Sexy!

Youth and sex have forever been used to promote and sell products and services. And sexy pixs are especially important to the calendar sector that isn't dominated by kittens (the more feline type) and gardens. I'm not an expert on what is sexy; that is gender specific and tied to sexual orientation, age, culture and personality. But I can give you some tips on how to make pictures that will have sex appeal AND still useful for some mainstream buyers.
Golden heels girl in bikini #2
Bosom with bra
This article is illustrated exclusively with images that can be downloaded with the Dreamstime content filter on. To be certain that the filter does not block your images, don't submit photos that are overly sexual in nature. Nudes will escape censoring by the filter if the more personal parts are in shadow or covered by the angle of the shot or position.
Nude woman relaxing on the floor eyes closed
Both of the images above will satisfy image needs for some health care uses, concepts of beauty and femininity and won't be blocked by the content filter. Which is why they probably aren't considered as "sexy" as the ones below where the model is not nude at all but still gets past the filter.
Feminine pink shorts and hand
Dreamstime doesn't accept anything that is pornographic.
Pay attention to details. When casting for models to pose as sex symbols, don't look only at the body and face. Check out the model's hands and feet. Nice manicure and pedicure? If not, back to the salon. Hands that look like claws? Hide them. If she's not barefoot, are her shoes fashionable and not worn?
Sexy punk-rock girl
Feet with madonna lily
A mistake I've seen a few times: model has been running around the shooting area for several hours and no one has noticed that the soles of her/his feet are now very dirty. Save yourself some difficult tricks in post and keep your eye on the soles.
Woman
Attraction business lady
Hair in both male and female models needs to be clean and not stringy. No skin blemishes that can't be easily removed in post production. We have been hearing from clients for many years that they want models that look "real". It may seem obvious to ask that models with dirty hair, bad skin and not so nice looking faces be avoided but they are just too real.
Demand for images of nude and sensual men is much more limited than it is for woman. Major uses: men's health issues, personal trainer web sites and workout equipment. Sexy photos of men fall into two categories: the muscle men and the rest.
Muscular athletic body builder chest
I'm more into brain than brawn but below are my picks for sexy he-man shots. (Can't help humming the Randy Newman song: You Can Keep Your Hat on, Baby)
Nacked man in the cap - pointing
No one forgets makeup for women but it gets overlooked when it comes to shooting hero shots of men. You can end up with terrific bodies topped by faces as greasy as an omelet pan.
Lips
Love desire
Seduction is a state of mind and portraits can be just as erotic as full body shots. And it doesn't always have to be the standard garter belts and fish nets stockings. Two of the most erotic images I recall had to do with feathers.
Apple-Pear
Nudity and eroticism are found in the work of some of the world's top photographers. Helmut Newton said about his work "There are two dirty words in photography: one is 'art' and the other is 'good taste'. He didn't say that to me but he did quote a $32,000 day rate to me for a Japanese company that wanted to hire him years ago. I met with him and my Japanese agent at Hollywood 's Chateau Marmont Hotel to make arrangements for him to work for the client. (The client went elsewhere as the fee was too high for them).
Look up a few of the masters of 20th century erotic and nude photography: Newton, Edward Weston, Ralph Gibson, Sam Haskins, Herb Ritts and Ruth Bernhard among others.
TIPS
To avoid being blocked by the content filter, no full frontal nudity or overly sexual positions.
Don't over look the details of the model's hands and feet; hair and skin.
Revealing less rather than more can often result in images that have a greater emotional impact.
Study the masters

Photo credits: Aaron Twa, Dreamstime Agency, Ivan Grlic, Ivan Polushkin, Syda Productions, Fritz Langmann, Gruizza, James Steidl, Kurhan, Maxfx, Photogirl-la, Redbaron, Yuri_arcurs.

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April 25, 2007

Lensara

Ive actually just taken loads of self portrait pics in this genre to give it a try and thanks for all the info it was really good fun

April 16, 2007

Ladykassie

(((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))
thanks Denise..

April 16, 2007

Denisebeverly

i'm sorry my mom and dad had gone through this soooo many times. remember "it" comes from the inside......

April 16, 2007

Ladykassie

That was a great laugh Denise.. you made me laugh.... after coming back from the doctor and again, having to deal with skin cancer.. this time on my shoulder, and maybe (another spot on my cheek, which is about an inch that will be taken out if it is.. ughhhhh) Now I don't feel sexy.. ughhhhh....

April 16, 2007

Denisebeverly

alice mine is the same way, disheveled, sleep deprived,dirty work clothes...whatever, he still sees me as the most beautiful and desirable woman on the planet. if i could feel half as beautiful as he thinks i am, i would be too obnoxious to deal with haha

April 16, 2007

Ladykassie

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That is why one of the tips at the end of the blog is: • "Revealing less rather than more can often result in images that have a greater emotional impact".

So true!!!!!!
My husband thinks I am sexy when he sees me first thing in the morning, still in my pjs and working at the computer with my mug of coffee.. '-)
Just one of the many things why I married him!

April 16, 2007

Denisebeverly

Does sexy have to have nudity? Does Sexy have to have female bodies half clothed or male bodies half clothed? from Ladykassie and



I've seen images of sand dunes that were sexy. . . its been said the brain is the most prominent sex organ in the body. . .its really more about the sensual nature of an image than it is about large exposed areas of skin. from Lightart

i agree with you both as this is something i eluded to somewhere in all my "talking" about this. :)


ellen i will email soon. when i went back to look through i found many common threads.

this seems to be an issue with a handful of photographers, who intentionally or due to a misunderstanding of our wonderful english language have included both teen and adult in their shots of this nature.

many were simply keyword spamming including the exact same words on every shot, most of which didn't apply to the photo anyway.

if i might i would like to suggest, and i will put this in the email as well, that there be some guideline on when it is appropriate to use teen and similar words. i found adolescent in many of the shots from one photographer, keyword spamming of course.

you stated that up to the age of 18 you personally would not want to see suggestive poses,etc. could there be a guideline that states something to the effect - if the model is under 18 they CAN use the words teen , teenager etc but if they are over 18 they cannot? most of the photos using adult and teen would be acceptable if they only had adult as a keyword.

i know you said in one post "please remember 18 is the age of consent and considered adulthood in most states and countries. And 18 and 19 are considered "teens" and their images should be keyworded as such so nude and teen are rightfully together in those images." but if the guidelines were clear i think these could still be accessible to those hunting them.

i still hold to my previous thoughts on the underage shots, there were still some shots where the model simply appeared too young for the pose. i will agree to say they "appear" too young knowing they maybe older and just have a baby face.








April 16, 2007

Ellenboughn

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That is why one of the tips at the end of the blog is: • "Revealing less rather than more can often result in images that have a greater emotional impact".

April 16, 2007

Ladykassie

So true LightArt..

Also.. I think my dog is sexy..  Image not available or id is incorrect. 

April 16, 2007

Starblue

Hello to all - not long time ago I have read an interview where a Czech actress has told that much more "sexy" is when the body is discovered in way that one must imagine the rest. Indeed, when you started to talk about this topic and Ladzkassie asked if sexy have to have nudity, I have recall an image seen on exbition. It has been close up of female neck and breast. She was dressed in old type dress like from middle age pub, so her breast was pushed up and near the breast was a cross. And it was illuminated with warm orange light... it was really sexy in my opiniom and artistic in the same moment.
Have a excellent day!
Starblue

April 16, 2007

Ladykassie

Does sexy have to have nudity? Does Sexy have to have female bodies half clothed or male bodies half clothed?

April 16, 2007

Stuartkey

Maybe it was inadequate clothing making an inappropriate photo? :)

April 16, 2007

Avion49


PS: user banned for posting inadequate photo

Inadequate? or Inappropriate? Either way, I'm glad to see that action was promptly taken.

Sandy

April 16, 2007

Achilles

We realized that this theme will spark discussions and this is one of the main reasons it was posted, because this is why the blog is here. We delayed its post a while because of the Easter holiday.

Now, on topic, this is supposed to be a site for specialists. The terms clearly say that:
Children

Children (persons under the age of 18) are not eligible to use this site unsupervised and we ask that children do not register for an account or submit any personal information to us. By using this site unsupervised, and/or registering for an account, you warrant that you are 18 years of age or older.


This means that all of us (including me) have to be careful when we browse the site with our kids near us. The content filter works, but its sensitivity is set to "adults" not to minors.

So, this is a theme that is to be discussed between professionals of the stock industry. This come with the positive and negative criticism about where the advertising is heading to. Without negative criticism things cannot change after all. In the same time everyone has the right to an opinion and probably this is a subject where the border line various dramatically from one person to the other, from one gender to the other, from one religion, culture, society, age to the other. Don't consider it a can of worms but a constructive discussion.

PS: user banned for posting inadequate photo

April 15, 2007

Riskyphoto

I never have posted anything until this post. I guess this just strikes a cord with me having four children one of which is a 14 year old daughter. Being around her friends etc. has made me realize that advertising is playing a big role in how the kids dress and what they feel is "o.k. and acceptable". I believe that each one of the photographers whether teens or adults should really think about what they shoot and how will it affect our society as a whole.

"LightArt, remember that the only reason we realized we were naked is because of sin other than that no-one would even be having this conversation"


I think many companies are taking strides to change these images and projections....Like Dove soap ads, they advertise natural beauty. Not that there is not a need for nudity still. If people want porn they do not have to come to a stock site for it, there are tons of it for free on the internet. They want tasteful and that is what this blog is about, they come to a site to purchase it.

I think it's our jobs as parents to teach our kids that their self image is really the only one that matters. Being in this field it's very easy to show them how models are made to look better. I have to clone bigger arms onto smaller models all the time now.

Self confidence and a good attitude will carry anyone far.

April 15, 2007

Ellenboughn

Please do not open the URL in the message just above this. It would not get past our filter and is completely inappropriate to this venue. I'll get it removed as soon as I can.

April 15, 2007

Artchick

Great post, but I disagree with the statement that images of nude and sensual men are in less demand that those of women. There's a great market for these models and photographs in the publishing world! Artists need sensually posed, handsome, adult males for use in covers for ebooks, website banners, promotional flyers, etc.

I hope more photographers start using males as subjects in their shoots, especially models who represent a diverse range of ethnicities.

April 14, 2007

Jwblinn

Boy, has this thread lost it's way.

I was so glad to see Ellen's blog on the subject of 'sexy'. I shoot lots of pretty and young models, most clothed and some not. And probably my most commonly used keyword is 'sexy'.

I do not shoot porn and I have never seen anything approaching porn on this site or any other stock site with which I'm familiar. In fact I see far more suggestive and demeaning and exploitative images of women and young-looking girls in mainstream magazines than anywhere in the microstock world -- and mainly, ironically enough, in fashion advertising aimed at women, magazines like 'W' and 'Glamour' and 'Vogue'.

I also don't shoot models under the age of 21 in alluring or revealing or prurient poses and NEVER have used the keywords 'teen' or 'teenager'. My point is simply that this kneejerk leap from 'sexy' to 'porn' is irrelevant and specious within this context. So let's skip the porn talk and get down to business.

Ellen's blog touched on some valuable points for those of us who shoot models. What's sexy and what's not and how we as creatives can shoot the types of shots the clients need.

I'm pretty new here and I had some success with a series I did with a St. Patty's Day theme. Right now I have under review another series (with some partial nudity) themed for the 4th of July as well as some artistic and fine art nudes thrown in. I'm testing the waters with these to see what works and what falls on its face. I'd love to hear from some of the more-seasoned shooters on their experiences so we can all benefit from each others' mistakes and successes.

So what do you say gang?!

April 14, 2007

Denisebeverly

maybe we are chasing the rabbit , while driving the car...i feel too lazy to run after it today hahah

April 14, 2007

Littlemacproductions

but i think we have ********ed off course a bit.

Ka-bam!

April 14, 2007

Denisebeverly

regardless of the fact that it should or shouldn't be discussed in an open commercial setting. i believe ellen said she didn't think it needed to be discussed, whether that means in this thread or on DT , doesn't matter to me. the topic of the thread was not about religion or freedom of said religion. so i think we should steer away from chasing that rabbit. the debate over appropriate model shots was a subject appropriate detour, but i think we have ********ed off course a bit.

April 14, 2007

Thyrymn


I respect your beliefs but frankly religious prostelizing has no place on a commercial site.

Unfortuately, you are wrong. It is a myth of modern western culture that religion and talking about religion in a commerical setting "has no place." Many people have made much money with overt prostelizing. For example, Ben Franklin (no religious zealot by any means) made his fortune publishing the sermons of George Whitfield.

April 14, 2007

Denisebeverly

ellen i will , but it will be later today or perhaps tomorrow. my son is home today and tomorrow all day, and runs by my computer a lot. for instance 4 times while i have been typing this...i will enjoy it while i can...he still likes me :) i will go back and scan through first chance i get.

April 14, 2007

Ellenboughn

Hello Denise: I will take a look at the keywords. But please remember 18 is the age of consent and considered adulthood in most states and countries. And 18 and 19 are considered "teens" and their images should be keyworded as such so nude and teen are rightfully together in those images. If you would like to send some image numbers for me to look at that you think are wrong, please send to support to forward to me. But I won't get into a discussion of how religious beliefs should effect photography nor censorship. Nor should we here. But I'm glad for the lively discussion. Thanks to you all.

April 14, 2007

Sonyae

I never have posted anything until this post. I guess this just strikes a cord with me having four children one of which is a 14 year old daughter. Being around her friends etc. has made me realize that advertising is playing a big role in how the kids dress and what they feel is "o.k. and acceptable". I believe that each one of the photographers whether teens or adults should really think about what they shoot and how will it affect our society as a whole.

"LightArt, remember that the only reason we realized we were naked is because of sin other than that no-one would even be having this conversation"

April 14, 2007

Denisebeverly

good morning ellen. thanks for taking the time to post back and i am glad you don't feel hijacked.

you have covered most everything i commented on ,to quote your post "(Certainly child pornography is illegal but not nude pictures of children under all circumstances)" - no i do not think babies in the bathtub, , with bubbles :) ,are pornographic.
we will have to agree to disagree on the teen issue, i haven't changed my thinking on this matter at all. i won't even say it is based on the fact that i am a Christian,though i am. I simply think teens are too young for this type of imagery or portrayal.

however the one thing you did not address was the keywording.
there is no reason at all that teen or teenager belongs in 99 percent of these shots as a keyword. it is not a correct use of the keywording system,period.

April 14, 2007

Riskyphoto

I think it beautiful how photography can take an expression and make it more beautiful. Some may not like nudity and that is their personal belief. But for the rest who are not ashamed of it nor offended by it is just another form of expression. The human body is nothing to be ashamed of.

April 14, 2007

Ellenboughn

I agree completely with almost everything that has been said here on a personal level. I abhor the use of children (and that means up past the age of 18) in exploitative images especially in advertising. This is one of the reasons I always recommend that a photographer request a driver's license or passport to verify age. And this is for all images not just nude ones.

I also don't like the exploitation of women that some advertising slips into nor the idea that the only "pretty" women (or men) are young and slim. However, neither is illegal. (Certainly child pornography is illegal but not nude pictures of children under all circumstances)

The United States Supreme Count hasn't been able to decide what is pornography and what is not. Just like many other social issues, this one is both culturally and nationally determined. I tend to take the same road the US Supreme Court did: is what is shown generally accepted in the community?

The answer here is yes. You will find the same kinds of images all over the stock photo industry. And worse: an illustration of Mary and the baby Jesus, comes up on the first page of a search of teen nudity on the world's biggest stock agency. But look more carefully: Mary was young, perhaps a teen. And Jesus is naked as he came into the earth. Thus "nude teen" returns this image.

I understand that some religious beliefs would cause some people to be offended by every image in the blog. Some would take offense at all the images of women on the site as their beliefs are that women should be totally covered, including their faces. I respect that belief but I can not let it dictate what images we accept and display.

Should we go along with something just because "everyone else" does it? Not in our personal lives but when we are a business serving an audience that ranges over many cultures and many countries the answer is: yes.

I was in Italy some years ago during a strike by air traffic controllers. That week the cover of the biggest Italian news magazine was a nude woman playing with a toy airplane. This was my first lesson in how different cultures feel about the human body.

No, you haven't highjacked the blog. I appreciate your comments. One of the things that I like about Dreamstime, is our transparency. I'm happy to explain my decisions and I hope you will understand them but I also understand that I can't expect you to always accept them.
Ellen

April 14, 2007

Sonyae

i agree with everything that you have posted denisebeverly, and will go a little further to say that we will all stand before the most awsome high judge and will have to give an account for our actions. Whoa to that person on that day who is taking such pictures!!

April 14, 2007

Denisebeverly

i understood what ellen was saying and about that i only pointed out that "romantic" might be nice. the word sexy is thrown in our face so much. there is something intense and magnetic about the "look" the model has in the next to last picture ( beside the fishnet stocking shot) there is no nudity shown and yet it is deeply seductive and sensual. the mysterious nature of it makes it even more so. she doesn't have to show every inch of skin in order to be "sexy".

she doesn't have to push her backside or breasts in the camera to be sexy. it comes from within. to be honest when i see shots of bottoms pushed up and out in some unnatural position, i think of my cats and how they rare up their backside when you are petting them near the base of their tails. no offense to the photographers or models, its just what i think of when i see on of those shots. :o

everything from cars to televisions are considered "sexy" these days. it has lost its punch, its a tag line a catch phrase. it is what you have to be to be accepted, it is used like the word "love" was used in the 80's. you loved this, you loved that, everything had love attached to it until it got so watered down it really meant nothing. and people got tired of hearing it everywhere they turned.

i do understand what ellen was saying , i have been enjoying her articles immensely and have learned a great deal. does that mean i will be inclined to include these types of shots just because it is what the market wants , no. they will still need mundane everyday stuff as well. i'll be here to fill that everyday normal life sort of stuff :) plain little "ol me - dull as dishwater.

i don't believe i inferred that i thought the human body is dirty or sinful. although that is what i know will be assumed since i said i was old fashioned in my thinking. i am not a prude, i understand sexy, i understand sexual attraction. i believe the body is a wondrous creation. and i understand sex sells. it just doesn't need to be tagged onto a child. sexy has its place but it isn't a 13 year old girl with her shirt pulled up or her pants pulled down. my main concern and reason for my long post was about the teens.

at my sons high school 1/2 of the football team has ,at any given moment ,some comment about " you're my sexy honey, you're sexy - have my babies".painted on their car windows, ....these are 16 year olds. some of these kids i have known since kindergarten. i have watched them grow and change and even at 14 some of these girls were drop dead gorgeous, and had bodies to rival most any model around.

i see them every afternoon come out of school, cleavage showing, pelvic bones showing, clothes so tight they can barely breathe, because they think they have to dress that way to be attractive, they have to be sexy!! some wear 4 inch spike heels to school. one girl ran in hers, it slipped off , flipped over and impaled...

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