Beware of the Perverts!

General Photography Portrait

So, this is a short but hopefully effective blog post about those “photographers” who are only interested in one thing and one thing only… getting you naked (or close to).

I’ll start by saying 2 important things:

1 – Boudoir, nude and sexy photography has been around since people were able to take photos… in fact, before that, erotic and unclothed paintings of both women and men were very normal.

La maja desnuda (The Nude Maja; 1797) by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

2 – Pornography and similar photography has also been around for a long time… but it’s definitely in a different category than Boudoir and ‘Tasteful’ nudes.

My blog isn’t a place for such images, but you’re more than aware of what I’m talking about… if the word “spread” is used during a photo shoot… it’s time to start wondering where this shoot is going and whether you want to be there.

However, the purpose of this post is to stop you getting into that situation in the first place. To help you in making better judgement and taking informed decisions before you either judge too quickly and miss out on a great opportunity… or be on the other side of the coin and find yourself in a rather, well… uncomfortable situation.
So, what separates the pros from the pervs? Well.. here’s a few things that can guide you!

1) Do some research

google

A serious photographer will have a portfolio of work, most likely a website and definitely some social media or something similar which will allow you to view information and see examples of her/his work. If the ‘photographer’ has no portfolio, she/he may very well just be starting out, but they should be very forthcoming with this and not be pretending to be something their not.

Don’t be tricked by smooth talking ‘kids’ who have got their first camera bigger than a cellphone and now claim to be a professional photographer. If they’re pro, their work does the talking… not them.

2) Ask friends

reputation_1

If you have friends in common with this photographer, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion. Typically, a photographer with ‘bad intentions’ or someone who is only in it for their own ‘personal gain’ will usually have some sort of reputation amongst other photographers or models that they may have some connection with.

Another important point to make is that you should be more than welcome to bring a friend with you. Any photographer that tells you to come alone should raise a red flag immediately.

3) Ask for Examples

© ALR Photography / Aaron Roberts

There is absolutely no shame in asking for the photographer to send you some examples of what they are looking for. In fact, this should happen automatically. Whenever a photographer has a proposition, he should always be clear on what he’s looking for, or at least be asking you what you want to have. Examples can help you establish boundaries and make sure that everyone is clear on the goal.

4) Paperwork and Agreements

release

A serious photographer will always have some sort of paperwork or agreement. This paperwork is usually called a ‘Release Form’ and is designed to protect both you and the photographer against any malicious intentions. Model release forms are legally binding documents and when completed should always be adhered to by everyone involved. Make sure you always read and understand any paperwork or terms you agree to BEFORE participating in a photo session, from a legal standpoint, once you have agreed to the terms, that’s that.

5) Flirty or Dirty

photographerflirt

So, it’s somewhat normal for photographers to compliment their models, sometimes they can even come across quite flirtatious. This is all a part of the rapport and confidence building stages of a model / photographer relationship… but make sure you can tell the difference between esteem enhancing compliments and downright dirtiness. If a photographer is pressing too hard, maybe it’s time to make sure they understand where they stand or maybe it’s time to back off and let them find someone else.

 

So, that’s pretty much the top 5 things to watch out for but the main thing with any photo session is to have fun. As long as you think you will be happy with the results and that you can trust the photographer, you should have nothing to worry about. That being said, it’s still important to exercise caution whenever meeting a new photographer and you should trust your gut.

Boudoir and Nude photography is all about creating art by showing off your beauty in a sensual and artistic way. The start and end of any session should feel like an adventure and fill you with confidence and excitement! It’s always fun to try new things, just be smart about it and you will definitely not regret it!

 

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