Be F’n Honest

I have been outspoken, I have been brash.  But there is something I have also been, upfront and honest.  I discuss what the shoot entails and then that is what we shoot.  If the model wishes to add something to the shoot I will discuss it with her and then we move forward.  I say this because integrity is something you must maintain in your work.

I’ve had models who have come to me later saying they don’t want to do nudes anymore and ask if I won’t publish any of their images or if I can get them taken down off of the internet.  Here is the thing, you wanted to do it then and now you have changed your mind, usually because a new boyfriend doesn’t like that his girlfriend is nude all over the internet, but once it is out there (especially published in an online magazine) it is beyond my control to get it off the web.  This is why I say you should never (as a photographer) try to convince anyone to do something they don’t want to do!

There was a model I shot several years ago where this had happened.  Her boyfriend basically embarrassed her in front of her family because they didn’t know she had done nude modeling and he didn’t like it so he told on her in a really immature way.  This model contacted me and asked me to contact the magazine to have the images removed.  These images were in print and online.  Not much I can do, plus she really wanted to do this shoot and even told me that it was one of her all time favorite shoots.  She also told me I can still post them all I want on my site.

I gave her the contact info to the publishers and they also contacted me and I said it was fine to take them off the web, but they were already stolen and put on tons of other sites.  When she was worried about some of the full nudes and she was unsure of what to do I just reminder her that some of those images were her idea and her exact words were “go big or go home.”  These were all fashion style nudes so no big deal, but this is why I always tell models to only shoot nudes if you really want to!  I also hate being the first photographer to photograph a model nude.  It is a lot of work to help with posing and making sure they are focused on facial expression, pose, and not clinching their fists out of being nervous.  There is a lot which goes into photographing someone nude!  There is no wardrobe to hide a mediocre pose!

This is why I cringe every single time a photographer asks me “how do I get models naked?”  Seriously, I get asked this a lot!  My response is always the same, hire a nude model.  Please don’t ever try to talk someone into posing in a way they don’t want to pose!  It makes us all look bad!  It’s a pretty simple philosophy, don’t be a dick.

I remember when I photographed a very promising model who went on to very big things and I could probably use images to push my own career, I don’t.  I wanted to shoot lifestyle images with her and that is all I post.  There are some images where you can see through the wardrobe, but the shoot wasn’t about nipples!  It was a lifestyle shoot and those are the photos I wish to remember.  I’ve had people ask me if I happen to have any nudes of her, no I don’t, and any nip slips were deleted on the day of the shoot.  Sorry, I’m not a perv like you.

I’m sure some people won’t believe this, they will assume since I photograph models that I am a creepy guy.  They often forget that my wife is a photographer too and we work together on most shoots.  You see, I am a photographer and artist because I have this urge to create, it just so happens that I work with wonderful younger women who wish to pose for my camera.  That’s it, it really is that straight forward and that simple.

Today’s photos are from an agency model, she was with NEXT Model Management at the time of our first and second shoot.  We shot beach lifestyle the first time and the second shoot she wanted a little more edge but not nude.  She had worked with another photographer who was trying to get her to do nudes before and she just wasn’t into it.  We shot with a semi-sheer top and while some of those images from the second shoot were edgy, we felt they may be too edgy for what she wanted.  I agreed and those images never saw the light of day.  I’m sure if I contacted her again we would shoot again simply because we have a good professional relationship.  This is how I get the images I get.  I keep it professional and work with the right model for the right job.