Stripping Down For The Camera

Shooting nude is not for everyone.

It is a personal choice that each model has to make. Some models choose not to shoot nude and others decide they are comfortable enough to do it. No model should ever feel pressured to do anything that they don't want to.

Funnily enough nude shoots are usually unpaid, this is de to the fact that ultimately it is hard to sell a product in a photograph of a naked model. Also censorship laws can make it difficult to advertise with nudity. Nude shoots therefore are usually art and displayed in magazines and art exhibitions or books. 

Personally I have shot fully nude 3 times and topless on many occasions. It was definitely weird and a bit uncomfortable the first time but it is less uncomfortable each time you do it. With that being said I do not necessarily recommend it for everyone. The images may end up being online and that could be embarrassing if you don't want your friends and family to see them.


Before deciding to strip down for a shot consider the after effects of your choice. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I comfortable being naked in front of this team? (makeup/hair artist, photographer,stylist,etc)
  • Where will the photos be published/shown? Research a bit into the photographer to see their style and find out EXACTLY what the images will be used for. Distasteful images have the ability to completely ruin a models reputation, so do your homework.
  • Are the images going to be tasteful?(You don't want to be photographed in anything that will cheapen you as a model.)
  • Am I ok with my parents or grandparents seeing the photos? (Most images inevitably end up on the internet these days and chances are that your nude photos will be no exception.)
  • Will your partner or significant other be ok with your decision?
  • Do you feel pressured, or put on the spot to shoot nude or topless? (Photographers should always run nudity by your agency before the shoot. That way you have the choice and can make a decision without feeling pressured. If the photographer asks you at last minute on the day of the shoot, feel free to say no. It is unprofessional of them to approach the subject on the day.)

If you DON'T feel comfortable shooting nude:

Some models shoot nude because they feel pressured to by one of the team members on the shoot. I will admit that there has been times when I have politely refused to strip down or wear a garment that I felt was too risqué. Yes, afterwards I felt guilty, like I had let the team down. This is a natural thing to feel, but try not to. By saying "no" you haven't done anything wrong and you are completely within your rights to do so.

If you are feeling pressured into shooting naked and feel as if you can not say no, call your agency. Take a minute to call you agent and explain the situation to them. They have your best interests at heart, and it is their job to protect you from being exploited as best they can.  They can call the client/photographer and let them know that you are not comfortable doing what they have asked you to do.

You NEVER have to do anything on a shoot that you are uncomfortable with. You can ALWAYS walk away.

If you DO feel comfortable shooting nude:

If nudity doesn't bother you and you have decided you have no problem shooting naked, then you go girl! Now that you have agreed to strip down - lets get to the posing.

When posing in the nude be sure to keep things tasteful and partially covered. When posing you can follow the directions from the photographer and remember you do not need to do any poses that you feel are inappropriate or uncomfortable. Some photographers will go through the images with you afterwards and give you to choice to delete any that you don't like -Those are my favourite photographers.


Preparing yourself for a nude shoot:

Preparing for a nude shoot is a lot like preparing for any photoshoot, read my guide "How to prepare for a photoshoot" . PLUS I have listed a few more specific tips for shooting in the nude, below...

  • Get a brazillian wax at least a week before - you may need the week to recover. You could also shave the night before and be sure to moisturise the skin deeply to prevent ingrown hairs.
  • Check the calendar. You need to know when you are due (time of the month..) and plan any nude/swim/lingerie shoots around that. You won't want to be caught off guard on the day! There are plenty of apps that you can download straight on to your phone to help you keep track of your cycle and predict periods.
  • NEVER sign a model release form, especially on a nude shoot. Always refer the client/photographer to your agency who will sign on your behalf. Unless otherwise instructed by your agency. There are many, many horror stories from models who have signed release forms on shoots... 
  • Moisturise. Dry skin can look dull and flaky and generally won't photograph well. By moisturising your entire face and body, you can help your skin look healthy, plump and glowy.

(IMAGES BY: Christ ferguson, Nicole bentley, Daniel Luxford)


Was this post helpful? How do you prepare for a nude shoot? Have you shot naked before? Let me know in the comment section!