Yes, we all know there are many other articles about how there are some photographers out there trying to sleep with models. however things are getting worst, and it seems now than ever is the best time for models to really understand what they are getting into.
I have always said there is nothing one can do if a models intends to sleep with a photographer or an individual in the industry for their success. The bottom line is your consent with your work colleague is totally upto the two parties and nobody else. However, there is a rise of predator photographers working in various ways to entrap models in the situation and this article is set on how they act and how to not be a victim.
ONCE UPON A TIME
First I would like to enlighten yourselves on recent experience without mentioning names, a said photographer invited a 17 year old girl for a shoot to his studio upon which he asked her to meet as a mutual location where she would be picked up. When the model arrived he was not there but consistently continued to ask her if she was with anyone. Due to the hours of lateness of the photographer, the model decided stop by her cousins place. Upon the arrival of the photographer, the model decided to return to the meeting spot, but this time with her cousin to keep her company as he felt suspicious of his questioning.
When the photographer arrived in a taxi ready to pick up the model, he was very uncomfortable as to the model bringing a guy along. He refused for him to join them and gave the model an ultimatum that either she comes alone or they won’t shoot. The colleague suggested he will come along even if it means he is outside the said studio he was going to. The photographer got frustrated and then left.
I really do question what was set for the young model, why the photographer had called her many times question if she had company, how this was going to affect his plans, and how many like him are out there that are luring models to their location and requesting they do not bring company. I decided not to put names out this time round. But I personally spoke to the photographer, I heard his wobbly side to the story, and cautioned him for the betterment of his own career he should work to conduct himself better.
Once again, whom ever chooses to sleep with whomever is the business of the two and if they both agreed to it that’s nobody’s business. However, setting traps, that will leave a model pressured or vulnerable, that is just outright pathetic. I personally felt disgusted speaking with the said individual about the incident.
I to have worked in many prominent positions dealing with girls of all ages, from being the head of an international pageant, from being a model scout from UK to Ghana, from having this very blog, and organizing a model competitions, etc. At times girls may even push themselves on you for what they want, they are not always innocent nor angels. However, working as a young black man in UK in my past days trained me to be extra cautious and professional as I already fitted an unprofessional stereotype narrative as young and black. And through that I also learnt the benefits of being professional in comparison to some of my peers. And not once did I ever think to tell a model she was unable to bring company to anything.
With the much miseducation of many girls and and impoverished situation in Ghana, modeling seems like a glamorous easy way out, and photography is now the hot spot for perverts and guys who previously lacked the ability to connect with female counter parts. And here is why….
INSTAGRAM IS PUTTING POWER IN THE HANDS OF PHOTOGRAPHERS
not long ago, this same power in Ghana was embedded in the hands of model agents, where the success of a model was seen based on her activities and the agency she was affiliated with. Just about a year ago and the years before, and agents were the ones playing this game. However, we are in a new era, social media and it’s connections has eradicated the need for some agencies, now a models’ said success lies in your instagram likes, professional pictures and followers which gets to seen and booked. And young girls springing into the industry are doing nothing but desperately messaging the photographers to create this image of success.
HOW TO WEED OUT THE BAD FROM THE GOOD AND TAKE PRECAUTION
Many girls are going Rambo on building their portfolio and don’t mind giving a little of what is inbetween their legs to the photographers for these pictures, again that’s no ones business but theirs. However, for those that don’t wish to, and looking to maintain a professional development here are a few pointers to watch out and understand for when working with photographer.
PROFESSIONALISM IN A PHOTOGRAPHER’S WORK DOESN’T MEAN PROFESSIONALISM IN CONDUCT
You will be surprised that at times, it’s those with the most credentials that have the ability to abuse power and images. Yes, he might have shot all your favourite celebrities with the extra retouching. The average aspiring model will think to herself, well if he has shot these said individuals he must be well professional and mannered…WRONG!
At times these credentials actually give them the extra confidence to abuse their photography status. In fact most begin to feel invincible and that a small petty model that can hardly string a sentence of english correctly can have any impact if there were to report them. They are fully aware there is no organization to help you and by the time you get to the media, all of have is a he say she say story. So do not assume a great portfolio will equal to professionalism in their approach.
ALWAYS GO WITH COMPANY WHEN WORKING WITH A PHOTOGRAPHER FOR THE FIRST TIME
It is vital. It doesn’t matter if he was recommended to you by others. Business is business and friendship is friendship, despite how fun your pre-conversations are, always keep company. If you think this is not serious, just google rape and photography. And see how often this even happens in the west, let alone a country where the law is quite difficult to enforce.
MAKE IT CLEAR YOUR ARE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
Like all people predators pick up on signs. They know when they are talking to someone who is about their business. Yes, usually it’s not great to be abrupt as you do not want to lose your chances of obtaining great images
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SHOOT WITH PHOTOGRAPHERS, IT MAY COME BACK TO BITE YOU
We once had a girl call us from Germany to tell us she might lose her job as a teacher if we do not remove some pictures we had of her off the net. Would you believe these were simply swimwear pictures of her involvement in a beauty pageant. In fact she is 1 out of 3 girls that have done so. As a young girl you are far from predicting your future or what job or position you may embrace.
Getting a model to shoot nude is so simple. First you (the model) are made to feel comfortable, a few jokes, some music, then you are advice your pictures will look good with your shirt button open, then “how about to taking your top off”, shoot a couple more, you get complimented, you feel you are on a roll, then “hey just tilt one of your bra straps down”, then “hey remove your bra, oh don’t worry, I’ll only shoot your back”, then “ok turn around but cover your breasts, don’t worry I won’t put the pictures out, this is just for you,” then “hey remove your hands”.
Secondly there is no money in nude photography in Ghana. There are no glamour website or magazines, there are no skin care product publishing implied nudes. There are no nude photography books, so in this day and age for a photographer to be shooting nude “Just for his portfolio” is questionable.
This is usually for their own self interest (not always though), and at times it’s a bridge for them to open you up and get a step closer to having you naked. A number of girls have been blackmailed to doing financial or sexual favours if they do not want the pictures to be released.
DO NOT BE SHY TO EXPOSE A PHOTOGRAPHERS ACTIVITIES
It’s not easy to speak out, many photographers are friends, they all hang together and the bad ones even mingle with the good ones. Once you have a problem, if you are not able to prove it or outshine their credibility you could really harm your career. But the bad ones only do it because they know they can get away with it. Always take to social media to report such behavior, your actions may save other girls from being a victim. Not long ago with brought to light a situation regarding a photographer, after the article was published, about 5 or so girls called or mentioned in a conversation they to had history with the said photographer.
So hopefully with these tips you can be a bit more cautious when you get out there.