DIY Provocative Photography

Photo courtesy of Me In My Place

We've put together a few tips and tricks to help you look your best, whether you want to send a few jpegs to an out-of-town lover, or you're creating your own personal photo book as a holiday gift (Note: not an appropriate gift for a coworker or relative).


  • Decide on a look. What do you want your picture to communicate? Coyness? Domination? Adventure? There are a million options that depend on your preference and what you think your recipient will enjoy. Take inspiration from other photos, from vintage pin-ups to classic Helmut Newton or edgy Araki. Our favorite narrative set – Sam Haskins' Cowboy Kate. For a more home-spun feel, take a look at Me In My Place.
  • Set the scene. Sprawled across an unmade bed or straddling a chair. Leaning over the kitchen counter, or diving into a pool. Chose locations and positions in which you feel comfortable.
  • Get yourself in the mood. Put on your favorite playlist, relax with a glass of wine and think about your audience and what you think gets them going. If you want to have a little fun with your favorite Jimmyjane vibrator before (or during) the photo shoot, that rosy-cheeked, satiated look can come across nicely in the pictures.
  • Costumes and props. Are you going for full-on artsy nude or seductive lingerie? Would a bowler (the hat, not the guy with a heavy ball) help communicate your message? Use a few key objects, but keep it minimal so as not to clutter the scene. Remember, you're the center of attention here.


  • Lighting. A few soft lamps, indirect light or a soft filter (like a white sheet– avoid fire-risks, though!) shielding a bright light are a safe place to start. Skip the flash and overhead lighting, unless you're going for the Juergen Teller look – which is tough to master.
  • Taking the photo. Most cameras have an auto-timer. Set up a tripod (the ones from our friends at Joby are super-handy) or find a nice view propping the camera on a stable surface. You can also try a webcam and a picture-taking program like Photobooth.
  • Angles. Play with the position of the camera and your body. Try the camera high, then low (the view from above is usually more flattering). Maybe you want to take a shot from behind, or show a slim peek of your naked body through a crack in the door. Capture your reflection in a mirror, or your silhouette on the wall.
  • Posing. Try a wide range of poses to find the one that is most comfortable for you. Don't be afraid to take test shots first (the beauty of a digital camera). Warm yourself up by posing in non-sexual positions first – dancing, lounging, reading.
  • Tease. Remember that a little bit of skin goes a long way. Spike your demure side with a bit of exhibitionism. Play with obscuring your body to leave something to the imagination, then maybe give in a bit over the sequence of the photos.
  • Review. Before ending your photo session, check the photos full size on your monitor. This may inspire new shots, more shots or simply tell you you're ready to wrap.
  • Curate. Narrow down the shots to just a handful of favorites. You can always shoot more later once the first round is properly appreciated.
A note about sharing. It's best to ensure that these private photos do not fall into the wrong hands (i.e. keep the files on your home computer in a special folder, rather than on your company's server). Also, make sure you trust the person to whom you're giving the photos; you don't want to see an intimate shot given to a previous lover posted on your Facebook wall. With all that in mind, enjoy. Taking sexy photos should be fun. Remember, if you don't like the way they turn out, you can always take more. (Or take some with a partner, but we'll get into that in another post). Have you experimented with sexy photos? We'd love to hear your tips as well...