So, you want to get some great glamour shots – sexy, fun, something that really says “wow, that’s beautiful!”
Whether you’re a photographer, model or a prospective client, everyone has a little part of them that likes being glamourous, creating glamour images or simply admiring them. While ‘beauty is only skin deep’, it’s also of interest to most of us, in one way or another.
Now, the debate regarding ‘beauty as a priority’ creates some deeply divided camps, so we’re going to save that discussion for another day. My focus here and now is to highlight a few considerations that warrant paying attention to and they all have to do with safety.
Before that, though, I’d like to point one thing out: all of the points I’m going to make are gender neutral. No one gender has the market cornered when it comes to bad behaviour, expectations of quality or a right to a safe and happy life. These points apply equally.
For Models and Clients
First and foremost, know who you’re working with!
There are more ‘photographers’ out there today than any time before. Some are properly trained in posing, lighting and all-things-photographic, continually updating their education and have reputations for fair dealing and professionalism. Unfortunately, they are not in the majority.
Take a look at any of the online sales sites, modelling directories or social media groups and you’ll find more GWCs (Guys With Camera) and MWACs (Mom With a Camera) than you can shake a stick at. The vast majority aren’t trained, aren’t insured and won’t be able to deliver the quality that you’re looking for.
The solution? Do your homework. Look at their portfolios, read their bios, talk to their past clients or models (if possible) and Google search them to see what comes up. Has anyone reviewed them, either good or bad? Are they members in good standing with any professional groups or associations? Are their various online profiles consistent? While these details aren’t guarantees, they certainly paint a picture of who you’re dealing with.
I don’t want to scare anyone, but there are a lot of unbalanced people out there. Shocking, I know! While we can’t go around assuming that everyone we don’t know is a potential threat to our health and safety, it would be naive to assume that nobody is.
The solution? Either take someone with you to a shoot or, at the very least, let someone know about it. Leave them with the pertinent details of who, what, where and when. Many photo sessions are on location, sometimes remote locations, and you don’t want to be stranded or in a dangerous situation with no safety net. Think first, always.
Be professional at all times!
Reputations, once damaged, are hard to rebuild. ‘Nuff said.
Think beyond the shoot!
Sounds odd, I know, but follow along. Much like the Safety first! point above, think about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. Take along an assistant or be so completely transparent publicly that your butt is covered (I often post session details and updates on social media. Not only does it create excitement but it generates a traceable timeline). Why, you ask? Easy – all it takes is one allegation of misconduct or abuse and you are done. Period. The court of public opinion cares very little for your pleas of innocence. Again: reputations, once damaged, are hard to rebuild.
One final point and this one applies across the board: paperwork.
Now, you’re going to hear as many opinions on this topic as you will answers to the question “what is beauty?”, so take it for what it’s worth. I have contracts with every client and model releases with every shoot. For me, this is non-negotiable. With properly drafted paperwork, the expectations, rights and responsibilities for everyone involved are clearly spelled out, should there arise any ‘issues’ down the road. While not 100% foolproof, contracts and releases protect photographers, clients and models far more than a simple handshake.
So, there you have it. Some things to keep in mind as you delve into the world of glamour photography … from either end of the camera.