So, there have been some real problems with photographers (one photographer in particular. Many male photographers have a hard time making a good reputation because of all the scary people out there with cameras. It's like the "car broken down on the side of the road at night complex" (yes, I made that up): When you are driving down the road and you see someone broken down, most people think of helping them, but there is still that disgustingly vivid part of your imagination that tells you that this could be a trap for some kind of thief or kidnapper. Now I know that is a harsh example, but I am sure that the feeling is the same for many female models working with male photographers. Being a photographer and knowing where my heart is, I walk a very fine path to make sure I am never thought of as the creepy photographer.
The photographer I am speaking of that has made such a big splash is Terry Richardson. He has had in quite a few different places people go public with haunting things that I can't believe still go on in the day of easy to reach media outfits. It only takes a matter of minutes to have an open letter to the world, and they exist against this guy, but people still hire him. If everything that is said about this guy is true, he is for sure one of the grossest human beings alive in my lifetime. Another photographer I have a problem with is Matt Grainger. Otherwise known as "ThatNikonGuy" on Youtube, he has a large following of people who watch his videos which were originally marketed as help and review videos to other photographers. Now it seems that the reasoning behind his work is to show off as much of the model he paid for as possible. Though I doubt he is having sex with her, I really have a problem with photographers who hire models and have them strip down and be photographed in a sexual way. That's prostitution in a way. Just my opinion, but still. He has all these views but it is primarily because of the girls he is photographing like this. I have nothing against Matt on a personal level but his business tactics have become quite sleazy over the last couple of years. I started out really liking his videos because I shoot Nikon, but have since unsubscribed and avoid all that he does. I have very strong opinions when it comes to my business and with that comes a strict set of rules that shape my business with female clients.
Here are the rules I live by:
-Never Shoot Bathing suits or lingerie = There are photographers in the Myrtle Beach area that will gladly spend their whole day photographing young women in skimpy outfits but for most people, this seems really creepy. I have heard a few first hand accounts of pushy photographers trying to get girls to strip down to less and take them to less than comfortable conditions for their photo sessions.
-Never go anywhere with a female client without someone of her choosing there with her
This is a big thing for me. No matter who it is, if she is not a close personal friend or relative, I always will have a female client bring a friend. This makes her more relaxed, it makes me more relaxed and for the most part, the friend will help out. For instance, on one of my more recent bridal portrait sessions, the bride brought her friend along who helped out tremendously with setting the dress and everything.
-No provocative posing= Even if the subject is fully dressed, posing them in provocative ways can be just as effective to this type of photography. The easiest thing for me is to just not ever use anything in this realm. I am not saying that I don't pose people to make them look their most attractive, but there is a HUGE difference between, attractive and sexual.
-If I wouldn't show the photo proudly to my wife, I should not be taking it. = This is my Biggest rule. By the time you are reading this, I am on my honeymoon! I have a wonderful wife and she is the best critique I have because she truly likes my work and can tell me when it needs work. Annie and I are not very jealous people, but we both have moral standards that we uphold. If there is ever a time where I may have to shoot something for a client that I know she may feel uncomfortable with, I always check with her. If she agrees, I know I am ok. This is for two reasons. Number 1 is that she knows and spends more time with me than anyone so of course my wife wants to help me stay as close to my business model as possible and Number 2 is that I don't ever once want her to doubt my intentions and because there is plenty of work out there for everyone in all the different genres, I am more than happy to stay as far away from anything that ever would.
Thank you for reading!