On the weekend I hear a story about a fairly well known photographer of naked men and how a model had a bad experience with him. Sadly it’s not the first story of it’s kind that I’ve heard about a gay photographer here in Sydney, nor the first about this particular photographer. The stories differ from photographer to photographer and model to model. Sometimes you hear of a photographer touching a model inappropriately or getting sexual or in the case that I heard about on the weekend, making the model feel really uncomfortable.
All photographers develop a way of getting the most out of a model. When I’m trying to make someone smile naturally I try and crack a joke and if I want a cheeky/naughty smile I might make a dirty joke or ask them to think of something a bit naughty. Being a model is partly like being an actor. To be convincing you need to be thinking of something to get the right emotion on your face. In the past I’ve heard of photographers getting quite aggressive verbally with their model to try and get an angry look but pissing a model off is never going to produce good results.
It’s also important to have a model’s trust. There have been a few instances in the past year where models have withdrawn permission for photos to be released or asked for some edits to be done. I now have a clause on my release forms that implicitly s either allows or denies permission to use frontal imagery. I don’t want angry models coming after me if I use a shot that shows more than they are comfortable with. Sadly I’ve heard of several photographers not respecting that wish. It is as much for my own benefit as theirs for me to respect their boundaries. Not many models are going to want to shoot with me if I get on the bad side of everyone I shoot.