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True Confessions of Nude Photography: A Step-by-Step Guide to Recruiting Beautiful Models, Lighting, Photographing Nudes, Post-Processing Images, and Maybe Even Getting Paid to Do It. (second edition) Paperback – 15 May 2012


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More About the Author

A. K. Nicholas is an American photographer with a passion for collaborating with models and sharing knowledge. His vision is colored by being raised abroad and traveling to dozens of countries, including museum visits and other cultural experiences. In the Middle East, he observed how women's bodies were hidden from public view; in most of Europe, there was little prudishness. In his youth, he put in his dues clerking and staffing the darkroom of a camera store. His background includes an art degree, a long stint as a freelance artist, and a career as a professional photographer. His first camera was hand-made from an oatmeal box for a middle-school project. His first nude shoot was a complete surprise to him when a classmate in college assumed that his invitation to model meant for her to be nude. In the decades since then, he has photographed hundreds of nude models for publication in books, articles, as framed prints, product advertisements, stock agencies, and gallery exhibits. His exhibit work consists mainly of photomontage, sometimes printed life-sized. These days, when he picks up a camera, it is to fulfill a personal calling and not the agenda of a client. He is happiest when working on creative projects and devotes as much time as possible to new ideas. His second favorite thing is helping others further their artistic endeavors. He writes to help you learn from his experience, including how to avoid some common mistakes and to encourage your creativity.

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About the Author

A. K. Nicholas is an American photographer with a passion for collaborating with models and sharing knowledge. His vision is colored by being raised abroad and traveling to dozens of countries, including museum visits and other cultural experiences. In the Middle East, he observed how women hid their bodies from public view; in most of Europe, there was little prudishness. In his youth, he put in his dues clerking and staffing the darkroom of a camera store. His background includes an art degree, a long stint as a freelance artist, and a career as a professional photographer. His first camera was hand-made from an oatmeal box for a middle-school project. His first nude shoot was a complete surprise to him when a classmate in college assumed that his invitation to model meant for her to be nude. In the decades since then, he has photographed hundreds of nude models for publication in books, articles, as framed prints, product advertisements, stock agencies, and gallery exhibits. His exhibit work consists mainly of photomontage, sometimes printed life-sized. These days, when he picks up a camera, it is to fulfill a personal calling and not the agenda of a client. He is happiest when working on creative projects and devotes as much time as possible to new ideas. His second favorite thing is helping others further their artistic endeavors. He writes to help you learn from his experience, including how to avoid some common mistakes and to encourage your creativity.

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Amazon.com: 9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
True Confessions of Nude Photography 1 Aug 2012
By loritatarsmith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"True Confessions of Nude Photography" by A.K. Nicholas is much like a primer for those just getting started in the world of photography. With great advice like the importance of a great lens, (and no, five mediocre lenses are not as good as one really good one), to marketing your product and building a name for yourself, any photographer will find something of value within these pages.
Nicholas offers plenty of photos in the book, along with boxes that depict specific elements of the text as well as highlighted terminology for look-up in the appendix, if necessary. All of these things make it very easy to read and flip right to exactly what you want. The author recognizes the importance of actually taking the photos and gaining the experience rather than getting bogged down with a bunch of reading.
There are great recommendations for portfolio-building, especially for a portfolio of nudes; mainly, take it slowly and build gradually. A portfolio doesn't happen overnight and any photographer has to build the confidence of his or her models. Aaron Nicholas shows you how in "True Confessions of Nude Photography".
How do you advertise? How much do you pay a model? Where do you shoot? What about a web page? It's all in here. There are also tips for the models so you get the best photos possible, without anxiety and tell-tale tan lines.
The book focuses on digital photography and electronic communications. Many areas would still be valuable to old-schoolers, but be aware the emphasis is on the use of current technology.
Learn what to do if you need a color chart but can't afford one, or maybe just misplaced yours. Learn about props, how to cover tattoos and the components of a model release.
Like a great lens, using the proper lighting is critical to capturing the best images. There is a whole section on different types of lights for a variety of needs and budgets. Just like starting slowly with your portfolio, the same is said for the equipment you use. Build on what you have as time goes on. Nicholas even includes information on simply using available light, translation: no special equipment.
Fantastic examples of a wide variety of poses are included accompanied by graphics to demonstrate how the viewer's eye is drawn, based on the model's pose. The use of furniture and props, or lack thereof, to enhance the pose and the mood is discussed and expanded on.
Do you need more than one model in a shoot? The topic is touched upon.
Learn about composition with a very basic mathematical equation that the greatest artists used, including Leonardo da Vinci. If you want to spend more time doing actual photography than touching up and refinishing, learn how here. In fact, my favorite quote from the book can be found on page 107, "... Do not allow post-processing to become a crutch or substitute for a disciplined approach to lighting,
correct exposure, and attention to composition." Don't fear, though; there are still a lot of tips for perfecting the shot after it's been taken.
Maybe you have been taking great photographs of comfortable, expert models and know everything you need to about Photoshop and other software programs. Maybe all you need to do is market your material to gain an audience and start making a living. Suggestions for that are also included.
"True Confessions of Nude Photography" by A.K. Nicholas is a great guide for the novice, and covers a lot of territory in a brief, concise and easy to understand manner with plenty of examples. It will not disappoint novice or professional photographers. There is something here for anyone who wants to do or is currently doing nude photography. Many pointers can be used for other types of photos as well. This book is as important to photographers as a thesaurus is to scholars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Learn from a Master... 29 Jun 2012
By Steve Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The best way to learn any subject is to apprentice under the guidance of a master and when it comes to learning the techniques of nude photography, A.K. Nicholas is a master. However, he doesn't have room in his studio to house the thousands of prospective students who want to learn his techniques. So he has done the next best thing.
In the greatly expanded second edition of True Confessions of Nude Photography Nicholas translates complicated technical terms and techniques into easily understandable language for the novice photographer. Even skilled amateur and professional photographers in other photographic fields will find his explanations, diagrams, and examples of the female nude expertly rendered.
But True Confessions is more than a photographic thesis. Nicholas has taken the time to highlight the pitfalls most amateur photographers make when approaching prospective models. He walks you through the first approach to a prospective model; what tools are needed to let the model make the decision to pose; how to vette the model; when to set up the shoot and how to negotiate compensation.
And as most novices have no idea how to set up a studio or what equipment to use, Nicholas explains, not only what to buy, but how his twenty years experience has helped him determine the bare minimum equipment needed as well as what a fully equipped studio should contain in the way of backdrops, props, lighting, and camera equipment.
In addition, Nicholas has made the effort to accelerate the photographer's mastery of the nude female form by including chapters on how and why certain poses work, the nature of composition, and how post-processing of images can enhance the photograph through contrast, cropping, isolating, and retouching.
But what good is the skill to create a perfect image without the ability to sell your work? Nicholas has also included a chapter on how to market your work thorugh art galleries, online websites, to game companies, and by creating published works of your photographs.
And, finally, in addition to the reference material, Nicholas has provided private online links to his own work (password required), a sample nude model release, suggested areas of further study, and a list of what every model should be prepared to have with her during the photography session.
In True Confessions of Nude Photography A.K. Nicholas has provided a complete blueprint for a photographer interested in expanding his techniques beyond available light landscapes and rigid portraiture into a world of classic beauty as old as Greek and Roman sculpture.

Steven W. Johnson
Author: Not Much of a Crime
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Very pleased 13 May 2014
By Mastiff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very detailed book that not only shows equipment but poses and positions. This book addressed both the technical side as well as the artistic side.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nude Photography 11 Oct 2013
By Jack Stanley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good book of basics, good reference along with the web items you can access have helped improve my art photography.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
From Start to finish, a great book 13 Jan 2013
By Rick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book covers everything, from recruiting models, to camera gear, to composition, to lighting. It even has a downloadable posing guide that comes with it. I would purchase it again, and will reference it in the future. Great book!
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