Three Go-To Poses for Fine Art Nude Models

The possibilities for expression are endless. There is no clothing to detract from the subject, just the model in all their purity.

The body language of your subject will communicate a great deal about the intent of your photograph. If the model is curled up in a ball, with hands drawn in and head slightly downward, that often communicates insecurity and a somewhat self-protective pose. A subject standing tall, elongating with hands on the hips communicates confidence and strength.

Pose 1: Knee Tucked Over, Hip Out

The foundation for so many different poses.

The subject tucks her right knee over her left, and really sticks out her right hip.

She bends at the waist and pulls up through the chest.

To keep the form clean, she is raising her left arm above her head, and touches her right arm to her shoulder.

Same pose from higher position.

Modifications of this pose can also be made to create an "implied nude." By placing an arm over the chest and having the groin in shadow, now the nude becomes implied.

Pose 2: Turned to Side, Front Leg Up, Chest Lifted Up

Great for photographing your subject in profile or in silhouette.

Turned slightly to the side, the subject slightly raises the knee closest to the camera and arches their lower back. They can raise their knee by simply going up on toe, or by using a small apple box (½ or ¼ apple box).

While arching the lower back, the subject should still lift the chest to help tighten the stomach area and create lift in the chest. To emphasize the curve in the lower back, the subject may lean forward at the chest lightly while still elongating. Again, endless variation is available based on arm position, hand position, and negative space. To help lift the chest, the subject can raise their arms to a position above the head to firm and lift.

Same pose different angles.

Consider moving the arms to the hips, waist, or chest for differing compositions. As seen in Image 5, this pose is great for subtly in fine art nude posing when other elements are meant to dominate the frame — in this case the creative lighting effect.

Pose 3: On Side, Top Knee Over

In this pose the subject will lay on one leg to the side. The bottom leg carries the weight, slightly bent at the knee. The top leg is bent over (hip kicked up). The subject supports their weight (softly) with the outside arm. Here the inside arm is raised to the next. Notice the softly pointed feet helping lend to the elegance of the image and the relaxed fingers.

This pose also lends itself to variety. Change position of the inside arm for a wide range of poses (here, on the floor).

Keeping the exact same leg position, you can even have the model lay towards the ground for a more dramatic reclining position.

In Image 8 we have used this pose (with the subject reclining further to the side) in order to make a compelling silhouette. The model turns her head so the profile of her face is caught by the same light carving out her form.

For more information: Feature excerpt from Lindsay Adler’s Fine Art Nude