Understanding what a photographer is expecting from a particular casting call can often be tricky. Everyone seems to have similar terms for everything but all with slightly different meanings. For example, look at the picture on the left. Is it “artistic nude” or “nude”? In my opinion it is an “artistic nude”, as the image is more about shape and form than it is about Layla herself. But many would disagree as firstly there is a common belief that all art nudes are shot in black and white and secondly many models believe that art nude does not cover full frontal, so this would not qualify because of that. But many famous photographers have shot many photographs in similar poses and frequently in colour, and these have all been accepted as artistic nudes.
So here is my list of terminology that I am likely to use in a casting call, along with a description of what is likely to be expected. It will not help you with anyone else, but should at least translate anything I post on here.
Artistic Nude (or Figure Nude)
The model will be required to be nude and the shoot may include full frontal images, although this will concentrate on shape and form rather than sexuality. Artistic nude photography is traditionally predominantly shot in black and white, but I prefer to work in colour, and sometimes even in false colour.
Body / Parts
Specifically concentrating on one or more parts of the body (e.g. the hands), usually to emphasize an action being performed or an object being held. Frequently specified on commercial shoots.
Not quite pornographic in nature, explicit shoots will have a strong sexual content and will usually result in more detailed or graphic images than you would find in an art nude shoot.
It’s all about the clothes or the make-up.
Photography involving the models wearing unusual clothing such as latex, leather, or chain mail, and often set in unusual and bizarre situations that sometimes includes restraints such as ropes or other equipment. Fetish images are usually strongly sexual and yet may not require any actual nudity.
Glamour photography can involve nudity, but it can equally be a high fashion concept. It is more about the model’s appearance and the emotions being projected, and will often suggest arousal even when the model is fully clothed.
The model will be required to be either fully or partially nude, but this will not be recorded in detail in the final photograph. Light, shade, and partially worn clothing will all be used to conceal the model, and the result will be suggestive but not revealing.
Similar to artistic nude, but in everyday situations, and usually in a domestic setting rather than a studio.
Lingerie is a broad term covering modelling in undergarments or sensual sleepwear, all of which can vary widely between shoots from modest to quite revealing. If it matters to you then always be sure to enquire as to the level of nudity or visibility involved.
Too artificial for me, but I thought I would include the term for completeness. “Playboy” style shoots are often advertised, but this is vague and often leads to misunderstandings due to the constantly changing style of the Playboy magazine. In general this is a style where the models are fully nude and the legs are kept reasonably together with no overt sexual activity.
I’m sure I don’t need to explain this one.