When it comes to photography my models are friends I look out for, especially the young ones. I try to treat them right, try to make sure that any images we do don’t come back to haunt them years later. I try my best not to be paternalistic, but remembering too these are young women who haven’t fully formed yet. A not so surprising number of models have flirted with pornography for quick, easy cash and most say they are getting paid to do something that their already doing anyway. Typical thinking for us all as we age to realize just what the impact maybe down the not too distant road. Some of these young models have portfolios that are filled with some trashy stuff or shots of there pubes for no other reason than they were getting something to drink maybe cash So I feel a certain responsibility is part of my job and part of my concern as being a fully formed adult long as I don’t get too out of line. Don’t get me wrong, I looked at porn all those shots of pubes and what not, feels like all of my life and I am not a prude, but now knowing something about the girls involved in the business of porn I feel a little different. Even the pro’s can suffer at the hands and lens of an unscrupulous person who gets well paid for a lot longer than the girls do. And it’s the girls who suffer for a longer time because they trusted someone.
So far I’ve had only one dissenting model out of a number of young women I’ve worked with over the years. This model got really upset with me pointing out that she had a dad already and to this day hasn’t forgiven me. I’d hate to see what she really would say if I were to cross her or if she started in on one of my many faults. I can live with this and still send her an email letting her know where her image is being posted now. I really feel that is the right thing to do, no name or contact information ever for all my models. I know I’d hate to be judged by some lark I did when I was in my teens or early twenty’s. Or letting an older nice guy take some creative license with me as he hadn’t been inappropriate in any way.
My models have responsible jobs now or are mothers, any number of things are beyond our control now, I feel we as mature photographers we have a duty to these models of ours to do the right thing by them. I will admit that I forget and sometimes post to my pages without thinking first that someone may see the images before the model does. What for me is a fine example of my creativity and artistry my not look the same to her boss or dad or husband. Just because I have a release for her image doesn’t mean I can post it anywhere I feel like. Too cautious, I don’t think so…, after all these girls who trust me with their image aren’t the same women today who have different lives than they’ve ever imagined. Even with the pro’s who I’ve worked with I like to give them a word on where the images are so they can check. So far I’ve had no problems or been asked to take down a image. Even that model who ignores my emails is secretly relieved that I haven’t exposed her to the net’s insatiable eye for nude female figures and names.
So remember when working with a young woman/man that they may agree to try to work with you to create your vision, but you owe them something in return. This world we live in now can be a very unforgiving place for anyone who trusts.