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Um, sensitive question about photographing ladies
Old 03-22-2003, 09:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi all,

I recently read a book about senior portrait photography (because I shoot them) and one of the items the author mentioned was political correctness when dealing with young ladies. There are right ways and wrong ways to ask a young lady to do something. This is especially true in photographing seniors because the body types and levels of beauty are so incredibly varied.

Be that as it may, I have a question about photographing models either topless, nude, or even with sheer tops. If you want a picture to show some degree of eroticism and want a model's nipples to be erect for the shot, what is the "correct" way to phrase this? I don't want this to be an offensive question (so I'm a bit prudish....sorry) but I don't ever want it to be said that I am not professional when it comes to how I phrase my requests and the degree of professionalism I use when talking to a model.

Good day!

Mike
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You mean how do you . . .
Old 03-22-2003, 10:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ask them or their witness (I always have them bring one, and me too) to be a "Fluffer" or "Tweaker".

This is a great question. I recently worked with a woman whom I have know for several years, and had to think of a way to ask her to "Fluff" herself or allow me or my wife to. I have to admit it was a tad bit uncomfortable, but she was 28 also. Getting a senior to do something like this would be like setting fire to the Bible in my parts of the world. I have a general rule, that I don't do that type of photography, unless you have graduated high school and mommy and daddy's money ain't paying for the images!

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Let me clarify.....
Old 03-22-2003, 10:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh my, let me make sure I'm very clear on this. I am NOT asking this in order to use it on senior girls graduating from high school. I only wanted to make the comparison about the political correctness of dialogue. With an overweight teen girl, you don't say "suck in that gut", you ask them to turn a bit to one side or the other to slim the waist and make sure in the consult that they know about how different colors have slimming effects. You also don't say "stick out your chest" to a lovely young lass; rather, you say, "arch your back a bit" and you get the result you want. Most teen girls love it when they look thinner and when their breasts look larger than they really are.

So, don't think I am going to ask a teen graduate to let me "tweak" her or even suggest it's appropriate for a senior photo session. No, no, no!!

I hope I didn't mislead anyone in the way I worded my message! See? It's all about wording....LOL

Thanks Clint.

Good day!

Mike
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Re: Let me clarify.....
Old 03-23-2003, 01:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just thought I'd add my 2 cents...I certainly can't speak for other models but I'm perfectly comfortable with a photograher saying something like "I need your nipples erect for this shot," or something like that. It's VERY easy for me to know if a photog. is requesting this in a sleazy manner or requesting it because he/she really feels that it will help the shot. That said, I think if you are casual and open about it and that your intentions are not about your own desires (I don't mean photog. desires...) but about what you are trying to express in the image...you're within boundries and etiquette....
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Re: Um, sensitive question about photographing lad
Old 03-23-2003, 02:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Your attitude and general manner have pretty much everything to do with it. A casual, confident manner is as important as respectfulness in making a model feel comfortable.
 
 
Speak by example
Old 03-23-2003, 10:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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.....no I don't mean get an ice cube out and get yours erect. By example I mean most experienced models are use to the terms erect nipples, etc and understand. I have heard of stories of using frozen chicken to get those puppies erect when there was no ice in the house and the model just did it that way and was so cool about it. Although I don't suggest saying, "you got any frozen chicken? I need to see nips baybee and I ain't talking cheese."

It's all about understanding the personality first. Get to know your client or subject. Talk it out way before the shoot and come to terms with terms that will be used.

Have example images around to help communicate better. Also seperate the preperation with the actual photo session by having another female in the room. Get your assistant to suggest to the model the things that need to be done. After all, the final image is what you are after, right?



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ROFLMAO
Old 03-23-2003, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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JT, you're killing me here! LOL "I ain't talkin' cheese, baby!!" That's classic. And frozen chicken? Hey, whatever grabs your gizzard, eh? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

I was disappointed though. I don't get to use the ice cubes on myself??? Just kidding. Your candor and insight serve you well and thanks for a great response; both informative and hilarious!

Good day!

Mike
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Re: Let me clarify.....
Old 03-23-2003, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Clarissa,

Thanks so much for adding to the conversation. I guess it speaks more to me when an actual model who may have been asked to do it gives her take on how it is. I tend to err on the side of caution when I talk to women as I'm trying to work out posing, almost to a fault, but I do know that in order to get certain poses, one must sometimes be a bit, um, direct, in expressing what they want. I guess I'm heavily influenced by my father who always told me to treat women with the utmost respect and consideration and so sometimes I think I get embarrassed thinking about having to ask a model to make her nipples erect. It's almost like I feel disrespectful to a lady by asking her to do that. I guess it's a fact of life for those models who do bare their breasts for shots. I'll just have to modify my paradigms a bit and realize that professionalism is the key to success.

I hope that drivel made sense. Thanks again, Clarissa, for your thoughts!

Good day!

Mike
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