Intimate Portraits

Way back when I first started shooting I encountered the book Intimate Portraits from the photographers of Australia’s ‘Not only Black & White’ magazine.

These images resonated with me from page one, with a simple and beautiful style and subjects drawn from all walks of life.

As much as I love shooting the figure in a more abstract context, or as a centerpiece amongst structure and texture, I am often drawn to portraits. That moment when my subject says ‘wow, I didn’t know I could look like that’ doesn’t get old.

You can check out some more images in my Intimate Portraits Gallery, or if you’re interested in a collaboration, contact me below.


Definitions of ‘portrait’ vary, but for me a portrait is an image where we attempt to convey some of the personality and life of the subject. The intimacy comes from a level of undress and setting that is intimate to the subject and foreign to the viewer. A way that someone would not often be seen. I often say, think 70% portrait / 30% boudoir. It’s not quite the glamour of boudoir and to me a little more ‘real’.

To get more of an idea you can check the Intimate Portraits Gallery

Yes. Pay is $100 for underwear / implied nude ($150 if topless or nude) to compensate you for your time and the rights to use the images (as described below). 

You’ll also receive a selection of images from the shoot (usually around 6 per look) in high resolution and without any watermarks. If you’re a model you’re free to use the images for your own portfolio etc.

No. A lot of of intimate portraits may be in underwear, although implied nudity or partial nudity might be the right feel for a shoot. These shoots are a collaborative process between photographer and subject, so we would work up a mood board together before the shoot to make sure everyone is on the same page about what to expect.

The Intimate Portraits Gallery is probably the best place to see examples to understand this. Every subject will be different and have different boundaries, which is fine.

I typically shoot in and around Sydney, however I occasionally travel, so if you’re further afield you should still feel free to reach out.

Unfortunately not. I have limited shooting time available and I limit my shoots to subjects that I think will be cohesive with or add to my body of work in the project.

For most of these shoots I prefer to shoot in the subjects own home. If you don’t have a suitable space then it’s possible to arrange an alternative location.

Don’t worry if your space isn’t pristine, that’s OK, but some natural light is a big plus! Garden settings are also an option

A shoot will typically take about 60-90 minutes from start to finish

Most of my shoots are women, simply from the perspective of economics, intimate mages of men have a more limited appeal in my portfolio. However I will consider shoots with male models on a case-by-case basis.

When we setup a shoot I’ll email you a full prep-sheet that explains what to expect and how to prepare. Including details on things like:

  • Preparing the space (mainly tidy and declutter)
  • Hair and makeup (typically simple, but really it’s about you being you, so if you’re a more make-up person then that’s cool)
  • Wardrobe and styling

Of course, your reasons for doing the shoot are your own, and you will receive digital images from the shoot, I can also assist with arranging physical prints at cost.

However, the style of the shoot will be a collaboration between us and in the styles you see here and as we work up in a mood board. If you’re looking for complete creative control of a shoot, or a dedicated boudoir shoot or similar then this isn’t it. I’m happy to discuss those projects with you.

Yes you can have a friend there for support if you feel comfortable with that (or have them in the next room if you prefer).

I will not shoot with a significant-other present however, as I find subjects are too distracted by this.

I’ve been shooting for nearly 20 years, and I’m happy to meet or arrange a video-call prior to setting up a shoot. You can also contact any model from my Instagram @philchaplinphotos and I’m sure they’d be happy to provide a reference. You can also see my FAQ about having someone close by for support if you think you’d prefer that.

Ultimately however, if after doing whatever due diligence you feel is appropriate, you don’t feel comfortable or you’re not sure, then I’d suggest that you look for another way to express yourself, as being comfortable with any photo shoot (or not) would have a big impact on any photo shoot.

My aims as a photographer revolve around creating artistic prints, bodies of work for my portfolio, and potentially the occasional book.

This means the images could be used:

  • on my website and social media channels
  • in gallery shows or for individual print sales
  • for submissions to art competitions

The images cannot be used for any commercial purpose (so promoting any product or service) other than promotion of my services or the works themselves (so for example using the image to advertise a book containing the image would be OK, using it to sell toothpaste would not).

Images also cannot be used or included in any publication or website etc. that is pornographic in nature (they’re not really that sort of image anyway, but it pays to be clear).

A limited release will be required that sets out how the images can be used (check out the FAQ: ‘How will the images be used?’). A copy of the release will be sent to you when we first start setting up a shoot and you can have a read through and ask any questions.

Faces will typically appear in these images however you can use a stage name, or associate only a first name with the images if you like. Whilst images are very unlikely to be found using a web search for your name I can’t promise nobody will ever see it (when it comes to images, having them be seen is kinda the point).

If you are looking to do something that is anonymous, feel free to contact me about my figure  work and we can discuss the possibilities.

Shoot an Intimate Portrait...

If you’ve read through the FAQs, looked at some of the examples, and you think this is something you’d like to try (or you’d like more information) then take a few seconds to fill out the form and we can go from there.