Things Models Hate About Photographers
Being a model is tough, but some things models hate about photographers, in addition to everything else they have to deal with, make the job especially difficult.
The lives of professional models is not all glitz and glam. Despite the surreal appearance of their lives, they have one of the most physically and emotionally demanding gigs out there. Part of the difficulty of their jobs is a direct result of difficult photographers. Some people behind the lens don't realize the impact of their requests and actions, while others take advantage of their position. Things models hate about photographers are nearly endless when you consider the harsh reality of the industry they work in.
They invade your privacy.
One of things models hate about photographers is a common tendency to ignore professional boundaries. Even wedding photographers and the like, who don't work with professional models, are often guilty of invading their subject's privacy under the belief that they can get the best shots outside of posed shoots. Photography is a fine art, and artists, both models and photographers, understand the value of capturing natural moments. Even photographers who work mainly in photoshoots can invade the privacy of their models though, taking shots backstage at shows or in other situations that the model did not sign up for. Whatever the kind of shot, there are great opportunities for photographic artists, but all human beings have a right to privacy and boundaries between their work and life.
They ask you to work for "exposure."
Many photographers attempt to take advantage of up-and-coming models by offering them entry-level shoots in exchange for "exposure." They ask models to pose for them for free, claiming that the experience and prints that will come as a result is sufficient pay for a young, not-yet-established model. This kind of thinking is very damaging for new models, who, contrary to popular belief, often live in relative poverty for most of their career. With the advent of social media modeling, this attitude has only worsened, as many photographers and clients of artists claim that exposure is a fair trade for modeling as a service. As any artist knows however, exposure doesn't pay the bills, nor does it put food in the fridge.
They offer physical critiques.
It's not secret that professional photographers need to embrace a changing world, as it is very important to guide the model in terms of pose, expression, and action, so that they can get the best shots. Some photographers, on the other hand, take their position of critically approaching their models too far, and make inappropriate comments regarding the model's physical appearance. There's a massive difference between asking a model to lift their chin more, in order to get a sharper jawline, and telling them that they'll have to find a way to compensate for their weak chin, or some other physical aspect that the model can't simply change. Because modeling relies so heavily on physical appearance, many people in the modeling industry seem to think that this kind of criticism is akin to professional criticism. However, it's neither professional nor helpful to comment on someone's physical "shortcomings," models or not.
They are not clear with their intentions.
One of the most damaging things models hate about photographers is when they're not upfront about their intentions for the shoot, or change their minds after an agreement was reached. Of course, it's the mark of a good photographer to adapt to the model and the setting, in order to get the best photo possible. Many models and former models, though, have said that one of the worst things about modeling is feeling pressured or roped into things they weren't comfortable with doing because the photographer was not straight with them at the beginning. A common instance of this is photographers asking a model to take nude or partially nude photos when that was not originally agreed upon or consented to.
They get handsy.
A model's job is largely physical: finding the right pose, working with the props and background, approaching the camera the right way. As with other physical activities, like sports, it may benefit everyone for the photographer to move or situate them physically. Raising a hand, tilting the head—these things are generally within normal professional boundaries and beneficial to everyone. However, this is a fine line, and one of the things models hate about photographers is that many of them seem to see the model as a mere object to be manipulated. This manifests itself as the photographer touching and moving the model without their consent, and having little regard for the model's physical or emotional comfort. There are many tips for helping models pose, so touching them inappropriately is usually just an abuse of power.
They get too creative with poses.
It's a model's job to pose so the photographer can get the shot. But with some photographers, this means holding extremely uncomfortable poses for long periods. At a long shoot especially, a model may end up with some seriously aching muscles, joint pain, and even more long-term damage to their bodies from trying to hold unnatural positions for such long periods of time. As a result, one thing models hate about photographers is an excess of "creativity," in which they just want to get a unique shot, regardless of the reality of the human body and its ability to comfortably contort itself. If you ever thought modeling was physically easy, just try holding some of the poses you see models doing for a prolonged period of time. It's like yoga, except that the poses are designed for aesthetic appeal, with no concern for potential physical harm.
They take FOREVER.
Many photographers take a long time to get set up, and after the shoot to get the photos completed and out. It's not necessarily their fault, and laying blame may be a bit harsh, but the fact of the matter is, models spend a lot of time simply waiting at the hands of the photographer. If you don't believe me, consider this: One of the more exciting aspects for attending a wedding is seeing the photos afterward, right? Some people respect that the newlyweds are waiting even more eagerly to get their photos, but there are certain people who don't mind crossing that line or would like to see what they otherwise missed. It is seemingly at this point that wedding photographers disappear off the face of the Earth, is it not? How hard could the most basic, classic wedding photos take to develop in the technology age anyway? Waiting is a fact of life, but photographers can certainly be a frustrating crowd if you don't have endless stores of patience or people are hounding you for an end result.
They change everything.
In any job, communication and expectations are the key to successful work. Artists, like many photographers, can be mercurial though. One thing models hate about photographers like this is that they change their minds quickly in order to see the image they have in their mind come to be. Sudden changes to the photoshoot can make a lot of problems for models. This may often occur as photographers ask their models to do work they would not have originally signed on to do—nude shoots, unexpected props (not all models are comfortable posing with live animals, for example), or otherwise potentially difficult or emotionally disturbing requests that the model feels compelled to do as part of their job, even though they did not initially sign on for it.
They only have negative things to say.
"Criticism" is a loaded word. In its truest sense, the word encompasses both positive and negative critique, and can be very valuable for both professional photographers and models. However, pages and pages of scientific research have proven that positive criticism is far more effective than negative for most personality types. At the very least, there needs to be a balance. Focusing on shortcomings and mistakes is simply easier than offering positive feedback for many, and fashion photographers are among the most susceptible to practice this. As a result, models are often subject to never-ending criticism of their bodies, posing, and modeling techniques, and not nearly so often given positive feedback on their particular talents. This isn't a matter of flattery by any means, it's beneficial to all parties to offer a positive perspective and reinforce the talents of any worker.
They don't bother forming a relationship with the model.
There's nothing wrong with professional distance. In an industry like the modeling industry, it's especially welcome. However, successful photoshoots require an understanding between the model and photographer. Each model is going to photograph differently, and be more or less comfortable with various techniques. As a result, one of the things models hate about photographers is that some of them simply refuse to put in the time and effort to get to know the models they're working with. Rather than using their individual differences and talents to everyone's benefit, they will oftentimes criticize them for not conforming to some strict belief about how a photo should turn out. What works for one model will not have the same effect for another, making their lack of flexibility a serious damper on the job.