Implied topless photography: 7 techniques! – Velvet Thyme

Implied topless photography: 7 techniques!

What is implied topless photography?

Implied topless photography just means that you look nude on your top half. And, although you might look nude up top, it’s actually implied (or inferred) as you are fully covered. There is no nipples here (so Instagram can breathe a sigh of relief) and you can show as much, or as little, of the sides and top parts of your breasts as feels right for you. 

Implying topless nudity is really pretty simple, and I’ll show you my top seven ways of inferring nudity whilst still keeping you covered.

Implied topless photography using books.

Why choose to use implied topless photography techniques

Topless and/or nude photography isn’t the right approach for everyone and that’s totally OK. For personal, religious, cultural or employment reasons, sometimes nudity isn’t the right option. I often I find clients love to include a bit of both in their photo shoots. Often they choose to keep the topless and nude photos private, whilst being excited to share the implied topless or implied full nude photos on socials or with friends and family. There are a load of reasons why including implied topless photography in your photo shoot might be the right option for you.

So with that said, how do we go about creating implied topless photography?

1. Find a frond

Plant lovers rejoice, as there is nothing more useful than a plant frond. To achieve your implied topless look, select your favourite greenery. Bring me a small shrubbery, a palm leaf, fern, branch, bunch of flowers or maybe a few handfuls of soil and I’ll make sure you are totally covered!

Implied topless with plant fronds.

2. Jackets, wraps, fabric, shawls and more!

OK, so you are probably thinking that this is cheating because you are technically wearing clothing. However, given we generally layer under all these items, they are perfect at implying nudity while still keeping you covered. And, if there’s a bit of a nip slip – there’s always Photoshop! 

Using fabric to create implied topless photography.

3. Objects (not objectification!)

I couldn’t resist this title because I have written quite a bit about avoiding objectification in these photoshoots. For this implied topless approach, we are choosing a selection of objects to provide the perfect cover. You can be really creative and also have a lot of fun (and humour) with this. From guitars, books, feathers, fruit, food and so much more!

Use a guitar for implied topless photography.
Technically this is implied nude, but the client is actually wearing underwear.
Agatha Christie books are the perfect implied topless cover.

4. Hands up who wants to try implied topless photography?

Hands are the perfect cover for implied topless. They allow you to provide as much or as little coverage as you would like. From cupping, arms crossed over chest, to a single arm – there are loads of options to try. Just don’t forget that Instagram will only allow softly cupped and not squeezed breasts (yes it’s madness…).

Use arms for impled nude photography.

6. Playful positioning

This can be as simple as taking a nude back, or being positioned in a way that elements in the room cover you. You could take a leaf out of the nude blocked scene from Austin Powers, where everything is perfectly aligned to censor any nudity – (but we’ll try to be a little less cheesy!).

Turn your back for implied topless photos.
Again, another implied nude - but you get the idea!

7. Light & shadow

The play of light and shadow across the body can create really interesting images and is also a useful tool for implied topless photographs. I have long been obsessed with the way that abstract light can highlight various elements of the face and body to create almost mosaic like imagery.

7. Get really creative!

There are so many things you can try that will also create implied topless images. You could try dry ice smoke, bubbles, coloured smoke bombs, coloured chalk dust, prism censorship, water, long exposure movement, paint, fire twirling and so much more!

Again, this is more implied nude, but the plastic paint drop sheet did an immense job of censorship - top half at least!

Try implied topless photos!

So if you are looking to infer topless nudity without any actual any nudity this is the perfect way to achieve it. What’s your favourite implied topless technique?

Implied topless photography with an open jacket.

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