Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to Shoot Nudes Like a Pro!

If you're a long-ish-time reader, you know I don't often pimp stuff. (Other than my ego.) That's not to say I don't pimp. I do. But I've never wanted this to be just another photography blog more interested in pimping photography products than meaningful discussions on this thing we do-- this pretty girl shooting thing.

But I do pimp!

And I'm going to do some pimping right now.

A veteran pretty girl shooter in the U.K., Ashley Karyl, has put together an e-book titled, How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional. Ashley, I should mention, is a guy. Those Brits can be gender-benders when it comes to first names, can't they? Course, we had Johnny Cash and his boy named Sue. My staying-on-topic, writing attention disorder aside, Ashley's title is clear and concise and describes, in simple words, the book's subject.

None of us, I'm guessing, are hoping to shoot nudes like an amateur. Hence, Ashley's book's title. You might already know how little surfing it takes--present PGS blog company excepted, of course--to understand how many folks, GWCs and others, are accomplishing the feat of shooting amateurish looking images... obviously, without the help of helpful books like How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional.

To fight the tide of amateurish pretty girl photography--Hey! If you have the girl you might as well shoot her well--Ashley took on the daunting task of authoring and publishing a comprehensive text, with plenty of accompanying pretty girl photos, covering the art and craft of nude photography. This book serves it all: From soup to nuts! (Well, most all. Nothing can include it all. I'm just sayin.)

(Side Note: I don't know about you, but I've never ended a meal with nuts. In fact, I can't ever remember being served nuts for dessert. Fruits yes. Nuts no. Unless it was pecan pie or some nut-laden ice cream or other nutty concoction. I don't know how that "soup to nuts" saying got started. I have been told, however, and on more than a few occasions, that someone wanted to serve me my nuts on a silver platter. But that saying has a much different connotation. And it has little to do with desserts... except for the (would-be) server believing that doing so, i.e, serving me my nuts, would be my "just desserts." Again, I'm just sayin.)


Not only is Ashley's e-book a great learning tool, it doesn't assume all its readers are stuck shooting amateurish photos. This book is as equally helpful to those starting out (shooting pretty girls in the buff) as it is for advanced hobbyists and pros alike. To accomplish this, you might guess, How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional is a very thorough text on the subject.

From the gear to the girls, this e-book leaves little out. As Karyl states in his e-book's intro, and I'll paraphrase, he intended to write about lighting and quickly realized a more thorough look at the craft would be much more helpful to his book's readers.

I agree! While lighting is important, very important, it ain't the end all/be all of good photography regardless of what your camera is pointed at.

To answer the question, who is this book for? Ashley advises--and once again, I'm paraphrasing--the book is for those who are passionate about photography and who have specific interests in photographing female nudes in various forms and genres. He adds that the book targets the advanced hobbyist who already thinks "professionally," as well as working pros themselves. How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional assumes its readers have a basic understanding of Photoshop, are already shooting nudes or hope to begin doing so, and have a working knowledge of their camera gear and other tools needed to produce exceptional images of the naked female form.

I give this pretty girl shooting e-book an enthusiastic thumbs up!

If you want to learn more about Ashley Karyl's, How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional, or you're interested in purchasing a copy for yourself, CLICK HERE or on the graphic link to the book located in the right-side side column of this page.

The pretty girl at the top is one I snapped of glam-model, Nikita Lea, a few years back. She's awfully purdy, no?


Bill Giles said...

Thanks. Did you ever finish your PGS DVD?

jimmyd said...

@Bill, No. It's still in prod/post prod. it's taking more time than anticipated.

D.L. Wood said...

"I don't know how that "soup to nuts" saying got started"

I checked with Cecil at The Straight Dope dot com. I shortened it up a bit.

According to my Dictionary of Idioms:

From Soup to Nuts

Meaning: the whole thing from beginning to end

Origin: For centuries, any foods served at the beginning or end of a meal stood for the entire thing: the start and finish and everything in between. This expression was "from eggs to apples" and "from pottage to cheese." In the United States in the middle of the 20th century, the expression developed into "from soup to nuts." At many meals, soup is often the first course and a dessert with nuts is sometimes the last. The expression does not have to refer to only to meals, however. It could be the selection of goods for sale or classes offered.


SDSTAFF Lara concludes:

I don't know if the Dictionary of Idioms explanation rings quite true for me. Desserts that contain nuts are *sometimes* served? Groan.

According to most of the British authors I read, the last course of a meal is port and nuts. But only for the men, I believe. I think the women had to go sequester themselves elsewhere and drink coffee or something until the men got tired of drinking port and joined them. Which of course begs the question, how did *that* get started? At any rate this is a British custom, and "from soup to nuts" is an American idiom. But still it seems clear that in some form or another nuts were considered the last course in a good meal, while soup was the first. And I think that covers this one from soup to nuts.

— Songbird, Dogster, and Lara

Thanks for the recommendation of the ebook. It's nice when someone that is in the profession will pass along another photographers offerings.I will definitely give it a look.

I would probably be classified as a GWC. Although I don't shoot models at the present time I would like to in the future. So I am always looking for good information to expand my photography knowledge.

I also am like Bill. We, as well as your legions of fans, await to shower you with untold riches when we purchase the eagerly anticipated PGS-dvd. My birthday is coming up in April. As luck I can get the family to spring for it as a present for ole Dad?

D.L. Wood

Von R Buzard said...

I'm looking forward to the DVD

I photographed Nikita myself a number of years ago. Did she get out of the biz? seems like she fell off the face of the earth

jimmyd said...

@Von R Buzard,

I have no idea what happened to Nikita. Great model! Fun and easy to work with. She was quite an "in-demand" model for a while. Like you, haven't heard from her, or anything related to her, in some time.

jimmyd said...

@D.L. Wood,

Thanks so much for the soup-to-nuts answer to the origin of the soup-to-nuts adage!

Lee said...

Well I bought the book and I'm not sure if there is something different about me or wrong with me but I didn't get a whole lot of insight from it. Hire the best looking models you can and make sure you plan the shoot completely were not revelations.

Nothing actually wrong with the information but nothing particularly useful either. Or maybe I'm better at this than I thought. Wouldn't that be nice? lol

jimmyd said...


What can I say? These things cant be all things to all people. Personally, I think it's an excellent source of info for many aspiring and current photographers who are, or want to be, shooting nudes. Plus, you might be right! Perhaps you're a more advanced pretty girl shooter than you had been giving yourself credit for being. That's a good thing, right? Not a hefty price to pay for the positive, self validation. :-)

Anonymous said...

I bought this book a while ago and to be fair it has to be said that with more than 300 pages of text and lots of images it covers a lot more than just saying you should hire the best looking models and prepare for your shoots! Like Jimmy I think the book is excellent.