Monday, June 29, 2009

Best Behave Photographers!

I've been modeling for over 15 years and over the years I have had my fair share of what I like to call "dirt bag" encounters.

Scenario: You get booked for a big fashion print job, show up to the shoot, go into hair and makeup, walk onto the location or the set and the first thing the photographer does is.....try to get you naked.

What do you do?

Well unless you were booked to do say no. But what if that doesn't work? You are left with a dilema. What do you do when you are on a shoot with a misbehaving photographer (could be trying to get you to disrobe, making you pose uncomfortably, trying to watch you change, etc) do you:

A) Feel pressure to abide because...he is the boss.
B) Don't cave in to his bad behavor but still honor your commitment..."I'm not a flake".
C) Get the heck out of one disrespects me, I don't care how talented they are.

If you are agency referred, a call in to your agent would be the first step for sure however, no one has the right to take advantage of you. I'm in my 30's and I still bring a chaperone when I feel I need to take an extra step to protect myself. My safety is a priority.

I was recently on a shoot as a favor to a friend where the photographer she booked would simply NOT take my 'NO' for an answer. He spent the entire shoot day asking me over and over in different ways to see if he could get a 'yes'. This says to me that he has pushed hard enough in the past and has had girls give in. I even caught him at one point trying to watch me change my clothes.

It got me thinking. As a result of this shoot he will have photos of me on his website and in his portfolio and when another model that I know comes along and meets him, my credit with her as a collegue will be transferred to him.

So, to avoid calling all of my model friends and warning them, I started an annonymous feedback forum called Best Behave. It's a place to report unprofessional behavior from photographers in order to prevent further incidences of models being taken advantage of and to help promote the "real" photographers and reward them for being amazing.

How great would it be if we could give an ebay style feedback score at the end of a shoot to those great photogs we know? And I wonder how behaved other photogs would be if they knew at the start of the shoot that they were going to be given a feedback score at the end of the day.

Melissa Johnston
Guest Model Blogger

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