The Art of Male Nude Photography

The Art of Male Nude Photography

Photo: © Lon Liwen

Throughout history, the nude has been the benchmark for most forms of artistic expression. When we talk of beauty, the male form is foremost in people’s mind when it comes to art. Think of Greek statuary and temple drawings, Michelangelo’s David, Rodin’s The Thinker or Lucian Freud’s portraits of Leigh Bowery. The combination of grace and strength the male form is endowed with has challenged artists to their best.   The advent of photography in the late 19th century democratized art making. This led to an exploration of the male form that has captured it in its myriad form. By the late 20th century, the nude has become a must for the portfolios of both artist and model.   Nude photography is not just taking a snapshot of a naked man. For it to be an artistic expression, it must possess the basic requirements of photography as well as an artistic eye to elevate the subject from the basic and pedestrian.   The Art of Nude Male Photography will guide photography enthusiasts in the rudiments of photographing the male form, while offering advice and tips on creating an environment conducive to art making.  

What Will Be Covered

  • Various photographic expressions of the male nude
  • How to light the male form using available and studio light
  • Suitable poses and angles that highlight the subject’s assets
  • Materials to enhance the subject and set the mood, including backgrounds, props and makeup
  • Building rapport with the model

Who Should Attend

  • Professional and amateur photographers who are interested in the topic


  • A suitable camera
  • Working knowledge of basic photography and lighting principles
  • Must be of legal age (18-years old and above)

Presentation method

Class time will be divided between instructor-led presentations, hands-on sessions with a live model, and instructor-led critiques of the photos taken in class. 


International fashion photographer Lon Liwen was involved in a variety of careers before going full time in photography. Lon Liwen is the professional name of Raymond Lontok.

During the Nineties, Li was one of the youngest fashion designers in the Philippines to run a flourishing line of ready-to-wear clothes. He branched out to publication by starting one of the country’s esteemed publishing houses and conceptualizing and realizing its premiere fashion magazine. He also managed a modeling agency that maintained an international portfolio.

He produced widely read publications that focused on the nude male form and gender issues such as Rice, Brief Encounters and Brief Moments. He provided the template for the highly popular Bench underwear shows by conceptualizing and producing its first two productions. He created Preview magazine and founded Summit Media. He also published Fashion Forecast, a trade publication devoted to Philippine fashion.

In the early 2000s, Li started an international career in fashion photography with bases in Canada, Milan, Paris and New York. He helped nurture the careers of a number of today’s top fashion models by lending them his keen eye and creativity.

Li now makes the Philippines his home, frequently traveling around the Asian region for a variety of assignments.

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