The Average Myth ;)

There are certain myths about being a photographer I would seriously like to put to rest.  At least put them to rest as a myth or someone’s assumption about how I work and why I do what I do.  Believe it or not, I am extremely appropriate and professional at all of my shoots.  I am blunt, I can be crass and I am not politically correct, but the people I work with get treated with nothing but respect at all times!

Sure, I photograph a lot of “beautiful” women.  Trust me, some of them are great people, but a few are the reason behind the phrase “beauty is only skin deep.”  So how do I get the poses and looks from these women?  Well to start, they trust me.  I don’t tell them they are hot, I don’t say how gorgeous they are and I don’t treat them like they are a piece of meat and that they are only there for sexual gratification.  I talk to them like a person, I find out about them and I genuinely care about how I represent them.  When you show someone respect and they know it is not an act, and you do not break their trust, you can really come up with some great images!

Some people have said I am exploiting these women.  How can I be exploiting them when they know exactly my intentions of the images while we are shooting?  And sometimes some of the more extreme images are their own ideas!  Oh, is it because they are what society calls “pretty”?  I work with models and entertainers.  This is what I do!  My clients are the people the media and society call pretty!  These people see my work and contact me to photograph them because of how I represent the people in my portfolio and because of my reputation.

If you are someone who wants to get involved with photography with the intent of getting to be around attractive half-naked women, then you will most likely fail, unless you have connections in the industry.  The models who work with me, some of them over and over, like working with me because they know I’m not going to ask them out or make them feel uncomfortable.  I am not going to show images of them that show them in a bad light.  Just last year I had a shoot with someone, it was a trade shoot.  This person shot a ton of nude photos with me, her agent was furious and they didn’t want those photos on the internet.  I took down what I had posted and let her know I wouldn’t be posting any others.  No big deal.

But for people to assume I do what I do for sexual gratification or that I am exploiting these models is just plain stupid.  I especially feel this way when it comes from other photographers.  In my own personal opinion, if you are a photographer and you think that of me, then you really do not understand what it is to be a photographer.  To me it is all about the image.  I love the process of getting the shot that is in my head through the camera, out of the lens and into the world.  This is what it is all about.

There are those photographers out there who want to sleep with models.  I’m not going to lie and say I have never heard the horror stories.  I’ve seen some of them in action.  Personally, I do not have a casting couch.  Want the truth?  I have been with my wife for almost 16 years, I have never dated a model, I have never cheated on my wife (or on any girl I dated before her).  I have never even thought about cheating.  EVER!  Believe it or not, I do have integrity with what I do.

I am not going to defend my work, I like what I do.  If you have a problem with it, so be it.  Don’t judge me with your own hypocrisy.  This is who I am, if you don’t like it, there is the door.  Don’t let the door knob hit your ass on the way out.  There are plenty of people in line who are asking to work with me and I am going to continue to push my own boundaries and to keep doing what I do as long as I want to.  And no, I will not tell you how hot you are.

Petra by The Average Jim