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Photographing Body Paint Art

Updated on August 13, 2016
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Source

The Basics

  • There are many photographic projects that are fun to do. There are many that are hard to do and there are many that are expensive and need several people to help you bring it to fruition. This project is all of them at one time.
  • From extravagant animal designs to military and sports related. Body painting is only limited by the skills and imagination of the artist and photographing them is nothing short of an eye-opening experience.
  • Not only will you need to hire models or at least secure the assistance from friends or perhaps students from a college art class. You will also need to hire a good body paint artist to make the creations come to life unless, of course, you are adept at this too.

"Body painting, or sometimes body painting, is a form of body art. Unlike tattoo and other forms of body art, body painting is temporary, painted onto the human skin, and lasts for only several hours, or at most (in the case of Mehndi or "henna tattoo") a couple of weeks. Body painting that is limited to the face is known as face painting" Wikipedia.

  • Permits may also be required depending on the locations that you choose to record images of your subjects. Assistants to help you, your subjects, and the body paint artist and so on.
  • One of the best tips would be to conduct this project in a studio, but this will with certainty limit your available subject themes.
  • After you have decided if the project will take place in a studio or outside the fun begins. Keep in mind that these people who will have their bodies painted are in reality "nude" and a series of laws and permits for such endeavors are most always required unless the project happens to take place in remote areas and no one "sees" you.
  • You can conduct the photo shoot using one single model at a time and it can be either male or female. However, some of the best compositions or scenes are those involving several models pretending to be interacting in a thematic scene such as sports, or games and so on.
  • You can also turn the project into a nature theme, sci-fi theme and many more. Be mindful that the more complicated the theme or scene the longer it will take from beginning to the final image.
  • This project will take time and there are basically very few shortcuts around it. You will need time and space for the artist to paint the model, you will need time and space for the models to get rid of the paint, in a shower more than likely, you will need time and space for the models to change clothes such as bathrobes for in between shots.
  • You will probably need to make some sort of arrangements for some refreshments as this shoot will more than likely take a few hours to complete.
  • Like most portrait shoots, the use of at least one main photo lamp and a reflector is a must. The best backdrop is a dark one with a nonglossy surface
  • You can also project a backdrop that complements the body paint like a jungle print if the body paint is that of an animal or a flag if the subject features a design of a military nature.

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

Keep In Mind

  • These photographs are very good to submit to photographic stock houses and some calendar publications.
  • They are also very suitable to send to general photographic publications and to turn them into a photographic book or for use by the body painting industry.
  • Try to avoid being overly exotic and not to show nudity, at least in its true form.
  • Interpretation and innuendo as well as leaving things to the imagination often work best to create mystery and illicit talk than to show everything out in the open.
  • Remember that some may be offended by this art but the artists who specialize in this type of body art are generally quite adept at hiding certain body parts and have taken this technique to new heights.
  • Nevertheless, it is often best to exercise some common sense in displaying the images and controlling who has access to viewing them once the shoot has been finalized.
  • Not everyone considers this type of expression an art form and that can lead some to criticize your photographic work so being mindful of this is appropriate.
  • However with that said, many of the best artists, including photographers, aim to please their artistic inclinations first and worry about the critics of their work later.
  • If you are ever able to make it a point to attend one of these art festivals and, of course, take your camera and your creativity along for the ride.

CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Would you do this type of project?

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© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez

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    • Margo Stormy profile image

      Margo Stormy 4 years ago from Atlanta Georgia

      GREAT PICTURE :)

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Margo: Thank you

    • Margo Stormy profile image

      Margo Stormy 4 years ago from Atlanta Georgia

      your welcome :)

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Love all these human art pictures, very awesome !

      Vote up and more !

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      kashmir56: Thank you

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      kashmir56: Thank you

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 4 years ago from Savannah GA.

      I love body art..great collection!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Highvoltagewriter: thank you

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Wow,these are amazing!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      FR: Thank you , glad you liked them

    • Gerg profile image

      Gerg 4 years ago from California

      Beautiful photos and interesting subject, Luis!

      G

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Gerg; Thank you

    • Amparo 2 years ago

      amazing work! check out this other INCREDIBLE WORK! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLB2EBORI_o&feature...

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 2 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Amparo: Will do and thanks

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