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finding nude models for practice

Brian Baldwin , Sep 14, 2002; 08:36 p.m.

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.


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steve h , Sep 14, 2002; 09:28 p.m.

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 www.onemodelplace.com 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. Steve

Jay De Fehr , Sep 15, 2002; 02:19 a.m.

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

Jason Hudson , Sep 15, 2002; 02:43 a.m.

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.

Simon Coyle , Sep 15, 2002; 09:24 a.m.

Marc Williams , Sep 16, 2002; 05:51 a.m.

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.

peter nelson , Sep 16, 2002; 08:07 a.m.

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.

Another photographer in my figure class

Ed Buffaloe , Sep 16, 2002; 01:18 p.m.

On the <a href=http://unblinkingeye.com/Links/links.html>Links</a> 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.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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 <a href=http://unblinkingeye.com/Links/Model/model.html>http://unblinkingeye.com/Links/Model/model.html</a>. 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.

George Kenney , Sep 18, 2002; 05:20 p.m.

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!!!

Robert Kennedy , Sep 18, 2002; 06:39 p.m.

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.

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