Wonderful topic and one that doesn't get addressed too often.
First, I agree with the first response. Now let me add a couple thoughts...
- Because of the current social attitudes, if the model is under age 18, I will NEVER shoot her alone in the studio, and then it should be with a parent/guardian present.
- Even if you are not a PRO photographer, it is imperative to maintain a professional attitude in a studio. Remember that the model and photographer are there to work together to produce a product. The models comfort and security should be a prime concern when you plan a shoot. If you have not met and are working together for the first time, it is good to plan out the shoot ahead of time -- having a set of themes, scenarios and outfits pre-set means that things will progress smoothly. You eliminate awkward down time trying to figure what to do next.
- Now, that does not mean that you can't have fun. That also doesn't mean that there won't be times when a shoot might become 'hot' and 'steamy', but remember to keep that camera between you and the model. As stated previously, you should make a point to never touch the model without permission, even to hide a tag on the back of a dress.
- I do not regularly use an assistant in the studio. However, with few exceptions, I encourage models to bring along a friend if they are comfortable with that. Generally, I discourage boyfriends, husbands or fathers, as them tend to be distracting to them model, but again the models comfort and security are prime here. If she is not comfortable, it will reflect in the photos. I have also met and worked with models that originally escorted other models on a shoot.
I hope this helps. Remember that the models communicate amongst themselves. Failure to act professionally will become known and destroy your reputation. Work responsibly and maintain a good model-photographer interaction and you can expect to get follow-up photo sessions with many of the models you shoot with. Don't be a GWC!
I'll let you be in my dream
if I can be in yours