Since I joined MM in early May, about 50 photographers have asked me to be a subject for their lense(s)...about 40/50 of those photographers are asking for me to pose nude. I've been struggling a lot financially and it is tempting, but I had a negative and unfavorable experience occur while I was younger and will not pose for legal/business related reasons. Is the reason women are more often paid better for these types of shoots because it is implied there is more value to a naked body vs. a clothed body? If so, in what sense is there more value to her naked body? Are there any models reading this who have posed nude more out of desperation/for the money rather than having thoroughly enjoyed this type of work?
Jun 01 12 09:42 pm Link
Atlanta, Georgia, US
Well things have changed a lot in the 111 years you have been around, but yes it's a supply and demand issue. There are fewer nude models so they tend to be able to charge more.
Personally I would only do what you are comfortable with, you can't undo these types of decisions.
Jun 01 12 09:50 pm Link
Amundsen-Scott - permanent station of the US, Unclaimed Sector, Antarctica
Just remember, whatever gets posted on the internet becomes free game for all to see. So think wisely before making the decision.
Jun 01 12 09:52 pm Link
Brooklyn, New York, US
Some people are comfortable working nude, some are not and don't. If you have no interest or desire for it you should try to get catalog work for clothes; Macy's, JC Penny and others.
But if you ever want to shoot nude I'll shoot with you and I promise after 10 minutes you won't feel naked.
Jun 01 12 09:56 pm Link
Indianapolis, Indiana, US
I thought nudes paid more because nude work generates more money?
Jun 01 12 10:03 pm Link
Yes, I see there are a fewer models willing to pose nude, and there must be a good reason for it? I know the pornography industry is lucrative, but there must be some REASON there are fewer models willing to pose nude. I'm not sure if there's just a stigma about posing nude, or if there is actually something unethical about it that leads a model to intuitively decline these types of offers. Yes, a lot has changed in 111 years. For one, people can now click there way into a sexual experience in front of a throbbing neon screen. I'm not sure if that's progressive or not.
Jun 01 12 10:08 pm Link
Mnemosyne Photography wrote:
Yes, I believe that is partly true. However all of the photographers that have asked me to pose nude say that it is just for their portfolios and that the photos "won't go anywhere" and that the images are not being sold. So, I'm not quite sure who is making money in situations like these, or if there are just people who lie about this kind of stuff.
Jun 01 12 10:11 pm Link
Atlanta, Georgia, US
I think it takes a certain type of person to stand around nakkid on a busy set for a few hours. As for the stigma, not so much within the fashion industry but perhaps outside of it (in the USA that is).
Jun 01 12 10:54 pm Link
I didn't know there was anything wrong with pornography, so I didn't know I insulted anyone. Thanks for your honesty though. I just looked up pornography and it means: World English Dictionary
Jun 01 12 11:47 pm Link
Los Angeles, California, US
I hope you realized something can be fully clothed and pornographic.
Jun 01 12 11:57 pm Link
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
If you give 100 photographers $100 and tell them they can hire any model they like - most of them will hire a 'nude' model rather than a clothed one.
I've no idea why!
Jun 02 12 12:19 am Link
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
Modeling nude affects every facet of one's present and future life, and is not to be taken lightly.
It's perfectly ok for you to not want to llama nude. It isn't for everyone, and you shouldn't feel the need to explain yourself to anyone.
Jun 02 12 12:21 am Link
New York, New York, US
I pay for client work (or rather the client does) and I pay for my fine art work. I'm currently doing a series of fashion nudes for a gallery, for that, I will pay my models out of pocket (I get a stipend to produce the work, so in a sense, I'm not really out of pocket, however if the pieces don't sell, I won't get continued representation). I don't consider the work pornographic, and I don't think the galleries that represent me, nor their clients feel that way either.
Jun 02 12 12:47 am Link
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Drew Smith Photography wrote:
I'd buy a new backdrop and get a TF model lol
Jun 02 12 12:57 am Link
Hollywood, Florida, US
My take on the reason why models are more likely to get paid for nude modeling here on model mayhem is this...
High Fashion and lifestyle photography is the big money maker in the industry because it directly services big business and advertising. The professional models get paid extremely well because they help sell products. Most models here want to be in those ranks. It's in their best interests to search out and work with many different photographers to develop and build their portfolios, thus making the photographer the valuable commodity in the equation.
Glamour/nude photography appeals to the basic consumer who enjoys looking at desirable models. Most amateur photographers here are basic consumers who want to develop their skills and build a portfolio that may allow them to eventually earn money doing so. Practice makes perfect, so the model becomes the valuable commodity in this equation.
Artistic nude photography is mostly a self gratification endeavor that appeals solely to the artist/photographer. Again, the model is the valuable commodity here. The model may be a big fan of this kind of photography and might want to trade his/her time for a beautiful work of art featuring themselves, and in this case, the images are the valuable commodity.
That's just my take...
Jun 02 12 01:05 am Link
Eureka, California, US
I think that there are several reasons why fewer models are willing to to pose nude, including societal pressure from repressive religious upbringing, tendency to associate or equate nudity with sexuality and pornography, and body self-image.
I would question the intentions of someone who stated that they wanted to shoot nudes but would never show them to anyone.
Jun 02 12 01:09 am Link
Los Angeles, California, US
Forgive me if I begin with what you know: Model Mayhem allows beginning models such as yourself to compile a good portfolio by choosing photographers that can add value to your portfolio, and, in turn, they can get images that allow them to burnish their own portfolios, and there is no expectation of profit from the images, unless the shoot is designed to produce stock images or a photographer or model has an arrangement with a third party--a beginning online magazine for example. This evening I printed 8X10s for my portfolio that will allow me to demonstrate to prospective clients how my images look in print (rather dazzling and much more so than on the web) and will help me land paying projects. None of the photos are of nudes.
I didn't pay the models of MM who were so nice to pose for me. However, if I were to do nudes I would expect to pay unless it was part of a fashion shoot for her portfolio and she decided she wanted to go beyond implied.
As at least one photographer mentioned he does nudes for galleries, for exhibitions, and thus, there is commercial expectation of profit. A good nude image is easy to sell, whether it be to an online site or for commercial print. A fashion image of an unknown model that has no product relationship is more difficult to sell from a TF shoot.
While a model may enter into an agreement that the images are to remain private if she poses nude, it is helpful to her if she intends to do projects with photographers if she puts them on MM and thus, she will land more paying projects.
I looked at your profile, your physical stats, and also your portfolio and you have a great look and you may be able to land fashion work, even editorial, without ever going nude, but it is sometimes a great struggle. Also, in fashion, in the U.S. nudes are becoming more common in model's portfolios, partly due to the influence from European fashion and advertising.
I wish you good luck and, I hope modelling breaks doors wide open for you.
Jun 02 12 01:16 am Link
Binghamton, New York, US
I would hire a model that does nudes first do to the sole reason less hage ups and drama!!
Just my 2 cents worth!
Jun 02 12 01:38 am Link
Las Vegas, Nevada, US
There are several factors that made nude models more valuable.
It's easier to monetize nude images (or at least implied) than is it women fully clothed.
There is not much of a market for generic photos of clothed woman that has any creativity to it.
Sure you can do stock photos, but I rather go flip burgers than that. I met a very successful stock photo producer and he told me it ruined photography for him, now it's just a job. But he does make a lot of money with it. But then the images are very specific themes and require more investment in wardrobe and props.
Fashion images only make you money if you are hired by the designer or clothing company.
Headshots are sold as a service to the Model/Actor
A large part of art and fine art has always been nude for hundreds of years. It would be very hard to sell a modern day photograph like a Mona Lisa.
Nude solves the wardrobe problem and cuts down on wardrobe cost and the photos are less dated due to clothing styles.
Nude models will also be more comfortable in general in revealing or implied shots also and don't constantly worry about covering up.
And then add that most of the photographers are men and men like to look at nude women.
And then you add one step further the guys that got into this really only to be around pretty nude woman because that the only opportunity to actually interact with them in their life.
All of those factors are the reason many photographers value nude models more. I usually just skip a model that does not pose nude or implied. Unless she has an amazing set of features or a look that would fit perfectly into something else I'm shooting.
There are exceptions to the rule of people I have met in person and know personally that I will work with just because I like their look and personality and of course I have non-nude project that they would fit.
As far as paying I generally don't pay models. They pay me with cash or a signed release and this I later monetize the images some how hopefully.
Jun 02 12 01:42 am Link
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Mnemosyne Photography wrote:
You think that nude work "generates " more money than fashion work ?
Jun 02 12 02:23 am Link
Jordan Bunniie wrote:
yes, like tight fitting clothing that accentuates the nakedness underneath?
Jun 02 12 04:50 am Link
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
For a lot photographers and models money doesn't enter into it at all. I've shot about 150 nude models in the last couple of years and haven't paid them and they haven't paid me.
It's a cliche but some of us do it just to celebrate and create depictions of beauty or intensity or emotion different to any style you get when a model is clothed.
Many of the models I've worked with have never shot nude before and most of these only do it as a one-off because they really like a concept and/or want to see themselves depicted in this way - even if only once.
The whole nude-as-desperate or second rate or quasi-pornographic really insults a lot of men and women who have the courage and passion to take a risk and shoot nude in front of a total stranger because they believe in his/her concept/theme or style.
Jun 02 12 05:09 am Link
Brooklyn, New York, US
You're not sure it there is a stigma about nude modeling ???!!!
Jun 02 12 05:13 am Link
Supply and Demand.
I have worked with models that "only wanted money" and actually hates posing nude.
To me, I think the art suffers a little when you work with that type of model... It's not 100% all of the time... but sometimes it does.
If you want to pose nude, great... if you don't... also great.
But what I don't understand is why people even ask a model to pose nude and willing to PAY that person without having seen what they are getting.. I never understood that... when people do that it makes me think they just want to pay you to get naked then actually concerned about their art.
I wouldn't pay a model that had a portfolio full of nothing but mask pics and her face was covered in all of her shots... why would I pay a model to do nudes based on swim suit/lingerie shots?
Anyway, I'm rambling... The human form is worth more because less people are willing to do it.
Jun 02 12 05:19 am Link
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Cutting thru the crap ... Men love pics of nude women. Playboy (and all that followed) proves the lengths men will go to in order to view naked women. Because Americans are particularly hypocritical around this type of topic, our culture has made nude modeling more taboo than some others (leaving out of consideration countries that exile, torture and kill open minded women). Weigh your concerns. If showing up nude somewhere will affect your life negatively ... duh ... don't do it. But if you feel the money (or self-expression, or whatever) is valuable to YOU, then strip and click. Although the end result MAY result in more exposure, you'll likely find your experience with an accomplished photographer who takes pride and displays that result, over the "personal collector" who claims the shots will never show up anywhere. Common sense will guide you if you let it ... Good luck.
Jun 02 12 05:23 am Link
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
The reality is "Fashion" or non-nude photography is a CLIENT BASED thing, and there is no money at all in "portfolio" work. The only money is from a CLIENT paying to show off THEIR fashion, and make money on that. And, that market is *VERY* limited, and unless you can break into it, there is almost no chance of success. Local "fashion" markets are usually unpaid, trade for some clothes or "exposure" etc. You need to follow the MONEY.
Nudes are "timeless" and have a broad market. There are not fashion bound. So, the demand/use/etc for nude llamas is much greater in the overall market. Also, people will pay to photograph a nude girl. Workshops can be set up where people who have no hope or chance of ever doing on thier own can pay a fee, and see/photograph naked girls. Again, supply/demand.
It has nothing to do with being more "valuable." In fact, most legitimate fashion work is much more expensive, well paid, and overall higher priced than any nude work -- there just isn't much of it.
Also, you can take a nude girl, into the woods, shoot 200 pictures, and have a nice selection to work with.
ON the other hand, take a clothed girl into the woods, and what do you have? What is the market?
This is a hard concept to try to explain, but the basic is that FASHION is dictated by CLIENTS and their money, and without a client there is no reason to shoot it (or pay for it).
Nudes, are always in "fashion" and there is always some market (like for bikini work) and so people will pay for it.
Here in Pittsburgh, there is virtually no market for non-nude work, for anything. There is no "industry" here to have any demand. The supply is great, and the demand/opportunity is very low. Even nude work is hard to come by. Life-models for artists do ok, but it's hard work. Most llamas here travel to get any work. There are more than enough people here willing to do nudes for fun, or portfolio, that paying work is almost unnecessary unless you have a "hook" (like our lighting workshops), or you are so good you deliver images people have fun playing with, looking at, and using. It's a "hobby" market mostly. But that means a good, positive attitude, a good look (blessed by nature) and lot of paying dues to get a following.
So it's not that nudes are "more money", in fact it's quite the opposite. It's just that there is an overall more demand (and willingness to pay) for nudes, for a lot of reasons. The biggest of which, is that "fashion" is a purely commercial Genre, funded by CLIENTS trying to make money selling to the masses. Nudes, art, figure, etc is a genre and field all to itself, where people (photographers, artists, etc) apportion some of their income to pay llamas, to further their art.
Then, there is the whole website, sex, erotic, fetish,e tc.... but that is just added on to the above.
Nope, not the same thing..
It's about the intent to sexually arouse the viewer/reader of such medium.
Florence, Toscana, Italy
I think at that main reasons:
Jun 02 12 05:30 am Link
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
Put another way....
A figure nude can stand on it's own, or a pin-up nude with basic, generic props can be used by a variety of advertisers for different purposes.
Once you put a model into "clothing" that clothing "brands" the model, and dates the image, and thus is of very limited use to anyone but the original clothing maker. Sure, some generic "little black dress" type images are going to be timeless, but SOMEONE is going to pick out the maker/designer (even if Kmart) and it makes the image USELESS to other advertisers. So, you can't really shoot "Fashion" on spec, except to show a photographer's ability to style a scene or light it, or a model's ability to have a look or wear a style. The images themselves are *NOT* useful.
Nudes, on the other hand, are potentially useful in a broader set of situations.
I hope this may make it clearer.
Jun 02 12 05:31 am Link
Garry k wrote:
It's not about nude vs fashion in general... (industry vs industry)
Ithaca, New York, US
I think that there are actually two more things that come into play as to why there is money in nude modeling. The first is that it can actually be cheaper for the photographer. I know that I've encountered this, as a poor student in a small market. Also, I don't think that I'm good enough to start making money off of photography, so I'm still in the stage of trying to learn. I have very limited funds to dedicate toward photography so I'm often confronted with the choice of 1) hiring a nude model with whom I can work on outdoor art nudes or 2) try and do some interesting clothed shoots.
If I pick the first, make-up and wardrobe are minimal and there are plenty of great outdoor areas here. If I pick the latter, I need to either pay for wardrobe and make-up, as well as a studio rental, or trust the model to have great wardrobe.
The other thing that comes into play is the fact that nudes are inherently valued more means that they're rarer and harder to gain experience with. Even though I'm in a small market there are some really great models here who are willing to do clothed work for trade. And there are comparatively fewer quality models who will do nudes for trade, and often the local models want MORE for their nude work than traveling models who are better models
So the two sort of feed into each other. Since I have very limited funds it's very difficult for me to justify hiring a model for a clothed shoot when I know many great models who shoot trade. It also means that I have more opportunities to experiment and take my time with shoots. So the limited funds that I have for hiring models often go to nude models since there are simply fewer opportunities.
Paris, Île-de-France, France
MM is in it's own realm of modeling. Here the nude photography demand is high as most here are from GWC to part time passionate fans. A sprinkling of pros.
Most true pros here do not pay for any models. If they have client jobs the client pays the models , but that is outside MM.
Some pay for fine art nudes, a good thing if they can.
That leaves you the rest of the >200000 which may or may not pay. Most think they are good enough that by doing TF they will benefit a models book.
Then what is left? The ones that really dig shooting a naked stranger youth beauty in front of them. They will pay because it makes them happy.
Some models are very happy doing this. Will you be?
Remember the best pictures of nudes here on MM are ones that there was a true collaboration where everyone gets great pictures. Most of those are not paid, although one wonders why not!
I'd say go for it if you feel you can handle the conditions and still like it.
Jun 02 12 05:34 am Link
Nacogdoches, Texas, US
What makes it 'valuable' to me is... it's natural. I've been a nature photographer (off and on) for 40+ years. I've shot hundreds of thousands of frames of natural, living things. Only one living thing has ever involved any type of cover up. Different societies have different views. IMO... if God had meant for people to wear clothes, we would've been born with them. He doesn't make mistakes... WE do.
Jun 02 12 05:35 am Link
Florence, Toscana, Italy
Wysiwyg Photography wrote:
If we look from the side of a given model i'm agree, since is present a lack of supply.
Jun 02 12 05:46 am Link
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US
Garry k wrote:
I agree with above. It's not what venue pays more, its what gets you more work.
Jun 02 12 05:57 am Link
Delphos, Ohio, US
There's nothing wrong with posing nude, but it can carry a stigma. Once you've let that genie out of the bottle, there's no putting it back. The choice - and resulting positive/negative consequences - will remain with you for years to come.
It's all about supply and demand. Marketing. Of course, there are many photographers who use their "art" as an excuse to engage in voyeurism, but I doubt that really matters to llamas making a cash grab. This place is rife with it. Brand new llamas with no experience demanding payment for nudes... it's the "stripper" mentality. Don't get me wrong - I have NOTHING against strippers - but so few are willing to call an apple an apple.
Unless you've got the looks and talent for major ad campaigns - and get "discovered" - posing nude is the quickest and most viable route to consistent income. There are those who pose nude for other reasons (empowerment, fetish, art, etc.), but those llamas are somewhat hard to find.
Jun 02 12 06:03 am Link
Southaven, Mississippi, US
W Kious gave a good answer about the value of either. I often wondered that myself but supply and demand is understandable. At least we know why the demand is so high.
Jun 02 12 06:12 am Link
Cleveland, Ohio, US
Agreed... some model nude for the money, some model nude for the artistic expression of freedom and the power they have when in front of the camera and some are exhibitionist and love it. My 60 year old second cousin was in a group shoot with Spencer Tunick when he was in Cleveland in 2004. Since then she has become an artistic nude model for collegiate art students, sculptors, painters, photographers, etc... She loves the freedom and the liberation that she can only archive by being nude. I was teasing her about going to a nudest camp... I think I might of planted a seed???
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Most of the nude models I know charge the same whether they are modelling clothed or nude. They're charging for their time, look, experience, skills, not for getting naked. Those who charge "stripper rates" tend to get paid less overall because on the rare occasions when they do shoot clothed they're actually offering to get paid less for it, which seems a bit stupid really as it still takes up the same amount of their time AND they have to drag a load of outfits around to the shoot, which nude models don't have to do!
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Don't stick to the definition you read about pornography. Industry like, pornography is having sex in front of the camera for money.
Jun 02 12 06:32 am Link