Everyone’s perception of art and execution style differs, there is no denying it; that’s what makes art so interpretive, raw and unique. Some people will like your work, some won’t it’s the nature of the beast.
Thanks to the broad interpretation of art and the eagerness to succeed in their dreams of becoming a model many innocent people can fall victim to predatory photographers and fraudulent agencies promising the moon.
As a photographer myself I have seen how easy it is to manipulate people using one tool, a camera and a canny ability to send dreams soaring. I’ve never done this myself, but I’ve seen many attempts and the after effects of the actions of these disgusting human beings.
I recently came across an article that gave about 5 things a model should look out for when choosing a photographer, because if the photographer falls into one or more of these scenarios, they are more likely unprofessional. The title was “For Models: How to Spot a Bad Photographer”.
The article failed to recognize a variety of situations and in turn, grouped them all together into one; which is dangerous and wrong for photographers and models.
This article I read forgot that some photographers are also artists, hobby photographers, and professional photographers. Just because one is an artist photographer doesn’t mean that they are any less a professional or more likely to scam the model. The article grouped all these artistic paths and combined them into a professional photographer.
Granted some photographers do this profession full time, and get paid handsomely for their work, but so do artists when they decide to extend their work to the world for purchase.
Here is the list of scenarios the article pointed out:
1. They obsessively watermark their images
2. They’re only available evenings and weekends to shoot
3. He requests naked pics/selfies
4. They’re totally rude and unprofessional
5. Their portfolio is perved out
6. They only want to shoot at their house/apartment
7. They offer up all the raw photos
Now let me take each one and show you why I agree or disagree.
1. They obsessively watermark their images (DISAGREE)
The article states that any photographer who watermarks their images should be stayed clear of because a REAL photographer would have already been paid for their work so they don’t care who puts up their photos on Facebook profiles, etc…
Let’s look at the artist’s case here that utilizes models. In most of these cases the photographer will either pay the model or come up with a TFP agreement (Time For Photos). When it comes to art if the artist wasn’t commissioned, they are not going to get paid unless they sell their images. That means each sale is money in their pockets. Most photographers won’t care if anyone uses the image, but to protect their interest over their images they would and should watermark the photos. NEVER should a piece of art to sell inside a gallery, museum or show ever be watermarked because then they won’t sell. How does this make them a bad photographer or amateur? It doesn’t. This would be different if they are headshots and or body portraits they were hired to do, but these photos shouldn’t be shown by the photographer to begin with and since it would have been paid, the conceptual property (the images) belong to the person or business who commissioned them; thus no need for a watermark.
2. They’re only available evenings and weekends to shoot (Disagree)
The article states that this scenario means they don’t do photography full time, thus they are probably a bad photographer.
However, I subcontract my studio which has multiple facets to it including audio, video, photography production and website design. Sometimes I subcontract my talents to other businesses, so I may only have nights and weekends open. This doesn’t mean that you are not a good photographer. However it should be a flag to investigate further before taking them on to do your photography. The original article never thought of this.
3. He requests naked pics/selfies (AGREE)
The original article says to stay clear or use caution when a photographer requests naked pics or selfies.
I couldn’t agree more. So many photographers use the power of the camera to get beautiful women to strip for their own deviant pleasure, tricking women into sending selfies. First of all, the photographer should have a good enough eye to see what your body looks like regardless of the clothes you may be wearing. Sometimes they sign you up for a swimsuit or lingerie shoot and require “nudes’ to get a better idea of what your body looks like. Well, a bikini is the same equivalent to a bra and panties. If they can’t get an idea of what your body looks like in that, they shouldn’t be behind a camera. Second of all, private parts won’t be seen in a swimsuit or lingerie shoot to begin with so use caution. If they ask for these they probably won’t call you once they get what they want or they could be predators.
4. They’re totally rude and unprofessional (DISAGREE)
If a photographer is rude or unprofessional they are probably a bad photographer.
Lets face it some people are just jerks, throw tantrums or act irradically. Doesn’t mean they can’t take a great photo. I knew a complete A Hole of a photographer but his work was breath taking.
5. Their portfolio is perved out (YES AND NO)
If they have strange photos like half naked or fully naked women in strange rooms, motels, bathtubs or only distateful nudes almost to the point of obscene they are probably not a good photographer.
I say yes and no because there are some gorgeous tasteful nudes and implied nudes, it’s art. Some people focus on this but that doesn’t mean they are a perv looking to victimize their models. BUT I remember seeing one portfolio where a photographer had nothing but strange nudes. All the photos were “flash burned” meaning it gave off a yellow tone. It wasn’t white balanced and there was no creativity to poses. There were outlets showing and the backgrounds were not cleaned. These types of photos suggest that they were just trying to get women naked, but regardless they were a bad photographer. Look over their entire portfolio, if the images creep you out or they are only nudes, you can expect to be added to that list if you work with them. If you still like their work, set ground rules and if they don’t comply or get “aggressive” you can leave. Always bring a companion to the shoot. If they freak and don’t allow it, don’t do the shoot.
6. They only want to shoot at their house/apartment (DISAGREE)
If the photographer only wants to shoot at their home or apartment they are probably fake or bad photographers.
I disagree. Today studios can be VERY expensive. You have rent of maybe $1500 to $2000.00, then add utilities. If they have a studio the photos will be quite expensive. Most photographers are building in home studios to cut costs. Doesn’t mean you’ll get a bad photo. Now at apartments I can see this because they are usually cramped and do not allow for a proper shoot. Artists though will use this option more and for obvious reasons. Some photographers do have multiple locations including their home so you can’t prejudge. One tip for models – don’t go to a shoot at a home or apartment without a companion. A home or apartment has a bedroom and they are in their element so you are vulnerable and at a high risk.
7. They offer up all the raw photos (YES AND NO)
Pro photographers will never give out their raw photos unedited.
I agree and disagree. Yes pro photographers won’t give out photos unedited. They cringe on doing that. This doesn’t apply if the client requests ALL photos. Sometimes you can shoot over 300 pictures in a shoot, so why edit each one instead edit only the ones they want otherwise you are wasting your time to edit photos they don’t like so they won’t use it.
Some photographers post raw images to allow the client to proof but most are watermarked.
It really depends on the shoot and the terms.