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Female Form Photography

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 4/29/2011

Here is a look at some tips on working with female body photography.

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    Female Body Photography

    As any professional photographer will tell you, photographing a human subject requires special kinds of attention that inanimate objects simply do not. This is even more true when you are engaging in female form photography, which means that you are trying to intimately show the body and character of your female photographic subject. This kind of female body photography requires a special attention to photographic technique and the way that you approach your model, especially since they are the one being exposed. Here is a look at some tips when you are working on female form photography.

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    Constructing the Image

    Image framing is going to be critical when shooting female body photography because you want to present the image of the body in a way that will not be exploitive and will present it the way you intend for it to be seen. This first means identifying what you intend to be seen by Abstract, Royalty Free Image from www.sxc.hu your photographic frame. When you are setting up the image you want to carefully decide where the top and bottom of the image should be presented. A good example of this is going to be the difference between the the close up and the medium shot. You have to remember that if you are going to have a close up in female figure photography then you need to frame above the bust line, otherwise it will feel as though you are trying to target the viewer to look directly there. If you want to move into a medium shot then you should give plenty of space Pearline, Royalty Free Image from www.sxc.hu below the bust line, but you will still need to observe the proper framing and give an relatively equal amount of headroom.

    You will also want to give a general sense of space for the area of the figure you are trying to focus on. This is to say that if your female form photography is intended to look at the model in here entirety then you will need to present adequate space around the subject so that it is not claustrophobic to observe. If you need to focus on just the face and neck area, then you will want to angle the photo so that it does not feel like a classic portrait but does bring in attention to the details of this part of the model. Again, it is important to present everything that you focus on in female body photography in the right type of intention since it could be exploitive in the wrong context.

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    Photographic Technique

    If you are lighting anybody with a focus on their entire body, especially if it bares a lot of exposed skin, then you have to take the principles that you use in model photography in a much upgraded way. This means that flattening out the light so as to lower the instance of wrinkles and blemishes, and though this may make their face and body appear a little wider you can often alter this during photo editing. What you should try to do on set to counter this is to bring the lights closer and then lower the iris, which will compensate for some of the flat lighting by adding depth to the image.

    When you are setting the DSLR camera you will likely need to take much more care than you would with other types of model photography, especially since female figure photography should never be presented in a way that was not explicitly intended by the photographer. This means that keeping the camera stable on a tripod is going to be best, as well as having the model remain as still as possible. This is also going to allow you to slow down the shutter speed, which may even let you keep down the ISO reading so as to lessen the possible image noise.

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    Working With the Model

    There is no magic way to make a model comfortable in female form photography, especially if it involves any form of nudity. The best solution for this is to work with models that have experience in this, or those that already know and trust you. In general, you want to clear out any assistants or other staff people that you would normally have during shooting so as to keep it intimate. When you do begin shooting, you need to slow down the pace and work up to the kind of images you want to actually capture. Remember, part of getting a quality image is going to be working with the model and their willingness to be vulnerable.

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    References

    Photos: Royalty Free Images from www.sxu.hu.

    Source: author's own experience.