Mastering the Art of Nude Photography: 5 Essential Tips

Last year I had dinner with a friend and renowned photographer. His work has long been an inspiration to me, and I even have several of his pieces displayed in my home. Over dinner, he shared a memorable story about a photoshoot he did with two models/actresses.

The models, during the shoot, proposed to switch things up and do some artistic nudes for the project. To my friend’s surprise, they began undressing before he could even process the situation. He had never photographed nude models before and felt intimidated, so he excused himself for a quick break and turned to Google for guidance, typing in “How to Shoot Nude Models”. Despite his lack of experience, he excelled and produced a stunning piece of art that now hangs in my home as a gift from him.

This story got me thinking about my own journey in shooting nude photography. My first attempt was with a digital camera and my first wife as the model. We were novice and the results were less than satisfactory. Many years later, I encountered another surprise during a Christmas boudoir shoot when the model suddenly stripped without warning.

Shooting nudes can be a challenge, and that’s why I’d like to share some tips for aspiring photographers who want to take on the task.

  1. Communication is Key

The first and most important tip for shooting nude photography is to have an open and honest conversation with your model before the shoot. Discuss their comfort level, limits, and expectations to ensure that you are both on the same page. This not only helps to create a positive and safe environment for the shoot, but it also establishes trust and respect between you and your model. Further during the shoot check in with your model often. Ask them if they are ok with direction of the shoot, poses, etc. and above all make sure that your model feels safe enough to express discomfort, or ask for a change in direction. If a model “suffers in silence” you have failed as a photographer by not creating a safe place for the model to express themselves.

  1. Respect your Model

Nude photography is not just about capturing images of a naked body, it’s about capturing the beauty, grace, and dignity of the human form. Therefore, it’s important to always treat your model with respect and professionalism. This means avoiding inappropriate comments or gestures, and ensuring that the model’s privacy and dignity are protected both during and after the shoot. I will NEVER do a boudoir or nude shoot alone, and neither should the model. I always encourage a model to bring a friend with them to the shoot for safety, and I also let them know that I will have a female friend joining us for the shoot as well. Safety should be your #1 priority for both yourself and model.

  1. Lighting Matters

Lighting is an essential element in any type of photography, and it’s even more important in nude photography. Experiment with different lighting setups to find the right balance between light and shadow that flatters your model’s body and captures the mood and emotion you’re trying to convey. Good lighting can make all the difference in creating beautiful and tasteful images.

  1. Get Creative with Posing

When it comes to posing, the possibilities are endless. Work with your model to find poses that are comfortable and flattering, and that convey the mood and emotion you’re trying to capture. Keep in mind that the model’s safety should always come first, so avoid any positions that could put them in an uncomfortable or painful position. Encourage your model to express themselves through their pose and don’t be afraid to try new and creative things.

  1. Mindful Post-Processing

When editing your photos, it’s important to be mindful of the model’s privacy and dignity. Avoid excessive retouching or manipulation that could change the natural look and form of their body. Instead, focus on enhancing the lighting, contrast, and color to bring out the beauty of the images you’ve captured. Remember, your goal is to create beautiful and tasteful images that both you and your model can be proud of.

Shooting nude photography requires a lot of respect, communication, and professionalism. By following these tips, you can create a positive and safe environment for your model, capture beautiful and tasteful photographs, and grow as a photographer in the process. So, go ahead and try shooting nudes, you might just surprise yourself with the results!

Why I Keep Seeking Approval from People Who Don’t Give Me the Time of Day: A Personal Journey

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I put myself through the emotional wringer of seeking the approval of someone who clearly couldn’t care less about me? I mean, seriously, why do we as human beings feel the need to seek validation from people who don’t give us even the smallest bit of effort? It’s a mystery that has plagued me for far too long.

So, I was recently hired to take photos of a product that I’ve been using since I was 15. I was thrilled about the opportunity, thinking that this would be the moment that this person would finally take notice of me and be proud of me. Yeah, I know, I should have known better. But did I listen to that little voice in my head? Of course not. I went ahead and sent this person a sample of my photos, hoping for a response, a reaction, anything. And what did I get? Absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada. It was like I was sending my photos into the void.

But, you know what they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So, here I am, once again, feeling like a complete moron for seeking the approval of someone who has shown me time and time again that they don’t care. It’s like I can’t help myself.

Why do we as human beings put so much importance on the opinions of people who don’t make an effort in our lives? It’s time to take a step back and ask ourselves what’s really going on here. Our worth and value as individuals come from within, not from the validation of others. So, let’s stop setting ourselves up for disappointment and start focusing on our own self-esteem.

Seeking approval from others is a natural part of being human, but it’s important to understand that our worth doesn’t depend on the validation of others. We must focus on our own self-esteem and recognize that we are valuable and deserving of love and respect, regardless of the opinions of others. And if all else fails, we can always fall back on sarcasm to help us get through the tough times. Because, let’s be real, sometimes sarcasm is the only thing that gets us through life.

A self-portrait – This painting was hanging in The Orlando Museum of Art and I was drawn to it.

2023: A New Year Full of Hope and Possibility

It’s been a while since I felt this hopeful about a new year. Over the years, life has thrown its fair share of challenges my way, from financial stress to divorce and moving. But this year, something felt different. As I entered 2023, I felt a renewed sense of optimism and hope for what was to come.

I don’t want to jinx it, but January was a pretty good month for me. Although there were certainly some tough moments, overall, it was a positive start to the new year. One of the biggest highlights was having two big clients pay their invoices in full and on time. This was a big win for me, as it provided a financial boost and a sense of stability that I haven’t felt in a while.

In addition to the financial stability, my work queue is also filled with exciting new opportunities. I’ve been asked to do product photography for some fantastic companies, and before the day had even finished, I had already booked another client for double my standard rate. It’s clear that 2023 is off to a good start, and I’m feeling confident about the year ahead.

For many years, my word for the year has been “peace.” This is the first year in a long time that I feel like I’m finally closing in on that goal. The financial stability and new work opportunities have provided a sense of peace and calm that I haven’t felt in a while. I’m no longer worrying about how I’m going to pay the bills or where my next job is coming from. Instead, I’m focusing on the present moment and all the exciting things that the future holds.

Of course, I’m realistic enough to know that 2023 won’t be all sunshine and rainbows. There will certainly be tough moments, and there will be times when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. But I’m approaching the year with a sense of hope and positivity that I haven’t felt in a while. I’m ready to tackle the challenges that come my way and embrace the opportunities that the year presents.

So, here’s to a new year filled with hope, adventure, and peace. Let’s see what 2023 has in store! I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I’m confident that this will be a year to remember.

Unleashing the Beauty with a Camera: Capturing Gabrielle’s Journey to the 2024 Hooters Calendar Shoot

Photography is an art that requires both technical skills and creativity. Despite the convenience of having a camera on our phones, not everyone understands the complexities of photography. That’s why it’s always a joy for me when a friend reaches out to me for help with their photography project. And recently, my friend Gabrielle asked for my assistance in capturing her journey to the 2024 Hooters calendar model shoot. I was more than happy to help.

Gabrielle has always been confident and comfortable in her own skin, and she wanted to showcase that confidence through the lens of a camera. Our goal was to capture her unique personality and beauty in a series of photos that would make her stand out in the highly competitive world of modeling.

We decided to shoot at a local park with a lush beach background, which would provide a natural and organic backdrop for the photos. I started by taking some test shots to get the lighting and settings just right. Then, I gave Gabrielle some simple poses to start with and encouraged her to relax and have fun. She quickly got into the groove and started to showcase her stunning figure and gorgeous smile.

As we continued to shoot, I tried to capture her different expressions and poses, showcasing her versatility and range as a model. We also played around with different lighting and angles to create a range of photos with different moods and feels.

In the end, we came away with a series of stunning photos that truly showcased Gabrielle’s beauty and personality. The images captured her confidence, her stunning figure, and her infectious smile. I was thrilled to have played a part in helping her achieve her goal of becoming a Hooters calendar model.

Photography is a powerful tool that can help capture and showcase our unique beauty and personality. Whether you’re an aspiring model or just looking to capture special moments in your life, a great photographer can help bring your vision to life. And if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who is passionate about photography, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for their help. They just might be able to help you unleash the beauty within.

Capturing the Post-Apocalyptic Beauty: A Photoshoot Adventure at Playalinda Beach

Being a friend of mine has its perks, one of which is access to a photographer. My friends often take advantage of this bonus and one of them, Misfit, asked me to do a photoshoot with her. Misfit is a huge fan of the Wastelands and Burning Man, which are events that are heavily influenced by the Mad Max post-apocalyptic motif and style.

Even though I have never been to a Burning Man or Wastelands event, I have always been fascinated by the idea of spending a week in the desert, free from normal societal responsibilities. I’ve heard stories of people who have gone on a pilgrimage to Burning Man and have said that it changed their lives in profound ways. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to experience something like that. So, when Misfit asked me to do a photoshoot, I was more than happy to participate.

Misfit wanted to bring her own costumes, which she had designed and made by hand, and position the photos in such a way that it looked like she was walking straight out of an epic post-apocalyptic video game. She wanted to capture the essence of the Wastelands and Burning Man events in her photos.

So, we headed to Playalinda Beach on the East side of Florida. Playalinda Beach is a beautiful and secluded spot, perfect for our photoshoot. As soon as we arrived, Misfit got into her costumes and I began to set up my camera and lighting.

The process of taking the photos was a lot of fun. Misfit was a natural in front of the camera, and her costumes were truly impressive. She had put a lot of thought and effort into creating them, and it showed. We spent hours taking photos, moving around the beach and trying different poses.

The end result was truly spectacular. The photos turned out even better than I had hoped. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they are epic. The colors, the lighting, and the costumes all came together perfectly to create an otherworldly feel. Misfit looked like she was truly walking out of an epic post-apocalyptic video game.

But the real question is, what do you think? Are you a fan of the post-apocalyptic style and motif? Have you ever been to a Burning Man or Wastelands event? I am curious to know your thoughts. I believe that the post-apocalyptic style has a certain appeal to it, a sense of freedom and adventure that is hard to find in our daily lives. It’s a style that can be both gritty and beautiful at the same time. I think that’s what makes it so fascinating.

Overall, it was a great experience working with Misfit and creating these epic photos. I’m looking forward to more opportunities like this in the future, and I can’t wait to see where my photography takes me next.

A Lifetime of Star Gazing: My Journey from Childhood Curiosity to Adult Passion in Space Photography

As a child, I was captivated by the beauty of the night sky. My father, who was a Scout Master, would take me on camping trips and hikes, and I spent many nights gazing up at the stars. I remember memorizing constellations, learning about the phases of the moon, and even convincing my parents to buy me a telescope in the shape of a space shuttle. It was a small telescope, but it opened up a whole new world for me. I could see craters on the moon, and even the rings of Saturn. I was in awe of the vastness of space and the endless possibilities that it held.

As I grew older, my passion for the night sky and space never wavered. I spent my teenage years reading books about space and astronomy, and even joined the local astronomy club. I was fascinated by the different galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters that I saw through the club’s telescopes. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.

Fast forward to adulthood, and my passion for the night sky has only grown stronger. I now own a camera with powerful zoom lenses, and I spend hours taking photos of the moon. I have learned how to capture the beauty of the night sky through long-exposure photography, and it has become my hobby.

Space photography, night sky, rocket launch, constellations, Milky Way galaxy, Northern Lights, meteor shower, satellites, space debris, long-exposure photography, tips for capturing the perfect space shot

So, when my family invited me to join them for the SpaceX Heavy Rocket launch, I jumped at the opportunity. I was excited but also nervous, as I had never photographed a rocket launch before. I knew that the rocket would be moving at incredible speeds and that I would have less than a minute to get the perfect shot. I searched for tips online on how to photograph a rocket launch, but most of the advice was generic and not very useful.

So, I decided to rely on my own experience and figured out the settings that worked best for me. And, when the rocket took off, I was ready, taking pictures as if my life depended on it. I had to be quick to capture the rocket at different stages of the launch, from the initial lift-off to the separation of the boosters. And, to my surprise, I think I did a pretty good job.

I can’t help but think of the little kid I used to be, lying in a clearing and staring up at the stars. I wish he could see the cool space shots I get to take today. It would have made him so happy.

My love for the night sky and space has been a constant in my life, and I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had to capture the beauty of the cosmos through my camera. I hope that my photos will inspire others to look up at the night sky and marvel at its wonder. Photography has allowed me to combine my love for space and my passion for photography, and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to capture the beauty of the night sky. If you have a passion for space and photography, I encourage you to give it a try, you won’t regret it. The night sky is a never-ending source of inspiration, and the possibilities are endless.

Space photography, night sky, rocket launch, constellations, Milky Way galaxy, Northern Lights, meteor shower, satellites, space debris, long-exposure photography, tips for capturing the perfect space shot

5 Pieces of Advice for Photographers

I am going, to be honest…Usually, lists like these make my eyes roll. Generally speaking, these kinds of lists are beyond generic, and usually not very helpful to anyone reading them. So hopefully, I will be able to make this list better than most of the lists you will find out on the internet today.

Learning how to be a photographer is hard, and for so many, myself included, we had to learn on our own without any kind of teacher or mentor. The process can be super painful as you try to create, all the while comparing your level 1 photo to a level 50 photographer. I get it, I was there once.

So here are a couple of tips and ideas that might make the process easier.

  1. Experiment with different angles, lighting, and composition to capture unique and interesting photos.
    • OK, I know…I am starting out this list with a “DUH” sort of tip, but hear me out. When I started learning the art of photography I took all my photos the same way…Standing up, camera to my eyes. It took me a while to figure out that most of my subjects were shorter than I was, me being 6′, and so many of my photos had this sort of looking down angle to them. The day I put two and two together was sort of a facepalm kind of day.
    • The lesson of it all was to learn to take photos from different angles. With different angles came learning how to light photos differently, learning that lead to new creative ideas, etc.
    • Every time you try to shoot differently you learn something new.
  2. Keep a photography journal to track your progress and make notes on techniques you want to try.
    • If you take only one thing from this article take this one. KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING! I have been shooting for 12 years and I still keep a journal, writing down the details from every single shoot. What did I learn, what did I try new, what worked, what didn’t work, what do I want to try next time, etc. WRITE IT ALL DOWN!
  3. The best equipment you can buy is the one you can afford.
    • This one is going to be really hard for some of you to understand. You do NOT need the latest and greatest camera gear in order to be a great photographer. I know great photographers who shoot on cameras 20 years old and use light fixtures they bought at Home Depot. You do NOT need to go broke buying the latest camera, lights, gear bags, ND filters, Macbooks, and more.
    • The best camera is the one you can afford and know how to use. I often encourage new photographers looking to purchase a camera to start out taking photos on their phones. Learn the art of composition and lighting 1st then upgrade to something inexpensive like the Canon M50. I shot for years on an old Canon Rebel before I upgraded to a Canon M50, and it was only in 2020 that I purchased my Sony A7iii.
    • Better gear does NOT make you a better photographer, but learning the art of photography through trial, hard work, and practice does!
  4. If you are taking photos you are a photographer.
    • Please do not listen to anyone telling you that “You are only a real photographer if you do __________” There is so much of this on the internet. Some people claim that you are only a photographer if you shoot manually, or only shoot film, or never do this, or only do that. It’s all elitist noise and should be ignored.
    • When I 1st started learning how to photograph shooting in full manual scared me. I didn’t know what I was doing and so I shot on Aperture Priority Mode for like a year. I kept track of my shoots, learned settings, and wrote it all down in my journal. Eventually, I felt comfortable shooting in full manual. Did the fact that I wasn’t shooting manually make me less of a photographer…NO! It meant that I was a photographer who was currently learning, and anyone who says otherwise is a snob!
  5. Fail! Fail some more! Fail often!
    • OK, this last one is going to be really hard for some of you, but listen closely. You HAVE to fail in order to become a great photographer. You won’t be perfect at it right out of the gate. You won’t be perfect after a year of practice. You won’t be perfect at it even after 10,000 hours of practice.
    • Photography is a journey that will NEVER end. There is no finish line, there is no end goal. There will ALWAYS be things and ways you can improve at and on.
    • So take this journey slowly. There is no rush. There is no right way to learn, and no hurry to get anywhere. Just shoot, fail, shoot again, and learn. Every time you pick up your camera try something new, learn something new. If you do that you will be well on your way to becoming a great photographer!
Recently Taken outside the SpaceX Launch site in Florida.

2023 Cabinet Cards – Sith Jade

Purchase your Sith Jade Cabinet Cards HERE

Anyone who has ever been to Vegas is probably familiar with “card slappers” handing out pornographic cards on the strip. These cards usually are advertising numbers, and web addresses for sex workers. What you might not know is that there is a long and lengthy history to the idea of pornography on cards…

…Going back to the 19th century, in and around Paris France there was a booming trade of what was then referred to as “cabinet cards“. Collectors from all over would buy, sell, trade, and exchange these cards, usually under discrete and secret meetings. Collectors would hide these cards away within their homes, sometimes within boxes or tins to disguise the contents of what was inside.

Thankfully, today, collectors do not need to be nearly as discreet when it comes to such items, and that is why I have decided to create my own set of cabinet cards in the year 2023.

Each month I will release a new set of 6 cards, each featuring a new model. To the motivated collector who acquired each months set would yield him/her/they 72 cards to complete the deck. Further, and collector who purchases each months set will receive a special gift at the end of the year that will go nicely with their collection.

For January 2023 I am releasing the first set of cabinet cards and our featured model is SITH JADE. Sith is an accomplished model, burlesque performer, creative, and more. Her set of cards are the first in the 2023 collection and feature fellow model and friend Maeve. As many of you know Maeve is a frequent and favorite model in my work, and for those of you who are admires of Maeve fear not…Maeve will be getting her own personal set later on in 2023.

Thank you for being a part of this new collection. I am excited to bring this collection to life over the course of this year. Sith may be the first of this collection, but there are 11 more models yet to be revealed. Any guesses on who the next model will be?

Purchase your Sith Jade Cabinet Cards HERE

2023 Goals

Each year I, like thousands, if not millions of people from around the world, sit down and try to write out some goals for the upcoming year. These goals usually act as a sort of flexible guide or hope for the upcoming year, at least for me that is. In years past my goals were lengthy, complicated, and usually multistep outlines, and I almost NEVER completed them as planned. Sometimes this would really upset me because I was so focused on the goal and end results that I forgot to enjoy the journey along the way.

So now, as I put pen to paper to write out my 2023 goals I do so with the knowledge that I may not accomplish these goals as planned. I may not accomplish them at all. Some might be replaced for other objectives and worthy pursuits, and some might evolve into something spectacular as the year progresses. Regardless of how the year plays out my plan is to work on these ideas, be flexible as the year goes by, and be open to the idea of pivoting when needed.

2023 Goals for Adam Scott

  1. Build up my photography business so that I am making $X,000 per month.
    • Since losing my job in June I have accepted the fact that working for someone else is not really in the cards for me. The times I am happiest are when I make enough money to pay bills and have the freedom to live my life my way. So this year I am working each and every day to build up my business in healthy and challenging ways.
      • I plan to add a pricing page to my website so individuals and companies know what they can expect to pay when working with me.
      • I plan to continue seeking out local businesses to help them grow through sales, marketing, and photography.
      • Continue growing my Freelance work on Fiverr.
      • I will be working on a very cool Kickstarter campaign this year that will involve models from all over the world in an effort to create a custom Tarot Card Deck.
      • I will be adding new products to my store for print.
      • I will be creating a vintage and very classy spicey card deck with 12 models and releasing 6 cards from each model once per month, with collectors set to be offered this time next year.
  2. Lose 52lbs
    • It is no secret that I have put on more weight than I would like. However this year I am going to focus on my movement and health by doing the following…
      • Complete 36,000 kettlebell swings this year
      • Run 365 miles this year
      • Complete 10,000 pushups, pullups, and squats
      • Train safely and work toward a 400lbs deadlift and squat
  3. Produce 24 YouTube Videos
    • It is my hope to get monetized on YouTube this year.
  4. Write 52 Blog Posts
    • This blog needs content – What can I say? But I would also like to pair up with other creatives and find authors that would like to contribute to this blog, as well as write on other blogs too.
  5. Go on a vacation somewhere far away with my wife.
    • Due to money, Leslie and I were not able to go on vacation this year. The first year without of our relationship, and I intend to fix that problem.

So there you have it. My 2023 goals. What do you all think?

How I Started Taking Self Portraits

The year 2020, which was only 3 years ago, but for many of us still seems like yesterday, and was crazy year. The world dealt with a global pandemic that sparked lock downs, security measures, travel bans, and 6.63 million deaths. It was, to say the least, a rough time for Planet Earth and it’s human inhabitant’s.

I myself being one of those inhabitants, was looking for a project to focus my anxious and nervous energy on, and for some reason decided to study self portrait photography. My reasoning was, it was something that did not require me to leave the house, and it was something that would be a big challenge for me, because at this point in time I did NOT like having my own photograph taken. So I thought perhaps that it would both help me learn new skills as a photographer and work on my self confidence as well. I was right on both counts.

The very first thing that I learned about self portraits is a truth that applies to every single person who stands in front of a cameras lens. Whatever flaw you see in yourself, no one else sees it. Read that again and think about it carefully. I am serious when I tell you, whatever imperfection you obsess over, and ask photographers to cover, erase, change, or hide, no one…else…see it!

As human beings we have a body, and they all come in different shapes, colors, sizes, and models. That is one of the simple truths of being born, but for some strange reason society is always fussing about the latest and greatest “trend” that often focuses on some sort of unattainable body standard. For example when I was in high school it was all about women being pencil thin, and today a curvy women is more desirable. Bottom line, stop listening to trends, because trends are and always will be a passing fad. Embrace who you are and stop obsessing over some perceived flaw.

Let me give you another example…In 2004 I was serving a mission in California. My fellow service partner and I had been invited over to a families home for dinner, and after we were all fed the daughter of the family asked if she could play a violin solo, and get my advice on her performance. She knew from conversation that I had played the Viola since I was in the 5th grade and wanted my “expert” opinion.

She played her piece beautifully, and made only one, simple mistake. How do I know she made a mistake? Because as soon as she made that mistake she scrunched up her face, pursed her lips and said “sorry!” and then continued on with the music. Afterwards she put her instrument down and immediately offered an apology again for missing a note. I pointed out to her that the music was beautiful, it was obvious that she had worked hard and practiced the piece for many hours in order to play such a complicated work of music, but despite all of that work and her accomplishment, she focused on the single missed note. I mentioned to her that if she had not made a face, apologized…twice…and drawn my attention to the flaw I probably would not have even noticed, and would have just enjoyed the music as the beautiful number it was due to the dedication and hard work that she had committed to it.

It was the fact that she was pointing out the flaw that I even noticed it at all! This is true for photography as well. Whatever flaw you see in the photo, is often not seen by others unless you point it out. I have to remember this myself as both a model and photographer, and it has served me very well, when I remember to heed my own advice.

Moving on, almost 3 years ago to the date, I took my very first self portrait on my Canon EOS M50. It was a simple portrait, just me wearing my blue light glasses, sitting in front of my black Yule tree. Nothing special, but it was the start of what has so far been a 3 year journey. In the last 3 years I have taken dozens of self portraits, and I am pleased with the body of work I have collected so far, but what excites me even more is the years to come and seeing my self portraits evolve and change over the years.

I was not planning on this when I started the study of self portraits but for the last 3 years I have taken the same self portrait each year, always wearing my glasses, always sitting in front of the tree. Each photo unique. Each photos representing a new year and a new opportunity for adventure.

I have no idea what 2023 will have in store for me, but I know there will be many self portraits in my future as the tradition continues…