08th Jul2015

Yes, Virginia, you can model with your clothes ON…

by Christine

Dear young ladies of the world:

I see a great many of you embracing “modeling opportunities” that are advertised by “professional photographers.”

Let’s just have a moment of truth here: You are not a model and you will not become a model through these gigs.

Advertising for a model is a fancy way of saying “I need a warm body to practice on.” You will probably be offered  a TFP (trade for prints) or TFCD (trade for CD) deal for your time. Sometimes this works out well and both the photographer and model have a win-win arrangement. And that’s very cool.

But a lot of what I’m seeing out there doesn’t look too “win-win” to me.

A lot of it looks downright scary.

I’m concerned, nay, I am DISTURBED by the number of images I see out there that are a result of this kind of exchange of services. Most often, the images are bad. Really bad. Basic skill sets are not evident in the slightest and the image content is pretty much riding on the edge of pornography.

Sexually explicit, nude, semi-nude and fetish images are NOT standard photography model scenarios and you should never accept this kind of arrangement if you are not comfortable with it. NEVER allow a photographer to push your boundaries or take you outside your comfort zone.  Just because they have a fancy camera in their hands does not entitle their creative vision to override your personal level of comfort and safety.

Please make sure that the photographer in question is, in fact, a professional and takes good photos. A simple review of their website should flush out this information rather quickly. Ask for references and ALWAYS take a chaperone with you to your sessions. TALK to your photographer beforehand about the scope of the session and discuss boundaries and limits so that you’re both on the same page and there are no “surprises.” Take a look through his/her portfolio and reach out to other models who have worked with them. Any reputable professional will understand and encourage your need to check them out, first.

THINK about what you are allowing your images to say about you. THINK about what you are wearing. THINK about the poses you are allowing yourself to be put in. THINK about the fact that in this modern-digital-social-media-obsessed world, these photos WILL last forever.

And after the rush of flattery and I’m a Model! euphoria wears off, you may be embarrassed. Very embarrassed.

For a long, long time.

Be careful, please.

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