Shoot Nude Selfies Like a Pro
If you weren’t already taking nudes pre-pandemic, quarantine horniness may have cemented it as a regular activity in your life. But unless you’re a professional photographer, you probably don’t know a lot about how to craft these pictures, and straight men, in particular, have a reputation for producing bad—read: not at all erotic—nudes.
But whatever your gender or orientation, excellence is within your grasp. Here’s a crash course in how to take a good nude, with help from Ellen Stagg, a boudoir photographer based in New York City.
NOTE: Never send a nude without express consent from the person or persons you’re sending it to, and we’d recommend you don’t swap nudes unless you’re 18 or older.
Consider your setting
In their haste to show off their penises, many guys completely forget about—well, everything else in the shot. Sadly, even a well-lit picture of a gorgeous dick can be ruined by a grungy public washroom or messy bedroom in the background.
Stagg said the environment is “extremely important” and recommended you consider and curate the items around you carefully. It pays to set up the shoot before you’re turned on so that you can pay attention to background details that might elude you when you’re horny.
Be careful with props
Lots of guys want to show off how big they are, but using a soda can or another household item as a size comparison isn’t the erotic bombshell many guys imagine it is—and trust us, it’s more common than you think.
“I’m entertained by that, but I’m not turned on by that,” Stagg said. “You don’t need the props unless the person is asking for them.”
That doesn’t mean props are forbidden—just choose something actually erotic, such as naughty underwear or BDSM toys.
Light it right
Stagg described lighting as “insanely important.” “You could have the most perfect body in the whole world, but if you have bad lighting, it’ll produce a bad picture,” she said. “It won’t accentuate your body parts the way you want.”
Stagg suggested using a ring light or other light source directly behind the camera so it illuminates you head-on. Failing that, natural light from a window is a great option—“so long as your neighbors aren’t watching,” Stagg added.
For a more subtle nude, Stagg suggested placing yourself directly between the light source and the camera, so it produces a sort of silhouette effect; concealing as much as it reveals.
Tease a bit
You might think the whole point of a nude—as opposed to a regular selfie—is to be completely naked, but that isn’t exactly right. Your purpose is to produce an erotic effect, and sometimes withholding can be sexier than revealing everything.
“Something that has mystery in it makes for good photography,” Stagg said. “Your brain can bring in its own story—having everything be so deadpan can be boring. You’ll just look at it and move on.”
Try sending pictures that show off one body part at a time while leaving the others in shadow, clothed or out of focus. “Maybe you really really like your shoulders, but you’re not into your gut,” Stagg continued. “Accentuate your best parts!"
Plus if you show everything at once, that doesn’t leave a lot for subsequent nudes, does it?
Remember that this is photography, and like with any other art form, practice is your best friend. The first picture you take might not be a diamond, but that’s true of the first portrait you paint or song you sing.
You may not be into selfie culture and therefore not used to taking lots of pictures of yourself, varying tiny details and looking for the best version. But a willingness to continue tweaking can take your nudes to another level and might even have your partner begging for more.