Photography/Finding models


Hi Ken,

I've been an amateur photographer since 1984 when I studied photography in Barcelona.  In all this time I've done many subjects, but mostly street.  I've never tried nude photography though.  In my experience, to learn any new subject takes time and practice. I have a feeling that nudes in particular are a lot more difficult than people think!  So I'd like to find models that will work in exchange for the prints since I'm going to need to practice quite a bit and I don't want to break the bank.  Where can I find models that will work like that?


Hi Ed.

Sorry for the delay responding to your question. If you've been an amateur photographer since 1984, I'm certain you're pretty good and can also shoot with film, which with nude photography can really set your photos apart from digital photography. You were not specific as to the type of nude photography and model you want to shoot, age range (over 18 obviously) and sex. You were also not specific as to where you want to shoot (studio or location). So, without knowing this, I'll do my best to point you in the right direction.  

First thing to know is that 99% of models who shoot nudes will not do it for free. In fact, whenever I shoot nudes, I almost always pay a model because I'm usually looking for someone with experience. I have found that shooting TFP nudes will leave you with less experienced (male or female) models that aren't really models but someone who wants to experience the thrill of nude modeling. Nude models will always want to shoot in a studio or a very cool location until they get to know you. This is for their safety. Do not approach a model to shoot nudes at your home or hotel for the first time working together. I recommend finding a nice studio near you that rent by the hour. I shoot out of Wonderland Studios in Anaheim California as the LA studios charge too much.   

To find models, I would start by locating a near you that is about nude photography. You'll find better quality models and just maybe 1 or 2 of them will work TFP if they feel comfortable with you. This is important because if you're not an experienced nude photographer, by default, female models will question your intentions as they want to weed out the GWC's and pervs. Just know going in the experienced nude models will cost you (amount will be determined by experience level). I would start by looking for models with little to no experience when shooting TFP. Why, because they will also want to use the photos for their portfolio. The draw back if that you'll also have to teach them to model besides taking the photos.

If you can't find a local meetup group in your area, another source I use are free model and photographer portfolio sites like:

Keep in mind, these sites are just a notch above using Craigslist and the models tend to flake, especially if they are younger. I use Model Mayhem the most from these sites as they also have a casting and traveling model section.

Believe it or not, facebook is also a good source to find nude models. There are different groups you can join that are around nude modeling. Just know, the pervs will also be there, so be professional at all times and you'll have a better chance of getting the model you want. Before you contact a potential model, be up front about the concept you will be shooting and look for a model that fits that theme.  

Hope this helps and good luck.



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I can answer questions as an expert for individual and model photography, portfolio development and networking. I can address your questions about location and/or studio photography, equipment selection, lighting, finding a professional photographer, difference between a professional photographer, amateur photographer and "Guy with Camera, what you should or shouldn't expect to pay for a professional photographer, pros and cons of nude photography, photo editing and more ...


I'm a published and agency recommended professional freelance photographer from Southern California. I shoot for the specific photographic requirements of private individuals, models, actors, entertainers, designers, PR & talent firms, Red Carpet, Corporate and special events. I have over 10 years specializing in fashion, lifestyle, portraiture, editorial, headshots, swimwear, glamour, boudoir, lingerie, artistic, nude, erotic and theme specific photography. I'm also experienced with photo enhancement and retouch and I utilize professional photographic equipment from Canon. My software proficiency includes Photoshop CS6, Lightroom and Portrait Professional.

I have studied photography at the Los Angeles School of Photography. I host educational seminars for amateur photographers twice a year in the LA area.

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