16 Strategies to Open Male Nude Photography Business

Male nude photography: The beauty of the male form is an ideal photo subject and makes for a great photography theme. In this article, you will learn some of the things you need to know to take great shots of the male nude–from finding models to posing, composition, and lighting.

Photographing the male nude gives you a thousand choices. Choose well and you’ll have more than a naked picture–you’ll have art.

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Male nude photography

1. Things You’ll Need

  • SLR camera, 35 mm or digital
  • An exterior location & an interior location
  • Bounce board
  • Flash strobe heads
  • Light meter
  • Baby oil (to make the skin stand out)

2. Find a model. You’re asking a guy to pose nude for you for hours at a time, so he needs to know you’re legitimate. Professional artist models are used to posing nude, but most people aren’t. So it is important to show prospective models a portfolio of your best pictures. Draw out what you plan to photograph. That way, there will be no surprises during the shoot. Some good model sources include:

Male nude photography

3. Decide where to shoot. Remember, the focus is on the body, not the background. That said, paper or cloth backgrounds can transform an ordinary room into a photo studio.

  • And shooting outside gives you great natural light. A nude beach is perfect but a secluded garden or yard will do.
4. Get comfortable. Keep the room as warm as your model would like it. Put up a storyboard of what you plan to shoot. That way, the model knows exactly where you’re going. Also, provide a changing room.

Male nude photography

5. Get the lighting sorted. Use some strobe flash heads with either chimera softboxes or reflecting umbrellas. You can rent these, including the stands, for under US$75.

  • If your camera can’t fire the lights, rent an independent socket that you can attach to the camera’s hot-shoe. Attach a sync cable to the flash unit, so that the strobes fire when you snap the pictures.
  • And use a light meter to set the exposure.

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6. Focus on the muscles. There are many ways to light the male nude, but since the male form is all about the muscles, you want to light in a way that highlights these best. Light from angles that cause the muscles to cast shadows on each other. Go really dramatic with only using backlight or use no light on the subject at all, exposing the background and creating a silhouette.

7. Strike a pose. The male body is about power. Muscles. Make them stand out. Have your model flex or twist his shoulders off-axis from his hips. This creates a sense of movement.

Male nude photography

8. Forget that you are looking at a nude model. Just look at the form in front of you, as if it were an abstract sculpture or a landscape. What shapes are interesting? There’s no need to show the full Monty unless it adds to your picture. Usually, showing it will distract viewers from everything else in the picture.

9. Focus on natural poses to hint at the sensual. Steer clear of the pornographic.

Male nude photography

10. Learn the basics if you haven’t already. Basics of photography include composition, which is essentially the placing of a subject within the frame of a photograph, lighting, and the basic workings of your camera.

11. Be ready. At least half of the time, the difference between a great photograph and a mediocre one is being in the right place at the right time, with a camera in your hand. Carry your camera with you as often as you can. Make sure to use your camera often, too. Just carrying it around does no good.

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12. Be there. Being “ready” is not enough. As Ken Rockwell says of his early experience, Did you catch the spoiler word in my logic, “anything that presented itself?” I was a spectator. I thought that photography involved taking pictures of things that came along. No! You have to get out there and find things. Finding and seeing are the hard part…taking a picture of what you find is the trivial part.

  • get up, get out there and take photographs. Go out at every time of day, every day, and look for things. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to come along (but be prepared if it does!); go out and find them. Look for opportunities everywhere you go (whether you’re at the mall or on the other side of the world), and go to places to look for opportunities. If you can see something in your mind, chances are you can set it up and shoot it!

13. Keep your photos as simple as possible. Get as close to your subject as you can. Use your feet, and use your zoom lens (if you have one) to fine-tune your composition. Get rid of anything that doesn’t give some important context to understand your photo fully.

Male nude photography

14. Show the best of your work to other people. Which is to say, find the best of your work and show only that to other people. Even the greatest photographers don’t take superb shots every single time; they’re just very selective about what they show to others.

  • Be brutal about it. If they’re not great shots to you, then never show them. Your standards will increase over time, and even the ones you might have once thought were passable will probably look pretty lame to you a few months down the line. If this means that all you had for a day’s worth of shooting was one or two photos, then that’s okay. It probably means you’re being just harsh enough.
  • Don’t look at images full size. Ken points out that the most important parts of an image are those that can be seen when the picture is seen at thumbnail size. There are people out there who will pick at flaws they can only see in 100% crops of your photos. That’s okay because they aren’t worth listening to. Feel free to pass over anything that doesn’t look great when it takes up a quarter of your screen (or less).

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15. Learn some technical trivia. No, this is not the most important part of taking photographs. It’s one of the least important, which is why it’s down here; a great photo taken by a point-and-shooter ignorant of these things, is far more interesting than a boring photo perfectly focused and exposed. It’s also infinitely better than the one that wasn’t taken at all because someone was too busy worrying about this sort of trivia.

  • Still, it’s handy to have a working knowledge of shutter speed, aperture, focal length, etc., and what effects they will have on your picture. None of this will make a bad photo into a good one, but it can sometimes keep you from losing a good photo to a technical problem and can make great photos even better.

Male nude photography

16. Organize program and be social.

  • You can be social by opening an account on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or other social sites. You may join Getty images.
  • You can organize an exhibition for your vicinity.

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