Etiquette during a nude photo shoot

This is a blog I've wanted to write for a while. It's about etiquette during a nude photoshoot. Anyone looking for photos of naked people on the internet will find them within seconds. Tens, hundreds, thousands...I can be brief about the quality of those photos. In most cases horribly bad. Hopeless compositions, severely underexposed (often justified by stating that this is exactly the intention and very artistic), bad colors... a list that has no end if you delve into it for a moment.

How come? Why are there so many photographers who do such a poor job when photographing nudes? The answer: Total lack of experience. For many people (especially men) photographing naked women is a kind of an erotic childhood dream. An expensive camera is purchased and you are a good photographer, right? Not!

Keep your distance!

Photography of nude models is one of the trickiest things there is. It is important that you fully understand and master the technique of photography before you start. Only then will you have enough time to communicate correctly with your model (which can be an art in itsself). The latter is super important as you need to be able to pick up on the smallest signs that your model might be uncomfortable. And if so, you should be able to manage that. If you are only and constantly concerned with the buttons on your device and your lights, you certainly can't. I often compare “photographers” who start their photographer's career with nudes, with 18-year-olds that take driving lessons in a Formula 1 car. It might work out, but probably you are heading for disaster!

The blatant lack of experience also has another major downside. A total lack of decency and etiquette on the part of the photographer. That has less to do with photography and more to do with people who took it up for all the wrong reasons. There is nothing more important then etiquette during a nude photo shoot because nothing is more threatening to a nude model then getting the feeling that a photographer is living out his own erotic fantasies and that she is the subject of his lust. Really, a photographer doesn't have to be so close that beads of sweat fall on his model. A photographer doesn't have to literally lie between his model's legs. That's why lenses of all shapes and sizes have been invented. And when a photographer cannot keep that distance because he does not have the right equipment, that says everything about the photographer you have chosen to work with. A photographer doesn't have to make comments about his model's breasts. A photographer shouldn't say anything at all about the physique of his model. His job is to take the best photos possible. Leave it at that.

And then there is a category of “photographers” you should avoid the most, the ones that take things a step further even. People who ask if you mind if they take off their clothes too. Or those that touch you when you are naked. Or who loudly proclaim what's hot and what's not. Your job is to take pictures buddy. No one is interested in your sexual fantasies. Certainly not in that setting.

Then How?

Always ask for a portfolio. See what your photographer can do and if you like his work. Are you in doubt? Search social media and ask other models what their experiences are. Can't find anything at all? Then just don't do it. Does the photographer whine that he too has to start somewhere? Certainly! But please grow your experience elsewhere, not here with naked me! Start with landscapes and still lifes. You can't hurt those. But you will hurt real people if you don't know what you are doing.

Do all these rules mean that shooting with Your Naked Skin is unsociable or distant? Hell no! Amateur models en pro's keep coming back over and over and over again. That's for a reason. In the coming blogs I will discuss a number of rules that Your Naked Skin considers important. The next blog is about the no-touch policy.

In this blog I have conveniently assumed that the photographer is a man and the model is a woman. Of course, that doesn't have to be the case. Do you have any questions or would you like to share an experience based on this blog? Please do not hesitate to contact me.


  1. Helder, fijn geschreven. Vooral dat aspect van een artistieke foto maken en de wazige illusie van sommige toeschouwers die het blijven verwarren met seks. Ik hoorde laatst van iemand die nogal uitgesproken fantasie├źn had 'want ik heb je naakt gezien" Nee, je hebt een artnude foto gezien, met talloze andere mensen, die zich meestal wel realiseren dat dat geen beloftes aan vast zitten.

    1. Dank je! De perceptie van kijkers kan nogal verrassend zijn, ook voor mij. Waar ik dan hoop op een opmerking als "mooie foto" of "mooie kleuren" of whatever, komen ze vaak niet verder dan "mooie borsten". Niet dat ik het daar niet mee eens ben, maar mijn verdienste is het niet en het is ook niet de reden dat ik de foto maakte.
      Wat jij beschrijft is helemaal bijzonder. Wie in een foto een persoonlijke uitnodiging ziet is volgens mij wel toe aan gespecialiseerde hulp!

  2. Your article is dead on the nail. My guess is you have some very high quality models who are more than willing to work with you

    1. I do! Having (earning) a good reputation pays off. It's just as important as being a good photographer.


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