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Photographer professionalism from Merlin's blog

There are many misconceptions about how real shoots are conducted, and the relationship between a model and the photographer. On many boards, there have been those that fantasize about the myths, and try to get in on what they think is happening. In the process they build a bad reputation for all of us. The term GWC (Guy With Camera) was coined to describe them, since their goal generally to see how far they can get with the model rather than to produce a good image. With the goal of promoting professionalism, even among amateur photographers.

First is that in placing and ad, or contacting a model, be honest about what you are looking for. Don't book a fashion shoot with the intention of pushing for nude later. It is stressful and annoying for the model. If you want nude, say it. Give a description of what the shots will be, and where they will be displayed. The same goes for adult, don't set up an artistic shoot, then put her on a porn page.

Don't represent yourself as something you are not. State your experience as it is.

Don't ask for dates, or sexual favors, paid or otherwise. These are not why women answer modeling ads. Most of the time they won't care what you look like. It is a shame that it has to be said, but these offers are extremely common, and become a reason why women quit modeling. It falls under the heading of sexual harassment.

On a shoot, don't touch or invade the model's space. A photographer should be using a longer lens under most circumstances. Poses can be directed verbally. If it is necessary to touch the model, ask first.

Be courteous in comments. Compliments on her appearance, may be ok. Comments about particular body parts may not be, and could make her uncomfortable, or be offensive.

Communication is key in a good photo shoot. The model is half the picture so it is important to make sure you are on the same page.

Make sure that verbal agreements are the same as the written release. It is good to let the model read the release before the shoot.

TFP, TFCD, Collaboration, and test are often abused terms. They should not mean free models. The purpose of a test shoot would be an audition for a project, if there is no project, then it is not a "test" shoot. Collaboration would be working on a project that there is a mutual interest in, or there is a mutual profit. Any sort of trade deal should have a benefit for the model. It is especially common for a beginning photographer to be seeking TF, so they can learn. This is unfair to the model since they get a beginner quality photo that is of no use. If you are learning, pay the model, otherwise ask friends who are ok with doing you a favor.

If you are providing pictures to the model, do it promptly after the shoot.

Show respect for the models. They are people, and your pictures can't be done without them. Many people think they are dumb, vain, anorexic, or promiscuous, which most of the time is not true. They are likely fans of the art, they may or may not understand the camera, but frequently do understand the creativity.

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By Merlin
Added Jul 25

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