How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional

One of the classic genres of photography is the figure study. It seems you simply can not go through your career in photography without dabbling in the art of photographing the nude. My first attempt at nude work was stressful and daunting! I did not know how to find models (I used a friend the first time). I knew very little about appropriate techniques both in-camera and in the chemical darkroom. But worst of all I had to overcome the tunnel vision that your subject is a nude person – yikes!

The first couple of tries produced results that were less than satisfactory. I was not confident of my photographic capabilities, I had no idea how to direct the model, I had no concept of what I was shooting and why. I had no props, no great location, and none of the civilized niceties needed to make a shoot go well (you know blankets, bathroom, water etc). I simply had a camera and a naked person in front of me – now what?

There is so much to consider to do a nude shoot well and to come across professionally. You just don’t jump into it like I did. Over the years, I refined my working method and have done numerous nude shoots both in the studio and outdoors. I think I have learned a lot and am much better at it than I was initially. Part of the learning process was trail and error and part was by studying books on the subject. I have seen some decent books on nude photography over the years but only recently did I discover the BEST book on the subject I have ever seen. Ashley Karyl’s e-book “How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional” is a winner. It is a 328 page compendium of everything you need to know to photograph the human form.

I can not believe the detail and thought that went into Ashley’s book. Ashley covers everything you need to know from finding models, working with models, lighting (indoors and outdoors), props, locations, hair, make-up, camera and lenses, marketing, releases, digital workflow, retouching, printing and on and on and on. Not only is this a great book on how to photograph the nude, it is a fine book on the art of photography in general. Highly recommended!

To order Ashley’s book click here.

How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional

By the way, Samantha and I are putting into practice many of the lessons that we learned from Ashley’s e-Book by doing location nude shoots of male and female models here in Alberta. We will present our results at the Digital Photo Expo on October 2 in Calgary. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, happy shooting and watch out for mosquitos!

©Darwin Wiggett


7 Responses to “How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional”

  1. Tom Stephens Says:


    I love the idea that you learned to photograph nudes outdoors by “trail and error”! Can we look forward to images of nude cowboys in your upcoming show?

  2. WAW impressive shot Darwin!

  3. Simon Beare Says:

    I read your book review with interest, having purchased a copy myself a few months back and have to agree it’s a fabulous book, quite unlike anything else available. It’s filled with amazing information for anybody who is photographing models of any kind and not just limited to nudes.

  4. Wow this is such a change from what I am used to seeing on this site. I really like the idea that you are willing to change/try other styles. It is inspirational. I can do so much more. Thank you for being a ???? …..really cool person. Gale

  5. That shot is awesome! Um…I feel overwhelmed just contemplating shooting nudes. lol. Maybe one of these days… one of these days…

  6. Very spectacular picture !
    I like very much your work.

  7. Darwin, where the heck did you snap that photo? Awesome location.

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