“GWC” stands for “Guy With Camera”. At least that’s what it means as it relates to modeling 😉
A lot of people use it to refer to amateur photographers whose work isn’t very good. However, that’s not always the case. The term GWC refers to a photographer who uses his camera as a way to pick up hot girls, see boobies, and possibly even get sex. Often times, the GWC doesn’t give a hoot about photography, bettering his work as a photographer, or actually achieving anything as a photographer. Normally, here’s where I would pull the official MM definition and post it, but the site’s down. Instead, I Googled it, and found this great definition from Stephen at Nikon Nexus:
People that are serious about photography can spot a GWC in a crowded room very easily. The GWC will be the one with the camera around his neck, following and starring at any woman he can. When watching the GWC shoot a model you will notice some or all of the following:
- The urgency with which he wants the model to be nude, spread her legs, or put herself in a compromising situation that will reveal herself to him.
- Inappropriate comments and instructions for the model to follow.
- Touching the model, or as they like to call it, “helping her pose”.
- Isn’t interested in photographing anything above her neck or below her thighs.
- Crazed look, akin to a rabid dog on a leash two feet from a steak dinner.
- Sweating and increased breathing at the mere sight of a prone naked model.
- Lack of regard for anyone or anything around him when snapping away at a model inexperienced enough to not recognize what he is.
- Complete lack of knowledge on how to photograph just about anything.
You can find the original text, as well as a bit more, here. And I suggest reading the article. It’s a short one that’s very well-written.
Anyway, the above definition is pretty darn good, and way better than MM’s definition or anything I really could have said. Which almost makes this post completely pointless. Aside from the fact, of course that if you didn’t know what a GWC was, now you do 😉
I would like to note that sometimes, a GWC can produce great shots. There are some who do actually work to produce quality images, and of course, there’s always the few who manage to get great shots out of sheer luck. The former often does so because he realizes that not only can he get chicks naked, but if he’s good enough, he can get them to pay him to do so. Smart thinking. And the latter… are just lucky, haha.
As Stephen notes in the rest of his article (which I didn’t include here), most photographers can spot a GWC a mile away. As can most experienced models. More often than not, neither of the two have to worry about GWCs much.
The biggest problem when it comes to GWCs is that they often cause two major problems for new models. First, they often give new models false hopes, telling them things like, “you’ve got potential to be the next big thing in modeling” and “I’ll submit these pics to Playboy and they’ll want you as their next centerfold” which are typically completely untrue. The problem is, often these girls are following their dream, and they’re so wrapped up in the fact that a “real photographer” has told them the actually have a chance, that they don’t smell the reek of bullshit.
More often than not, the photographer is just pushing his own agenda. Either he wants to manage the model and reap the benefits of her getting paid jobs by taking a cut, or he wants to get her naked–or both–and he actually is completely lying to the new girl. Chances are, she has no chance whatsoever of being the next big thing (let alone anything), and Playboy won’t want her as their next centerfold.
And sure, it might not seem like a huge deal that he’s telling her these lies, but often times these new models take it to heart. Some of them even let it go to their head and develop a Dive Complex after one shoot. “Well Photographer Bob says I’m going to be the next thing, so you have to pay me $500 an hour, feed me grapes and cheese while I’m getting my hair and makeup done by the stylists you’re going to hire, provide entertainment for my 5-person entourage that comes to shoots to protect me, and give me every photo on a jump drive before I leave!”. All together now: Riiiiight.
Another problem GWCs cause for new models is that they often teach bad posing and emoting habits. Instead of letting a girl develop her own poses naturally, GWCs will often have new models do things that are awkward, unnatural, and just plain not flattering for them. A perfect example: The Handbra. GWCs also don’t focus on the model’s face and encourage emotion, so the model gets used to just ignoring that part of modeling, resulting in lots of deer-in-headlights shots. And more often than not, the GWC gives positive feedback for all of this, both during and after the shoot, making the model think, “hey, I’m doing this right, so I’ll keep doing it!”. Bad.
So, how do new models spot GWCs? Well, often times, you just know. I can think of a few who have been photographing models for years, yet their work show little to no signs of improvement when you view old stuff as compared to new stuff. Often times they make promises in their profiles or initial emails, and seem over-eager to work with you as soon as you sign up for a modeling site. On set, they often ask you to “get sexier”, take off parts of clothing, or pressure you to push your limits some other way. It’s often politely worded, or can be worded in a way that tells you “if you don’t do this, you won’t go anywhere as a model… don’t you want to be famous?”.
So what do you do if the guy you’re shooting with is a GWC, and is pushing you to do things you don’t want to do? WALK OUT. Gather your things, say, “thanks for the shoot, but I’m done now”, and leave. Trust me, a GWC won’t ruin your reputation, and not shooting with one won’t cause your fame to be further away. In fact, if a GWC does try to ruin your reputation, chances are, he already has one of his own, and whatever he says about anyone is generally laughed at and ignored.
Shout out to Stephen and the folks at Nikon Nexus :waves: