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[Part 05/23 | Module 1: STYLES & GENRES]

Simplistic. Artful. Explicit. Even though they look pretty similar at first glance, each photo style is a stand-alone and each represents a different statement. The only thing they have in common is – they are all about pretendingto show very your girls.

Discussing the differences between Art Nude Teen photos and the similar, but ultimately very different style seen in Simple Nudes and teen-style Explicit Nudes is this article’s subject.

It might look like a bit of a challenge to clearly define differences between the three and draw clear concise lines between them. Because lately those differences were becoming more and more blurred and out of focus since “clever” photographers intentionally started to produce a lot of cross-genre stuff.

Nonetheless, some guidelines still help you understand the differences and aid you in coming up with your own more clearly defined lines that separate each.

Imagery - Simple Nudes by Domai

Simple Nudes: Main Elements Driving This Style

Essentially, Simple Nudes are exactly what they sound to be. The techniques driving this style are to focus entirely on the nude body without an emphasis on trying to make them artful or even glamorous. That doesn’t mean sacrificing craft. By focusing solely on the nude model within the photo, you can emphasize the beauty of the female form within the photo in simpler ways; simpler, that is, than adding an abundance of styling, artistic, and/or glamour techniques.

Typically, Simple Nudes capture the model without makeup (and styled hairdo) or anything else of artificial nature applied. The mission is to capture the grace of the model’s body and her demeanor on a set. Generally, shooting sets should also be simplistic so as not to draw focus away from the female nude within the photograph.

It’s a fairly common practice not to have the model strike “artificial” poses when shooting Simple Nudes. When your nude models start (obvious) posing in front of the camera, the photoshoot ceases to be about the simple beauty of the female nude body and begins to become more about glamour and/or art and those elements aren’t “simple” anymore.

Imagery - Pure Beauty Nude Teens by MPL Studios

Explicit Teen Style Nudes: One Obvious Element Is Driving This Style

The influences of big players in the adult industry, entities such as MetArt and Hegre have been hugely important in shaping the emergence of the nude teen photo. These are photos where the model is intentionally made up to look younger than she actually is. Not as a child, but as a teenager of legal age of consent.

The styles seen in these photos always feature the model’s nude body in (much) more provocative and sexually arousing (explicit) ways than you will find with Simple Nudes. The specific goals of the photos include being much more sexual and are all about the sexual appeal and play of the model.

Glamour techniques are not always absent in teen-styled explicit photos but there is generally less emphasizing glamour aspects than more emphasizing a pure sexual allure!

Imagery - Explicit Teen Nude Photography by Met-Art

B&W Art Nude Teens: The Bluff Of Being Artful

Allow me to start with a brief excurse back into the last century…

I am quite sure that a few of you know the British (now dead) photographer David Hamilton and have even explored his photographic “adventures”. His published books are called “A Place In The Sun“, “The Age Of Innocence“, “Dreams of a Young Girl”, and so forth. Those publication concepts intended to combine ethereal beauty, innocent youth, magnificent fantasies, and…beautiful young girls. Please note: During Hamilton’s period of work he was seen as an artist and although his pick of “genre” has always been (more than) questionable, critical appraisal only arose from changes in the societal view in the mid-80s of the last century.

Further, it is notable that Hamilton put his pictures in context with unambiguous quotes from other artists. Here a few examples from combinations of underage nude girl photos and quotes: “And where the little flowers of her breasts just break into their milky blossoming …”, “In that casual pose where pleasure caught you unawares…”, “She is really pretty: only fifteen years of age, a rosebud. Gauche, of course, to a degree, and quite without style, but you men are not discouraged by that. What is more, a certain languor in her looks that really promises well.”…

You get the “picture”, right?

Hamilton created his work in color and B&W and was truly a “class of his own”. Now, whatever we might think about his work, his (very) borderline legal act (combining art, philosophy, and some underage nude girls), in today’s societal identity and legal framework, photography shot with minors is strictly forbidden (even if it would be claimed as “art”.) It’s finished, finite, over, done – and this is a good thing! But, as always, mankind is allegedly smart and finds loopholes – more so, if monetary interests are at work.

Fact is: You can’t shoot suggestive, implied, or full nudes with any person under the age of 18 (some places even age 21) without getting yourself into serious legal troubles (let alone the morality aspects). So what to do?

Since the rise of digital photography, color photos are flooding our minds. But B&W images are still perceived in a different, artful form (and that’s another good thing). So, clever photographers select girls over the age of 18 that are looking 14 to 18 years old. This is relatively easy to achieve by using a model with a rather small frame and not applying any makeup and styling to her.

Process: Shooting innocent, underage looking girls, turning results into B&W photographs, claiming anything flimsy about “this is a piece of art (= freedom)” or babbling quotes like “ This is intended to be a serious, photographer’s study of the flawless beauty that is so unique to young women as they mature into full womanhood“.

Et voila: We are back in a dubious genre…

Imagery - Nude Art Teens by Michelle7

The Teens & The Business Aspect

All styles presented here are intended to sell (very) young looking girls. It is obvious that there is a huge audience demand for such images (= internet). However, viewed from a commercial aspect for you as a photographer, it does not leave much of the potential to earn an acceptable steady income shooting those styles.

A few big players and photographers associated with it share this cake among themselves. Of course, there is always a way to break into this internet market. So here are two realistic scenarios:

  • a) You open/create your paysite with a very distinct own signature style (you need a lot of persistency and determination for that) or
  • b) You can connect with a never drying up, an endless stream of a “new faces teen supply”. Because honestly, it is all about the girls. Only about the girls. The sites/photographers that can provide new faces looking innocent, pretty and being liberally open enough to let themselves be depicted in very explicit ways, those sites/photographers will win the game (= earning good money).

And now let us talk about the actual style differences:

Dan’s Definition Of “Teen-Styled Genres”

  1. Simple Nudes: Simple and straight-forward photos of nude women. No fancy lighting, no special setups, no makeup and styling involved.
  2. Explicit Teen-Style Nudes: Pretending to be (fairly) young, i.e., like teen/tweenagers between the ages of 18 and 24. Very light makeup and natural hair. Young, fresh, natural-looking. (More than a few popular websites combine this style with even more provocative (e.g. open legs, and “pink”) shots. The attempt is clear: Make models of legal age appear like young and desirable Lolitas.
  3. “Artsy” Nude Teens: Simple, straight-forward photos. No fanciness at all whether in tech, styling nor any other attempt. Post-processed in B&W to pretend to be on the artful side. And here is the crux (IMHO): This style is borderline perversion because it is purposely being attempted to make an interpretation of the girls’ age impossible, to blur it utilizing the element of “art” that’s supposed to justify portraying underage looking girls.

Be Aware Of What You Are Doing…

You have seen that the three styles have potential for various brisances and involve moral aspects worthy of discussions.

I for myself love to shoot empowered women, radiating charisma and self-confidence – not “just” girls.

“Lolita Art Style”, shot with a legal age of consent models, is one of the aspects that our reputation as sexy women photographers damages. Pretending to show very young girls the most possible innocent way wrapped in a “B&W Art Form” is a demotion of women in general.

Now, I am not here to judge the work of others or their career choice neither is the 101 course here to demonize certain styles (as long as everybody involved is of legal age). But I want to make sure that you understand that choosing a certain style (= photography path) will result in how you will be perceived as a photographer. And sometimes there is no way back to other styles because you got that certain “reputation”.

One last note about the practical part…

…And Communicate Properly Before You Shoot

It’s a must to discuss with your model and decide beforehand whether you are going to be shooting Simple Nudes, explicit work, or any other endeavor. There should never (!) be any big surprises as to the content after the model has arrived on the set. Surprising or ambushing models with requests for content approaches that have not been previously discussed is extremely unprofessional or worse.

Ultimately, before you snap that first photo, you should be 100% certain that both, you and the model, are on the same page and each of you clearly understands the specific parameters of the shoot and what you, the photographer, is aiming to accomplish. It is as simple, and crucial, like that.

Thanks for reading.

Dan Hostettler - Photographer & StudioPrague Owner

Author: Dan Hostettler   Verified Account; StudioPrague Owner  Switzerland

A traveler at heart, inspired by women, working along Swiss precision.

Dan is a mediapreneur, photographer, author of several books, owner of StudioPrague and Founder + Editor in Chief of Being a successful photographer for more than 15 years Dan got internationally published and featured on/in GQ Online, The India Times, FashionONE TV, FotoTV, GoodLight Mag, amongst many others.

Dan is currently residing and working in Prague, CZ, conducting nude photography workshops, productions and pushing educational formats to a new level.

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Your donation helps to sustain, create and regularly update the free content for you.
I love offering my knowledge to you and a small token of appreciation helps to keep the lights on.

Thank You!


Starting Out: Looks & Portfolio Building

Limited Special for: U$79 | RRP $199

Just $79