Harvey Weinstein, I think we have all heard the story by now , or have some clue what’s happening whether we are following or not .
Well what’s this have to do with me , or with photography? Well , I guess because I see it happening around me , just at a different level .
What I mean by this is that , I’m actually trying to make a career out of photography, I treat all my models with respect and professionally . I do not ask them to uncover body parts , I never touch the model , including fixing clothes or hair without first asking the model . This is how it should be , isn’t it ?
Where the Weinstein reference comes in as that I see photographers who are doing this for inappropriate reasons , whether it’s trying to date the model , get the models to remove clothing or just outright sex with the model , and these are the photographers who in my ring of photographers seem to be getting the most work . But as some of the girls in Harvey’s case , they probably feel they have to do this to get that .
So, who is wrong ? Is it the photographer who is taking advantage of a situation? Is it the model who allows this to happen to get what she wants ? I can tell you this about me , my rule to myself , don’t put myself in this position a position that can effect me negatively now or in the future . I want my future models to ask my past models about my character and how it is to work with me , I want my work and professionalism to speak for itself .
So , I do have advice for models or model want to be’s to avoid situations like this .
1. Speak to other models who have shot with this person . ( I was working with a model and she had asked me if I knew a photographer who had asked her to do a shoot , I didn’t . But , I told her message someone he shot before and ask . Well , the model didn’t give a good referral and my model decided not to work with this person )
2. Ask the photographer if you can bring someone along . ( there have been many shoots where people ask me if they can bring someone , I never say no , if that’s what’s going to make them comfortable)
3. And before all that , check out the persons work before you even decide to think about working with someone . ( if you can’t see photos in their social media sites , ask them to send you some photos of their work , if they can’t provide you anything , then they are probably up to no good )
I believe number 3 will probably be most important to start , you may choose not to work with this person before you even get to the other situations . Bottom line is , do your homework ! Don’t put yourself in a bad situation.
Me , I’ve been meeting people through models I shoot and through sites like Instagram where people see what I’m doing or know people I’ve shot . But , an example when I meet someone out on the streets who I think I would like to photo for my portfolio, I hand my card to the person and tell them to look me up on any of my websites and check out my work , if it’s something you would want to do then send me a message . At that point , I’m not getting any information or pressuring the person . The are free to look at my work anonymously with out following or liking photos . So it’s really up to that person at that point .
Ok , so that’s my advice , my opinions . But , ultimately there is people / models who prefer to do these things along the way thinking it will get them where they want to go . But always remember , if it’s not the way you choose to go , there is many photographers who do it right and are just passionate about their work and photography .
Anyways there is much more I can say to the models , as , if this photographer is doing this to you then he’s probably doing or trying with everyone and visa versa , because the models are not always innocent .
As much as I try to do this right , it sometimes feels I’m doing it wrong . The ones promising and taking advantage of the models are the ones seemingly doing best .
So on a bright note , for those who follow me , I was in Central Park and found 3 more countries in my 100 people from 100 countries project . That is I’m trying to shoot 100 people who have come from 100 different countries . So numbers 33, 34 and 35 are , Sweden , Ukraine and Lebanon .