I thought I'd finally give in and join the blogging world.
Those who know me personally may worry, but fear not, I'll play nice.
So I started photographing models in January, and as such would most definitely not refer to myself as any kind of expert. I am no Rankin, Liebovitz or McNally nor am I by any means a particularly articulate social commentator, but I have seen some things and have learned a few lessons in my short time behind a 135mm lens and thought I'd share for the sake of sharing.
Lesson no. 1: Models are people too.
This statement is intended with both the most positive and negative connotations. To start on a positive, I never approached the idea of 'models' as a foreign species. They can be spoken to in as frank and honest way as anyone, and just like anyone they will reply in as strong a manner. Believe it or not, this means you can discuss things other than themselves. Be it political, sociological or about football, they actually do things other than look in the mirror they apparently spend all day doing coke off of. When I mention to 'normal people' that I work with models, the usual response is a comment to the effect of "are they all stuck up?". And the honest truth is, some are yes. But even if they were a butcher or a baker or a candlestick maker they would be as much a prick as they are now. The fact that some models are stuck up does not speak to the profession, they just happen to be a model.
Some photographers dote on them, some insult them. It would seem from my experience very few see them as people. I had a pretty interesting shoot in which a model said to me "I do the poses, you push a button" in response to what I wanted to achieve from the shoot. She even left with a witty quip, "if you wanna book me again, fine, if not, sod ya!". Charmer.
The simple truth is, they are just people and nothing more, nothing less. Don't treat them like porcelain anemic queens and by the same token, don't treat them like walking genitals that are there for your amusement. Simples.
Lesson no. 2: Owning a high end camera makes you a sex criminal.
Now this comes with a side note. I am the owner of a rather fetching beard! Therefore my experience may be tainted as, as all beard owners know, facial hair is a direct ticket to the sex offenders register. To own a high end camera and a dashing item of facial hair is, to quote BB King, "like being black twice"!
Whether it be a general member of the public, or even another photographer, my Canon may as well be a trench coat and sticky newspaper. The funny thing is, I get that in the world we live that you can never be too careful and protecting your kids is paramount. But I'll let you in on a secret, the people photographing kids in public for unsavory reasons, use their phones! That's right, perverts have the nonse to realize a massive DSLR with a huge lens is fucking stupid and incredibly suspicious. It's the guy in a string vest 'texting' you should be aware of, not the twat trying to get a macro shot of daisy!
Lesson no. 3 (Final one, I promise): Photography is like life.
I am by definition a pessimist. So take this with a pinch of salt.
But life has a funny way of only giving you something, just to make you feel worst when you lose it. Whether it be cancelled shoots, missed opportunities, lack of funds, it's just life's way of saying, "Oh did you like doing that, well we'll see about that!".
Let's face it though, for the majority of us, we just keep wading through the sewer of life in the hope that that feeling you get when something actually works out for you might return, even if you will doubtlessly pay a serious karma deficit for daring to enjoy yourself.
I will be using this blog to update you guys on shoots from now on, so they will be less whingey and more about showing images of pretty people.
Happy summer everyone!!!