Tuesday, September 14, 2010
WHO ARE YOU MODELING FOR?
Model: Renee Thompson
There will come a time in your modeling career where you will be asked to pose nude. Artistically, editorially, commercially or otherwise. Remember that. Kate Moss, Tyson Beckford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Djimon Hudson and countless others have all done it in the course of their careers. Do you think it is going to be any different for you?
I don’t know if other photographers go through this, but I’ve been having this particular incident happen recently and it prompted me to really sit back and take a look at how things are going.
A lot of models fail to realize that a photoshoot is a complete collaborative effort of all parties involved. Once they leave the studio, the true work of the photographer at that point begins. Forget the planning of the shoot. Forget the set up and break down of the shoot. Forget the actual shoot. Forget the time needed to proof the shoot. Forget the time needed for editing the shoot. The model has gone along on his/her merry way to their next venture and they sit there and wait for photos, while we, the photographers, slave away at creating photographic images that we all can be proud of.
For those of you who follow my work, you know I do a lot of nude work. Some full nudity, some sexually driven, most of it artistically implied. I’ve been approached by galleries and even a couple of museums to do complete series for them which are in the works. It is a slow process, because when a particular vision first takes hold, I personally do not have “exhibits” in mind. I just want to produce the best possible photograph I can produce with the model of the moment. Then what happens is, the photograph will take on a life of its own and next thing you know, I am getting an email from a man named Gustav in a country that I can’t pronounce, much less locate on a map.
But I digress. When I (I should say we) decide to shoot nude work, it is never with the intentions of shooting nudes. It is usually a comfort level that is developed between model and me and at that precise moment, we are in a collaborative vortex that takes us down a path of personal exploration. They allow me to push their boundaries and I allow them to be comfortable with themselves to explore things that they may have never thought otherwise. Sometimes it’s a simple as me saying “the jeans ruin the shot.” More often then not, it is the model’s doing to remove their garments and once they do, they are much more free to explore their inhibitions and we in turn produce beautiful images.
Let’s fast forward. You (the model) know people know me. You know people follow my work. If you say that you are shooting with Dallas, people are expecting to see images. So why is it such a pain in the ass when I produce such images, and post them (not even nudes per se, but let’s say the images that posted at the top this blog), you get freaked out because you don’t want others to see it? Can someone explain that to me?
On more than one occasion, I’ve posted such images on let’s say Facebook, only to get hit with the email of “can you please not tag me on that image, I don’t want my family to see it.” What? Why? Don’t they know that you are model? Don’t they know there will be times when you will be taking photographs of an artistic nature? Are you embarrassed of such things? If so, then why the fuck did you get undressed in the first place?
If you were David Agbodji would you have gone to Steven Klein when he shot for Calvin Klein and say “oh no, Steve, please don’t put that anywhere, I don’t want my friends to see it.” What if Naomi Campbell said that to Herb Ritts or Demi Moore said that to Annie Lebowitz? Or Kate Moss said that to Mario Testino? They and countless others produced beautiful, iconic images showcasing the human form for the world to see. So if you ever going to be embarrassed, guess what? Don’t model. It's just that simple. I understand the erected penis and the spread labia images are not for everyone’s artistic taste, but this isn’t want I am talking about and I get that. But there comes a time in your adult life that you have to take a stand for your career and say I am doing this and I am proud. You may never know who will see that image and go “I want to book that model. He/she is beautiful.” Trust me, I get that a lot.
I am proud of the work that I do with models (clothing or otherwise). I am proud when I am approached by art buyers and curators because they see the artistry I see. I am proud when a model allows their inhibitions to be release and they can be themselves so we can take stunning photographs. What I am not proud of is when I must stifle my creativity because of their reticence.
So think about it. Who are you modeling for?
Posted by DALLAS J LOGAN at 10:21 AM