Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

My specialty in nude photography is landscape nudes in beautiful locations. In the last year, however, I have also frequently created nude portraits with my models in my photo studio.

My specialty in nude photography is landscape nudes in beautiful locations. In the last year, however, I have also frequently created nude portraits with my models in my photo studio.

My goal was to develop a personal point of view and to bring out the special beauty or charisma of each model. To achieve this, I used three different lighting settings:

Classic portrait light

The classic portrait light setting consists of a large beauty dish as the main light from the front left or right. If necessary, this light is supplemented with a reflector placed on the opposite side and a blue background light. Sometimes I also used backlighting from the left and right back to emphasize the model’s body edges and hair. In each case, I chose the lighting setting that I felt best suited the model and then tried to capture a strong expression of the model in my pictures. In picture 5, I also placed a pane of glass in front of the model and sprayed it with water to create large water droplets. The model was blurred due to the focus on the water drops.

Light from below through a glass table

A commercially available glass table served as the light source for the second light setting. I put a white cloth under the glass table and flashed it from both sides with two standard reflectors. I mounted black cloths around the table. The flashlight could only shine through the glass plate onto the model from below. Due to the direction of the light, this lighting situation only allows for a few suitable poses. On the other hand, the large glass pane creates a very soft light that can work out the body shapes of the model well.

Old ventilation room

There is an old ventilation room in the basement of my photo studio. There the model can pose next to an old ventilation machine in front of a large metal grid. On the other side of the metal grid, I placed two powerful studio flash units with standard reflectors, which illuminate the space around the model through this close-meshed grid. This creates a very effective lighting situation with random shadow patterns on the model’s body. The pose of the model must refer to the direction of the light. In the last picture, I also placed two electronic flash units with colored foils and a smoke machine in the ventilation room. The flashes color the back wall red and blue and the fog machine creates a foggy lighting mood.

As an alternative to full body shots, the metal grid is also very suitable for portrait shots. The grid in combination with a longing look of the model tells the viewer a little story.

Conclusion: For me, portrait shots offer a good supplement to my more form-oriented and classic nude photography. Also the models love these pictures very much because they show them a different aspect of their body and personality.

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