When I first survey a location for shooting nude photography, I give myself time to make a connection to the land. I spend time roaming the area, looking for interesting graphic elements, textures and patterns. I look for tonal range and scale relationship opportunities once the figure is dropped into the location. I look for unique features of the land that evoke a feeling of grandeur or mystery.
Beyond that, I look for a place that speaks to me on an intuitive level. This isn’t as easy to explain as the items I’ve already listed. What I will say is that for me, every location has a vibration, and I try to tap into that as I decide where I will shoot. I follow my instincts, much like someone doing dowsing, until I find the place that speaks to me and fits with the concept for the image. From there it is all about the collaboration with the model, communicating the feeling I have and enticing him or her to build on that from their creative well.
In the examples shown here, I first was drawn to the texture of the trees, and then to the possibilities of scale relationship once the model was placed in the image. Beyond that, though, I had the sense that these trees needed to be connected to the human through touch. So working with my model, we explored that opportunity.
Once we played with this idea for a while, it occurred to me that there was a nurturing quality to the trees that was not necessarily apparent. Yet the feeling was palpable for me. So sharing that with my model, we mined images that showed vulnerability and surrender.