The Side of the Modeling Industry No One Talks About
we're talking about it
I started modeling when I was 18, just a few months after I had given birth to my first child. I was married then, and my husband at the time was in the Army. I wanted to build a life more than just being a stay at home mom. That title didn't seem fulfilling enough for me.
My first photoshoot scarred me. I had heard great things about this photographer, but also that he was creepy. In my little 18 year old mind, I thought, "Well, all old guys are creepy. That's just how it is. They're all pervs." I didn't really think about how creepy it was about to get, to be honest. My friend went with me to the photoshoot. It was in the basement of this huge office building. What was supposed to be a strictly glamour photoshoot turned into me being forced to do implied nudity, even topless. He just kept pressing and pressing me to take my top off. I knew what he was doing. I also knew if I didn't do what he said, I'd probably not get my pictures and I'd have wasted the last two hours of my life for nothing.
I was nervous, and quite frankly pissed off that this mid 40s photographer, who was well respected in our community, kept pushing the implied/topless issue. So I took my top off and covered my breasts with my hands.
After a couple more shots, the shoot was over. I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there. Honestly, it ended up being a waste of my time. All the photos SUCKED. The angles were horrible, and you could tell how scared I looked in my photos. I was so aggravated I let myself become intimidated by that guy and pushed to do something I didn't want to do at the time. I never shot with him again after that.
The unfortunately reality is that scenarios like that happen far too often in the industry. A lot of "photographers" are really just pervs with a camera. What is annoying is thinking you're working with a professional and it turns weird real quick. One time I had become really good friends with a photographer who had truly amazing work. He was really into fitness modeling . He photographed a lot of fit women with fake breasts and wanted me to get into body building. I politely declined . I do not like the masculine look that happens to a lot of those women. He backed off for a little bit but then he would start messaging me talking about models he had shot and sending me photos of them and then kept suggesting I get implants as it would make me "look so much hotter." This guy was severely overweight and had the nerve to critique me about the way I looked?! Wow. I was floored and not in a good way. I thought my chest looked fine, especially for having kids!
The thing is, a lot of models are afraid to set boundaries with photographers in the industry. It's not uncommon for a photographer to not get his way and refuse to give the model her images for her time. I say "him," because the majority of photographers who do modeling photography are male. A lot of them are married too, which is fine, but what's not fine is inappropriately trying to hit up models behind your wife's back or force a model into posing nude when she clearly isn't comfortable with it. It is true, you will make more money posing nude, whether that's art nude, glamour nude or erotic nude. Many models make up to $200 an hour posing nude.
Getting naked is fine. But you shouldn't be backed into a corner and forced to get naked because the photographer says so. Set boundaries and don't be afraid to walk away from a shoot if you feel uncomfortable.