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Creating a Marilyn Monroe Inspired Fine Art Nude Photo - Video

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Fine Art Nudes is one of the things I love most to photograph because there are no limits on your creativity. I can collaborate with my model to create something truly artistic and beautiful.

The image shown here was taken during my in person Fine Art Nude workshop ( https://lindsayadler.photo/fan-workshop) and was inspired by Marilyn Monroe.

While my lovely and talented Burlesque model Bryona isn’t blonde like Marilyn, we’re still channeling that vintage pin-up look, just brunette style! 


The main light is here I one of my favorite modifiers (and not just because I co-designed it with Westcott lol) because of how it can create really hard crisp light. 

If you look at vintage photographs many times you’ll notice they are using a hard light source. This is because they were using hot lights, specifically Fresnels which created very poppy, high contrast lighting. 

Since this is a rather concentrated light there were areas that were darker than I liked so I introduced a medium umbrella with diffusion as my fill. 

Lastly, I added a third light for the background that had a 20 degree grid just to create a little separation between the model and the background. 

Of course the set played a big role in the execution of this image. I purchased some red velvet curtains and used them as the backdrop as well as draping them over the couch for the model to sit on.  

I loved the result and the lighting straight out of camera, even with zero adjustments: 5:23

Post Processing

For post processing I darkened down the curtains a bit so that the model would pop a bit more and desaturated the image overall. 

For retouching, you can see that the biggest changes were to the background. What I wound up doing was grabbing a plate from another shot where I didn’t have those shadows hitting the background and added that in. We could have left the shot as is, but this extra step made the image look a lot more polished.


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