Posts tagged ‘gwc’

February 21, 2011

Get Your GWC Gear!

Model Insider has launched their apparel site, with a full line of great T-shirts and more (as well as even more coming soon)!  GWC Gear is home of the famous “I Look Better Naked” shirt 😀

So, check them out at!  You can also follow GWC Gear on Twitter and fan them on Facebook!

Oh, and hey, they have a 10% off special for their President’s Day launch!  Use the code “fbm10” for 10% off on your purchase of the first limited run of “I Look Better Naked” shirts, available in mens’ or fitted womens’ styles!  The offer’s only good until end of business day Monday the 21st (today!), so order now!

December 10, 2009

Bringing an Escort: The Opinion of an Experienced Hobbyist Model

So Monday and Tuesday I blogged about escorts at photoshoots, and looked at the common arguments that both the pro-escort group and the anti-escort group typically rely on.  In case you missed those entries, they can be found here:

Now, I suppose all of my responses to those arguments are, indeed, my thoughts on each and every one of those arguments.  However, I never really explicitly said which way I waver when it comes to escorts.  So, here you go 😉

My thoughts, on escorts at shoots.

As a model, I don’t need an escort. I’m a big girl, and I check references (amongst other things).  I’d rather work with a MUA than drag someone along who’ll be bored.  I don’t need the distraction… and I don’t bring someone with me to work, to the doctor, grocery shopping, or to the vet.  Why would I need to bring someone with me to a shoot?  Silliness.

I don’t like it when other models (or MUAs or photographers for that matter) I’m working with bring escorts.  I’m there to work, not worry about someone else’s boyfriend getting angry with me, hitting on me, or generally distracting us one way or another (yup, it’s all happened).

I don’t like escorts coming to my M&G or group shoot events.  Unnecessary, for one, and really, and if you’re too scared to show up to a group event at a public place during peak hours without hiring a bodyguard, perhaps you should stay at home with your tinfoil hat on (yes, a model actually brought a hired bodyguard to a M&G once).

I also don’t particularly like working with new photographers who insist I bring someone.  I don’t need another lecture about my safety and how meeting people from online is badnewsbears (note: I met my husband online 10 years ago).  I have parents for that, and even they’ve stopped that BS.

So, I’m pretty much anti-escort.  Sure, I see the need for it in some cases (disabled models or minors, like I mentioned before), and yea, I’ve had a few experiences where the escort was perfectly fine, but frankly, I don’t want to have to worry about it.  Especially when it’s a surprise, and not something I planned on.

December 8, 2009

Bringing an Escort: Anti-Escort Arguments

As a continuation of yesterday’s pro-escort post, where I looked at common pro-escort arguments, today I’ll touch on some common anti-escort arguments.  To make it easier, I’ve continued my numbering scheme from yesterday’s post.

Anti-Escort Arguments
This set of arguments is often used by those who don’t allow escorts.  It’s also often used by those who don’t feel escorts are necessary themselves.  I’ve broken them down and addressed each one individually, continuing the numbering system from above.

16. An escort is a threat to the photographer’s safety.
In some cases, this is true.  I know a handful of photographers who have been at the scary end of an escort (one of whom came face-to-face with the business end of a handgun).  Aside from that, I myself have been at a shoot where an angry boyfriend spent hours glaring at the photographer, and if looks could kill… hoo boy!  We’d likely all have been dead, to be honest.  It wasn’t a good situation.  That particular photographer happens to be a military serviceman trained in combat, so the escort wasn’t a problem… but he has since changed his “escorts are welcome” policy to one of “escorts are not welcome”.  I can’t say I blame him.

Now, let’s remove the boyfriend from the picture for a second and bring in a hired bodyguard.  Sounds ridiculous, but I had a model come to a M&G with one by her side, so it wouldn’t shock me if she (or others) brought them to shoots.  Now, I unfortunately didn’t verify whether or not this chap was armed, but I can’t imagine what would have happened if someone at the M&G made a move towards the model that the bodyguard thought was threatening.  This was at a public place, so it actually makes me cringe to think about!  But imagine if you were a photographer working with a model who hired a bodyguard to escort her on a shoot with you… and you moved in close to her to adjust a piece of hair that had gone astray.  The bodyguard views it as a threat and the next thing you know you’re at the business end of a tackle–or worse.  Not the ideal situation… is it?

There are also numerous stories of escorts who have stolen from photographers’ homes and/or studios.  Smaller things that are easy to grow legs include memory cards, laptops, pocket wizards, lenses, and cash.  But certainly if you were to take inventory of your studio (or home) right now you’d find a lot more that could easily go missing if you weren’t watching a stranger in your home closely for as little as 30 minutes, or as long as 8 hours.  Couldn’t you?

17. An escort can be a threat to the model’s safety.
During the shoot I briefly mentioned in answer 16, the boyfriend asked the model not-so-nicely to change out of a certain outfit.  He asked again a bit later, when she had something else on.  Luckily it didn’t escalate into violence, but it easily could have.

Sure sure, everyone thinks their boyfriends are perfect angels and wouldn’t harm a fly.  Tell that to the model who showed up at the studio of another photographer I’ve worked with.  She had her face beaten in by her boyfriend, who escorted her shoot the day before, because he hadn’t approved of how sexy she’d been acting.  He opted to teach her a lesson with his fists and send her to the studio to make sure the photographer deleted all her photos.

18. There’s no good way to check and verify references on an escort.
Face it, there’s no great way to make sure the model’s escort is who he says he is.  Sure, you can ask her, but really, how are you going to know she’s telling the truth?  You could ask other photographers, but how do you know the guy who was all polite and quiet at last month’s shoot is the same guy that will show up to your shoot?  You don’t.

And then there are people who are just plain dishonest.  Take into the account the story of the model who didn’t want to flake on a shoot, yet had a boyfriend who suddenly had something more important to do besides go to a shoot with her.  Being that she had a strict “I shoot with an escort present at all times” policy, she opted to (are you ready for this) go to a bar before the shoot, pick up a guy who looked big and strong, and bring him to the shoot as her boyfriend.  That particular model opted to endanger herself and the photographer by bringing in a complete stranger… and what makes it worse was that she not only lied about it, but thought it was funny when posting about it on the MM forums later on.

19. An escort can make the model uncomfortable, especially in regards to “suggestive” images.
Been there myself on one of my early shoots, though I wasn’t shooting anything suggestive.  In fact, I was shooting regular clothed stuff… but I spent a large chunk of the time worrying that the friend I brought was bored, wanted to leave, and I ended up having a hard time concentrating on the shoot.  I can’t imagine how I’d have felt shooting a boudior session with a girl friend in the room, and would have been distracted during the same session by the idea of turning my husband on.

20. An escort may try to control or direct the shoot.
An escort may have ideas, and may wish to share them.  Great… except as the photographer, you’ve concepted out the shoot to your specifications (or the client’s), and you don’t care about the escort’s ideas, because it’s not his shoot.  Hopefully when you nicely ask him to pipe down he isn’t the type to get violent…

And as I mentioned in number 16, what if the escort doesn’t like what the model’s wearing and makes her change.  That kinda screws things up, doesn’t it?

21. An escort may mess with the hair and makeup, after it’s already been done, in an effort to “fix” things.
When you have someone on set who doesn’t share your vision and has “the model’s best interest in mind”, but also doesn’t have the qualifications to make adjustments to certain things, you’re going to run into problems.  The model’s job is to model her hair, makeup and wardrobe as she’s told by the photographer/art director/stylists on set.  It is not her job to model her hair, makeup and wardrobe as her escort feels looks best.

22. An escort might try to take photos over the photographer’s shoulder.
I’ve actually been on a shoot where this happened–someone else’s escort was snapping shots of me as I was modeling–and I tell you, it’s annoying as a model, so I can’t imagine how it feels from a photographer’s point of view.  I can imagine though, that it’s rather annoying to do all the hard work of setting up lighting, getting the model’s hair and makeup so that it matches your vision, and then some schmuck steals the shot with his iPhone.  Extra points when he publishes the shot on his MySpace and your client finds it and opts not to work with you again, as you’re releasing unedited shots they’ve paid you for.

23. The model may constantly look to the escort for approval.
The shoot I mentioned earlier (in number 16) may be a good example of this.  The boyfriend was offering his approval whether he was asked for it or not, but clearly (because the model changed out of something he didn’t like) the model valued his opinion enough to agree that what she was wearing wasn’t appropriate.  But what if the person the model brought isn’t her boyfriend?  Chances are, she’ll want to make sure her BFF, her awesome gay friend, or her mother all continue to view her as the perfect person she is, so she’ll constantly look to them to make sure her outfit’s ok, her pose is ok, and her hair/makeup is ok.  Bottom line, it causes a huge, unnecessary distraction during a shoot if the model is constantly looking at someone and silently asking, “is this ok, or will it change your opinion of me?”.

24. An escort will likely ask endless questions.
This will especially be the case if the escort is an “aspiring photographer”.  As a photographer, you’ll get questioned about your gear, your lenses, your lights, your studio, and why you’re wearing all black.  It’s even posssible that your light placement, your methods, and your shoot direction will be questioned.  After all, it’s entirely possible that this aspiring photographer knows better than you 🙄

If the person isn’t someone who wants to be a photographer when they grow up, chances are, you’ll still get questioned.  The questions might be innocent and simply about your equipment, but you might find yourself face to face with someone who wants to search your bathroom and dressing area for hidden cameras.  You could get one of those curious types who likes to touch everything they ask about too, and if they happen to be clumsy and break something, you think they’ll be able to pay for it?

While you may not know the type of questions you’ll get until that person is actually there barraging you with them, why risk it?

25. An escort might get bored and want to leave before the shoot is over.
I see it over and over, “oh my boyfriend comes but he brings his homework to do”.  I remember when I was a student, how much I loved doing my homewo–oh, wait.  No.  I hated doing homework, and always regretted not bringing something else with me to do on long plane rides, bus rides, or when I went home for the holidays. I know that lots of other students are the same way.

That shoot I talked about above (yup, number 16), that guy had brought his homework with.  And his guitar.  And he was plunked in front of the photographer’s TV and told, “we have digital satellite, knock yourself out”.  Yet he still interfered with the shoot.  It’s also worth noting that he had his car there, and could have left to go get food, walk around the mall, or whatever.  He did ask to leave early, but the model denied him that because she didn’t want to be stranded there, she wasn’t done shooting, and none of us lived close enough to her to drive her home.  Thankfully she didn’t give in to his wanting to leave early, because she was essential to one of the concepts we were shooting.

Bottom line is, if you have someone there who’s not part of the shoot and who is (in many cases) forbidden from participating or even being in the same room, chances are, they’ll get bored.  And when they’re bored enough, they’ll want to leave, and you’ll be stuck with a model who either risks being stranded or has to end the shoot early to appease her escort.  Or you’ll risk distractions from a bored, whiny escort.  Blech!

26. Needing an escort increases the flake risk.
If model only will work with one person, especially her significant other, it seriously ups the flake risk.  If, for example, her boyfriend suddenly decides he wants to go out with his buddies and watch the game, she’ll no longer shoot.  Or the boyfriend could decide he just doesn’t feel like going.  Again, she won’t shoot.  Essentially, instead of relying on one person to show up, you’re relying on two people to show, therefore doubling your flake risk.  Why bother?

27. An escort might push the model to go past her limits.
It’s a bit of a spin off of the model looking to the escort for approval, but sometimes, an escort might encourage the model to do something she’s not interested in.  If, for example, the photographer wants the model topless for a shot, and she’s not comfortable with that, she might look to her escort for approval, planning on the escort saying, “no, you shouldn’t do that”.  But if the escort doesn’t realize the model doesn’t want to go that direction (or even has ulterior motives, such as seeing the model’s tits), there’s a chance he’ll side with the photographer and push the model to do something she’ll ultimately regret.  Not cool… especially because some models will then turn around and blame the person who started pushing them in the first place: the photographer.

28. An escort could steal or break things from the studio/home.
This may go hand in hand with the boredom and the asking questions arguments.  You get someone who’s bored and not allowed in the shoot area, and he might wander the studio (or home, as many photographers work out of their homes).  Next thing you know, your wife is wondering where her pearls are, or you’re wondering if you really did take $200 out of the ATM.

You get someone who’s Mr. Questions, and who’s picking things up and asking about them, without knowing how to properly handle them, and the risk of breakage goes up.  Not to mention having someone else on set to trip over wires, knock over lights, and otherwise cause issues likely isn’t a god thing.

It all boils down to two things.  1, having someone you don’t know and can’t keep an eye on in your home/studio isn’t a great idea.  And 2, having an extra body on set who’s not there to work isn’t a great idea.

29. An escort may harass others on set.
The questioning and possibly even breaking others’ items may extend to the MUA or other models.  At a group shot event ages ago, I watched a model’s friend start to rummage through another’s bag (thankfully, mine was locked).  I’ve heard of stories where escorts have contaminated MUA’s kits with their fingers, where items have gone missing from other models or talent on the set, or where, in general, escorts have caused a problem.  Simply not cool.  And really, if there are going to be other people on the set in the first place, why the need to bring an escort?!

30. Another model’s escort may make other models on set uncomfortable/distracted.
It’s happened to me before, getting hit on by other model’s escorts.  I’ve also gotten the stinkeye from Mr. Hired Bodyguard at an event I hosted.  Both accounts, not cool, and totally uncalled for.  And they most certainly made me feel rather crappy during the shoot/event.  In the case of the other model’s escort hitting on me, it wasn’t something the model believed, because her boyfriend loooooved her and would never do such thing :rolls eyes: Uh huh.

Regardless, as a photographer, you need to control your set, and as a model, you have every right to feel comfortable on that set.  Getting leered at by assholes who can’t control themselves doesn’t, in my book, fall under “being comfortable”.

31. An escort is a liability risk if injured during a shoot, especially if they’re assisting/carrying gear when the injury occurs.
Often times, a photographer’s insurance policy may only cover talent on sent, not the talent’s boyfriend, mother, or hired bodyguard.  This means that if someone is injured (from papercuts to pulled muscles, and from falling lightstands to broken bones), and they’re not part of the team creating the image, they’re a liability because they’re not covered by insurance.  Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

32. An escort may insist on being photographed, creating extra work for the photographer.
While it might not always be the escort that insists (especially if it’s the model’s boyfriend), you might end up with extra work courtesy of an escort.  Sometimes, a model might want shots of her and her boyfriend.  Other times, it’s the model’s girl friend who thinks “modeling’s easy and I need new hot pics for MySpace” and insists on getting them taken.  Either way, it creates more work for you, and might not result in anything great.

33. An escort will likely back up the model’s false allegations, if she’s going to make them in the first place.
As I mentioned before, if a model is going to bring someone with her and make false accusations, chances are, she’s not going to bring someone who won’t back her up.  It’s like the friend I had who used to shop lift.  Once I found out she was doing so and threatened to turn her in, she stopped going shopping with me because I wouldn’t back her up if she got caught.  In essence, it’s a “birds of a feather” thing… bad people generally hang out with bad people.

34. An escort may try to act as the model’s manager/lawyer and attempt to make changes to releases, contracts or shoot agreements.
As I noted yesterday, unless the person going over something is the parent or legal guardian of a minor, he or she shouldn’t be looking at the paperwork the model is to be signing.  I suppose a laywer could, but really, why would a model bring a lawyer to a shoot, seriously?  Again, a hobbyist or freelance model needs to be able to read and understand her paperwork, as well as sign it on her own.

35. An escort will dramatically limit who will work with the model.
Bottom line is, the more demands someone has, the less people will work with them (especially when the person making the demands is new).  Often times, a model who insists on bringing an escort either doesn’t work with many people and fades off the face of the Internet Modeling World, or she realizes she’s being held back and lets go of that demand, thus opening numerous doors for herself.

36. An escort provides a false sense of security and professionalism, especially when used in lieu of checking references.
A lot of models who bring escorts for “safety” don’t actually do their homework.  After all, they’ve got someone there to protect them from the bad man, so nothing bad will happen to them.

That’s stupid.  Case in point, a local model who’d gone to a first shoot with an escort, had a great time, and opted to shoot a second time with the photographer.  Since the first shoot was fine, she didn’t feel the need to bring an escort, and hadn’t checked references.  The photographer answered his door in his boxers, and between sets the model caught him with his cock out, going to town.  The model claimed she was “terrified for her life” but waited around for a CD of what they’d shot 🙄  But really, she bought into a false sense of security since her escort had been there before, and hadn’t bothered checking references or anything, and got herself into a bad situation (which ended fine, thankfully).

If someone’s a bad person, and you’ve got someone else there once, they’ll wait until you’re comfortable to not bring someone, and then they’ll show you their bad side.  If they’re a really bad person, they’ll just find room in their basement to bury a second body.

37. An escort on location could attract unwanted attention, especially if shooting without a permit.
A person loitering longer than normal, loudly asking questions or whining about being bored, or otherwise causing trouble, will attract attention of authorities (or people who will call them) faster than if it’s just two people in and out of the location quickly.  A third person (or fourth if there’s a MUA on set) might slow the group down if they need to be out of somewhere quick, and could cause distractions for everyone, making it harder for you to get moving fast if need be.  Of course, it’s also one more person you need to be faster than when running 😉

But seriously, as I mentioned before, if you get into trouble and it’s just you and the model, it’s not a huge deal.  You bring a third person into the mix–one the model is responsible for–and you’re asking for more trouble.  If you agree to pay a ticket the model might get, are you then stuck paying for her escort’s too?

Stay tuned for Thursday’s post, where I give you my take on escorts during my shoots!


December 7, 2009

Bringing an Escort: Pro-Escort Arguments

Ahh yes, the dreaded “E” word: Escort.

In the Internet Modeling World, an escort is an extra person who comes with to a shoot, for the model’s safety.  It’s a subject that comes up often, is always a very heated debate topic, and will never change.  I’d like to touch on a few of the common escort arguments, from the perspective of a seasoned hobbyist model.  To make it shorter, I’m going to break it into 2 sections: pro-escort and anti-escort.  Today I’ll start with the pro arguments, and tomorrow I’ll post the anti ones.  Thursday I’ll give you my personal opinion when it comes to escorts on my shoots 😉

Before I start, there are very few instances where an escort might be required.  A handicapped model, for example, who needs an assistant there to aide with health issues (such as the quadriplegic model Alex N from Michigan, who has someone there to help her at all times).  Someone under the age of 18 might be required to have a parent or legal guardian there at all times.  But really, other than that, there aren’t many reasons an escort must be present.  I don’t consider hair stylists, makeup artists, or other related parties “escorts” as (provided they actually know what they’re doing) they actually add to a shoot.

Pro-Escort Arguments
This set of arguments is often used by those who allow escorts or wish to bring them themselves, either individually or combined in various ways.  I’ve broken them down and addressed each one individually.

1. An escort is for the model’s safety.
That’s great, but shouldn’t the model be doing her due diligence and making sure the photographer is who he says he is prior to shooting, instead of just relying on someone else to make her feel safe?  Chances are, if the photographer’s the type to make someone feel unsafe, the model might still not feel 100% safe, even with an escort there.  And that will be reflected in the photos… which will likely be unusable to her.

2. An escort makes the model “more comfortable”.
It’s really hard to define “more comfortable”.  What might be “more comfortable” for me, might be awkward for someone else, and vice versa.  It’s one of those grey area things that just doesn’t work the same for everyone, and thus is incredibly difficult to define.  Case in point, I brought someone with me to a shoot at the beginning of my modeling career and she (yes, she) ended up making me feel very uncomfortable.  I spent a lot of time worried that she was bored, and worrying that she was worried about me.  I simply couldn’t concentrate properly.

3. An escort can drive the model to the shoot.
This argument is often used when a model doesn’t have a car, or doesn’t drive.  If that’s the case, and the model must be driven to the shoot, the driver can drive her there, meet the photographer/team, and then leave to come back at a predetermined time.  Certainly the photographer can guide the driver to a local coffee shop, sandwich place, or shopping mall to kill the time.

In some cases, some people use this argument to say the model will be well-rested and prepared for the shoot.  But while that may be the case, the previous statement still fits: the driver can drop the model off and come back for her later.  There really is no reason the escort should stay.

4. An escort provides companionship on long trips.
As in the argument in argument 3, the escort can drop the model off and come back at a predetermined time.  Not that complicated, really.

5. An escort can assist with wardrobe, hair, and makeup.
Is the escort qualified to assist with wardrobe, hair or makeup?  If the person is a wardrobe stylist, hair stylist, or makeup artist, then he/she isn’t an escort.  He/she is there to work.  If he/she is just there to “assist” chances are there’s no qualifications, and really, a model doesn’t need someone there to make sure the tags don’t peek out of her shirts, that her hair doesn’t get mussed up, or that her lipstick stays on.  That’s what those people who are supposed to be on set are for… and if they’re not there, it’s up to the model and photographer to monitor those things themselves.

6. An escort can carry the model’s things.
When I pack my things for a photoshoot, I make sure I can carry my bags.  It might take multiple trips to and from the car, but I make sure they’re light enough for me to carry by myself (or that they have wheels haha).  If we’re going on a location shoot, I make sure I bring a small bag that I can put necessities in, and bring with me, and, again, that I can carry it myself.  There’s no reason for me to need someone there to carry my things.

7. An escort can keep an eye open for things like smeared makeup, tags sticking out, etc.
As I noted in point 5, the model and photographer need to be monitoring this themselves.  This means taking breaks between sets, looking in the mirror before stepping on set, and overall just paying attention.  It may also help if the model cuts tags out of her clothes ahead of time, but not everyone likes to do that.

8. An escort can give the photographer and model ideas.
The model and the photographer should have worked out ideas in advance, amongst themselves, if it’s a trade shoot.  If the model is getting paid, the photographer doesn’t need any more ideas from a 3rd party who isn’t the art director.

9. An escort can help get the model in the right mindset.
Often this is brought up when it comes to shoots where the model might need to feel sexy.  If the model brings her significant other to the shoot, he/she can easily help her “get in the mood” to properly portray sexy.  Of course, if the model were any good, she’d be able to portray sexy without being “in the mood”, and she wouldn’t need someone there to help get her in the mood (certainly one can fantasize about someone without them actually being there).

10. An escort can also act as a second model in some shots.
And just how do you know that the escort is going to be able to model well, be photogenic, and not flat out ruin the shots she/he is in?  You generally don’t.  Heck, you don’t even know if the escort will want to model.

11. An escort can act as the photographer’s assistant, moving lights, carrying gear, holding reflectors, etc.
This is generally one of the most argued reasons for having an escort.  Most photographers aren’t properly insured to have some random guy prancing around the studio with expensive equipment which can be dropped, tipped over or otherwise broken or damaged.  Add to that the fact that any injuries received by someone who’s not there to be a part of the shoot may not be covered by insurance, and there’s even more problems to be worried about.

Photographers who need assistants generally have them, and they’re properly trained to handle the equipment so that it doesn’t get damaged or broken.  They’re also on the photographer’s insurance policy in case, for some reason, they get injured while assisting.

12. An escort can act as security or lookout on location shoots.
Generally, security isn’t needed.  If it is, it would be up to the photographer to provide it, not the model.  And if both the model and the photographer feel it’s not necessary, then, well, it likely isn’t.

As far as a lookout goes, it might be handy to have one in some circumstances, but IMO that’s the photographer’s responsibility, not the model’s.  If the model brings someone and says, “he can be our lookout” and they all end up in trouble with the law, who’s to say the model won’t turn to the photographer and say “you got us into this, so you’re getting us out of it”.  Note the “us” not “me”.  Suddenly, the escort is the photographer’s responsibility too?  No thanks.

Of course if you’re working with a model who feels that on-location security isn’t necessary, chances are she’s not bringing an escort with her in the first place anyway.  If she doesn’t feel a lookout is necessary, then she’s not bringing one of them either 😉

13. An escort can help the model with paperwork, such as the release or a contract.
Only in the case of a minor should an escort be helping with paperwork.  Unless the escort is a lawyer… but really?!  A freelance/hobbyist model should be able to read and understand all releases and contracts signed.

14. An escort provides the photographer with protection against false allegations.
This has always been one of those reasons for having an escort that’s blown my mind.  I can’t imagine someone who’s planning on making a false allegation against someone would bring someone with that wouldn’t back them up.

I had a friend who used to shoplift behind my back when we went shopping together.  When I caught her doing it once and threatened to turn her in, you think she ever went shopping with me again?  Nope.  I imagine the same principal would apply for other types of dishonesty.

15. Allowing an escort means the photographer is a “professional”.
I’ve always had issues with this argument as well… mainly because most of the photographers I’ve worked with who act the most professional are the ones who don’t allow escorts.  Sure, they’re all ok with being dropped off, or with a quick phone call during a break, but they’re all not fond of someone being there who doesn’t have a reason to be.  And frankly, I don’t see a problem with that.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, where I look at common anti-escort arguments.

August 24, 2009

Owing Past Photographers

The question was raised in the forums as to whether-or-not folks you owe anything to the folks you worked with when you started modeling.  It was phrased in a way that suggested that since these people may have taken a chance on me, I should return the favor down the road and  “pay it back” by working with them again, even if it might be a step backwards.  Here are my thoughts on the subject:

A few of the photographers I worked with early on I still work with.  We often have a standing trade agreement, but also recommend each other for paying jobs, go to each other with paid assignments/ideas first, or recommend each other to others.  It works out well between these individuals and I, and we often really challenge ourselves creatively and have a great time shooting.  Some of them I’ve even become really good friends with smile

I worked a lot with newer photographers when I started modeling.  Some of them have grown in leaps and bounds, and have even outgrown working with me at this point.  I’m excited for them and often keep an eye on their work, and congratulate them on milestones.  While I’d jump at the chance to work with them again, I’d likely have to pay them (which I have no problems with) instead of working trade.

Some of the other new photographers I worked with early on haven’t grown, and are still shooting the same type of stuff.  Working with these kinds of folks would likely be a huge step down for me.  I don’t feel I owe them anything, and don’t feel it would make sense to work trade with them if I wasn’t going to get anything out of it.  I might offer a discounted rate, but I’d send rates regardless.

April 1, 2009

Great new resource!

I’ve been lucky enough to be included in one of the Internet’s greatest new modeling and photography resources!  This ezine is stepping up and doing it right!  I’m so excited about this.  It’s some great information, and also a huge achievement for me as a hobbyist model to be such a big part of it.  🙂

I’m a contributing writer for this great new ezine, and it’s finally launched, after lots of hard work!  There’s some wonderful articles, how-to vidoes, a Q&A section, and more!  Surely it is one of the best all-in-one resources for new models and photographers, and it’s backed by some of the best talent in the industry.

Check it out:

November 25, 2008

GWC: What’s it mean?

“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:

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