Photographing Black Models Nude

Question? “How do you get those beautiful nudes of black models. Do you over expose or do it in photoshop?”

Photographing Black Models Nude
Black Models Nude - Black & White on dark background

(aF) In the past, the advice given for photographing models with dark skin was to over-expose by one stop or more, alter the distance of the light to the subject and even use smaller light sources farther away to light the subject having the light fall off on the clothing.

All of this did nothing except confuse me even more. I’ve found that by watch how the light “falls” on darker skinned models is the key. Black models skin can range from almost white to the darkest dark so depending on the color of the skin determines the degree of softness needed.

The other thing I look at is amount of ambient light around the subject. If I’m working with brighter ambient light, I tend to use a brighter light source and if I’m shooting against a black background I’ll using maybe a white umbrella farther away as a extra fill light.

Best of luck and keep me updated on what works for you.


Photographing Black Models Nude
Black Models Nude - High-key Full Color

Any thoughts on this article? Feel free to leave a comment, ask a questions or even disagree.

© 2011 W. Mackie, All Rights Reserved. Any republication, redistribution or copying of these articles and tips by any method whatsoever is prohibited without prior written permission.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. jlmiller says:

    Since I used to shoot a lot of black models, I would say it depends on the effect you are after, if you are after a low key affect you’ll need to stop down a stop, if after a good glamour style then open up from 2/3 – 1 stop. Shoot what the meter says and to me it’s a bit boring.  I like black models with a bit of punch in them.

Leave a Reply