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Learn Erotic Photography

October 31, 2010 - 16:02 — martinshelley
Tags: Erotic | Instructions | Photography | Tips

Learn Erotic Photography Example PhotoAll right, so erotic photos have always caught your eye, right? So now you have your first professional DSLR camera and you want to learn photography, erotic photography in particular. Well, I am here to give you professional tips and techniques that will help you create stunning, beautiful photographs.

I have shot many top models for erotic shoots, so let’s start with the basics. Erotic photography is not to be confused with pornographic photography. It is a style of art photography of a sexually provocative nature, which is distinguished from the sexually explicit nature of pornographic photography. Even though the models in erotic photographs are generally nude or mostly unclothed, it is not a requirement. Creativity and imagination is the key.

Learn Erotic Photography Example Photo 2When you first start out conceptualizing the ideas you’d like to shoot, it is helpful to look through popular magazines (I personally think French and Italian Vogue have some of the best erotic photography around) and picture books on erotic photography at the library. I myself have found very many helpful tips after reading books on a rainy Saturday at the library. It really does not cost a lot of money to fill your mind with superb ideas on erotic photography, just go to your nearest international newsstand and browse magazines or make yourself comfortable at your nearest library, because often the most interesting books cannot be loaned out, so you will have to read them there and make copies if permitted.

Now you have your first idea and you would like to realize it, but you don’t know any models. And you can’t afford to pay a professional model, because erotic photography is one of the highest paying types of photography for models. Let’s face it, if you want a girl to take her clothes off you are going to have to pay a lot of money or you have to know someone personally. So we will begin with the latter. Say for instance you have a girlfriend or friend who is willing to pose for you, she has beautiful hands, and legs, lips, feet, whatever, and you’d like to try out your ideas on her.

Learn Erotic Photography Example Photo 3The first thing you must think about is, are these pictures intended to be a professional representation of your work, or are they just intended as a hobby project? If you want them to be a professional representation of your work, you need to pay attention to many factors, because when you send off your photos, photo editors and other professionals will scrutinize them beyond belief. Think about your target audience; is it men, women, or both? Are the pictures more an artistic expression or related to a product? Long beautiful legs sells body cream or stockings. A beautiful Décolleté sells lingerie very well. Silky, shiny hair sells hair care products wonderfully and a beautiful neck and shoulders sell fragrances simply through the mood you create. So it is all in how well you convey your message.

So, now you have the first shots of your girlfriend or friend and you feel they have turned out very well so you send them to all the magazines and photo editors in your area hoping for a assignment, or at least hoping they will buy one or two of your shots--which incidentally is another way to get an assignment with a magazine--but no luck. They like your pictures, but they want to see more. You are however in luck, since you now have a few tasteful erotic shots you can go to the model agencies in your area and show them your work. Usually, when you explain that a magazine would like to see more of your work you can negotiate a test with one of their models who is in the need of erotic or body shots.

Learn Erotic Photography Example Photo 4At this point you have your first shoot planned with a professional model. Even though it is only a test, treat every shoot like it is a job. People will always remember your professionalism and talk to other people about it. Work ethic in erotic photography should be a top priority for you. When a model trusts you and your ideas enough to shoot erotic pictures with you, don’t make him or her feel uncomfortable by flirting, or with unnecessary or inappropriate touching, or long staring looks at their body. There will be charged energy on the erotic shoot for sure, but that is all about being professional and channeling your energy into your work, not trying to date the model after the shoot. Some models and model agencies blacklist photographers who are unethical, or behave lecherous and inappropriately.

Ideally, a successful erotic photograph is highly provocative. A partially covered body part can sometime be more suggestive then a completely nude model. The lighting you choose and the poses your model makes are very important factors for erotic photography because it sets the mood and gives your picture a story. Good lighting and beautiful poses can also make imperfections nearly disappear. By having a model twist or turn the right way, you can create longer legs, firmer breasts and a tighter stomach. Also, an excellent source for learning comprehensive photography techniques for erotic photography is FotoTV, the website on which you are reading this blogpost.

If you are shooting a girl it is advisable you have another woman on set with you, such as a make-up artist or female assistant. They are very helpful in making the model feel comfortable. If you are shooting a male model it is ok if there are just male assistants on the shoot. Erotic photos of men are generally easier to shoot and they mostly feel comfortable enough about their body and masculinity in front of a male photographer and do not need such sensitive handling. Whether you are shooting on location or in studio, a selection of music CD’s is a must. Bring a selection from classical to pop, anything you have that you can offer the model to listen to. You just might have their favorite song and that will loosen up the atmosphere immediately. It’s important you have a bathrobe, towels or a changing sheet for the models. Inside or out, no model likes to stand half naked or naked while you are changing the lighting scene and taking new camera measurements, they can stay covered up while you do all your technical stuff.

Learn Erotic Photography Martin Shelley with TaliaLastly, it is important that you make your model feel as comfortable as possible and treat them with integrity, because it will translate onto your photo and that means either success or not for you. Bring fresh fruit, juices, and water and light foods to the shoot. It’s not flattering when you serve your model a big breakfast or lunch and their stomach and energy level will reflect that. Most models however know their bodies well and are aware of what they eat or drink before or during the shoot. Remember practice makes perfect and being persistent and consistent will always help you attain your goal. I wish you much success trying out your own erotic photography ideas and look forward to hearing your discussions on the topic and seeing your pictures here on FotoTV.

–Martin Shelley

More from this author: Learn Portrait Photography 

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