fine art nude

Steve Hanks Inspired Nudes

Steve Hanks Inspired Nudes

These three photos are from a series I did in the early 1990s.  In a make shift photography studio with construction lights. I recently scanned the negatives.  A lot of loss and damage to the negatives over the years.  I spent some time fixing them up.  They are not perfect but are still some of my most treasured photographs. 

Inspired by a favourite artist:  Steve Hanks.  You can see his work here: Steve Hanks Work  

Steve painted nudes but had much other material as well.  Amazing water colors. The detail in his painting is unbelievable but the emotion is what draws you in.  Unfortunately Steve passed away in 2015.   HIs work lives on, though.  Check it out.  There are dozens of websites out there displaying his work. 

I’ve also lost track of the model. Would love to shoot with her again even though more than 25 years have passed.  Julie is somewhere in Florida, I believe. 

I still have the quilt and now much better lights and modifiers, if anyone is interested mimicking more of Steve Hanks work... 

I’ve also put these three photographs through a ‘painterly’ filter.  You can see those on my Instagram Account:  The only way these are acceptable to Instagram is to either block out the nipples or make the photo into a painting. 

I’ve converted a number of photos into paintings using various apps and Photoshop.  Photoshop has a feature where you can add brush strokes to an image.  It’s time consuming and sometimes doesn’t work but I’ve gotten some very cool ‘paintings’ this way. 

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First Ever Fine Art Nude Photoshoot

First Ever Fine Art Nude Photoshoot

First Fine Art Nude Photoshoot

Early 1990s.  Likely the summer of ’94 I was cycling across the Bloor Street Viaduct (bridge).  Came to the stop light and started chatting to a young lady stopped on her bicycle there as well.  At first she wouldn’t take my card.  I’m sure that she thought I was full of crap when I said I was a photographer.  I told her to call my wife. 

A few days later she did.  She came by a few days later with a male friend.  Smart girl.  During her conversation she said that one of the things needed was body photos.  I was freaking out inside but casually said sure. 

I had seen some photos in some fashion magazine that I wanted to try and emulate and thought that the style of lighting would work well for nudes.

She came to my small studio a few days later.  My wife made us some coffee and away we went.  I was shooting with a Nikon FE camera with a 50mm manual lens.  Two rolls of 36, Ilford black and white film.  Two camera flashes reflected with two small umbrellas.

I got some contact prints made then asked my lab, near Dundas and Bay Streets in Toronto, to print a couple of copies each of about 10 of my favourites. A copy each for me and the model.  I asked him for 8x10 prints.  When I went to pick them up several were a larger size.  When I began to question this, he said there would be no extra charge.  He told me that he had dozens of photographers come to him with what they called fine art nudes to print. 

He said mine were the first truly artistic ones he had seen.  I was quite taken aback. The model quite loved them as well.  These accolades kept me striving to make photos I took of women as aesthetic as possible.

I’ve added a few filters to the few that I posted on Instagram so they would be allowed. 

More Fine Art Nudes Here

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Photographing Nudes

Photographing Nudes

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Photographing the Nude

One the last few years I’ve come across a lot of superbly photographed nudes through Instagram, Pinterest, 500px and some other venues.  There are some really great photographers out there. 

Growing up and as I started creating with photography, if I wanted to find decent inspiration, I had to look in bookstores and magazines.  There were many, good and bad, but two fantastic artists come to mind that had wonderfully artistic eye

Robert Farber


Steve Hanks

Robert Farber was and still is amazing.  I have a book of his from 1991 (I purchased around that time) subtitled ’20 years of Farber Nudes’ or something like that.  So, he has been doing this for a while.  Real art, not just naked bodies.  Definitely someone to emulate.

Steve Hanks, who passed away in 2015, was a renowned watercolour artist. I poured over his early nudes and have in the past tried to emulate some of his work.  He painted a lot of other material besides nudes, all of it otherworldly. 

The majority, well, all of the women that I’ve photographed nude have been friends or acquaintances.  At great embarrassment to other friends and relatives, I used to ask just about everyone I met, the ladies, if they would be willing to pose for some nude art.  I got a lot of ‘no thank you’ but persevered. 

The photos I’m showing here, I’m adding a couple of edits, three of each using Lightroom and Photoshop. 

I was never interested in just shooting a naked body, I was as much interested in what shadows could hide and make mysterious as to what was in the light. 

I know many photographers have very exact ideas of what they want as a product when shooting nudes.  Not so much me.  I often will take an idea from a painting or another artist to start.  But from there I will bend the light and form into different patterns.  A lot of what I shoot doesn’t always work.  But as they say, Babe Ruth swung out more than anyone else.  And that is likely why he got more home runs than anyone. 

Working with Models

The most important thing I have found working with models is being respectful.  Make sure they are comfortable with whatever you are asking them to do.  Tell them what you are doing and why, with lights etc.  Even if it is ‘Let’s try this…”. 

Reassure and validate your model. Be calm.  Be as confident as you can.  Serve your model tea, water or wine.  (But only a little of the last.)  Have a cloak for them to wear and place for them to change. 

And try and make it fun.

More Tasteful Nudes


#tastefulnudes #fineartnudes #nudes #artisticnudes

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