When I’m working with a new client/model, there can be some confusion when it comes to the various terms I use when discussing the details of their shoot. This page should help to explain those terms and help you confidently convey your wishes, boundaries, and expectations prior to a shoot.
Some of these definitions may seem extreme for the types of photos you are envisioning for your session, but please keep in mind that I work with a wide variety of men, who are okay with and/or interested in a broad range of photography images. This page is meant to be comprehensive for all my potential subjects. Your limit for nudity might be an open shirt--and that's perfectly fine! It's also okay to tell me that you might be open to more, depending on how comfortable you feel during the shoot. However please let me know of any hard boundaries you have as soon as you can identify them.
Types of Nudity
A lot of times I have guys ask me if there will be nudity in their shoot. There are actually varying degrees of nudity, including everything from having your shirt open to what’s commonly referred to as “full frontal”. So it’s important to understand the different types of nudity--not only so you can communicate your wishes more accurately with me, but also so you know what all your options are!
As you read these definitions, do not assume that if you say you're okay with "full frontal" that it means every image in your session will have you naked with genitals displayed prominently. These terms are rather to help define where your boundaries are so I know where your comfort levels are.
Shirt Open - This is where your shirt is either partially or fully open in the front, exposing your chest and stomach. Lower body is still fully or partially clothed.
Shirtless - The shirt has been completely removed, resulting in the upper-half of your body being exposed from both the front and behind. Lower body is still fully or partially clothed.
Commando - The model is wearing pants/shorts without underwear. This type of look is particularly effective with a partial erection so the head of the penis is partially visible against the fabric of the clothing. Commando shots can give the same sexual appeal as nude shots without removing your pants. Other types of coverings often fall into this category such as towels, and other coverings where you are nude underneath.
Pants Open/Undone (With Underwear) - Pants with a catch and fly are undone, allowing the viewer to see the underwear underneath. The model’s bulge may or may not be visible in the underwear.
Pants Open/Undone (Without Underwear) - Similar to above, except the model is either not wearing underwear or is pulling them down to expose the pubic region beneath. The pubic area is normally visible and/or partial or full view of the penis and testicles.
Underwear - Images where the underwear are visible and prominent. Depending on the underwear and pose, this could mean that the outline of the penis is visible or, if the underwear are a semi-transparent material, the genitals may be partially visible.
For these types of images, I strongly encourage models/clients to consider allowing themselves to be at least partially aroused to make the underwear bulge fuller. I never recommend padding underwear to fake larger genitals, but a restriction ring (commonly referred to as a "cock-ring") can help give you the lift and presence to make your underwear look fabulous. Another option is to briefly stimulate the genitals to "fluff" them, look at porn, or talk out some sexual scenarios with me to stimulate yourself mentally. However, the goal is not to achieve a full erection, so it's important not to over-stimulate yourself unless the goal is to have an erection in the underwear, which can be a great look too!
Jockstrap - Similar to underwear images above, except that the nature of the underwear has an exposed rear that is results in your buttocks being clearly visible in the photos. When wearing a jockstrap, you will likely be posed from the side or rear in order to take advantage of the article of clothing. As with any form of nudity, please be sure to let me know what boundaries you have regarding visibility of the cheeks, anus, etc. prior to the shoot, so I can make sure to pose your appropriately.
Concealed Rear - For these types of images, the model is nude and posed to the rear in such a way that the genitals are concealed and the buttocks are either fully or partially hidden by pose or prop. The result is the appearance of a beautiful, natural, nude image but respect any modestly concerns you may have.
Concealed Frontal - Similar to concealed rear nudity, the genitals are concealed through either pose or props. This can easily be done with a simple hand covering the area, positioning something between the groin area and the camera, or holding an article of clothing or fabric that drapes down the front of you. The result is the appearance of a beautiful, natural, nude image while still respecting any modesty concerns you may have.
My preference is for all men I work with to have at this level of comfort as a minimum for their session.
Full Frontal - As you might have guessed, photos with full nudity do not worry about trying to conceal any body parts and, as such, can include images where the buttocks and/or genitals are partially or fully visible. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY WILL BE VISIBLE FOR EVERY SHOT. All this means is that there is not a requirement for them to not be. Please my Philosophy About Nudity statement below for more information about what to expect with your photo session with regard to nudity.
Exposing Anus - Normally I only photograph images of a man where his anus (asshole) is deliberately visible when requested by the model/client. I’m perfectly happy to do that for you, if that is something that you would like! Please discuss it with me ahead of time so I can be prepared to capture that without interrupting the mood of the shoot.
Philosophy About Nudity In My Work
My personal belief is that the male form is beautiful in a variety of ways! Clothing can often interfere with this raw beauty that exists naturally in every man. Despite this, I try to steer away from gratuitous nudity in my imagery. My goal is to tell a story or convey/evoke emotion with my photos. The presence (or absence) of clothing on the model/client should contribute to that vision. For example: yes two knights engaged in battle might be an arousing photo to look at, but would they realistically be fighting completely naked? What about a cowboy working in a barn or plowing a field? Probably not.
States and Conditions Related to Arousal
As men, our penises often have minds of their own. Posing for images of a sexual or sensual nature can be extremely arousing and result in the penis behaving in often unpredictable ways. Here are some things to consider with regard to this, should they happen during your photo session. It is best to let me know what your wishes are with any of the following being included in your photos prior to your shoot so I can react accordingly without drawing attention to the situation and potentially causing unnecessary embarrassment for you.
With all of these conditions, it’s important that you understand that it’s completely natural and nothing to be embarrassed about. We’re men and these things happen! And, trust me: it won’t be the first--or last--time it’ll happen while I’m working with a client/model!
Partial Erection - This is where the penis is partially engorged with blood but is not fully erect. Normally when doing images where the penis is visible (and often when concealed behind clothing) your “package” look better when the penis is partially erect so as to appear larger in the photo. For most men, this is not an issue during a shoot, but if you need to take a break and compose yourself, please let me know.
Full Erection - It’s a good idea to communicate ahead of time what you would like me to do if you develop an erection during your shoot. Here are some common ways of handling this:
1. Take a break and wait for the swelling to go down
2. Continue shooting, but adjust your poses so that the erection isn’t visible
3. Go ahead and keep shooting and use the erection as part of the pose/composition
The biggest factor here is whether or not you are okay with erections in your finished images.
Penile Discharge - This is more commonly referred to as “leaking” or “pre-cum” and is, again, completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve worked with several guys the years who were so aroused during their photo session that the leaking of semen was significant enough to be visible in the photos. We can either dry the penis and continue or just continue shooting, whichever you are most okay with.
Ejaculation - Typically ejaculation does not occur during a photo session unless the client/model is deliberately attempting to do so. If you would like to have photos of you ejaculating, please let me know that ahead of time so I can have the lighting and shutter speed ready capture something like that.
Interacting With Yourself
The following list of terms are fairly self-explanatory, but are listed to help you think about any boundaries you have as far as touching and interacting with yourself during your shoot. Often it can help with the overall sensuality or mood of a shoot to touch yourself with either fake or actual intent on self-pleasure.
Touching Your Body (General) - I often ask models/clients to touch and explore their bodies seductively. Not only does this help increase arousal levels in the subject, but also can produce some stunning images as your hands trace across your skin.
Touching Your Genitals - Just as above, I often encourage men to touch their genitals as part of the self-discovery of their bodies. These are light touches and not an attempt to masturbate.
Masturbation - The word “masturbation” needs no explanation to any of us men. Intent can be to get yourself slightly aroused or work toward full ejaculation. I never ask or assume that a model/client wants photos of himself masturbating, however I have no problem including that your session. If you would like to capture images of yourself masturbating, please let me know ahead of time so I can have the lighting and camera settings ready to capture that. Photos of a man stroking fast can be quite blurry, so it will be important to either stop periodically and let me take the photo or stroke slower to minimize motion blur.
Using Toys - If you would like to use sexual toys on yourself, please arrange that with me ahead of time so I can make sure there is a clean, safe place and that my camera is ready to take those shots. I’m perfectly happy to capture these kinds of images for you, but only upon request.
Interacting With Me
Part of my job as your photographer is to make sure that you are properly posed and presentable for the images we’re trying to capture. The following list includes some of the more common interactions that happen between the model/client and myself. If you would prefer I avoid one or more of the following interactions, please let me know ahead of time so I can respect your boundaries during the session. And, as always, if you ever feel uncomfortable, please let me know immediately!
Adjusting Clothing - This can include a multitude of things such as:
Tucking in shirts or tags
Adjusting sleeves or pant legs to straighten seams
Clipping extra material so it forms to the body better
Buttoning/unbuttoning shirts or pants to achieve the target look
Adjusting waistlines on pants or underwear
Adjusting bulges in pants or underwear
Adjusting Your Body - Sometimes it becomes necessary to adjust your pose to maximize your physique, minimize weight, or create a good composition in the photo. This can be arms, legs, head, shoulders, etc. If your genitals need to be repositioned real quick (either to conceal them if they shouldn’t be visible, or fix an odd angle if they should) it’s often much easier and faster for me to just do it myself. In my mind this is no different than adjusting your arm, but if you prefer to handle those sort of things yourself, please let me know.
Interacting With Others
It’s not often that I shoot two or more clients/models who do not already know each other, but it does happen! (However, this is never a surprise to the models/clients and has been arranged ahead of time with all parties.) Below is a list of situations that may arise during these types of shoots to help you communicate any personal boundaries you have with me and the other client/model(s).
IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT ANY INTERACTION WITH ANOTHER MODEL MUST BE CONSENSUAL BY BOTH PARTIES. NO INTERACTION BETWEEN TWO SUBJECTS ARE ALLOWED UNLESS THEY ARE DISCUSSED AND AGREED UPON AHEAD OF TIME.
Casual Physical Contact - This can be something simple and harmless like leaning against each other or performing casual, non-sexual interactions or gestures such as a "high-five" or an arm around one or the other laughing. The interaction should not convey any form of intimacy or sexuality other than what a good friend might do.
Intimate Physical Contact - These types of interactions convey an intimate or sexual relationship between the two subjects. The types of contact can be similar to Casual interactions except for the intent. The difference is normally in the facial expressions and/or the distance or pose one model has in relation to the other.
Kissing - Fairly self-explanatory, kissing can actually take several forms:
* Casual - the "peck on the cheek" style of kissing that is often associated with friendship or family
* Lips, Closed Mouth - both subjects kiss each other on the lips, mouth closed
* Lips, Open Mouth - typically referred to as "making out"
* Other - Kissing various body parts can also fall under this category with varying degrees of intimacy ranging from an arm, to a stomach, chest, nipple, to genitals.
Embracing - This is holding or hugging the other person in an intimate, sensual way
Stimulating/Touching Genitalia - If any genitalia will be touched or stimulated, either directly or through clothing, it's important both parties consent to it.
Simulated Sexual Positions - These are images where the pose makes it appear the subjects are engaging in some form of sexual act, but are not. Typically these poses suggest some sort of penetration where the body part of one subject is inside of the other subject (i.e. orally, vaginally , rectally, etc.)
Typically I don't take images of this nature on purpose, so be sure to let me know if that is something you're interested in capturing.
Actual Sexual Positions - These are images that depict one subject's body part inside of the other (i.e. orally, vaginally, rectally, etc.)
Typically, I don't take images of this nature, so be sure to let me know ahead of time if this is something you're interested in capturing.
Mutual Masturbation - This is where both subjects stimulate their genitals with the intent of ejaculating. Please let me know if images of this nature are something you're interested in.
Ejaculation - This is where images are captured at the moment of climax, capturing the ejaculation event. I normally do not capture images of this type, but open to it if arranged ahead of time.