Kiss your But Goodbye

Over the years I’ve been approached by a number of models who are on the fence about modeling. I don’t mean that they are having trouble contemplating whether to pose nude but rather if they want to get in front of the camera at all.

Of the ones I know, they almost always take the plunge, but after a bit of hand wringing. Modeling can be emotionally brutal, I get it. I did a bit when I was younger. It takes confidence and effort. But, if you’re going to do it; do it. Get rid of that one word that is keeping you from modeling.

Lame Excuses for Not Applying for a Modeling Gig

  • I would model, but I don’t feel attractive — Only the casting director, photographer, or artist can tell if you are attractive enough. Maybe your friends are just flattering you, or maybe you have what it takes. Take the plunge. You probably fear rejection. Rejection is a stepping stone to success. Dust yourself off and jump in again.
  • I would model, but I don’t know where to start — It starts by finding a gig. There are tons out there. Start looking.
  • I would model, but I don’t think my family would approve — You have a few options here. You can ask them first and find out what they would really think. Maybe you’re wrong and they would be supportive. Maybe you’d discover that you really don’t need their approval for you to feel good about your decisions.
  • I would model, but I can’t find any jobs that pay well enough — Everybody starts somewhere. You start building your reputation and network with your very first job.

Ariel jumped right into modeling and was glad she did.

How Tall Does a Model Need to Be?

How Tall Does a Model Need to Be?

The height requirement for a model depends on a number of things. There is no absolute answer. The women who have modeled for me have ranged from 5’3″ to 6’0″. The majority are between 5’5″ and 5’9″. There are all sorts of camera tricks that I use to make models look taller, but in general a taller model is better.

  • This is not runway modeling, so the height requirement is less strict.
  • Your proportion of height to weight is more important than your height. For example, if you are a size 0, it’s okay if you are a little shorter.
  • The main reason that being taller than 5’4″ helps, is in the legs.

It’s natural to look in the mirror and wonder if you can cut it as a model. Remember that the images you see on my site are only the best ones. They take advantage of careful lighting and camera angles.

How Tall Does a Model Need to Be?

Modeling FAQ: I want to be a model

How do I become a model for you?

  1. Fill in a modeling application
  2. Check your email for instructions on sending your photos or Instagram
  3. I’ll meet you before committing to a shoot. New model interviews are Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.

What should I expect during a photo shoot?

  • mamiyaI’ll discuss theme ideas before the shoot.
  • We warmup with clothed shots and I will coach you through some basic poses.
  • Photo shoots require full nudity, later in the session, similar to what you see on my portfolio.
  • Posing ideas will evolve during the shoot as we learn your strengths and best angles.
  • You are free to throw your own ideas in from time to time.

The models on your site are so beautiful. How do I know if I measure up?

  • Its easy to apply, then I’ll decide if I want to work with you.

How tall does a model need to be?

  • 5’4″ is my minimum.

I want to model nude but have never done it before.

  • Before booking, I will talk to you to make sure you know what we are doing.
  • Its normal to be a little nervous and modeling is an almost magical confidence builder.
  • I have worked with a couple hundred of brand new models. I always make sure the model is okay.
  • If you are interested I also help train models while they are employed.
  • Many of the models on my site had initial doubts but once they did it they were glad they did. Listen to what they have to say about their first nude modeling shoot.

What kind of paperwork is required?

  • You need to bring photo ID that shows your birth date. A second ID is requested.
  • The model signs a release.

Can I bring someone?

  • Yes, you can bring someone when you come to work, as long as I meet them before we book the shoot. Don’t surprise me after we’ve already setup the day & time.

Is Nudity Required?

  • Yes, nudity, similar to what you see in my portfolio is required.
  • I always warm up with non-nude shots.

How long is a shoot?

  • Normally at least three hours, sometimes four. Depends on preparation and changes to looks.
  • We don’t have to rush, we can get a lot accomplished in a half day.
  • If you want to shoot for more time or less time, we can discuss special situations.
  • Take into account your travel time. Models have traveled from Summerville, Mount Pleasant, Bluffton, Hilton Head, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach. If you are coming from Atlanta, Florida, or Charlotte, ask me about hosting options.

What are the images for?

What is your background?

  • I’ve been doing this more than fifteen years; I have photographed hundreds of models.
  • My background includes an art degree, coming from a family of artists, visiting museums in dozens of countries, and experiencing various cultures.
  • Art photography is all I do.

How do I apply?

I applied to be a model, now what?

  • Check your email for a confirmation message. If you don’t get it you entered your email incorrectly, please go back and apply again.
  • Reply to the email, attach your photos. You need to send a face shot (with as little makeup as possible) and a body shot (preferably in a 2-piece) so I can see your thighs, abs, and arms.
  • If you have additional comments, include them (example if you have a specific shoot in mind you want to do)
Nude photography studio art modeling jobs

Boost Your Online Profile (for Models)

Most models have an online profile and most of the ones I’ve talked to are not happy with the amount of work they are getting from it. I’ve jotted down a few simple steps to make your profile into a job-generating machine.

  1. Write down (just for yourself) what your best feature is. Don’t write more than one thing down. Make sure your main photo shows this feature! If it’s your face, use a headshot. If it’s your legs, make it a full-length shot with bare legs (don’t just do a crop shot of your legs, that looks creepy.) If your main photo doesn’t have your best feature then you’ve missed the point!
  2. Now, make sure all your features are represented. At least one photo (hopefully more) needs to show your face. The face shots need to be clear! You need a photo where your abs can be seen, one showing your legs, one showing your arms, and so on. Got one with your rear end in it? You won’t get hired if it’s a mystery as to what you look like!
  3. Are all your photos by the same photographer? Mix it up. Are they all in the same outfit? Get real! Variety. I’ve spelled it out for you. If you don’t have variety, then it will look like nobody has worked with you.
  4. You need to update often. Show that you are a working model. If possible, do a shoot every week and upload a photo!


Mom Loves that Daughter Bares all for Photographer

Sometimes I go so long without dealing with a stereotype that I forget that it exists. One such stereotype is that a mother would never approve of her (grown) daughter posing nude for a photographer and then having those images displayed publicly on the Internet. Of course, there are real life examples for which the typecast exists.

It would be unusual for parents to approve of everything that an offspring chose. It would be similarly peculiar if an adult child expected universal acceptance from their parents for every contentious decision.

There are lots of people in this world, and each of them seemingly has at least one opinion of every topic. Every nude model has a mother. Many nude models go on to have children of their own. It should be no surprise that plenty of parents are very supportive of their children’s nude modeling. In this post, I’m going to bring to light three examples of mothers who support their daughter’s modeling decisions.

Sara’s mother, a Playboy model herself, had no qualms about her golden haired beauty becoming a second-generation playmate.

Sara’s mother, a Playboy model herself, had no qualms about her golden haired beauty becoming a second-generation playmate.

Although Jennifer’s mother wasn't thrilled about her daughter posing in the buff, she was supportive and even drove her to her first shoot.

Although Jennifer’s mother wasn’t thrilled about her daughter posing in the buff, she was supportive and even drove her to her first shoot, which was with me. Both Jennifer and her mother thanked me for giving her the first break by hiring her.

Mallory’s mother was very excited and hoped that the photo shoot could lead to more opportunities and publication (it did.)

Mallory’s mother was very excited and hoped that the photo shoot could lead to more opportunities and publication (it did.)

What’s the Minimum Age When Models Can Pose Nude?

I’ve been asked the question, “What’s the minimum age when models can pose totally nude?” — I have been hesitant to respond casually to this for a number of reasons. First, it’s a question of legality and I am not an attorney so you should not consider what I write to be legal advice. Second, it is a question that sparks the imagination and some people.

The myth is that one must be age 18 to pose for a nude photo.

That is probably the simplest answer but it is not entirely correct… Continue reading

6 Things to Never Say to a Photographer

After photographing hundreds of nude models, and interviewing thousands more, I’ve heard plenty of phrases that make me roll my eyes. I understand that someone with just a few years of experience, maybe less, might have some misconceptions. In fact, I expect it. There is nothing wrong with having a misconception or two about the business. Here are a few examples of things that you might want to avoid. So read them here first, before you catch them coming out of your own mouth.

1. I do nudes (when you don’t)

To most photographers, nude means more than implied nudes, topless, or being wrapped in a sheer cloth. If you are not comfortable with full frontal nudity, do not bill yourself as a nude model. Sure, you will get a lot of attention initially, but it will not result in shoots over the long run.

2. I’m taller in heels.

Everyone is taller in heels. It goes without saying. Heels do not change the distance from your hip to your knee, nor do they make the distance from your knee to your ankle any longer. If a casting agent or photographer has set a minimum height that is taller than you, check back later for a gig that you are right for.

3. I have copyright to your photos.

Unless copyright has been assigned by the photographer, you don’t. Copyright rests with the author of work, not the subject. What you have is a right to privacy. If you sign a release, you waive the privacy right and allow the photos to be published. It is not unheard of to hire a photographer for a “work for hire”, where the client is both subject and copyright holder, but that is a whole other topic.

4. It can easily be Photoshopped

Easily by who? Are you an expert retoucher, and offering your services? It’s not your place (or mine) to tell anyone what will be easy for them to do. The fact is, retouching something like a tattoo depends on a variety of factors. For example, if it wraps around the body (our bodies are not perfectly flat, anywhere, so this means all tattoos) the light changes. Also, dramatic lighting makes retouching more difficult. These variables, as well as others, make retouching harder. Web publication is one thing, but if the final image is for print, then it could take additional hours to remove any tell-tale signs of retouching.

There are ways to make retouching more successful, such as covering a tattoo or birth mark with special makeup. This requires a highly skilled makeup artist, and careful effort, or the makeup ends up causing more harm than good.

 5. I am represented by an agency/manager

If you are agency represented, you let them do the representing or managing. It is fine to direct inquiries to an agency. However, if they are a real agency they will do the leg work to book jobs. If you represent yourself, don’t say you have an agency or manager.

6. I’ve always been told I should model

We’re sure this is true. However, the opinions of the model’s friends and family are seldom a factor in making casting decisions. Enjoy the compliments you receive, but they don’t belong on your resume or in your casting correspondence.

Nude model outdoors

8 Things a Nude Model Can Do to Win More Jobs

Modeling is competitive and the world of the figure model is no exception. If you work out three times a week, you may lose your next audition to the model who hits the gym five days a week. If you run two miles a day then treat yourself to fried chicken, there’s the girl who runs six miles and never sets foot in a fast-food restaurant. Here are some ideas to stay in shape, showcase your talents, and make sure you stay on top of the list of models who get called back for more work.

  1. Fix your portfolio. Choose recent photos. It’s okay to keep one favorite, but old photos send the message that you’re not hired much. Choose photos that show how good you look; not how good the Photoshop is. Retouched photos make it look like you’re trying to hide something. Remember, it’s not an art exhibit, it’s a visual résumé.
  2. Tone up. You’ve got to work out more than the competition if you’re going to beat them. Find exercise you enjoy so you won’t quit doing it.
  3. Take care of your hair. Baby it. Don’t abuse it. Depending on its length, the ends of your hairs have been hanging around for a year or more. Don’t ruin your hair in one night with harsh chemicals.
  4. Take the interview seriously. If you show up looking like you just rolled out of bed, you won’t get the choicest gigs.
  5. Junk food is the enemy. You can lie to yourself, but your body will not lie to the camera. Treat junk food like a terrorist. Don’t negotiate with junk food. Drinks with whipped cream, anything fried, anything that drips grease, or has added sugar should not pass your lips. Whole, natural foods build a healthy body.
  6. Keep a steady pace. Model regularly and in amounts that you can handle. Don’t overbook and don’t take extended holidays.
  7. Fade those tan lines. Wear a variety of beachwear so you don’t have such bad lines. Use tanning salons, but don’t overdo it. Buy one or more tan-through swimsuits. Use sunscreen. Avoid deep tanning.
  8. Don’t smoke. The link between being smoke-free and a healthy, sexy look is unmistakable.

Nude model outdoors

Sarah is a wonderful model, who applied a few times before I had a project for which she was suited. I've now shot with her several times.

It’s Not (Supposed to Be) Fair

It’s Not Fair

I’ve heard many times, “It’s not fair,” in comment on how some nude models get lots of work while others do not. Often it is the aspiring model, having trouble finding work, who is commenting.

Nude modeling is not supposed to be egalitarian or documentary. Whether the decision maker is the photographer, an art director, or a publisher there is no obligation to take all applicants. Just as with any employment there will always be more applicants than open positions. Even qualified applicants will be turned away.

No, It’s Not Fair, and It’s Not Supposed to Be

Too tall, too short, too heavy, too thin, too male, too female, and any number of other reasons prevent a prospective model from getting the part. There is a misconception among some that if they try hard enough, they can get any part. While I encourage aspiring models not to give up, you have to find your niche. While you’re trying to find your niche you have to be realistic. It may take a long time and you may face a lot of rejection.

Certainly there are those who will accept just about any applicant for their projects. These entry-level projects are a fine way to start, provided they are legitimate opportunities. Most everyone has to start at the bottom and work their way up. It’s one of the few “fair” things about any industry. But most models want to get to the next level. Many expect to be injected right at the top from the very beginning. It’s simply not going to happen.

Meeting the Minimum Requirement is Seldom Enough

Make sure you read the requirements for any casting call. If it says minimum height is 5’6″ and you’re 5’5″ and three quarters, don’t get your hopes up. Even applicants who are 5’7″ are going up against those who are 5’10”. If height is stressed in the casting, they are probably looking for long legs. Unless you are “tall for your height” (leggy), you will still not be the most qualified even if you meet the minimum requirements.

Not every genre of modeling is going to be for you either. No photographer is obligated to shoot in multiple styles or a even a single traditional style. Just because your look is perfect for a popular style of nude photography doesn’t mean you’re a shoe-in for every job.

I had one model write to me “I don’t have the face for fashion or glamour, which is why I am perfect for nudes.” While this makes sense for some genres of nude photography, again it’s not a guarantee of employment. The majority of nude photography de-emphasizes the face to some degree simply by the inclusion of the body. But the degree to which the face is important varies from style to style. There may be more options for an aesthetically pleasing nude without the face than in other types of photography. However, not having the face for glamour doesn’t mean you’re perfect for nudes. (Side note: I did not find the model in question unattractive. I’m not saying who she is, but I photographed her and thought her face was one of the more interesting things about the images.)

Don’t Be Discouraged

If you are an aspiring model, don’t give up after a few rejections. It’s not fair, but you’re not being singled out. I’ve rejected models that were too thin, too busty, too tall, and other reasons that you might think would give them an advantage. The fact is, like other photographers, I’m looking for something in particular for each shoot. You won’t know what that is until you ask us. And like most employment applications, you’re more likely not to get the job than to get it.

I’ve had some models contact me twenty times without being awarded a shoot. I’ve even referred some overly persistent models to other photographers (admittedly with the selfish purpose of getting them off my back). But other models have contacted me multiple times and only found work on the third or fourth contact.

Persistence will help you. Broaden your horizons and look for different types of castings, especially those where you fit in the middle or high end of the requirements. If they want someone 5’4″ or taller and you’re 5’6″, go for it. If they ask for few tattoos and you have zero, don’t forget to mention that. If they want comfort with implied nude and you’ve experience with full nudity, let them know when you apply. Look for those opportunities where you have an unfair advantage.

Sarah is a wonderful model, who applied a few times before I had a project for which she was suited. I've now shot with her several times.

How to Make Sure You Get the Job (for Models)

Models often tell me that they wonder why they didn’t get this modeling gig, or that one. There are a few things you can do to improve your chances, and really stack things in your favor. I’ve photographed hundreds of nude models, and I’ve looked at many applications.

The basics

Make sure you cover the basics. These aren’t tips or secrets; these are the bare minimum. If you don’t do these, you likely won’t get any worthwhile modeling job. Doing these won’t set you apart from other applicants, but if you don’t do them you won’t even get past the front door.

  1. Read the casting call. Don’t apply unless you fit what they are looking for.
  2. Reply with an answer to everything that is asked in the casting call. If it asks for stats, give them; photos, send them.
  3. Include your contact information so they can contact you back.

Here are the Tips for getting the job

Here are some things that many models don’t do but should. These will help set you apart. Many models who worked with me did these things and it helped them get the job.

  1. Look at the photographer’s work. Show him shots that show him how you can fit into what he does.
  2. Get a second opinion before choosing your portfolio shots. If possible, ask a photographer which shots will win more jobs for you.
  3. Include large photos. Photographers want to see details.
  4. Don’t send photoshopped images, or try other ways to hide what you look like. A plain image that is true is better than the best photoshopped image. Photographers don’t care how good a Photoshop guy was with your image (they’re hiring a model, not a Photo retoucher). Photographers notice when a model is trying to hide something, and usually move on to the next applicant.
  5. Follow up. You’ll learn more about the job after you apply, and you should get back in touch with the photographer to give him details that you forgot in your original application. Don’t be a pest, but don’t disappear either.
  6. Don’t use old photos. Use recent ones.

More pointers

  1. You don’t have to send nude photos to get a nude modeling job. Most models don’t send in nudes. A bikini shot is fine to see what you look like. You can send nudes if you want to, but make sure they’re not radically different from the style of the shoot you’re applying for.
  2. Check your email regularly and respond to questions right away.
  3. Don’t apply to so many gigs at once that you can’t keep up with them all.Nude on pool table