Most Christians question my relationship with Jesus when I tell them I shoot boudoir photography. They really get their hackles up when I mention artistic nudes. I do have boundaries though. An artistic nude portrait shouldn’t be about sex, but rather the form and figure of the human body. As such, I have 3 very simple rules to keep these more risque images classy and tasteful.
Rule #1 No Genitalia
It should go without saying, but showing the labia or penis is not generally in the best taste. Most photographers that do show these parts do so more for the act of titillating the viewer than creating something one would call artistic. The nude body can be beautiful in it’s own right, but it takes planning and good lighting to show it in ways that make the photo work.
Rule #2 No Sexually Explicit Poses
This ties in closely with Rule #1. Having a woman spread her legs just to get a shot of her junk is the wrong way to approach nude photography in my opinion. Poses in the artistic nude realm need more drama and emphasis on the shape of the body. Showing how a figure can curve, bend, and twist to become something not immediately recognizable as a human figure is what makes an artistic nude photo work.
Rule #3 Nothing Denigrating
This also ties in with the first two rules. I also apply this to my philosophy when photographing boudoir sessions as well. I see far to many male boudoir photographers put the buttocks of their clients up in the air like a beast in heat. How does that empower a woman? How does that show her to be anything other than an object to be used by the opposite sex.
If you think I should add a rule, I would love your comment below.