Helping Photographers Understand the HOWS & WHYS behind Great Photography

Can I be an artistic nude model if I want to sign with a modeling agency?

 
 

NO modeling agency will encourage you to be an artistic nude model.

The simple reason is that corporate advertising clients do not want the people who represent them appearing in nude or erotic pictures. Primarily because one person’s art is another person’s pornography, modeling agencies must take a very conservative approach when it comes to anything dealing with nudity.

As a result, very few men or women who work as an artistic nude model are also signed by modeling agencies.  Almost all artistic nude work is booked on a freelance basis and not through modeling agencies.

That being said… LOTS of models still do it.  If you want to be an artistic nude model AND an agency model, you must be very careful and respect the conservative approach that your modeling agency will take on the matter.

Important things to consider before becoming an artistic nude model

Understand that an artistic nude model is a freelance model who participates in the creative process of shooting fine art images.  I am not referring to pornography and I am definitely not encouraging any model to pursue that as option.

Wait until you are at least 25 years old.

If you are comfortable with your body and want to express yourself artistically without clothes – there is NOTHING wrong with that. Legally, you can pose nude beginning at age 18.  The reality is that while many of you think you have life figured out by age 18 – you still have no idea where your life is going to take you.  You MUST be careful about creating images that you may regret or that will prevent you from advancing in life at a later date. Most people have a much better sense of themselves and where they are going in life by the age of 25.  If you are living a healthy life and taking care of your body, you will look every bit as good naked at 25 as you will at age 18.

So if you do start posing nude in your late teens or early twenties, BE SMART and BE Careful.

Never use your real name – use a STAGE NAME

When you are posing as a fine art nude model always work under a stage name so that if an image is posted online and your name is associated with it – it is not going to show up under your real name when a modeling agency, client or future employer Googles you.

In order to use a stage name, NEVER shoot without signing a modeling release.  When signing the release, in the space where you print your name you would print your real legal name followed by the letters “DBA” and then your stage name.  DBA stands for “Doing Business As”.

Also, be sure to hand write a note on the release that says your real name is never to be associated or displayed along with the photographs and then initial that statement in addition to signing the release.

Ask for final approval

If you can… get the photographer to agree to a statement on the release that allows you to have a say in what photographs are used and how they are used.  Keep in mind that if you are getting paid by the photographer – they will probably not agree to this – but it can’t hurt to ask.

Use common sense

If a photographer is asking you to spread your legs and telling you that the shadows will make sure nobody sees anything. . . that’s fine if you are ok with the creative concept – but ask to see some samples of the shots as you are shooting so that you can be comfortable that the finished photograph is as described and not something that is purely pornographic.

Bottom line – If you intend to work professionally through modeling agencies – it is a risk to be a fine art nude model, but if you are smart about it and are careful to create only beautiful imagery and not sexually explicate images and if you work under a stage name, you will probably be able to get away with it.

Regardless – be smart and be careful.

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