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.