Ruining it for us all.

As a gay photographer who specialises in the male nude, I often worry about straight models being put off by the cliché of the creepy photographer using the situation and the vulnerability of the model. It seems those clichéd photographers are alive and well. Chatting to a few models and other photographers recently, things that some phot0graphers try and say are astonishing.

There is a photographer working in another state who has openly admitted that the reason he got into photography is to perve on the young fit guys he likes to photograph. This same photographer (according to a model he has worked with) is known to say things to a model like “Imagine you are a dirty slut!” Keep in mind this is a gay man in his 50′s who photographs straight guys in their early 20′s. Now, no matter how open minded a straight model is he doesn’t want a gay photographer saying things like that to him, especially a few decades older. The guys are already vulnerable because they aren’t wearing much and some of them are fairly new to modelling. That’s going to scare so many people off.

A model I was supposed to shoot a couple of weeks ago was telling me that a photographer he worked with here in Sydney felt the need to try and touch him to point out where to tense and what muscles to emphasise. At that point he slapped the photographer’s hand away. The same photographer once, when taking some photos of me, instead of saying “I can see your balls, is that ok?” decided the appropriate course of action was to grab them instead. Not cool.

Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m as innocent as Snow White here. I’ve fooled around with models but only ones that expressed an interest first in fooling around and were definitely gay. I have never had sex with a model before a shoot, implying that they needed to for the shoot to happen. Some guys I’ve photographed have been people I’ve had sex with in the past so that is entirely different.

Why is this cropping up now? The guy that told me about the photographer touching him was staying in my house prior to an early morning shoot that got rained out. We ended up doing some shots here but being tired and disappointed with not doing the planned shoot which we were both excited about, meant that he wasn’t in a great mood and not comfortable doing nudes. I understood completely and left it at that, but I checked with him a week later that I hadn’t made him feel uncomfortable in some way.

4 Responses to “Ruining it for us all.”


  1. 1 JonathonT

    When Im photographing a model I go to extreme pains to make sure I don’t come across as that sleazy gay stereotype.
    So often when Im asking a guy to adjust his trunks to get the hem right or straighten a seem they usually just end up inviting me in to just deal with it. Its part of building a respectful rapport with the model, its an important part of photography.

    Thats why your pics come out so great…. your great with your models.

  2. 2 Lex

    Thankfully, I have yet to encounter a creeper photographer but have had friends tell me horror stories. I have gone to creepy, unprofessional agencies though but that’s another story.

  3. 3 Sean in Vancouver

    “Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m as innocent as Snow White here.”

    Brenton,

    I totally appreciate the honesty! :-) It’s gays like the photographer in another state that gives all of us such a bad reputation. I sometimes feel guilty thinking of how gorgeous some of the non-gay men I meet on a daily basis. Sexual harassment has no place here, as it doesn’t in the general work-place.

    We has an assistant coach of one of our professional athletic teams that was constantly rubbing against or commenting on the studliness of some of the members of his team…He got fired for harassment, deservedly so.

  4. 4 Mark

    Brenton! I love your photography and I love your blog. You entertain me everyday.

    In some ways you are a lot like me….I do not like criticism and neither do you. So how do I say this gently and kindly. What if the photographer were in his 20s and acted like this 50 year old man? Would that be better or more correct? Age does not necessarily bring creepiness with it. I am 61 and I pride myself on not being a creepy old gay man. I would NEVER dream of acting like he did. Amazingly there are lots of young men who want to be with older men like me…handsome sexy men. So I know you did not put it in this light but there may be some who do not get it. Maybe this could somehow be one of your good surveys!!!

    I appreciate all the work you do for us your readers and I wish the best for you on your show!! Maybe you will publish a book of your pics so we on the other side of the globe can enjoy them too! Mark

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