We’ve all heard about them, a lot of us have experienced them and most people are worried about them, so today we’re going to talk about creepy photographers. We’re going to talk about how you might be one without even knowing it, some basic things you should just understand, both as a human being and a photographer, and we’re going to rant a bit about how much creepy photographers suck for both us photographers, and for everyone else. By we i of course mean me. Well, until we get to the comment section where I’m hope we can debate this in a lively and honest manner.

What is a creepy photographer?

Creepy is a broad word, so lets drill down a bit and get this defined properly. By creepy photographers I mean two specific groups of people. The first is the intentionally creepy ones, the photographers every parent fears their child might run into, the stalkers of modelmayhem, the guy with the “art project” that involves a lot of you being nude and very little art, the middle aged man who has another career and a “boudoir” or “glamour” “studio” in his basement, and the photographer who is more focused on complimenting your ass than making images. Basically I’m talking about any and everyone who uses photography as a way to get into close proximity with nude people, pick up chicks/hunks or live out some sexual desire.

The other kind is the “are you one of these?” kind, the photographer who isn’t aware that they’re being creepy, who has the best of intentions and might just be failing a bit with the social-skills. While these aren’t intentionally hurting every other photographer, and creeping out innocent people, they’re still doing both, and it needs to stop.

Why do creepy photographers suck?

First and foremost because they’re being creeps towards their subjects. In a simplistic sense they’re taking a situation where the subject is often vulnerable, either due to lack-of-clothes, or simply due to personal intimidation, and forcing their sexuality on the subject. There is a reason we don’t usually allow say… teachers to do that to their students, doctors to their patients or police officers to their subjects. That is because as that teacher, doctor, police officer or in this case photographer, they’re in a position of authority and power, and whether they like it or not, forcing their sexuality on someone from that position is abusing that position. And even if their intentions are super noble and pure and the 400 other excuses one can come up with (boys will be boys, I can’t control my emotions and she was flirting with me comes to mind), they are still making sexual advances from a position of authority and power, even if they try not to. The situation in a shoot, particularly a portrait session, boudoir session or other one on one photography session is one with a completely skewed power-balance, you simply can’t get around that. I’m not going to go into a debate about why, or whether, it is ethically wrong to abuse that position of power in order to achieve  sexual gratification, it should be obvious to anyone. If you want to argue this point, lets duke it out in the comments section.

Secondly, they’re hurting every single one of us. As a male photographer, I have to deal with a shitload of suspicion and mistrust, and that sucks. Now don’t get me wrong, I completely understand, and even encourage this, due to the ridiculous amount of creepy photographers, or as they’re endearingly called GWCs, but it sure as hell frustrates me. I meet a lot of people I want to photograph simply because I would love to have their face in my portfolio, think they’re perfect for an idea for an image I have, or just because. Since I’m not at all interested in boudoir photography, aren’t really doing any nude art stuff, and have a body of work I can show people, I can usually get around it. For someone just starting out, or wanting to do nude art, this must be orders of magnitude more annoying. This is basically both messing up the general reputation of photographers, and photography, and getting in the way of awesome images being made by awesome photographers, that sucks!

On positions of power, and abusing them.

Image of photographer pinning down female

So, up there two paragraphs ago I ranted a bit about positions of power and abusing them, we need to dig a bit into this to make it clear. In a ton of social situations the balance of power is completely unbalanced, a photography session is one of those. This isn’t implicitly a bad thing, since as the photographer I need to be able to control the situation, the final image is my responsibility and therefore I am the one deciding how to best go about creating said final image. Imagine having to argue and vote on the placement of lights, shutter speeds and backgrounds, it would end up with terrible situations and terrible images, so by necessity the photographer is in a position of power during the shoot. On top of that, a lot of people become super aware of how they look, if they are “pretty enough”, and sort of go into a tailspin around all the things they don’t like about their looks when they’re being photographed. On top of THAT having so much attention focused on you, and a very common desire to please and live up to expectations, makes for a generally insecure, obedient and submissive subject. We get around this in tons of ways, talking, smiling, building report etc. but in most situations the fact remains that the photographer is the authority, and the subject is well, the subject of said authority. Just image how you feel when you’re at the dentist, you’re anxious because the situation is intimidating, the dentist is basically the judge on whether you’re good enough, or not good enough (at maintaining dental hygiene), society tells you that you need perfect white teeth and here you are, strapped down, on your back, with 2 tons of steel shoved into your mouth and some person closely examining the worthiness of your teeth.

The thing about people and power is that it sort of infects the entire social situation. If your dentist suddenly asked you to quickly raise your arm, you probably would. The arm has nothing to do with the dentistry, it probably wouldn’t make much sense if you thought it over, but you’d probably still do it. This goes for photography sessions to. From that position of power it is WAY easier to push people past their boundaries, whether those be boundaries about flashing a big grin, or taking of the top. Now we need to listen to Peter Parker’s uncle here, with great power comes great responsibility, and as the person in power, you have a huge responsibility to your subject. It is your responsibility that you don’t push them beyond what they’ll be super happy about when they see the images, it is your responsibility to try and understand the social boundaries of your subject and respect them, because in a lot of situations you won’t be told if you’re stepping on them, you’ll just end up being a damn creep that acted in a way that was really uncomfortable to your subject. Or if you’re a nefarious fuck, you’ll end up pushing your client into a sexual or personal situation that they’ll feel like complete and utter shit about afterwards because you wanted to get your gratification. Do you really want to be that person? didn’t think so.

Adding to that already complex situation, people are different. Some people are totally cool with being nude, some people aren’t. Some people like a rude ping-pong of comments and sarcasm, some people really do not, and if you want the best image, the best memory in your clients mind, and to not be an asshat, you need to navigate this because you’re the authority, and you’re the one who can push people around on the set.

How not to be a creepy photographer

It has taken me a shitload of time to make any sort of coherent list of thoughts for this part of the post, and I’m sure it can be both added to and edited, and probably will be over time, but for now, these are my thoughts on how you avoid being a creepy photographer.

  • Take your sexuality, pack it up inside yourself and tell that fucker to stay put till you’re done with work. Nobody is claiming that anyone should be able to not get aroused, not be attracted to people or anything like that, that would be ridiculous. What you need to be able to do is keep it in till you’re done with your photography. Nobody is there to be subjected to anyones sexuality, they’re there to make images, and so should you. If you fall heads over heels in love with your subject (I’m sure it has happened), then give them a call the next day, and ask them out. The photography session is NOT the place to shove your sexuality all up in people’s face. Besides, wouldn’t you rather have somebody go out with you because they want to, and not because they’re super intimidated by the situation in which you ask them? (If the answer is no, please seek help, you need it, tho it might be a long road.)
  • Make sure you have a feel for people before the shooting starts. This is part of why the pre-shoot talk is so important, preferably on an entirely different day. This is where you feel people out, get to know what their humor, attitude etc. is like when they’re not in an intimidating situation, and that knowledge empowers you to not trample all over their boundaries once the shoot starts.
  • Put some energy into being sensitive to peoples reactions to what you do and say. We’re actually pretty good at understanding each other, us human beings, and if you devote a fraction of your attention to it, you’ll be able to recognize when you’re crossing the line with people. When you do, acknowledge it, apologize and back down. It is much better to relieve the tension by actually verbalizing that something awkward,  uncomfortable etc. just happened, that you’re aware if it and that you’re trying to avoid it happening again, than to let it just hang in the air.
  • Realize that the situation is about one thing, and that is to create an awesome image. That is why everyone is there, not to make new friends, not to blind date photographers or models and certainly not to be subjected to your sexuality. If that isn’t why you’re there, then stop photographing people and start saying hi to them instead, and ask them out for coffee.

In closing

This is something I think about a lot, and by far not something I’m done learning about, and thinking about, so really, feel free to take me to school on where I’m wrong, what I missed and what needs to be added, because I sure as hell don’t want to be a creepy photographer, and I’d really like the world to be less creepy. Comments are open, mails are read and I’m all for a good debate :)


Thanks to the debate below, I’ve realized that I might have implicitly accused anyone of having a studio in their basement, photography as a hobby and being a middle aged man of being a creepy predator. Let’s be very clear about that, that was NOT my intention. So, first of all apologies for that failed writing, and secondly if you get that from my post, you’re getting the wrong point. Or, rather, I’ve failed to get the real point across properly.

John posted the comment “It certainly isn’t obvious to people new to the industry. New models will pick out what they want from your statement and that will be middle aged (I am actually older) , career, and basement and attach that to creep. Now you have put us all in that category. The issue is more about purpose of the shoot than location or age. The common question I hear is what are you doing with the images. That is more legitimate than where is your studio, how old are you, and do you have a career.” And he is completely right. Asking what the purpose of the shoot is, is very good advice. So thank you John for first of all pointing out an unintentional fuckup I made, and secondly for the sound advice

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23900695 Moniqa Paullet

    Maybe another tip in addition to having a portfolio to show is to offer references and ask your models if they’d be available to act as character references for future models to contact before a shoot. That matters to me when I’m talking to photographers I don’t know. And it goes a long way toward putting the subject at ease and ensuring safety.

    Offer for potential subjects to bring a friend or partner along if they like. New subjects may not think to ask and may not know if it is something that is done or allowed. Having my sister along on my first belly dance shoot helped me break out of my shell easier than most unknown photographers ever could. Some will have a gift for building rapport, but it’s never a sure a thing. This is a great safety measure for subjects and will create a better photo, too.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      That is such a good point, making it clear that people can have whoever they want along for the shoot. I’ve always sort of assumed it was implicit, especially for shoots where I’ve approached people and simply asked them to take their picture because I liked their face, but you’re very much right that it should be explicitly stated.

      I imagine this is particularly important for time-for-print situations that, as far as I’m aware, are the ones most often involving creepy stuff happening.

      Character references seems… I don’t know, I mean I can obviously see your point, but it also seems somewhat overwhelming to me to start showing character references to strangers on the street, if thats the situation we’re talking about. On the other hand it might be a brilliant idea having them on your website since most people will (and should) check you out before accepting a random proposal for a headshot or whatever :)

      Thank you for the input!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23900695 Moniqa Paullet

        Yeah, I see how it would vary by situation. The photographers I know travel through burlesque & kink communities, with the time-for-print model as you mentioned, so having (or being willing to provide) character references is vital for any kind of nude/semi-nude or fetish photography, IMO.

        • Andreas_Bergmann

          Yeah, that totally makes sense. Like I wrote in the post I haven’t really got much experience with neither boudoir nor fetish photography, and it isn’t really a field of interest for me, so I think your word on this is worth much more than mine, for any aspiring boudoir or fetish photographers. The only contact where it is like… “hi stranger, lets shoot you” I have is the aforementioned strangers-on-the-street thing, besides that usually people contact me, or it is models / actors hired for a specific job, in which case it is mainly about not being a damn creep on the shoot itself, and not so much about the approach. But your point is super valid, and very useful advice also just for starting out on sites like modelmayhem and such. So thank you very much for your input! it is valuable stuff!

      • Genevieve LeBlanc

        I’ve had photographers tell me I’m not allowed to bring as escort. If they have that policy, I don’t work with them. I understand that some photographers do not like escorts because they think they will just distract the model. But when my significant other comes to a shoot, he just sits in the corner and reads. It’s about having somebody there in case things get scary.

        So, no, unfortunately because of photographers like this, it is not implicitly understood. :(

        • Andreas_Bergmann

          That is a pretty good policy, to not work with them then. I’d never decline an escort.. I mean.. if worst comes to worst, as the shoot leader it is simply my responsibility to tell the escort to shut the fuck up, sit down and stop interfering. Why I would ever forbid one from coming along is beyond me :) I usually actively encourage portrait clients to bring friends, since it’ll make it a nice relaxed social experience.

          • Kaouthia

            “as the shoot leader it is simply my responsibility to tell the escort to shut the fuck up, sit down and stop interfering.” <– At which point the shoot's pretty much over, and you've wasted your time and money. :)

            Having a paying client come along and bring a friend, no problem. They're not there because their friend needs "protecting from the creepy photographer". They're there because they're showing support for their friend and maybe they're curious about it themselves. And, they're paying. If their escort fucks up the shoot, it's their time and money they've wasted.

            If a model requires a babysitter, there's only one reason why. They don't trust the photographer. So, if they want to bring one, I don't work with them. If it's TF or I'm paying them, I'd sooner work with a model who doesn't automatically assume all photographers are creeps. I don't need to work with people of that mindset, and I don't need babysitters fucking up the shoot and wasting my time and money.

            I've had issues with them and had to end shoots far too early myself because of them.

            And then there's the typical responses…

            "Make them sit in another room" – yeah, I know many photographers who've done that and had equipment stolen. One actually wrapped up the shoot at the scheduled time, came out to the other room, noticed the model's "boyfriend" was gone, along with the car he was supposed to be taking the model home in, and the 42" TV off the wall of his waiting room. Turns out the model's "boyfriend" was some guy she met in a club just 4 days earlier.

            "Use them as voice activated light stands" – aside from the fact they're not insured to operate my equipment, they haven't got a fucking clue how to use it. It's quicker to just do it myself than have to spell out every single instruction to them.

            They're more hassle than they're worth. Especially when there are so many great models out there that don't feel the need to have a babysitter tag along.

            The escort debate goes on and on (always has, always will), and I don't care who thinks they're right or they're wrong – neither side is, they both have their reasons for wanting them or not wanting them. It's just part of "the terms" like anything else, and if folks agree on the terms, they'll work together, if they don't, they won't.

            A babysitter isn't a viable substitute for doing your research on who you choose to work with. If a photographer's going to do something dodgy to you, what makes you think they won't take him out first? And if you don't trust the photographer enough to work with them alone, WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU AGREE TO WORK WITH THEM ANYWAY!?!?

          • Andreas_Bergmann

            This is a completely valid point that I actually agree with. I mean, I haven’t had any terrible experiences with friends who come along so it isn’t a problem for me. I’ve had one I had to tell to be quiet but thats about it. But obviously if a photographer feels like it’ll mess up the shoot, they should just choose not to work with the model.

            I think, you’re basically yeah… right. It is just something people aren’t in agreement on, and thats fine. I have yet to be traumatized by bad friends-tagging-along so I don’t mind it, but I’m sure I’d change my mind if my experience was that it fucks up the shoot :)

          • Ali (arabbel)

            Models may want to work with a photographer who seems talented but is new enough that they don’t have a lot of research that can be done on them. And quite frankly, even if it is a well known, respectable photographer, you just never know. There are all sorts of crazies in this world, and sometimes they hide it really well, until they don’t. All of these are reasons to bring, as you so eloquently put it, a “babysitter.”

            Your idea that someone will happily take out two people if they mean harm is rather over the top. Unless you have actually stepped into the studio of a serial killer, you’re not up against someone ready to just murder two people skillfully. What is far more common is what this blog post described – someone taking a few extra liberties here and there, because they know they are in a position where they can. But if there is a witness, I can guarantee they will magically remember and be very happy to stick to appropriate boundaries again.

            And quite frankly, even if ye olde perv was a murderer, he or she is quite unlikely to actually be able to take out two people, whereas lone girls get raped, beaten, and murdered relatively frequently. And you know how that often happens? Them not wanting to think the worst in people, and putting themselves in vulnerable situations. Like alone in a photographer’s loft.

            A model taking extra precaution is not the same as assuming the worst in everyone, but as the saying goes, better safe than sorry, and in the realm of photography, there is a disproportionate amount of sorry to go around. So to act like they have so deeply offended you by wanting to ensure their safety is ridiculous.

            I also completely do not buy your whole “friends are just sooo unpredictable and disruptive and steal everything” excuse. You tell them “you can sit here, and only here, and you be quiet the entire time,” and people will listen. As you said, it’s their money, if you lay down the law and see they can’t get away with crap, they’re not going to try to, because they do not want to lose the $$.

            I honestly find your post sexist, although it is equally offensive to male models who would want to use the buddy system. You have literally no clue what it is to walk around as a woman in this world. There has not been a day since I understood what rape was and have had some independence that I have not thought about what choices I need to make to not get raped, and this is true of most women. Every single day I will at some point think about the possibility of getting raped, however fleeting that thought may or may not be. I highly doubt this is something that has ever had to occupy your thoughts, on the other hand.

            Do you have any concept of what it is like to walk around knowing that you could, if you made the wrong decision, get raped any given day, and that there are thousands of creeps who would love to be the perpetrators? If you understood the level of vulnerability and fear women are forced to operate under every day of their lives, how quickly and easily things can so south for us, maybe you would view bringing a buddy as something other than just an insult to your pride.

          • Kaouthia

            If you’re that concerned that every other guy out there is going to rape you, perhaps you just shouldn’t leave your house. Order everything you need online and don’t go out.

            You’re far more likely to be raped by somebody you know than some random photographer.

            “There has not been a day since I understood what rape was and have had some independence that I have not thought about what choices I need to make to not get raped” <– I think you have a serious insecurity problem, and completely counters your own argument of "A model taking extra precaution is not the same as assuming the worst in everyone"

            Apparently you do assume the worst in everyone.

            You call my post sexist, but have you read your own post? I have the same conditions regardless of whether the model is male or female. If they want to bring a babysitter, they can shoot with somebody else.

            A client hiring me to shoot models for their company certainly wouldn't put up with it. Is it even commercially viable for a model to have to pay for a babysitter to come along on all their shoots? Is the photographer REALLY expected to cover their costs as well?

          • Ali (arabbel)

            In my post, I made concessions to the fact that your view on this is insulting to male models who want to bring people as well, but let’s face it, if the point of bringing the friend is to make sure you’re not creeped on, this population in question is more often going to be female. Men are the victims of rape and other sexual exploitation as well, but women, outside of prison culture at least, are the disproportionate receivers on that end.

            And no, I do not think “every man” wants to rape me. But I do know, as a person who majored in criminal justice and got to read case after case after case on the subject, that there is a decent enough population that would be willing to, given the chance, and it is important not to give them a chance. A larger but less dangerous population would be happy to do general exploitation of them if they think they could get away with it, and that is where some of the “creepy” photographers come in. Also, I feel the need to point out that while yes, sexual assault comes more often from those the victim knows, that is hardly the only source from which it happens, and I feel like suggesting otherwise is really just putting up a smoke screen on the issue.

            And I do not have a security problem. I live life freely, but I can tell you that I, like most other women, have to make choices like not going out alone in certain areas, and a alone with a person we don’t know should fit into those areas, and there should not be a problem with that. Again, your assumption that I am a paranoid pyscho just shows what a total disconnect you have from what it is like to be the vulnerable one, and your total inability to empathize with another point of view. For you, it all about things being done exactly YOUR way, no exceptions!

            Why would a model pay to bring someone? I am a musician, and if I am meeting someone that I cannot find a lot of research on for a collaboration for the first time, you know who I bring? My father. My father, who sits there politely and quietly unless he is asked an opinion. I would assume most models of reasonable intelligence would bring a very trusted friend or family member. Of course as you mentioned in your previous post, there are exceptions to this.

            Whether you think I am overly paranoid or not, that doesn’t change the point of my post: why is it SUCH a big deal to you to allow someone to be there for a model? If ever there were a creepy photographer, it would make the model more safe, no two ways about it. So why do you hate the idea so very, very much? All the things you have listed have been very fixable problems with the system. What this comes down to is that you care more about your own personal pride and power over the situation than you do about the comfort of those with whom you work.

          • Kaouthia

            And in my very first comment (you must’ve missed this bit) I said..

            “The escort debate goes on and on (always has, always will), and I don’t care who thinks they’re right or they’re wrong – neither side is, they both have their reasons for wanting them or not wanting them. It’s just part of “the terms” like anything else, and if folks agree on the terms, they’ll work together, if they don’t, they won’t.”

            But you’re not even making sense any more. If I apply my policy equally to both males and females, how is that sexist? How is my not wanting a babysitter on a shoot any more or less insulting than them requesting to bring one along?

            If they felt safe and secure with me, they don’t need one. Therefore, if they feel they need one, they don’t feel safe and secure with me. THERE IS ONLY ONE REASON TO WANT A BABYSITTER ON A SHOOT, and as I have already said, if you don’t feel comfortable with the photographer, don’t shoot with them. If you don’t trust the photographer, don’t shoot with them. If you can’t get any research or background on the photographer, guess what? Don’t shoot with them!

            Having a babysitter just tells the photographer you don’t trust them, YOU EVEN SAID THAT YOURSELF!, let me remind you..

            “the point of bringing the friend is to make sure you’re not creeped on”

            So, either you haven’t, can’t or are just too damn lazy do your research. So, again, how is that not an insult to those photographers who wouldn’t even dream of doing anything dodgy and have plenty of references, and ways to research who they are?

            If I’m doing a TF shoot and I’m not being paid, fucking right I want things done my way. Why the hell would I be doing it for no pay otherwise?

            If my way is compatible with a model’s way, AWESOME, we work together.If it’s not, we don’t.

            Perhaps that’s a difficult concept for you to grasp, but it’s just that simple.

            I ain’t Burger King, but if you’re going to pay me, you want it your way? You got it.

            See, the thing is, it’s not such a big deal to me. I DON’T CARE if you want a babysitter on a shoot. You won’t be shooting with me, so why should I?

            On the other hand, the fact that I don’t allow them on my unpaid shoots, but fully support your right to want one, is apparently a big deal to you.

            Why do you care what my policy is if you’re never going to shoot with me?

          • Ali (arabbel)

            You are right, I did completely miss that paragraph you re-posted above, and I apologize, as it does change what I thought you were saying initially.

            As for my referring to it as sexist, female models are typically going to want a buddy along for safety measures, and benefit from that, more often than men. Of course men may want it for safety too, but more often than not a lone female with a man she does not really know is in a much more vulnerable position than her male counterpart. So though you enforce the rule equally, it effects women to a disproportionate degree. Though nowhere near as drastic or quite as one-sided obviously, it would be like a work place saying they are now banning tampons from being anywhere on work premises, then saying the rule is not sexist, because neither men nor women are allowed to bring them.

            But I still think you view the buddy system as far more suspicious and insulting than you should. You have already said – if you think someone is going to do something, don’t work with them. And guess what? I don’t. If I had any reason to actually suspect a fellow musician that I had not been able to find out much about was truly a creep, I would not work with them, whether I had someone to bring with me or not. The fact that I show up, albeit with a buddy, is an implicit statement that I don’t think this person is jerk, but nonetheless, as I already said, better safe than sorry. I assume the person I am working with is fine, but you know what? Insurance is never a bad thing.

            I said the point is to “make sure you don’t get creeped on,” not “prevent creeping you assume would otherwise happen.”

            You are right that perhaps this should not matter to me, as your own practices do not really affect me in any way. But I just found your view insulting to any model who would like to work but would likewise to totally ensure her own safety. Models tend to be physically lovely, which means they are used to and have heard dozens if not hundreds of lewd and inappropriate remarks in their day, so it behooves them to be a little extra wary. I just think it is unfair and even unwise to completely write off a potential talent just because she takes those precautions, and assume that because of those precautions she must think you’re a rapist/murderer. The very fact that you keep calling it a “Babysitter” shows that you have a lack of respect for women that prioritize their safety in this way, and I think that is completely wrong. Hence, my writing these little novella-like responses to you.
            It is your own business, and when you are not being paid, your own time and expense are on the line, so of course you don’t want a model bringing some schmuck you might screw all of that up. As with any private business, you are entitled to your own policies, of course.
            But I would simply encourage you to rethink your view of this and your opinion of models. You’re insulted because you think models who want an escort think you are a creep, but it is equally insulting to view those who want an escort as a bunch of babies.

          • Kaouthia

            “it would be like a work place saying they are now banning tampons from being anywhere on work premises” <– That's a bit extreme, although, many workplaces do frown upon bringing a friend to work to come and hang out all day, you know, just in case that new guy in the office tries anything on. ;)

            The simple fact is I've had too many problems with them coming along. I used to allow them, but my own negative experiences just led to me to the conclusion that they are often more hassle than they're worth. I've had entire shoots and the whole day wasted because of them.

            When the shoot's on location (as many of my TF shoots are), that can be a lot of time and money wasted (even on a TF shoot, I still have costs), and the escort is moaning because they're in completely the wrong attire for climbing halfway up a mountain, or down to a riverbed, and can't get a mobile signal, there's not much point trying to carry on.

            Then there's the ones who sit there glaring at you the entire time daring you to try something with "their woman".

            You're also doubling the risk of a no show, as now you have an extra person you're relying on to show up.

            I've also yet to meet a professional model (that is to say, one who is deriving their primary income from being a model, declares their income, pays their taxes, etc) who requires one. This goes back to my earlier comment about who pays for them?

            I'm sure if you were performing 5 full days days a week and needed somebody along for every session, your dad wouldn't put up with it for very long. There's travel and food costs for them, plus the fact that while they're out with you, they're not earning their own money to pay their bills, so how are they going to get an income?

            Somebody's going to have to cover that. The model's the one who wants them there, so shouldn't the model be the one to do that?

            I've actually had models contact me saying "Hi, I'd like work TF with you, but you need to cover my travel, and my chaperone's travel costs".

            Really? I do? Next! :)

            A case of the few ruining it for the many? Perhaps, but it's just a risk I no longer wish to take. As I said earlier, if they're paying me, then fine, it's their money and time they're wasting, not mine.

        • http://about.me/jerrywinnett Jerry JCL Winnett

          I encourage an escort but I do this with a twist. The escort is not allowed to just sit, or walk around on the phone. No they work as my assistant for the shoot. They position lights, hold lenses etc. This cuts down on distractions, it breaks down preconceived ideas they or the model might have about doing a shoot and in my experience makes the model relax as well. Suddenly everyone is part of the shoot.

          • Andreas_Bergmann

            If this works for you then thats awesome. I’ve tried this but I just tend to get frustrated with the sort of… well the assistants I use know me, I know them and we work well together. A completely new person with often zero experience on a set will tend to just waste time when working. But then thats my experience. If it works for you then thats awesome!

  • boatguy

    You mention “the middle aged man who has another career and a “boudoir” or “glamour” “studio” in his basement”, without qualifying that, just because the guy has another career or just because he has a studio in his basement does not make him a creeper.

    Many fine and sensitive photographers have other careers and find glamour and boudoir photography welcome outlets for creative juices that may or may not be satisfied in their daily lives. Present company included.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      Well, what I intended to do was use a pretty well known cliché to describe a problem. If you feel offended by that then I mean… well that wasn’t my intention but I don’t feel like I attacked alle middle aged photographers or hobby photographers. Obviously some of the greatest photographers of all time have been hobby photographers, and I’m convinced that the majority of budoir photographers are super awesome people, who are sensitive artists and not creepy fucks :)

      On the other hand, I’d imagine that being a middle aged boudoir photographer with a basement studio, one would be even more frustrated by the creepy fucks since their bullshit affects those much more than the likes of me.

      I think it comes down to my style of writing which is pretty much just train-of-thought’ish, and it feels obvious to me that I’m not accusing every single middle aged basement dwelling boudoir photographer of being a pseudo rapist, but I’ll happily point it out here:

      Obviously, there are tons of creative, talented, awesome middle aged men who have boudoir studios in their basement as a hobby. In fact I’m convinced that the majority of them are pretty awesome people with a creative outlet, a way of fulfilling some dream or whatever. I am however also pretty confident that boudoir and glamour photography attracts more creeps than any other genre, for obvious reasons :)

      • John

        It certainly isn’t obvious to people new to the industry. New models will pick out what they want from your statement and that will be middle aged (I am actually older) , career, and basement and attach that to creep. Now you have put us all in that category. The issue is more about purpose of the shoot than location or age. The common question I hear is what are you doing with the images. That is more legitimate than where is your studio, how old are you, and do you have a career.

        • Andreas_Bergmann

          You know what, you’re right. I should write an edit pointing more explicitly out that having a studio in the basement, or having photography as a hobby etc. does in no way make you creepy. I’ll get that done sometime over the next couple of days. Thank you for insisting on pointing it out, it took me a while to fully realize that you were right and I was oblivious. I tend to be like that :P

          So yeah, thanks!

          • Brian Berneker

            I'm glad you walked that point back, Andreas.

            Most photographers have to start someplace within their means, and the fact that they are otherwise gainfully employed in order to buy the expensive gear needed to take quality images, and have made the effort to set up a studio in their own home should not be a mark against them. I have a regular career and have also spent good money to set up my home studio and do quality work.

            I've also heard warnings about photographers who seek to meet at a hotel too, even though that is often an ideal venue for a boudoir shoot, so their income or the shoot location is not any hard indicator. I think what it comes down to is their professionalism and ability. I would suggest a model ask to see some of their previous work or a referral list of other models they've worked with. It doesn't take long to tell from a photographer's portfolio how interested they are in making good photos, (regardless how explicit) or many conversations with previous clients to find out if they have acted inappropriately in the past.

            You are right that the fear is even more annoying for boudoir photographers, and that original comment didn't help any at all. There are serious pros out there who shoot all kinds of material from glamour to serious erotica but are total professionals even while "shooting your naughty bits." The ones to look out for are not defined by the material they shoot, their main source of income, or the location of their studio.

            You admit yourself that your own work excludes nude or boudoir photography, which gives away a lack of perspective in this article. I assume from your tone that you aren't a "creepy" photographer, so I would love to see you take on a few nude or boudoir sessions yourself to gain a bit more perspective in this area and then revisit this topic. I think it would be a more enlightening read than just an exposition of your presumptions.

        • Andreas_Bergmann

          I’ve posted an update to the post, again thank you for sticking to your point.

    • Patrick Warbinger

      you're a creeper man, just deal with it…

  • Genevieve LeBlanc

    Another rule that can never be said enough is do not touch the model in any way shape or form with explicit permission and a constant narrative of what you are doing. Doesn’t matter if you’re only going to touch the model’s hair or scarf, ask first.It’s very easy, try, “Is it alright if I adjust your hair a little bit?” If you’ve received permission to touch, narrate as you do it, “I’m just going to adjust your scarf a slightly down, because it’s hiding your chin a little,” or, “Your sleeve is bunching so I’m just going to pull it down a little at your wrist.” This lets the model know what you are about to do and why and will make them much more comfortable.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      This is pretty damn good advice. I’m sort of surprised I didn’t mention this since I always do exactly this, narrate everything I do that involves touching etc. Thank you very much for pointing this out!

  • Charles Phinizy

    I am not a photographer, Yet I am a thermographer and as such i have dealt with many non human subjects. I have started to work with my thermal camera in an artistic way and as such I am very interested in working with people. I have found one model who did really well, but most people don’t understand what I am doing and because of this I am hesitant to go forward in what I am doing. I don’t want to be the creepy photographer and i think it is holding me back from exploring what I believe is a great new artistic opportunity

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      I don’t think you should hold back, it is actually pretty easy to NOT be creepy, it is sort of like how you make sure you aren’t a rapist, you don’t rape people :) Granted “creepy” is a more nuanced word but if you check your own intentions and make sure you’re only there to work professionally together to create art, and make sure you take the responsibility of being the one with the authority on the shoot seriously, then I think you’ll be fine. Just like… I can’t stress enough that one needs to check ones own motivation. And if you find yourself one day thinking “damn, that is one hot person, I would sooooo love to go out with him/her”, then you shut that shit down immediately. Not the shoot, but whatever that emotional reaction would normally lead you to do (like flirting etc.) Also I’d suggest building a reputation a bit before asking just anyone to be nekkid in front of your camera. I’m in a pretty privileged position since I already have a reputation in my field for being a really awesome person to be on set with, so it is rarely a problem for me making people be naked if need be for a given photo. Then again I don’t really DO sexy stuff so that obviously is a help. I’m sure if you explain properly what a thermographic image is, how it looks etc. Most people wouldn’t mind, since they’re not really identifiable to an untrained eye. I know I’d feel pretty ok being naked in front of a thermograph, and I would never be naked in front of a camera :)

      • Charles Phinizy

        I think you need to look at what I am doing, I can probably make you seem more naked when I thermally capture you. Although I know what you are saying. i have a lot of people thinking i can see through clothes and that is definitely not the case but with the right conditions i could make a representation of nakedness through clothes. check out some of what I am doing here http://cphinizy33.deviantart.com/

        • Andreas_Bergmann

          Ah yeah, I know how thermography work and have played around with it a bit myself, and I fully understand that you can readily tell that this is a naked body :) It is just that to me it seems so abstracted that the whole… nudity thing is in a way irrelevant to me. I’m sure others feel differently though :)

          I think the best way to go about it for someone at your stage is to start by building up a reputation by doing naked stuff (if that is what you want to do) with people who already trust you and won’t mind. That is a pretty easy way of building a portfolio of images that’ll then make further contact with prospective subjects much easier. Well that and obviously doing lots of TFP work and making sure you’re damn awesome to work with, that’ll build reputation fast too.

          I’d also suggest just really playing around and experimenting. From looking at your DA gallery I get the impression that you haven’t really found your “style” or “vision” yet, so chase that fucker down. Thermograph everything and everybody, play around with layering different materials on bodies to differentiate the thermal radiation, do all sorts of stuff, take it underwater, stick it into a snowstorm, shoot a hot deep-fry kitchen with it and get to really… really know your medium. This process will inevitably also build your portfolio and make it much easier for you to both pitch ideas to people, and it’ll build your confidence which is a big part of working with people. Being super insecure and worried about “being creepy” will in no way help someone come off as less creepy :D

          • Charles Phinizy

            Thanks for the advice

          • Andreas_Bergmann

            Take it for what you want :) It isn’t as if I’m the be all end all of photography advice, but if there is anything useful in there then I’m happy I could share it ;)

          • Charles Phinizy

            like I said, i am not a photographer, just a mechanical geek who is having fun with technology

          • Andreas_Bergmann

            I’d say that is as good a starting point as any. Screw people who insist that you have to be born with some sort of weird introverted deep sense of I AM AN ARTIST :P I basically come from a deep love of star trek and trying to over-compensate for not being popular by being good at something, and I’ve discovered my love for photography down the road, not the other way around :) Also I apparently suffer from this terrible disease where I tend to keep replying online no matter how much people try to just get a final word in ;)

          • Charles Phinizy


          • Alek J

            Hey guys, I've read all the posts and all I have to say is, I find it very constructive what Andrea posted from the start. He is simply raising red flags for all of us, but I guess some of you don't see it that way. It had to go on a debate right? I couldn't of just been a discussion by exchanging ideas to help each other out as photographers like it originally started off in the posts? noooooo….. Say what you want but I had my share of models that actually tried to go against me for many reasons and all of them where make belief story. Sorry, but in my book that's CREEPY. These things can go both ways! Thank God I always have may hair and make up stylist with me. When I free lance I make sure the models or clients sign a detailed contract witch protects me on all angles.

            Now, I have to tell you this! This is the first time I participate in a post. I usually don't write in posts just because I know how these things end up, but this one really got to me. How people can be ridiculous and judgemental. I have my peace to say…. Today I'm having a hard time shooting a model, girls more than guys. Why? Because of creepy photographers. categorize CREEPINESS as you wish. All I know is that most models had bad experiences with fake photographers, photographers that make you believe stuff, when actually they don't even know where the picture view button is! ( EXAMPLE). What does this do to us real or professional photographers? Well let me see, it will make our work non credible. Trust issues make it harder for us to even be able to approach a models to do a simple portrait shoot.

            I've asked 2 models last week if I can shoot them for pro-bono purposes and funny enough it didn't happen because they tough it was a scam according to their PAST experiences with some-what photographers. I presented my project perfectly, I was willing to go meet them to feel them out with my representative and hair stylist (FEMALES) like ANDREA mentioned in is post (AS A TIP *constructive guys!!!*) but nothing do.

            I'm not getting discouraged.. at all… but come on! We all don't know who is the real creep! This convo took a 360 and I find it sad. You who are judging might be the creepy ones. I find what ANDREA did, helped me a lot and actually made me realize that I wasn't the only one dealing with this situation.

            Here is a phrase of my last message to one of the models. ** I would love to work with you. I don't want to strike you as a desperate photographer, but I don't want you think this is a make up shoot.. NO PORNOGRAPHY, NO LINGERIE, JUST GLAM PORTRAIT SHOOT. You can bring your friend(s) a long if it make you feel more comfortable and I will have my team with me on the set. This shoot is to make a portfolio for a clothing store and I find you have what it takes to suit one or 2 of our outfits. There is no compensation for now but if the company agrees to work with you they will be compensation. This shoot will be legally binded and signed by me the photographer and you the artist/model.***

            Now guys after detailing all this and offering to meet and telling her the truth…. Well… nothing to do. She had bad experience so she will pass this time. THAT WAS HER ANSWER.

            Don't get me wrong, not all of them decline, but damn its getting harder and harder because of people that go buy a camera at 2-300$, don't know the difference between af/mf and want to shoot models to get what ever kick out of it. WTF!

            Andrea, thank you very much for your post. I wish we can all help each other with: Things to improve our work, Quality and Knowledge instead of bashing each other for days on what is the real definition of CREEPY.. lol. YOU GUYS ARE SERIOUS? Call it what ever you want to call it. In every profession there is FAKE.

            So guys stay focused, be innovative and good things will come. STOP ARGUING ON STUPIDITIES…. Everyone is titled to their opinion, but don't judge them.

  • Ms D

    This is why I stopped modelling- the creeping plus the social bullying if you draw a line, for entrenched photographers in any entertainment scene, if they slag a model the model gets blacklisted, even if they are merely punishing the ones unwilling to play the gimmie some sugar and I will promote you game by calling them ‘difficult’ and ‘hard to work with’ the second they say ‘no’ to sex. There is that level, the peer to wreck career trajectory, you never touched on.

    • Ms D

      This is for Pros.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      I think I didn’t touch on it because it is something I haven’t experienced. It is obviously completely unacceptable when this happens, and while I’m unsure as to what to do as a model, it is damn wrong that it does happen. I mean, the problem with “telling” on the photographer is that in many situations, due to our tragically patriarch-loving rape-culture society the reality will unfortunately be that the model will be called “hysterical” and “stiff”, which is so fucking sad.

      Thank you so much for bringing it up though, it is obviously another huge part of the problem that needs addressing. I only wish I had something more constructive to say about it, some sort of an idea for a solution, beyond obviously telling any photographer that acts like this to stop it, and name and shame them publicly. I mean, other photographers should do that, since models are in a way to vulnerable position if they try to do that. Sort of like how if my friend is treating his boyfriend or girlfriend like shit, I’ll tell him, because I damn well should.

  • Axel Vasa


  • TheModel

    What girls think is creepy may not actually be creepy. “Oh no, he moved my arm!” Yes, because you couldn’t understand when he said 15 times to move your arm to the left. Do you not know which way is left!?

    Furthermore, creepy is subjective. What’s wrong with a new photographer wanting to shoot nudes? How is that affecting YOUR work? Instead of telling photographers not to be creepy, how about you educate these naive new “models” that just because you get naked doesn’t mean you’ll end up on Playboy.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      Hmm, I sort of think your lashing out against a perceived attack on photographers in general, and doing that sort of missed the main reasoning behind me thinking it is the photographers responsibility. I’m sure there are unreasonable models, both male and female, but whether they are unreasonable or not, they have limits and borders that they feel uncomfortable crossing. Now whether or not you as a photographer find these reasonable or not, is really completely irrelevant. It is THEIR lines, it is THEIR comfort, and it is THEIR wellbeing. You can make a bazillion more or less reasoned arguments for how ridiculous you find those limits, but that does exactly zilch to change the fact that it is their limits, not yours. As the person in charge of the situation, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that these limits aren’t ignored, or trampled. If you end up working with a model that has a terrible sense of direction, instead of going directly to physical manipulation, what about just pointing in the direction that left is, give her some fucking help. If you’re so bad at instructing people in directions that the only tool you have is repeating left over and over again, then you need to work on that. Being frustrated does not in any way, shape or form give you the right to stop over someones boundaries. I would suggest that you could point to the left, and unless the model is blind she’ll probably understand you.

      And yes, creepy is subjective. And the person you, as the one that has WAY more authority and power in the situation, are responsible for not feeling creeped out, is the model. Get over it, you have to deal with people as part of being a photographer, if you are completely unable to read people as to get a feel for their boundaries, then narrate everything. Ask them before doing stuff.

      I have never said anything is wrong with a new photographer wanting to shoot nudes, I have however suggested that building a reputation and some routine with how you act professionally in a photography session will help you with both getting people to model nude for you, and making sure these shoots don’t end up being a bad experience.

      It is affecting MY work because I have to deal with the general perception of photographers as being creepy fucks. It is also, more importantly, affecting the damn world I live in, because a lot of girls, especially young relatively naive girls, have horrifying experiences with creepy photographers, and that makes the world a less-awesome place. And on top of being a photographer, I give a fuck about the world, and about how my profession affects said world.

      I have no idea what being on playboy has to do with anything, and I’m actually pretty convinced that playboy’s photographers are fucking EXPERTS at making sure their models, especially the non-pros feel REALLY safe and comfortable on their shoots. Also since I’m not a model (I mean look at me for fucks sake) I really don’t have the experience to tell models what to do, I do however have a lot of experience being a photographer.

      • Art Shooter

        Andreas, if you spend your time honing your craft and being a professional and not posting on the internet about creepy photographers, the actions of unprofessional photographers will have no effect, whatsoever, on your image or career.

        You really make yourself look far worse by delving into this drama, then by avoiding it, ignoring it and pretending it has nothing to do with your profession. Because it doesn’t. It has to do with unprofessional imitators, claiming to be photographers, not real photographers.

        If you’re worried about the image of pro shooters, step away from the computer and go make some amazing imagery. If you want to look like a fool or a hack, sit here, preaching about the predators which exist in far fewer numbers than you seem to think.

        • Andreas_Bergmann

          I’m actually not writing a blog to further my image or career :) I’m doing it because I like it. And to be honest… I’d rather say my piece about something I think is a problem, than quiet down to make myself look better. I’d like to think I’m hired on the basis of my work and references, not due to my opinions on social or political matters :) And you know what, I’m pretty convinced that even amongst “real photographers” (whats the definition for those anyways? :) ) there are some people who, whether with intent or without, end up creeping people out, just lilke there are everywhere else. Besides I don’t feel like I’m really in a position to judge whether or not other people are unprofessional imitator or real photographers.

          I’m more worried about expressing myself when I blog, it is basically a pretty egotistical exercise no matter how you look at it. Even “free tips” blogs are, I’d think.

          I don’t think there are hordes of evil photographers everywhere, but I think there are enough to make it a problem I hear talk about here and there. Now if pointing that out makes me look worse then.. I guess so be it? I mean… It doesn’t seem like we disagree on whether or not being creepy is bad, just on whether one should point it out :) Anyways thank you for the reply and yeah, I do have a lot of skill-honing to do, and I sure as hell hope that I will for the rest of my life :)

          • Art Shooter

            I’ve met a lot of surgeons and anesthesiologists and I have never heard one of them discuss the groping of unconscious surgical patients during surgery. Care to guess why?

            I know the answer. Unless they are specifically questioned about these aberrations and anomalies in their profession, they see no need to discuss them, as the discussion of them implies that they are, in some way, emblematic of their profession or a problem in their profession. Bluntly, it demeans the professionals to dwell on the unprofessional.

            They ignore these stories because they are so far-removed from normalcy and reality that they don’t even warrant comment.

            And, for what it’s worth, the inequities in power in that situation far exceeds the nature of the inequities you’re describing. You keep insisting that there is such a huge imbalance in power at your shoots.

            When I’m shooting a commercial job, the client is the boss. Yes, I control most of the set but the actual power belongs to the A.D. or the client if the client is on set.

            With respect to my personal projects, I tend to work with very experienced models and there is almost no inequity in power, certainly not to the extent you seem to be implying exists. Perhaps the fact that you do see the need to white-knight with posts like this makes sense in the context of your skewed perception of the relative power of shoot participants. If you stopped viewing your models as powerless and helpless, subjugating themselves to your immense photographic power, you probably would not see any need to lecture them on how to protect themselves from the millions of predatory photographers that you seem to think are out their tarnishing our industry’s reputation.

          • Andreas_Bergmann

            You’re ofcourse completely right about the surgeons. I do however disagree with the notion that we shouldn’t talk about things because they make us look bad. I can appreciate the reasoning behind not wanting to dwell on it, but I do not agree with the conclusion that we shouldn’t. I also disagree that the situations I’m talking about are so far removed from normalcy and reality. I have no knowledge of the plastic surgery field so I can’t really comment on that, but if there was a general notion in society that a risk of going to a plastic surgeon was that you’d get groped while out, I’d certainly want to address that were I a surgeon. Especially due to the inequity in power being so severe.

            The imbalance I’m describing is the one between the model and the shooter. On commercial jobs obviously either the client directly or their AD is above the shooter, but the shooter is still above the model.

            I think you’re very much misconstruing my words when you claim that I am white knighting the poor powerless helpless women. It is, at the very least, a hyperbolic paraphrasing. If you go back and read what I wrote originally I’m not at all talking about how powerless anyone is, I’m pointing out that since the photographer is the one making decisions, a generalization I realize, it is on the photographers shoulders to make the shoot a safe, enjoyable place for all. This is simply a reflection of how I generally view what comes with being in charge etc. It has nothing to do with women being more or less powerless or defenseless. Nor have I ever claimed that there are millions of evil predators. I actually pointed out that I think a lot of this is unintentional.

            Also, grats on working with super experienced models on personal projects, that must make life a hell of a lot easier. My personal projects atm involve working with a boatload of mentally ill people, and a bunch of close friends, so I’m sure you can imagine that in those situations, especially the first, respecting and being aware of boundaries are even more important.

            I’m happy to debate our opinions, but if you insist on misrepresenting my arguments and words then I really don’t feel that there is any point in this. It’d be as if I started arguing against your pro-rape position, which obviously doesn’t exist.

            In any case if you haven’t gotten that from my words yet, I have not ever claimed that women are helpless or sheep or whatever. Also lets call them models, and not insist that they are female. I have actually taken care to make sure to not claim that all models are female, because I know male models who’ve been through shitty shoots too. I am talking about my opinions on the responsibility of the photographer in the post, not about how strong or weak any gender is, how many are or are not evil predatory photographers etc. I mean, go back and read it. I actually nowhere give any lectures to models at all, I’m talking to photographers, not models. You seem to be somewhat prone to straw manning and over-interpreting my words, so yeah.. Please respond to what I actually write instead of what you think my opinion is :) Otherwise, like I said, this exchange is pointless, we might as well be two 90′s chat-bots going at eachother.

  • AnselAdams

    I`ll let you know when photographs become art….Until then, YAWN….”Oh wow, I didnt notice that was beautiful at all until YOU took a picture of it” haha….GTFO

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      Hi there adorable troll :) also adorable attempt at look-at-my-name sarcasm, I like it :)

  • Art Shooter

    I’m not really sure how to respond to this post.

    I feel somewhat compelled to simply call you “Captain Obvious” and dismiss your entire post with the suggestion that you’re not saying anything that professionals don’t already know. Then again, you say some things that are simply self-indulgent exercises in mental masturbation and exceed basic notions of what is reasonable. This includes your response in the Comments section about how the use of Escorts should be encouraged or permitted, which surely belies any claim you have of being a professional.

    On the other hand, I also wonder how this entire preachy piece of patronizing condescension might have come across if it had been posted by a professional photographer with a quality body of work, as opposed to someone of your limited experience and talent.

    I think the one thing we can all agree upon is that creepy unprofessional people, whether photographers, doctors, firemen, chimney sweeps or politicians are not likely to read anything you have written and are even less likely to be swayed by anything you have to say, should they stumble upon your little corner of the internet.

    As someone with far more experience than yourself, I can tell you that to most models, preachy sermons like this, which depict you as the great white savior of helpless models’ innocence and chastity make you appear far less professional and far more like you’re trying to get into models’ pants than most of the overt creeps against whom you’ve issued this literary warning.

    My best advice to you would be to worry far more about improving your skills as a shooter and far less about protecting the poor helpless lambs, being led to the slaughter by all of those other big bad wolves.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      So first of all. Feel free to dismiss my entire post. It is after all just an opinion piece about something that I think is a problem. I fail to realise how my opinion on bringing escorts belies any claim of being professional but… you might educate me on that.

      Well, I tend to think that arguments should be judged on the merits of the argument and not on the one making it. But I’m sure you’re right that a lot people would put more weight in a more seasoned photographers words, I fail to see your point though :)

      You’re probably right, on the other hand I’m self indulgent enough to hope that a couple of insecure really new photographers might read it, and grab a couple of tips from it. And even if that never happens, I actually feel pretty good just posting whatever I feel like on my blog, so that won’t destroy you.

      I’ll beg to differ on the models part. I have yet to be told that something was creepy or unprofessional about the way I conduct shoots. But then again who am I to speak on behalf of “most models”. I can only relay what I’ve heard from colleagues and friends, and my own limited experience :) Also I fail to see where I’ve tried protecting anyones chastity or innocence. I’ve pointed out my opinions about social interaction in a situation where one part is vastly higher ranking than the other. I couldn’t give two flying fucks about neither the chastity nor the innocence of people, it isn’t really my business to tell people how they are or aren’t chase or innocent :) I sort of adore the attempt at a semi troll white-knight accusation thingie you have going there :)

      I do worry about improving my skills, I think my skills are annoyingly bad compared to where I want to be skill wise. I still, however, don’t see how that has anything to do with my opinion on social interactions. Also my main reason behind writing this was actually, well ok no, my third reason. Since the first is the sheer egotistical exercise writing a blog is, and the second is the joy of replying to people like you for instance. But thirdly, to improve the reputation of photographers, not to save poor helpless lambs. I tend not to think of people, whether they are models or not, as poor helpless lambs. I do however think that a shoot by necessity is a situation in which the participants aren’t in equal footing power-wise.

    • Lonebirch

      Gee Art… It sounds like you might be one of those creepy guys, that doesn’t know it…. Or maybe you do, and are trying to justify it, since you obviously have ZERO respect for “the helpless lambs.”… In the first place, he was not addressing REAL PROFESSIONALS and made that point pretty clear; He seemed to be targeting the Amateur, who actually DOES have power over his Amateur, or Drunken Model. As for “Escorts”… Why should THAT make you uncomfortable? [I have my theory about that...]. I have often told my subjects to feel free to bring a Friend along…. [I don't say, to keep me off of you.. but I tell them to bring a friend to help with Make-up and Hair, since I am not some big studio with Employees to do that stuff... and that makes them more comfortable and at ease, as well as possibly giving them, as NON-Professional models, a Moral barrier that they may not cross with a friend in the room... So they don't do something that they may regret having done in Private. I tell my [Amateur] subjects/Clients, that I will NOT do full frontal nudity just for the sake of taking a photo,…. cause that is not what kind of photos I’m after…. Even if the subject suggests it; [Every sleaze ball with a Digital Cell Phone Camera, and a Drunk girl, is taking those kinds of pics]; …. and I have had my Clients THANK ME a day or two later, for sticking to my standards… for the sake of BOTH our reputations… and referring me to their friends. Reality is, that if NOT done in the right conditions by the right photographer…. Fully nude shots, for the most part, just look Cheap and Sleazy…. and I would prefer to go for the Classy Professional look of a real PRO in a professional studio. If I had a big professional studio and helpers… and CLIENTS looking for specific photos for either Personal or Business requirements, sure, It’s business;…. But; I don’t… because I don’t have the kind of studio, or budget, that would do justice to them… It would just be me being “THE CREEPY GUY”…. Sort of what you sound like Art…. But, if I have a good idea for a creative nude,… an artistic.. not pornographic, piece,… then Yep… there are spaces I can use, and there are professional Models for hire who are fully aware of what is expected…. Not Lambs, being swayed by the “Glamour” of the moment into helping you get your rocks off…… It may be true, that you have more experience than Andreas,[I really don't know]; but [as a certified Family and Crisis counselor], it is also a psychological FACT, that there is something about being in front of a Camera, as the main subject, that causes that subject to lower their defenses, and their moral standards, and feel a false sense of security, that will allow them to do things that they may well regret doing afterwards…. [another reason for suggesting the Escort]. I know lots of Photographers, Painters, and people in numerous other Creative fields…. that have been doing it for a really long time; …. But they still SUCK at it….. and usually try to justify their “Creepy Guy” ways by writing ACTUAL “Self Indulgent crap” that literally says NOTHING of value…. in an attempt to feel better about their “Creepy Guy” ways….. and putting down other genuine photographers work. Oh, and would you please refrain from using generalizations that take in the entire Photography industry, cause I can assure you that you do NOT speak for me… You’re arrogant, and apparently believe you know how everyone else thinks, feels, and their intentions….. Along with quite the dose of “Delusions of Grandeur”.

  • NonProShooter

    Hey Andreas

    First let me start by saying that this is a good topic that needs to be touched upon. It makes me wonder why a photographer would not want this topic touched upon unless they wanted it kept hush hush for whatever reason.

    Second let me say that “in my opinion” people can crucify if they want (won’t hurt my feelings any) but I do not believe that anyone can claim to be a professional photographer unless they are being paid big bucks from a major company. eg, fashion photographer hired by vogue, photographer for a major news organization, or a any other photographer who receives a regular paycheck from a company that “hired” them. Every other photographer (myself included) could maybe lay claim to being an artist or a semi-pro that gets paid for their work. If you have your own business and your own personal studio this does not qualify you to call yourself a “pro” and if your a pro then you have entire staff of people around you at all times so this post wouldn’t apply to them anyways.

    Third and to the point of the topic. Like I said above this topic needs to be discussed so that new honest photographers can maybe learn some things to avoid going through the heartache some of us had to endure as beginners with no knowledge of the subject. When I first started I was strictly a landscape portrait (both together at the same time not separate) but as my art grew it led me down other roads. I have since ventured into boudoir, fetish (strictly upon request I don’t go looking), studio portraits and weddings to pay the bills. For my creative side I have done book/novel covers, music posters, and album covers. Most of these usually involve the macabre or racy horror type shoots. (my wife is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and novelist so get a lot of work from her contacts) Anyways these shoots can get kind of personal and for the most part lack some clothing of one kind or another. In this regard I completely agree with Andreas, It is their lines and as the artist/photographer I should never cross those lines without explicit permission from the model/client. I always make it a practice to have at least 2 other “helpers” staff with me on all shoots so that I don’t have to worry about if they bring someone. I do this because there is a flip side to this coin that has not been mentioned. Like you said we are in a position of authority and some young aspiring models (who have no concept of their true emotions) just like some school girls/boys with their teachers, can get googly eyed at you and when you politely turn them down they get mad. A rejected subject can make accusations against you that are not necessarily true but can destroy your reputation none the less. This has never happened to me personally but being a former law student I do know of actual cases where this has happened, so when I first got into the art I decided to protect myself right from day one.

    Lastly, contrary to some peoples opinions on here, no advice is wasted if it falls upon the right ears (or eyes in this case). Just because they are so perfect and so far beyond everyone else that they find this post useless, it doesn’t mean that someone, somewhere might actually learn or at least walk away with a better understanding of the subject then they did before. If that happens then it wasn’t wasted at all and in actuality was a benefit to someone.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      I agree that it is an important topic, obviously :)

      I somewhat agree on the notion of who is and isn’t a pro. I mean, as I understand it the definition is that if you make your money that way, then you’re a pro. It says nothing about the artistic talent or technical skill of the photographer however. Anyways, I agree that this post is useless to anyone working with a crew. I mean, moving up to having a MUA, hair stylist, stylist etc. being a common thing on shoots for me has pretty much removed this as any potential issue. It them becomes a matter of good group dynamics to keep the shoot positive, which is an entire other barrel of debate, and not a photography specific one I think. But yeah, obviously this is much more directed at new photographers or artists often working alone with a model.

      First of all awesome career path :D I am myself sort of tumbling down a bazillion different paths trying to figure out where my heart is really really really at in photography, so I can very much relate. And if I’ve given that impression let me be very clear that I have no notion at all of some genres being better or more “real” or “art” or whatever than others :)

      Good advice on the flipside protection. I was about to go into a “don’t derail” but I think I might just be a bit riled up from arguing against what feels like MRA arguments. So yes, it is totally good advice to mention that it is also for your own protection everyone needs to be awesome to deal with on a shoot.

      And well, thank you very much for you considered and pretty awesome reply. Can I aks you if you have a website, I’d love to see some of your work!

      • Joe Allocco

        While a logical, lucid, and sound definition… to me a “PRO” is someone who can deliver the product. Despite what percentage of their income is based in photography. Or despite how much money they make as an auto-mechanic, a ditch digger, hair-stylist, etc… When the product or service speaks for itself, their earning power does not have to. Being a “PRO” means you’re locked in to whatever craft or service you deliver. You’ve got a systematic approach. Client X receives the same deliberate attention as Client Y, with no fall-off in the quality of work your provide. Granted, many times the quality of a product can equate to earning power. But earning power does not a professional make. And this applies to all service based business. If this were the case, things like the BBB, and even Angie’s List would not exist.

    • Dont trackme

      You are getting the meaning of Professional wrong. Professional means it is your main source of income. It has nothing to do with the size of your company or your clients.

      • Andreas_Bergmann

        This is my understanding of the word as well.

    • Amazed

      So the minimum wage button pushers that take school photos are pros but one of the local guys I know that works for himself that has repeatedly won national awards, gets a $10,000 booking fee, shoots weddings all over the world and on average only shoots one wedding per month while making over $200,000 a year is not? Wow, with that kind of logic you must be a politician when you’re not shooting nude models in your basement.

  • ThatRobbGuy

    Oh, how awesome it must be to sit upon a high horse and look down on the rest of the world, passing judgement on others.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      Oh totally, and on Wednesday I’m going to tell everyone who doesn’t eat the same diet as me how horrible they are. I’m thinking thursday I’ll go into how wearing anything besides jeans makes you a terrible person, and friday is all you can be judget buffet friday!

  • Nathan

    It seems more like you’re trying to gain attention by writing on this subject. It comes across as if you picked this subject for more what it would get you and for less about helping others which is sad IMO.
    Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that photographers need be 100% respectful at all times, but I don’t for a second believe your motives were pure in writing this article.

    I fully agree with the other on the whole “My best advice to you would be to worry far more about improving your skills as a shooter”

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      I mean, you’re obviously free to believe that. I’m sort of having a hard time figuring out what it is that this would get me (besides a bunch of angry people accusing me of white-knighting, being a shitty photographer and having some secret motive ;) ). So… basically what you’re saying is that you agree with the content of my post, but your analysis of me as a human being is that I’m actually writing the post in order to gain… something? :) Well… have fun with analyzing people on the internet you don’t know… I guess :)

      Also, I agree completely with the advice, and I have actually been following that advice for a long time. The biggest worry of my life is improving my skills as a shooter. And getting closer to achieving visually what I want to, obviously. Otherwise why on earth would I try to make it as a photographer with all the work involved :)

      • Nathan

        I’m not angry, nor am I saying you’re a bad photographer, but you are being a white knight. That’s blatantly obvious.
        When I said focus on your photography I meant do something meaningful and gain attention through the efforts of your work, not through picking a subject matter like this which you clearly knew would gain attention.

        • Andreas_Bergmann

          To be honest I can’t really see why writing about what I’m currently thinking about (at that point in time creepy photographers) somehow excludes me working on my photography :).

          It seems to me like you aren’t at all interested in trying to understand my reasons for writing the post, which is fine, it is your prerogative. You have decided that I wrote it to I guess… white knight, and that I wasn’t at all interested in helping anyone but wanted to get something from it. I really have no idea where you get this notion from, but lets be honest, nothing is ever going to sway you one way or the other since you’ve already decided that I’m an attention whoring dude pretending to be wanting to be helpful in order to gather more attention. I find that a bit cynical and perhaps judgmental, but everyone is judgmental about stuff now and then so fair enough, you go right on an keep thinking that about me :)

          The bad photographer remark, btw, wasn’t directed at you, but at a couple of other posts here. And at me generally trying to explain that I’m not really “getting” anything out of this besides conversations of varying degrees of interest to me.

          To me it is actually quite meaningful writing these posts. It forces me to crystalize my thoughts on a given subject. Whether it is how I made a certain photo or what I actually think about working for free as a photographer. And having thought out those things helps me in my life as a photographer so… if it isn’t meaningful to you then I’d suggest stopping wasting your time reading it, to me it is very meaningful :) On top of that I even learn stuff from posts like John’s, that made it clear that I wasn’t clear enough in my writing about not wanting to claim that all basement-studio-owning hobby photographers are rapists, so win win :)

          Thank you very much for your concern about my career and life as a photographer though :)

          • Nathan

            You should consider relaxing and not reading the replies if you’re going to let them get to you so much.
            Also, it might be a good idea to consider you don’t have the perspective to see your true intentions rather than being stubborn. Not saying I have to be right, just saying working with such a high defense and with such a limited mindset you will never grow.
            This is advice I happy take myself. Even whilst reading your replies.

          • Andreas_Bergmann

            lol I don’t think they’re getting to me, not in a bad way anyways :) I just find the conversation interesting :) I might not have the perspective to see my true intentions, but I doubt you have either :) I actually ended up thinking a lot about what you wrote, and I honestly think my main reason for writing these things, beyond egotistical self expression, is to learn.

            If I come off as defensive that is my mistake. It isn’t at all my intention but I’m sure I click “post” before I think things through sometimes. And I agree completely that one needs to be open to being wrong, being wrong is the best way of learning, or at least one of them :) And I obviously might be wrong, thats why I read all the replies, it is a great learning opportunity! I might disagree with something, but that doesn’t mean I don’t consider it :) And I do honestly mean it when I thank you for replying and debating.

          • Nathan

            My pleasure, thank you for replying and debating also Andreas.

    • Ali (arabbel)

      Out of curiosity, why does it matter? Even if his motives were to get attention to himself, he is also promoting be aware of and thinking about this issue. Given that fact, why does this so clearly rub you the wrong way?

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  • Tara K. Sanderson

    I like that you mentioned ‘art projects’ on MM. You check the profile and -everyone to their own BUT -their work isn’t anything special. Same lighting, same bed, same angles. THAT should be your first warning sign and – if its paired with something like “Im very experienced”.

    I think it’s also up to the model to do a little research on the photographer BEFORE they commit. Google, facebook, word of mouth!

    If you still aren’t sure but want to give the photographer the benefit of the doubt & love their work, take someone with you… someone besides the MUA.

    I think truly a lot of photogs get bad reps from NEW models, who go in by themselves and hear the photog saying things like “You look soo sexy; open your lips a little”
    Every photog does it and (MOST OF) it is to keep you motivated!
    And if you still feel uncomfortable and that things are going too far SAY SOMETHING.
    “I’m uncomfortable when you touch me; say that to me” etc.
    if it continues.. LEAVE.

    You’re right – as a model we do feel vulnerable and that the photog has some kind of power over us. But its not like they’re strapping you to a bed (hopefully) and making you stay!! There are a million other photogs who will capture your beauty without making you take off your clothes or slapping your ass. (it happens!)

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      I think you’re very much right that a lot of this comes down to misunderstandings. But that being the reality, I assume most photographers would love to avoid as many such misunderstandings as possible :)

  • Dekilah Divine

    (it appears my first comment was held since I included my URL, sorry if this becomes a duplicate)

    First, let me lay out my experience, mainly to show that I do have experience in this field. You are welcome to scroll past this if you already know me or do not care to read my background. I have been a (mostly art nude) model for coming up on 5 years now, I have shot with photographers from across the US. I have done hundreds of shoots with at least 150 photographers and shot in standalone studios, home studios, hotel rooms, outdoors in parks and on very private property (owned by the photographer), etc. While I am primarily an art nude model (and self portraitist), I have shot bondage, fetish, glamour, fashion, alt, vintage, and various other things (no adult/porn). I am an active participant in a few online communities and groups including ModelMayhem and I write what I hope are helpful articles for models and photographers on my website dekilah dot com and with all of that said, here are my thoughts on this…

    Creepy photographers are a problem. I absolutely do not debate that. However, creepy can be just creepy and otherwise harmless and I think in most cases that is how things go. The important thing, from the standpoint of a model, is to learn to keep yourself safe, recognize red flags, go with your instincts, and be assertive (but professional and not rude). I have received my fair share of “propositions” disguised, sometimes not even very well, as photo shoots. Thankfully, I learned early on how to recognize these and to simply say “No, thank you” (and to report them on MM if that is where they occurred). Of the hundreds of shoots I have done, I have had bad experience only a handful of times.

    A couple times I was asked to pose in a way that was either beyond my limits or otherwise not something I felt comfortable with. Each time I simply said “I am not comfortable with that, can we do something else?” and the photographer apologized and we moved on. To avoid this, I always make sure to discuss any relevant (or potentially relevant) limits before the shoot. Sometimes it may feel like overkill, but no one has seemed too bothered by it and most photographers actually seem to appreciate the clarification. Models, do this, explain your limits and stick to them. Photographers, do not feel shy about clarifying limits. Ask for or share examples of photos that might be on the line. Portfolios will usually give you a good general idea of what the person shoots, as well.

    Of the other negative experiences, none of them were really safety related. One photographer insulted me multiple times during the shoot (basically insulting my physical appearance) and once done with the shoot I simply cut communication.

    I am pretty open about things when I am booking a shoot. I have been told I come across as very professional and easy to work with. I think this probably discourages the creepy types from approaching me or somehow, apparently, makes them behave. Unfortunately, there are photographers I have worked with who were perfectly fine with me, but then did something or said something inappropriate to another model. This is very frustrating especially when I gave that photographer a good reference. This is why I say that being assertive and coming across as professional is really, really important.

    And also, the photographer does not have to be in a “position of power” type situation. Sure I am naked and tiny (4’10″), but I am also smart and I do not stand for being talked down to, talked inappropriately to, or pushed to do things I do not want to do. I will say no, but I also will say it appropriately and not go flying off the handle and making a scene or making things worse. I think this negates the vast majority of any issues barring only actually assault (which I think is mostly avoidable by looking for red flags, checking references, and going with you instincts). I try very hard to be easy to work with in addition to be assertive. I have worked with many, many inexperienced, new to nudes, and amateur photographers. I have even helped some with their lighting ^_~ In those cases I might say I am in the position of power, so to speak.

    But really, I see all of that as nonsense that should not even be relevant in the ideal situation. We should be collaborating or, if I am being hired, I am providing a skill that I am being financially compensated for and apparently the photographer (or whoever hired me) must think I am somewhat good at what I do. So I kind of feel we should be equal. Maybe the photographer did create the concept and I just happen to fit the look he or she wants, but still I have something I am contributing. I can on about this for quite a while, so I will leave that point now.

    As far as the whole basement studio thing, middle aged, GWC, etc… I have been in basement/in-home studios that were far nicer than most standalone studios I have been in. I have been treated exceptionally respectfully by middle-aged male photographers with another career shooting me fully nude in their living room against a backdrop. But I also did my homework. I checked references and I carefully read e-mails. I also had someone drop me off or made sure to check in with someone via text every hour or so (and gave them out location in advance and confirmed on arrival).

    I also do not flirt and do not tease photographers while we are shooting. I do not believe doing that would be a legitimate excuse for poor behavior on their part, but I also believe that I need to be responsible for myself and possibly “invite” (at least in their mind” any bad behavior.

    Photography is often a hobby, as is modeling, but that is not, and should not, be an indicator of being less serious or somehow more dangerous in itself.

    So models should be careful and try to be responsible for their own safety. Photographers do need to watch their behavior and keep in mind that models should be respected and treated appropriately. Yes, sometimes we (models and photographers) joke around, but most of the time that is because we are also friends. Just because you hear/read a model and photographer making jokes or flirty comments does not mean you should too, it probably means they have history and are both comfortable with it.

    And there you have it… my thoughts in novel form ^_~ Cookies for anyone who actually read it all and thank you to Andreas for opening up this discussion.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      That was super informative, and thank you for taking the time to write it! I think my posts was completely devoid of advice for models, so that was an awesome addition! thank you very much :) And I think you’re right on the money with most things never being actually dangerous but just awkward or creepy, and as a photographer obviously one would love to avoid anyone feeling creeped out or awkward.

      edit: Btw yeah, disqus held your comment, if you want to add your url please feel free to do so, I’ll let it through obviously :)

  • sadie

    i would also offer that for people who’s kink it is to take sexy pictures of others, like the act of photographing is specifically the thing that gets you off, to try to negotiate a session with a sex worker who enjoys/consents to being photographed (make sure you discuss/honor what happens to pics afterwards), rather than hiring non-sex worker models to be subjected to your fetish. you can be more honest, relaxed, possibly get closer to what you want and be a hell of a lot less creepy that way.

  • Spacekitty

    When they blow you up with messages over and over. By far the creepiest situation I’ve encountered. If I’m there to shoot, it’s just that. We aren’t BFF now. I get all sorts of nonsense since I did shoot nudes. It was my complete income. Not sexually based but due to creeps despite it being what I’m best at, I have given it up.

    • Andreas_Bergmann

      Ah, yeah. That, in my experience, is very much something that happens WAY more when working with amateurs (be it photographers, stylists, models or whatever) as opposed to seasoned people. I think it might have to do with the emotional impact these situations have on you when you’re completely new. I for one clearly remember feeling allmost friends with people I’d worked with once, mostly due to the significance of the situation for me, and the fact that we shared it. That, obviously, doesn’t excuse pestering anyone with messages or in any other way acting like a stalker towards them, but it might be part of the reason that it happens. Thank you, either way, for sharing!

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  • Ali (arabbel)

    I have to say, if in reading this post, a photographer’s first thought is anything but “YES, photographers should NOT be creepy, and it is good this problem is being publicized,” then their priorities as human beings are in very poor order.

    The amount of photographers that have jumped down your throat about this is insane. Do they think you are doing this for your own publicity? To set yourself up as a white knight? If so, who cares? It does not affect them, so they should not be bothered by it, and yet, for some reason, they are.

    That reason is because they are threatened by the bringing to light of this subject. The only reason to get in such a big huff is that it is putting a damper on their ability to sexually exploit. They want to ignore the fact that the little bit of sexual gratification they try to subtly eek out of their shoots is completely wrong and despicable.

    Even if they legitimately think you are doing this for attention, you are also getting the word out, so they should not have a negative feeling about it. And those so deeply offended by you using a VERY well known stereotype about middle aged men wanting full frontal nudes in their basement glamour studios should be savvy enough to realize that with or without you pointing that stereotype out, it is in models’ heads already.

    The response of some of these artists reminds me of a rape case in Pakistan that became highly publicized. At first the government there applauded and protected the woman, but as she continued to speak out, they wanted her to shut up, because it “made the country look bad.” It wasn’t the fact that there was rampant institutionalized rape happening in the country that bothered leaders, but people hearing about it, because it let people know it happened a lot, and that reflected badly on Pakistan. They’d rather it keep happening but keep it quiet so others wouldn’t be scared off, rather than admitting it, calling attention to it, and all working to stop it. Same thing here, just on a lighter scale.

    • http://fenningphotography.wordpress.com/ Daniel Fenning

      Well spoken Sir!

      As an Amateur Photographer, I applaud any writer that writes to make the Model more empowered AND protected! I any Model not feeling 100% comfortable, I encourage bringing a Chaperone! Any Photographer that refuses to permit one on site is likely one of these Creepers! Model Note: If you ARE shooting a Nude/Boudoir shoot, use a friend, not a boyfriend. Boyfriends can make the shoot terrible with jealous feelings, lack of knowledge etc… So, bring a friend instead! Someone comfortable AND protective of YOU as the Model!

      Now, to NOT become a GWC!

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  • EncapturedPerfection


    It was a good topic to cover. However, I think you missed the target.
    Immediate stakeholders in this discussions are :

    1. Rightfully creepy photographers.
    2. Accidentally creepy photographers and other photographers
    3. Models.

    A. Your article basically gives no advice to either models or photographers who did not intend to come across as a creep. The advice not to : Act out their sexuality, is a given, especially to those who did not intend to come across as being creepy. Wanting to have a feel for some people and putting energy into being sensitive is part of everything everyone knows they need to do, whether they do it or not.

    B. Your article will do nothing to rightfully creepy photographers either. Telling them not to act out their sexuality is less than a pinch to the arm of the kid that reaches for the cookie jar.

    So…basically, while the intention is good, you missed out on your target audience completely.

    far below in the comment sections – a model gave a few Do's and Don'ts. Like, don't touch your model. Etc. I feel that this is more important. You should have a Do's and Don'ts for models and photographers.

    At this point, models reading this article will only know that 1. There are creepy photographers out there. 2. They may be middle aged basement dwelling creatures with art project (I know, you addressed this at the bottom of your article, but thats too far down), 3. Hopefully photographers will not act their sexuality out.
    Well, as a model, i'd be really confused as to now what? I think I should just bring an escort with me, this sounds safer.

    I truly believe that this is a good topic to cover, but unfortunately i think some re-writing is necessary. Other than that, I'd like to commend you on your amazing portfolio.

    To add to the discussion and not just be a negative voice, I'd like to offer some Do's and Don'ts.

    Models :
    - Do your research
    - Ask for reference if necessary
    - Offer to bring your own MUA/hair/Whatever if you need to
    - Ask whether your driver can stay. See what they say. Photographers are insured, and should have done their own research of your background to trust you and your escort. If they don't trust you and your escort – don't work with them. Trust is earned – and in the line of work of Photography, trust is one that needs to be earned by the Photographer. Building a rapport with models is in their job description. Remember, there are always other photographers with different policies on escorts.

    Photographers :
    - Do not touch your models – especially if they are females. Have your female assistant do so, and make sure you have polite assistants. Don't have an escort? Hold up a mirror to them and show them the problem – models should be able to fix themselves. Unreachable back button? Fine : Ask them politely that you see a problem area and if she/he doesn't mind you fixing it.
    - This should be obvious : but no dirty comments. Ever.


  • 2nitelife

    THANK YOU!!! for posting this article, it's fantastic, and sadly….much needed. One of my main clients is a swinger's club, and i have to shoot a lot of boudoir, and sexually suggestive pics, tho I never shoot porn or nude. (the odd partial nude, but only with models that i have that kind of rapport with) I put huge emphasis on the pre-shoot talk, and will NOT shoot anyone who i haven't spoken at least on the phone with first. I've had the accusations, and many are overly nervous because of the creepy types…..thanks alot, creepers. But we can never be too careful about how we come across, and I hope everyone reads this article. Great points.

  • Take me back to the 60′s

    Hmm. I sort of doubt than any creepy person is gonna read this and say "Oh, yeah, I'm gonna stop doing that". Honestly, models need to be a little tougher and be clear on an assignment. And, to be fair, some models are so "out there" that they can act game for anything and get quite informal (or maybe that's me because I'm harmless). I guess I'm suggesting some models are creating problems for other models. I might also suggest that photographers that don't show respect to models are creeps too (not necessarily sexual in nature, but just how they might interact with them). At the end of the day, It's about mutual respect and caring about a person as a person. If the model – photographer start with that, I think things will go well.

  • MRowlos

    stupid baseless article full of loads of assumptions, ignorance, and hatred. you are probably just unhappy with what's going on in your life and want to take it out on others. you forget many girls WANT their photos taken, and that is their driving force.

  • Chris Pickrell

    Another creepy photographer are the ones who are REALLY worried about everyone else. Making them feel safe. Making sure they very clearly understand who the "real" creepy photographers are and they should stay away from them because they're not a creepy photographer cause they just don't do that sort of stuff.

    You know, the white knights.

  • http://www.goveg.com/ The Holy Truth

    This is really a strange article. Like the author has some guilt trip he's trying to work on.

  • pama

    The creepiest thing about most photographers today is that they really are crappy creepy artists. Great art is super rare and many people going into photography today think it's such an easy thing to pass themselves off as artists. Look at the plethora of websites marketing photography and you know what I mean. I run a gallery and I've had to be careful about accepting exhibitions based on meeting a photographer and listening to their description of their work or seeing only one or two pieces. When I get the exhibition, I'm really disappointed at the poor quality. It's the same-old, same-old…nothing moving or innovative or inspiring or gut-punching.

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