The implied nude image is very popular in today’s boudoir photography. The image by definition does not show body parts that would be considered part of a nude image. These photographs allow the client to appear very sexy while remaining modest. It creates a photograph they could “show their mother.”
There is a art to creating the this look, and the photographer should be aware of the variety of ways to create this look. The primary methods are props, poses, shadows and Photoshop. Sometimes a combination is used to create that perfect photograph.
The easiest way is through the use of props. A perfect example was the recent issue of GQ where Jennifer Aniston used a men’s tie to cover her body. A sheet is often used, held to cover key areas, yet exposing as much as possible. In my studio I often use a simple wooden chair, where careful posing can hide the few key inches here and there.
Poses are where a photographer’s skill comes more into the mix. For a great image, it really needs to look as if the pose was not trying to hide body parts, but the hiding was merely incidental. The typical example of a “bad” image is the hands grabbing the chest to hide it. A draped arm like is this sample covers the body, yet remains classy.
Shadows are the most difficult method for a photographer to master. Understanding exactly how the light will fall is key to success. I prefer to work with modeling lights when possible to allow me to more easily visualize how the shadows fall so I can fine tune the pose and the light placement. Other times I go from experience in environments where this level of control is not possible.
Finally I include Photoshop. Typically this is used to remove a thong strap from a photograph for the client to create the look while allowing their modesty during the shoot. Many women, who are comfortable being topless at a photo shoot, do not want to be totally nude. With the use of Photoshop they can still get the photographs they want to have created and be within their comfort zone.
It is pretty easy to see how a combination of these methods can be used to create a greater variety of options for implied nude photographs. Most of my images usually use a combination of methods, allowing me to make sure there is something unique for each client.
Boudoir clients often want to be very sexy, yet still be conservative. Implied nudes fill that need making them a great addition to boudoir and glamour photographer’s bag of tricks.