How To Take A Great Picture Without Asking Her To Strip

December 23, 2016

|Alejandro Arroyo Cano

Most people see their bodies as a sanctum: a holy place that only few are allowed to enter. For the sake of art, photography tends to ask its models to take their clothes off. While nobody denies the results are beautiful, is it possible for the face to be the focus of the image? Could a deep gaze be as sensuous as a nude?

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Every woman has a particular magic that comes alive in front of a lens. If we put five women in a row, all wearing the same outfit, hairstyle, and makeup, each of their personalities would create a different kind of image because the human aspects that can never be repeated are heart, mind, and spirit.

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So there’s no need to photograph a nude body just for the sake of it. The captured segment of reality will be the reflection of a person made from thousands of little details.

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The following advice is focused more on how to take a great portrait picture, as well as how to allow for a spontaneity that shows the model’s natural beauty. 

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Break the ice

There is an invisible link between the photographer and the model. For this small moment in time their lives synchronize. It’s normal for either party to get nervous and make the session a little awkward.

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That’s why it’s important to break the ice first in order to create a bond of trust. The best way to do so is by talking. Ask questions, allow them to explain what makes them feel comfortable, be polite, and soon enough you’ll notice how the ambience becomes relaxed.

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Go for comfort

A natural pose happens when the body is relaxed. If you’ve already started talking, and you feel like your model is still uncomfortable, ask her to play with something in her hands.

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When someone is nervous they tend to hide them in their pockets or behind their body. By providing an object the model will be able to free her stress, and it won’t be long before a natural smile comes out.

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Check for posture

A woman is able to blend with her environment perfectly. If you’re at a park, find a tree she can lean on or an open space for her to sit or stretch.

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The most delicate postures are the profile or the ¾ while she looks at the horizon and the sun brightens up her eyes.

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Make her forget about the camera

The more natural she looks and feels, the more successful the image will be. Ask her to do an activity she likes.

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Capture a moment of her as she sketches, plays the piano, or sings. By concentrating on the action, she’ll forget about the lens.

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Get a smile out of her

Every photographer strives to get a portrait with a genuine natural smile. If you and your model are able to connect, she’ll feel safe and, sure enough, you’ll be able to capture a great smile. If you can be funny, use that to get a laugh or a giggle that will also look great on camera.

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After reading these suggestions you may have realized that it’s all about trust. All women are beautiful, and it’s not hard to find an angle that favors them. What matters is that they’re relaxed enough to show their best side. There’s no denying that the bare body is a work of art, but there are other ways of capturing the female essence.

Translated by María Suárez

Alejandro Arroyo Cano

Alejandro Arroyo Cano