Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Model Manners...

Tricky post this!

Well, I've had a few more experiences on the path through my photographic life. I thought I'd seen everything, but these beat Bannagher...

Model Anna (name changed), eighteen years old, reasonably good looking but gradually growing chubby. She wanted to be a "glamour model". Cute smile, about 5'9" tall, huge boobs, things were in place to make her into the aforementioned "glamour model".

First item on the agenda, no holds barred pep talk. I gave her MY opinion on her future as a model. First, a career as a fashion model...

The big model agencies survive by providing models to fashion houses to promote their new ranges of fashions. The idea is that the agencies "promote" their models as being out of the ordinary girls, who exude class, style and a certain "look". The look, despite numerous attempts to change it, including lip service to politically correct fads of the moment, has not changed in fifty years. The fashion houses, and therefore the model agencies, all want the anorexic, waif type of look. A tall girl, skinny, bog all boobs, with unhealthy, pale, translucent skin. These are the ones who have SOME chance of making it as a fashion / catwalk model. Forget the outcry about the politically incorrect "size zero" girl starving herself to death to try to achieve a dream career as the new Kate Moss. The real world is cruel and looking for victims. There is a high price to pay for recognition as a successful fashion model.

Anna was NEVER going to make it as a fashion model. Not if she lived to be a hundred and ten years old...

The glamour side of the business was her only realistic other hope. This invariably meant that the model was going to be portrayed as a "sex object". Desire, lust, sexuality, titillation, tease were the keywords here. I explained this to Anna. Did she want to be a glamour model?

"Oooh yes", she giggled. "Make me famous! I want to be famous!"

Ok, I said. We'll do a shoot, within her comfort zone, to her limits, and see if we can get it published.

She wanted to keep her top on, and I agreed. No problems from me there! A comfortable model is a happy model. Happy models take better photographs!

I sent Anna copies of the photos. She LOVED them.

I was asked to submit photos to a glamour web magazine. I thought of Anna. I asked her if she wanted me to send her photos in for possible publication. "Ooooh YES", she squealed. "Make me FAMOUS!"

I sent the photos that she approved to the magazine. The editor of the magazine contacted Anna. Yes, she was happy to be published. The editor asked her a few questions to write a supplementary Bio to accompany the pics. Anna gave him all the info he wanted.

Anna got published. As she wanted. As she agreed.

Two days later, Anna started whinging that she wasn't happy with the image that she portrayed. She wanted the photos pulled from the magazine. She texted me that she hadn't seen the photos that I sent to the magazine (Lie number one) and that she hadn't realised that the editor would write that she didn't have a boyfriend (lie number two - she TOLD him that she was looking for a fella), and that she hadn't given her permission to be published (Lie number three - I kept the text messages and chat records).

Luckily, the magazine was online, not printed. So the editor pulled the photos - embarrassment to the magazine. Embarrassment for me. I look like a twat here.

Unfortunately, I made a serious error. The agreement to publish was verbal. I foolishly trusted her.

So, if any photographers manage to read this blog, there are a few lessons to be learned.

I know for sure that I learned from this experience! GET THAT RELEASE SIGNED BEFORE EVEN TAKING THE FIRST PHOTO!!!