6 Things to Never Say to a Photographer
After photographing hundreds of nude models, and interviewing thousands more, I’ve heard plenty of phrases that make me roll my eyes. I understand that someone with just a few years of experience, maybe less, might have some misconceptions. In fact, I expect it. There is nothing wrong with having a misconception or two about the business. Here are few examples of things that you might want to avoid. So read them here first, before you catch the coming out of your own mouth.
1. I do nudes (when you don’t)
To most photographers, nude means more than implied nudes, topless, or being wrapped in a sheer cloth. If you are not comfortable with full frontal nudity, do not bill yourself as a nude model. Sure, you will get a lot of attention initially, but it will not result in shoots over the long run.
2. I’m taller in heels.
Everyone is taller in heels. It goes without saying. Heels do not change the distance from your hip to your knee, nor do they make the distance from your knee to your ankle any longer. If a casting agent or photographer has set a minimum height that is taller than you, check back later for a gig that you are right for.
3. I have copyright to your photos.
Unless copyright has been assigned by the photographer, you don’t. Copyright rests with the author of work, not the subject. What you have is a right to privacy. If you sign a release, you waive the privacy right and allow the photos to be published. It is not unheard of to hire a photographer for a “work for hire”, where the client is both subject and copyright holder, but that is a whole other topic.
4. It can easily be Photoshopped
Easily by who? Are you an expert retoucher, and offering your services? It’s not your place (or mine) to tell anyone what will be easy for them to do. The fact is, retouching something like a tattoo depends on a variety of factors. For example, if it wraps around the body (our bodies are not perfectly flat, anywhere, so this means all tattoos) the light changes. Also, dramatic lighting makes retouching more difficult. These variables, as well as others, make retouching harder. Web publication is one thing, but if the final image is for print, then it could take additional hours to remove any tell-tale signs of retouching.
There are ways to make retouching more successful, such as covering a tattoo or birth mark with special makeup. This requires a highly skilled makeup artist, and careful effort, or the makeup ends up causing more harm than good.
5. I am represented by an agency/manager
If you are agency represented, you let them do the representing or managing. It is fine to direct inquiries to an agency. However, if they are a real agency they will do the leg work to book jobs. If you represent yourself, don’t say you have an agency or manager.
6. I’ve always been told I should model
We’re sure this is true. However, the opinions of the model’s friends and family are seldom a factor in making casting decisions. Enjoy the complements you receive, but they don’t belong on your resume or in your casting correspondence.