finding nude models for practice

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by brian_baldwin, Sep 14, 2002.

  1. Hello,
    I've been studying photography for several years and have taken an
    interest in what I consider to be the most beautiful art of all, the
    nude. I've signed up for a class at one of the local darkrooms for
    photographing the nude, however I know this will be very different
    from doing it on my own. I unfortunately do not have someone to
    practice on, and I really don't know how to approach someone to ask
    if they would be interested. I've set up my own studio in house, and
    primarily I'd like to provide "free" sessions (especially since I'm
    learning) to people who may be interested. Does anyone have any
    advice on this matter? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. I am luckey and a pretty wife to work with and I to am sorta in the same boat as you. Sure, i have my wife, but I want to practice on someone I dont know, to learn more. Here is the best answer I have for you. Network! Go to amatuer model photo shoots and start off with a basic model clothed. If you build a trust with one, you may be able to get her to do some semi nude or nude modeling. You can hire models, but that can be costly. Talk to local universities that have preforming arts classes, alot of those students may help You can go to and see what models are in your area, but be warned, I have not had any luck with it. I am going to go to my first amatuer photographer/model shoot next month and maybe I will get a model or to that will allow me to shoot some of this. Oh, most of those shoots are in public places and dont allow nude shots there, but if you get one that likes your style and stuff, you may be able to hire her for TFP at another time.
  3. Hi Brian. You don't say exactly HOW you feel that "doing it on your own" would be different than photographing a model in the class. I suggest that you take full advantage of a willing model in a safe environment with instructors present to advise and consult.If no one you know would agree to work with you, I don't like your chances of convincing a stranger to do so, even if it is "free" (do you mean free for you, or free for her?). May be if you take the course and turn out some good work, which you can then show to prospective models, you'll have more luck. Failing that, you can always resort to the traditional practice of hiring prostitutes.-jdf
  4. I had a girl call me from an ad for modeling portfolios I had out. She hired me to do some street/fashion shots of her. Figureing she'd make a great figure model I then asked her if she would be willing to pose and she said yes. I've photographed her about a dozen times now. She showed some of the photos to a friend and her friend asked to model for figure art. It just kindof catches on like that.

    I've read that the nudie bar is a good place to find figure models but I've never tried that. Rather than seeing how many different models you can shoot, find one or two you work well with and stick with them.

    It helps if you show them an example of what black and white figure art looks like, so they aren't thinking of something different.
  6. Since each local area has different sources, why not just ask the
    instructor of the classes you have been taking where they get
    their models? Expecting free models is not realistic, but
    ocassionally possible if the intended subject wants their picture
    shot in this manner. I once had a young woman at a party ask
    me to do a nude study of her so when she was old she could
    look back on how she once looked. If you do approach
    someone, also ask her to invite her husband or boyfriend to the
    session. They usually don't come, but it avoids any impression
    other than pure professional intent.
  7. I started out by taking a full-semester figure photography workshop at a local photography school. That gave me a good portfolio to show prospective models, as well as lots of experience shooting nudes. The classes at the school were three hours, with two studios running in parallel and we had 6 students, so that gave us lots of individual shooting time. And while we weren't shooting we usually kibitzed, which as a beginner figure photographer, I found helpful, to see how other photographers thought about the subject.
  8. On the Links page of my UnblinkingEye.Com site I have links to several model forums, including FigureModels.Org, FineArtFolios.Com, One Model Place, and Web Models. These are excellent resources for finding models.

    Models who are just breaking into the business will often pose in return for photographs. This is called TFP--time for prints. Approaching people you don't know is problematic at best, so the above forums are the recommended place to start.

    You should also consider creating a page with a standing request for models that gives your location, e-mail address, and the terms you offer. I have such a page at Be sure to add the proper description and key word tags so search engines can index the page, then send the URL to all the major search engines. It may take time, but eventually you will begin to receive responses. Of course, it helps to live in a college or university town.
  9. I suggest prayer. I was in almost exactly the same situation, and just prayed to the photography dieties for a model. SHAZAMM!! Out of the blue I got a call from a friend I hadn't heard from in over ten years, who ten years ago was a drop-dead beauty right out of the pages of Vogue, but who has aged quite nicely. After a "nice to see you again" lunch I saw the opportunity to ask if she'd model for me and she was completely willing. There must be such a thing as a Photo God!!!
  10. I can NOT emphasize enough that going to a "nudie bar" to find models is the WORST way to do it!

    I know of a few people (none of them me) who have gotten models either this way, or gotten models who work at such venues.

    NONE of them had a good experience. In one case extortion was the name of the game with a big old boyfriend showing up in the middle of the shoot and demanding extra money. In another the model was drugged out of her gourd and totally useless. She also kept offering "other services" for an extra $100.00.

    Strippers make poor models.
  11. Some one above suggested TFP's. That is a VERY good thing for a starting out photographer and a starting out model. They both get what they need most- experience. I don't always have the money laying around to pay for a model, though I do pay as often as I can as their time is valuable. What I've found to work in the past is to post an ad on a local forum or local paper. Something that asks for models who will work TFP for ARTISTIC nudes. I stress the artistic so that they don't brush my ad off as just another ad looking for porn models. I also include my web page in the ad so that they can look at what I've done in the past before they even send me sample photos of themselves. I've had a great deal of success with this approach.

    Another place to look for models is, I've never hired from there though, but they do state whether or not they will work for TFP or not.

    Good luck,

  12. Actually I've been trying and have foudn it to be mediocre at best for nude models. I am looking to do some artistic nudes since I really haven't done those before. After discarding half the ads where the model lists things like "Starred in High School Honeys" or "had part in Forrest Hump", I was left with a handful of possibles. 90% of whom seem think TFP means "Time For Pay". The few left were all linked to this so called "agent" in town who is little more than a hack who runs around getting her "models" TFP jobs and then selling off the prints for publication! She basically comes on with thsi whole "I have these models who need hots for their portfolios" line, tries to get you to agree to shoot something to the models specs as well as your own (which isn't disagreble in itself. I'm always willing to run off a few rolls to spec for a portfolio), and then starts to change the rules on you! One minute the date is set and the models are doing fine art nude shoot with partial nudity, the next they are doing NO nudity, but you are expected to shoot HER pictures!

    Which she sells to publications!

    Caveat Emptor. I'd avoid OMP if I were you.
  13. How has the hunt for models panned out thus far Brian? Thanks for the tip from the above photographer one OMP, like I said I had never hired from there, but was passing along as it was passed to me. One thing I may suggest is that when giving the models the prints agreed upon, I like to be sure that my logo is on the print so that the selling of it is less likely to happen. I also tend to avoid agents at all costs as they seem to care nothing for the art nor the model they represent but care for their paychecks alone. Now, we all like to pay the rent/mortgage, but they seem to me as bad as lawyers or used car salesmen. I find working with ametuers more rewarding anyway as they are less posed and more candid.

  14. Im a fashion photographer, heres my take on it.

    Be careful and take pride in your work, ask yourself "why do you want to take this shot?" dont jepodise your image shooting an unsuitable model just because she will strip for you.
    If you cant find a good model try shooting some clothed models for a bit, build a good relationship with a model you like, tell them what you want them to do. Maybe show them some shots youve done of yourself, you cant ask anyone to do anything you wouldnt realy.

    Do somthing differnt, if i had a quid for every boring nude ive seen i might actualy make some money. Nudes are mostly the same. Why do what hunderds of others already have. For that matter why should she.

    So Get her excited about your work. Models love it when you can make them look good. If shes into it then she will be more willing, ive never know any model who understands and is interested in what you want to acheive not to do anything you ask. The root of it all is the work you will be doing.

    At the end of the day a photographer needs a model to be able to project somthing in the image. If you rush these things, you could end up with a very uncomfotable girl youll never get the shots out of.

    Get a good rapoure with a model, any model a pro, someone you met on the street and like the look of, whoever.

    Think of yourself, Im often more embarassed than the model in these situations. But if i work well with the model its fun. If i dont then i feel like a dirty old man and hate shooting.

    oh and one last thing. get yourself some baggy trousers.
  15. Going to a nudie bar to get a dancer for free poses is not a good idea. It's not even a good place to find someone to get laid with. It will end up costing you a lot of money just to be able to talk to them. However, if you have a couple of hundred dollars to blow, do get some lap dances at the nudie bar instead. They're so much fun that they'll make you forget about photography altogether and save you a lot more money in the long run.
  16. If you're still interested in finding models for nude photography, you might try the booklet "How to Recruit Models for Nude & Erotic Photography," available at the Afterglow Erotic Photography site (mild nudity warning).
  17. Every big town has an alternative newspaper. Look for the kind of rag that covers earthy issues, vegetarianism, tree hugging, music, poetry, arts, etc. The younger crowd reads this. Place an add stating that you will trade time for prints. Minimum age 18 with photo ID required. If you don't want body art or piercings, say so or you WILL get it. If you want height-to-weight proportionate, say so. List only an email address. I did this in my home town and received 90 replies from which I selected 20 keepers. Surprisingly, the most beautiful models I have photographed were the 'plain janes' who turned out to have perfect bodies under their baggy skateboard pants. Two models who started with me have gotten involved full time and are doing very well.
  18. hello.. the same problem of mine... if therwas anyone have any ways to do that plasse inform me too....
  19. There are a number of web sites where you can hire nude models. These sites will tell you what each model requires
    in the way of payment and what types of modeling she is willing to do. Here is a short list, add to it if anyone thinks
    of more: (my favorite ;) )

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