, the rebel in me says I don’t give a fuck what you think. 🙂
If you enjoyed it, please share it with everyone you love and like, but not with anyone you hate. Knowledge is power, and everyone needs more knowledge!
P.S. I hope you don’t hate anyone. That shit is poison!
Ikon Republik- I am the dude in this photos. The cute girl in the photo is an old friend. I’m a photographer based in Salt Lake City Utah. I am the founder of VEGA Magazine. I like to write. I teach workshops. You can hire me to photograph you. I’ll send you a price list for free! Wow! Haha! Ikonrepublik@yahoo.com. Please give me at least 3 days to respond.(Hey! I’m currently not working on getting better at checking email and I’m not even sorry about it.)