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New here, with safety question
Old 12-03-2009, 03:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi everyone, I am primarily a family and wedding photographer from Alberta, Canada. My work has become more glamour and fashion focused in style over the last year or two, and I am now doing some ladies intimate sessions on a regular basis. I always try and have an assistant in the room when shooting a single female, for "security" purposes - hers and mine! But that is not always possible. I am wondering if anybody here could share with me how they handle the male photographer/female client scenario so there is no threat of alleged harassment/defemation of character issues. Nothing like this has ever happened, thank God, but I want to have some legal clarification on this.

Any thoughts? Sorry if this is in the wrong spot, I am still learning site etiquette. Honestly, in the past I only came here for inspiration from the amazing photographers, now I am hoping to get actively involved.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: New here, with safety question
Old 12-04-2009, 04:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome in from out in the dark! Glad you decided to start posting.
I too do quite a few intimate sessions. I've had a few women that did not bring a friend or escort. I always confirm legal age and photograph the license and have them fill out the 2257 forms. I treat everyone with respect and never touch them in any way unless I ask permision to make and adjustment to clothing or hair. But really it all boils down to their word against yours if somebody ever decides to make trouble. I've never had any, but that doesent mean I won't get a summons tommorrow.
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Re: New here, with safety question
Old 12-04-2009, 09:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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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!

Good shooting,
Tom
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Re: New here, with safety question
Old 12-04-2009, 11:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Gentlemen, thank-you for your responses. I am not aware of any special release forms or documentation here in Canada like the 2257 you have in the US. In my line of work, I am getting wives and girlfriends, not professional models, who want portraits of themselves to give as gifts to their significant others. With out a doubt, just being professional to the max is the best way to be at all times. No one comes out a winner in a he said, she said scenario. My wife is assisting me in my session today, even though I told the client I would probably be alone with her. My wife is just nervous for me, and our studio's reputation, and I can't blame her.

Any other thought? Again, gentlemen, thank-you for your insights on the subject.

Regards,
Jonathan
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