How to Photograph Sensuality

How to Photograph Sensuality

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Use of Sensuality in Photography

What comes to your mind when you look at a photograph of plum, moist lips covered with a deep red lip gloss, or a photograph of a long and sleek back or even an image of a long and sensual neckline? If you answered sensuality then you described a sensual photograph.

Photographing sensuality does not necessarily involve photographing a nude body, in fact most sensual photographs do not show any nudity at all.

The images do include parts of the human body, but usually small portions which are cleverly posed to evoke a reaction that entices the senses. This is the true definition of sensuality.

This type of photography is used for fashion photography as well as for product photography. Sensuality is not only aimed at the human form. Food manufacturers often use it to excite the senses and drive consumers towards the purchasing of the targeted product. In the advertising world, this form of photography is sometimes referred to as "sexvertising".

Almost any part of the body can be presented in a sensually provocative fashion. Lips are often used to create the effect of sensuality and entice consumers towards a particular brand of lip gloss. Long neck lines are used to entice people towards buying a specific brand of perfume.

Beer commercials and car companies are notorious for using sensual images to promote their products. Jewelry manufacturers and watch manufacturers have long relied on the power of sensual stimulation to sell their products, often using risque images to grab the consumer's attention, with the product predominantly featured.

Several high named fashion industry lines have used this technique and are famous for plastering them in high visibility areas such as on billboards.

Most of this work is done in the studio, where models are carefully prepared by makeup artists or food artist if using food goods. The lighting is carefully arranged to cast enough light to create that much sought after sensual effect.

Great attention to every single details is placed, props are re-arranged over and over again until they seem just perfect. A single shot of a model's lips can actually take hours from start to finish.

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CC BY 2.0 Digitally edited for effect. You may see original by following link
CC BY 2.0 Digitally edited for effect. You may see original by following link | Source

Photographing Sensuality

If you would like to pursue this style of photography, do so with an understanding that sensuality is not nude photography, nor is it erotic photography,

The entire human body need not be shown and only small parts are best.

Makeup, props, lightning ,arrangement of subject, positioning are the crucial elements to which the most attention has to be directed. If photographing a human form, do so by cleverly insinuating the subject's form rather than to show more skin. Lines and form are more important as is texture.

Many of these shots are used in the fashion industry as well as in many product marketing campaigns. Very artistically created samples which are technically perfect are also showcased in art galleries.

Start by taking shots of family and friends or hire some models for short time work. Build up a portfolio of images and use them to submit your best samples to photography publications, marketing and advertising organizations.

Consider offering your services free of charge to art schools, beauty schools and fashion institutes in return for photographing the students as models. Many colleges and universities have art departments and courses which regularly can benefit from the services of a photographer.

Contact them and offer working for them in return for being allowed to keep your work, although you will need to supply them with copies.

These institutions can often use you work in their advertising and marketing campaigns as well as to showcase them on their premises. Not to forget is that these same institutions and their students can be a good source of future clients and can provide you with plenty word of mouth advertising.

Many of these shots are further processed through digital photo editing software where small discrepancies, smudges and imperfections are carefully erased as well to highlight certain areas and add a touch of gloss to parts or to the entire photograph.

The use of a softening filter is highly desirable for this style of photography.

Want to see many more photography articles?

©

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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

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Comments 12 comments

Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

Very informative and interesting. I am actually studying to be a photographer so this hub caught my attention as I was skimming through the hubs. Good job. :)


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

I agree. Very informative hub. Thanks for sharing!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Very interesting and thanks for sharing.

Take care

Eiddwen.


edmondsyd profile image

edmondsyd 5 years ago from Michigan

Nice display of photographs. Sensuality is much more appealing than overt sexuality when it comes to photography. It leaves more to the imagination and also sparks emotion and desire. Great hub!


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Often the camera sees something the eye fails to catch.


paulgc 5 years ago

An interesting hub but as i don't see any examples of your own sensual photo's i am questioning your knowledge of the subject.

I don't doubt that you may know about this subject but surely some pictures would have backed up what you were saying.

All of your photos have been sourced so im afraid i cannot take you seriously as someone who understand this area of photography.

I hope you don't mind my critique, its just, that i am a photographer and it annoys me when people write about a subject and don't back it up with pictures.

Your article is well written and i enjoyed reading it, i just wish you could have corroborated your writing with examples of what you were talking about.


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

@paulgc: I have been an independent photographer for well over 28 years as of today. I started with a fixed lens 35mm Yashica that my father gave me back in 1979 while at the University of Miami. Since then I have owned two Cannons. The most recent one being a Cannon SLR EOS 3. All of my cameras have been film format, never digital, and I still shoot positives.

Please understand that scanning all of my over 38 hundred slides will be a costly and time consuming endeavor, plus I hate to admit that I am not a computer wiz and have recently started dwelling into the digital format. I just purchased a Nikon Coolscan scanner and once I am familiar with it, I will slowly start downloading my own images into the computer.

However if you wish I will try to scan some of my own images and post them to alleviate any concerns.

As far as your critique, I absolutely welcome any well intentioned comments and take yours as such. Your critique as well as your comments can only serve to make me realize some of my shortcomings and faults which I will try to remedy.

I sincerely thank you for your observations and point well made


conrado fontanilla 5 years ago

I like photography but my lack of practice stems from a lack of sophisticated camera. Besides, since I came into print earlier I have subsumed images into words. But the combination is good. I can give the interpretation of an image I want with words. If I want to leave interpretation to the viewer I will leave my images alone,giving some graphic clues.


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Conrado: Thank for your comments. The key is to have both you and your audience arrive at the same reaction through your photos. This took me quite a bit of time, but after some time and some more learning, I believe that I have accomplish it.


thesingernurse profile image

thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

I learned from this very enlightening hub. And I have to agree that you don't have to be showing too much skin for you to be considered sensual. It makes sense even in real life. Voted up for this interesting hub. :)


thesingernurse profile image

thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

I learned a lot from your hub. And I definitely agree that you don't have to be showing too much skin for you to be sensual. It makes sense even in real life. Voted up for this interesting hub.

Thank you for sharing. :)


moondams profile image

moondams 4 years ago

nice post thank for share LuisEGonzalez

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