Planning for the Bahamas

I’ve been shooting nudes on the beach and plan to go to the Bahamas soon with several models. I love the way the water and sky look behind the figure. When the light is low in the sky is my favorite. This allows the camera to capture dramatic reflections and shadows.

We will be staying for a week on a small island. This means I will have a total of 14 opportunities for sunrises and sunsets. It is going to be a huge opportunity to spend this much time with so many talented models. I am looking forward to the results!

I have free use of a very suitable beach house that seems on the edge of paradise. With all the great models going, I am expecting to put together a wonderful printed book as well as a digital one. I will raise the remaining money I need (for flying all the models in, food, etc.) with books and other items related to the photography project.

I will keep posting updates. You can follow the project here.

Test Shoot with Krystal for Bahamas Trip

Krystal nude test shoot

Audition shoot with new model, Krystal D R in Orlando. I’ve managed to create a few good photos in difficult circumstances. On my side were: a very attractive subject, more-than-adequate equipment, and four years of art school. On the down side: a ceiling too-low for my 7-foot reflector and a location that looks more like pin-up or boudoir than an art shoot. I still managed to still cut off her finger tips in this shot.

I’ve been down here interviewing a few applicants for a shoot in The Bahamas that will take place in 2015. More to come later!

Get Ready for Your Shoot

Here are a few tips to help you avoid some common pitfalls. If you've been shooting regularly you already know most of these but some are specific to my style.

In General

  • Make sure I know about tattoos, so I can have makeup ready
  • Minimize tan lines and pale body parts.

Three days before the shoot:

  • Take care of your skin. Avoid sun exposure, tanning salons. Use sunscreen on your neck and bare shoulders to avoid strap lines.
  • Avoid getting cuts and bruises.
  • Stay moisturized.

48 hours before the shoot:

  • Get some moderate exercise.
  • Get rid of body hair today or tomorrow depending on how long it normally takes your skin to recover.
  • Exfoliate dry skin, don’t forget your feet. Exfoliate lips if needed.
  • If this is your first nude shoot get a restful sleep tonight. You may be a too excited the night before the shoot to get enough rest.

24 hours before the shoot:

  • Avoid staining your teeth: tea, coffee, cigarettes; they all show up on the image.
  • Pack your stuff. See my post Model’s Survival Kit for ideas.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol. Eat sensibly.
  • Stretch. Stay limber.
  • Stay active enough to burn off any excess energy before bedtime, but don’t do any marathon workouts today. Stay hydrated. Get a full night's rest if you can.

Day of the shoot

  • Don't wear anything tight on the way over. This includes socks and jeans! This avoids elastic lines. You can bring lingerie for the warm-up shoot, but don't wear it until we're ready to use it.
  • Bring a government-issued photo ID that shows your date of birth (Driver's license, passport, military ID, etc.) Bring a second form of ID (Other photo ID, birth certificate, student ID, etc.)
  • If needed, moisturize feet, elbows, hands, anywhere that could get dry.
  • Navigation: Get in touch if you're lost, don't be embarrassed, just ask.
  • Please let me know ASAP if you're going to be late or can't make it, please don't be a no-show without saying.
  • Phone: Keep to a minimum as we work. If you need to, ask to take a break.

What to bring

  • Bring your makeup to the shoot in case of touchup.
  • Bring a few pretty outfits for warmup. Something you might wear to a wedding or party usually works well.
  • Bring a robe, sweater, or other coverup in case you get cold on breaks.
  • Bring some items that can be worn as a focal point of an otherwise nude photo: a scarf, hat, gloves, shoes, even an open shirt worn on it's own.

Prop Ideas

  • Musical instruments
  • Anything old, whether it is roller skates, a tea service, or croquet set.

Makeup & Grooming:



General: The camera sees every detail. Makeup should be applied sparingly and blended well to look natural. Unless we're shooting a makeup ad, the look should be about you not the makeup. Stay away from sparkles, they just like like white dots in photos.

Skin: Use only as much foundation as you need. The same thing goes for concealer.

Lips: pinks are better than red.  Lip liner should blend naturally.

Eyes: You can be a little more dramatic with eyeliner, shadow, and mascara.

Nails: fingernails and toenails trim and smooth. Nail polish color should be light and not bright. Pale pink, beige, French, buff, etc. are all great.

Hair: Please don't try anything drastic with your hair. You need to show up looking the way you looked in the portfolio images you used to book this shoot.

Recommended/Not Recommended Makeup:

Mascara Yes!
Lipstick/gloss Yes
Eye Shadow Yes
Eye liner Yes
Nail polish Yes
Waxing/shaving Yes
Concealer Optional
False Eyelashes Optional
Lip Liner Optional
Hair Color See above
Colored Contacts No
Foundation No