DPP Home Business It's About Sexy, Not Sex

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's About Sexy, Not Sex

If you want to have the respect of your models, give them the respect they deserve—and leave the rose at home



I wonder if it's best to walk now, so no more of anyone's time is wasted. I remember a confession I heard from my photographer friends—the best shots are stumbled upon almost, if not completely, by accident. So I wait while he fashions this frayed-edged piece of fabric into something like a dress, knowing it will only accentuate my shapelessness. I hold out for a fluke.

 

By now, I'm definitely wearing my annoyance, and the looks I'm shooting at him aren't a little condescending. I can feel his hands shake as he struggles with the little gold safety pins, his clumsiness when he loses hold and the fabric splitting down my back.

Eventually, I'm frustrated enough to suggest that I just hold the thing around me for the shot. He turns out—not surprisingly—to be one of those photographers who reaches into the frame to adjust the model. He's not only photographer, makeup artist and stylist, but now he's doing my job. We're not shooting a catalogue here. We're not shooting at a slow shutter speed. Between us, I'm not the novice. There's no reason to interfere....

That afternoon was the first time I agreed to a topless shot. The decision, needless to say, had very little to do with the photographer. If I hadn't had the idea in my head before I arrived, there was no way he could have talked me into it. When I look at those prints today, I see it didn't matter how little I was wearing; I wasn't revealing anything. There's nothing intimate about them.

I've since worked with photographers who, when they showed me what they had seen from behind the camera, have actually made me blush. As far as I'm concerned, that's what we're here for—the rare occasion when the elements come together to create an image more authentic than we, model or photographer, will ever be in our daily lives. While there's no formula for that magic, you can certainly stop it from happening.

That said, here are a few things you, the photographer, should keep in mind. When a model decides to take off her clothes, she's running the show, and it's to your advantage if she knows it. If you're professional, you'll gain her confidence. If you invite her to be more than a prop on your stage, you can get an image like nothing you've seen before.

Back To Lou: In a situation made potentially uncomfortable with the absence of clothes, take great strides to make the models more comfortable. And try to avoid being a cheeseball by asking a girl out just because you saw a flash of skin. James Bond gets the girl, not the dork with the sleeveless shirt and the smarmy disposition.

So does the photographer ever get to date the girl? Well, yes, it can happen, but it's not common and it shouldn't be common. After a little while of focusing on film exposure and not noticing all the skin exposure, I garnered a reputation as a serious photographer; that is, a serious photographer who may someday shoot well. The first time I planned to go on a date with someone from my industry, I figured I would ask Michael. Remember him—the one who was steering my career and always made me more nervous than a fox at a hound convention? As the unofficial matriarch of the girls from the agency, he just looked at me and rolled his eyes. “Puh-lease try to do something more interesting than a rose.”

 



 

Check out our other sites:
Digital Photo Outdoor Photographer HDVideoPro Golf Tips Plane & Pilot