A few years back I heard of a photographer asking a model not to work with any other photographers. Now I might be wrong but isn’t that how modelling works? You work with a bunch of different photographers over an extended period of time for a bunch of different projects and call it a modelling career. Back in the day a model used to be contracted to one fashion house just like movie stars used to be contracted to one movie studio. That system fell apart a long time ago.

Even if you have the rare fortune to become the muse of a particular artist and work with them over and over again, often providing them with their inspiration, it’s rare that you would never model for anyone else.

Tonight I’ve had a conversation with a model who has been put in a tricky situation by a photographer he’s worked for a few times. The photographer thinks the model is diminishing the photographers point of difference by posing for nudes with other photographers. Unless you sign an exclusivity contract and pay that model a living salary you can’t expect them to not work with other people. The only area you can complain about is if they do a shot that very closely emulates your work in style and execution. Even if a model uses a prop that you want to use with them, it’s probably in a very different way and you can’t say anything, especially if the model owns the garment or prop.

Thankfully I am on really good terms with a lot of the other male figure photographers here in Sydney and while we all have our favourite models we are happy for the most part to pass on contacts and introductions. It’s a small place and if you play hardball you’ll stop being invited to play.