The Anatomy of a Nude with Maddie Dragsbaek

Maddie Dragsbaek knows her way around a nude. The Brooklyn-based internet sensation made a name for herself with her recurring YouTube series on the subject—the aptly named “How to Take Your Best Nudes”—and, according to the comments section, the results are in. Below, Dragsbaek gives her step-by-step guide to mastering the art of the unclothed photograph.  – JULIANA UKIOMOGBE


I LOVE taking nudes. Sometimes I go completely nude, other times I opt for a lingerie set. Sometimes I share the photos, but most of the time I keep them for myself. Either way, I use the process to connect to my body and indulge in my sensuality. For a lot of us, good nudes are defined by what others find attractive, but focusing on that means we miss out on how liberating a good nude can really feel. The key to taking your best nudes is, honestly, to enjoy yourself without trying to look ‘hot’ and consumable. This can seem like a daunting task, so if you’re not feeling it, don’t do it. But, if you ARE in the mood, you’re in the right place.


Step 1

To lingerie or not to lingerie? If you’re going nude, this step is simple. Just take everything off. Otherwise, pick out your lingerie of choice.

Step 2

Good nudes are creative nudes–they tell a story. Who do you want to be in this one? Consider the Renaissance girl—set up a mirror level with your bed so you can capture yourself full-body lounging. Or the Mystical Siren—let the bathroom mirror fog up to give yourself a mysterious silhouette. Sometimes I let a wet white T-shirt stick to my curves, or embrace Sunday morning bedhead with a disheveled, light-streaked look.

Step 3

Before you start taking photos, it’s time to get sensual. I like to put on some slow, sexy music, take deep breaths, and let myself loosen up.

Step 4

You’re ready. Posing doesn’t have to feel intimidating– remember, the goal is to meet yourself where you’re at. I like to drape my hands and arms along the various parts of my body that I want to highlight.

Step 5

Enjoy yourself! Let your body exist as it is. That means no sucking in, no twisting your body in strange positions. Just let the energy feel sensual and unbothered.