Nude Photography For Advertising
The above nude image was part of a beauty assignment I did in South Africa for an Italian cosmetics client. The team which flew out there must have been about ten people but not everybody was there to work directly on the photography.
This particular day had been extremely hectic, since we were unable to start as early as I would have liked and there had already been a shoot on the beach that morning with the same model followed by another shoot at a rented house nearby. It then took an hour or so in the mini van to reach the final location before we started the hard walk up to the waterfall.
Time was running short since the light was starting to go and to make matters worse the waterfall was hidden in an area which would soon be cast in total shadow. It was clear that some of the team would arrive more slowly, but we couldn’t afford to miss the shot, so myself, the model and the assistant pushed forward with both the assistant and I carrying fairly heavy loads. I’ve mentioned it in my book where I discuss several examples in greater detail that it helps to be fit as a photographer if you want to get certain images and this was a shoot good example.
When we arrived, there were just minutes left to grab the image before the area became shrouded in darkness, so we found a suitable rock for the model to stand on, but I couldn’t quite find the angle I needed from the side of the bank, so I had no option but to go in the water up to my chest with the Hasseblad on a tripod. Remember that Africa is Africa, so standing in water like that for very long is never a good idea. You don’t know what what else might be in the water…
I wanted just a little blur in the water for good effect but at the same time I had to ensure that the tripod and camera didn’t shake too much with the moving water or the image would be ruined. I also wanted to avoid using flash or other artificial light so that we could preserve a natural look.
A couple weights were added to the tripod to maintain stability, but it was important not to add too much or it could have collapsed and I was in no hurry to see my beloved Hasselblad fall into the water. Light readings were taken quickly with the ever reliable Gossen Sixtomat lightmeter and I managed to race through about 30 images working at a fast pace before the last useful light disappeared. It was quite an adventure and I loved it!
Situations like this where a professional photographer is working outdoors in tricky situations with a nude model but has to come back with the images that a client needs for the advertising campaign are truly the best moments in photography from my experience.