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How to Treat A Model

How to Treat A Model

September 7, 2001
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" Establishing good communication is the key ingredient in creating a long lasting, professional relationship between you and your models. "

By and large, photographers are voyeurs and models exhibitionists. Balancing this relationship sometimes requires a delicate touch. Here are a few tips on how photographers can better work with their models:

To all amateur porn photographers, "professional" or not: it should not come as a shock to you that you should give respect to the model baring her most intimate all for the camera and "you." After all, protecting the model's physical and emotional state is very important when making a long-term investment with her. Because without models, you might find it very difficult for you as a photographer alone to create the content your business needs to prosper.

As a model, I find that the more professional the photographer is, the more comfortable I am at dropping my clothes in front of someone I don't know, creating less vulnerability between us. Making your model as comfortable as possible is the key to outstanding images. I know in my own experience that if the pictures look bad, I can get very frustrated, and I will usually toss the pictures. I might even go as far as getting a new photographer; one that I feel has more photo knowledge and offers me better quality.

Not only the photographer views the finished product, so does the model, and if she feels she has potential, then you as the photographer need to make sure that what she sees will at least satisfy her, encouraging her to continue to feel comfortable with you and your company.

Here are a few of my personal ideas on the "do's" and "don'ts" of how to treat a model:

Do's
Make sure to pay the model for each set. There is nothing like money in helping to keep a model secure, and happy to continue, and for professional purposes, this is also the standard practice.

Establishing good communication is the key ingredient in creating a long lasting, professional relationship between you and your models. Being upfront and specific about your needs, and understanding your model's needs, are critical in creating a safe and secure environment in these "intimate" situations. To start off on the right track in creating good communication, I find it very important to begin by having an interview with the photographer before the photo shoot takes place, so as to have a clear understanding of what's expected between us.

Make sure that the model brings two forms of photo I.D. for proof of age, and if the shoot inolves sexual contact between models, an original copy of their current AIDS test results.

Depending on how intimate the shoot is, always have condoms on hand. This will give a sense of protection to the model, and show your concern for her health. Once again, this should create a feeling of safety and professionalism on your part.

Allow only the people on the set that are necessary for helping with the shoot (no free shows). Make sure to have a separate room for the model to dress and undress in, a place where she can go to feel as though she has some control and privacy.

Provide refreshments and bathroom facilities for your models. My personal feelings are that the more you can give me, the more you will increase your chances of keeping me. This can be very important, as your best photos may not come until you've worked with a model several times.

The photographer should consider having some things on hand such as makeup or someone to help with makeup and supply extra wardrobe for variety. Not all amateur porn models have experience in what or what not to wear for quality pictures.

And Don'ts
Make sure that the model understands, and has of her own free will, accepted the fact that most everybody — even "mom and dad" — could have access to her pictures. This is after all the "World Wide Web," and she will be put out there for all to see. If a model feels uncomfortable with this, then don't do the shoot; your time is much better spent on finding a model who is not going to be difficult upfront — and one that won't cause you further difficulties later on.

Be understanding to the model's physical well-being — don't push her to do more sets then she can handle in one day. My personal limit is 2-3 sets. Some girls can handle more, others less. Believe it or not, photo shoots can be physically straining to the body; models can actually suffer injuries from holding the positions asked of them.

Even though the model might be an "amateur," don't treat her like a piece of meat with no brain. Praising her and treating her as an intelligent human being (even if you might not perceive her so) can go a long way. Remember that the model is there for you to take pictures of. Keep focused on this, and if your true desire was to have sex with her, then you should have hired a prostitute.

Remember that no matter what the circumstances are, there is a certain amount of vulnerability any human feels, first, by dropping their clothes, second, by standing in front of a camera, and third, all of the unknowns (which might include you as the photographer). Ease these fears by showing how professional and respectful you can be, and you might find it to be a great deal easier to find a model and obtain quality content. ~ Ayrora


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