"True Confessions of Nude Photography" by A.K. Nicholas is much like a primer for those just getting started in the world of photography. With great advice like the importance of a great lens, (and no, five mediocre lenses are not as good as one really good one), to marketing your product and building a name for yourself, any photographer will find something of value within these pages.
Nicholas offers plenty of photos in the book, along with boxes that depict specific elements of the text as well as highlighted terminology for look-up in the appendix, if necessary. All of these things make it very easy to read and flip right to exactly what you want. The author recognizes the importance of actually taking the photos and gaining the experience rather than getting bogged down with a bunch of reading.
There are great recommendations for portfolio-building, especially for a portfolio of nudes; mainly, take it slowly and build gradually. A portfolio doesn't happen overnight and any photographer has to build the confidence of his or her models. Aaron Nicholas shows you how in "True Confessions of Nude Photography".
How do you advertise? How much do you pay a model? Where do you shoot? What about a web page? It's all in here. There are also tips for the models so you get the best photos possible, without anxiety and tell-tale tan lines.
The book focuses on digital photography and electronic communications. Many areas would still be valuable to old-schoolers, but be aware the emphasis is on the use of current technology.
Learn what to do if you need a color chart but can't afford one, or maybe just misplaced yours. Learn about props, how to cover tattoos and the components of a model release.
Like a great lens, using the proper lighting is critical to capturing the best images. There is a whole section on different types of lights for a variety of needs and budgets. Just like starting slowly with your portfolio, the same is said for the equipment you use. Build on what you have as time goes on. Nicholas even includes information on simply using available light, translation: no special equipment.
Fantastic examples of a wide variety of poses are included accompanied by graphics to demonstrate how the viewer's eye is drawn, based on the model's pose. The use of furniture and props, or lack thereof, to enhance the pose and the mood is discussed and expanded on.
Do you need more than one model in a shoot? The topic is touched upon.
Learn about composition with a very basic mathematical equation that the greatest artists used, including Leonardo da Vinci. If you want to spend more time doing actual photography than touching up and refinishing, learn how here. In fact, my favorite quote from the book can be found on page 107, "... Do not allow post-processing to become a crutch or substitute for a disciplined approach to lighting,
correct exposure, and attention to composition." Don't fear, though; there are still a lot of tips for perfecting the shot after it's been taken.
Maybe you have been taking great photographs of comfortable, expert models and know everything you need to about Photoshop and other software programs. Maybe all you need to do is market your material to gain an audience and start making a living. Suggestions for that are also included.
"True Confessions of Nude Photography" by A.K. Nicholas is a great guide for the novice, and covers a lot of territory in a brief, concise and easy to understand manner with plenty of examples. It will not disappoint novice or professional photographers. There is something here for anyone who wants to do or is currently doing nude photography. Many pointers can be used for other types of photos as well. This book is as important to photographers as a thesaurus is to scholars.