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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 21 Oct 2016 (Friday) 09:48
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Comfort zones?

 
urbanfreestyle
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Oct 21, 2016 09:48 |  #1

Hi all,

So i have recently had an opportunity come up and thought i would offer my concerns to the forum to see if it is just me that feels like this or if it is a general feeling among photographers.

I wanted to to a street shoot with a model but no one came forward. Finally a friend of mine has told me her daughter (13yo) is interested.

I was discussing the shoot with the mother and she asked what i wanted her daughter to wear etc.

For some reason (possibly from watching too many documentaries / the news) i felt like what i wanted was unsuitable for a girl her age to wear.

The idea behind the shoot is a grungy skate inspired street shoot in b/w film. Outfit wise it would be leggings / tights, denim hot pants and crop top. I mean i know girls that age wear things like that all the time but it felt odd asking a mother for her daughter to wear tight fitting somewhat revealing clothes so i can take photos of her lol!

I mean it's not like i was asking for a lingerie / boudoir shoot lol!

Am i being over-paranoid or is it something everyone considers when organizing shoots?


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nathancarter
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Oct 21, 2016 13:56 |  #2

I would put together a "mood board" of images of girls wearing outfits in the style that you're envisioning, and send those without giving specific instructions. Then the parent and teen pick an outfit that fits into that aesthetic, and it won't be out of their comfort zone. Or, if your reference images are too far out of their comfort zone, they'll tell you so (or just ghost ya).


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Oct 21, 2016 14:25 |  #3

I have the same issues. Part of the reason my wife and I have two companies, 1 doing weddings and family shoots another that does swimwear, boudoir and nudes.

My very own daughter is 13 and is no stranger to our swimwear and some of the boudoir stuff we shoot, however any time we plan a session for her I gravitate towards long pants, and loose fitting tops lol. We are going on a cruise soon and she wanted to do some pictures on a beach and I am still struggling on the inside with that. I understand you can take pictures of children in swimwear with out making it sexual but at the same time it just feels weird taking pictures of children. Even my portrait work tends to have a bit of sexual energy coming through. Lucky for me most of the kids we have to shoot are during weddings, and I let my wife handle those .... I am not a kid person.




  
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urbanfreestyle
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Oct 24, 2016 02:51 |  #4

nathancarter wrote in post #18163115 (external link)
I would put together a "mood board" of images of girls wearing outfits in the style that you're envisioning, and send those without giving specific instructions. Then the parent and teen pick an outfit that fits into that aesthetic, and it won't be out of their comfort zone. Or, if your reference images are too far out of their comfort zone, they'll tell you so (or just ghost ya).

I totally agree, Whilst speaking with the mother of the child i sent through a few idea images from pintrest so she could get an idea of what i was after and gave her a few outfit ideas. She seemed ok with this and i explained about my anxiousness and that i dont want to come over pushy about any particular outfit / style. The mother is an old friend of mine (though not spoken in about 10 yrs)

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #18163140 (external link)
I have the same issues. Part of the reason my wife and I have two companies, 1 doing weddings and family shoots another that does swimwear, boudoir and nudes.

My very own daughter is 13 and is no stranger to our swimwear and some of the boudoir stuff we shoot, however any time we plan a session for her I gravitate towards long pants, and loose fitting tops lol. We are going on a cruise soon and she wanted to do some pictures on a beach and I am still struggling on the inside with that. I understand you can take pictures of children in swimwear with out making it sexual but at the same time it just feels weird taking pictures of children. Even my portrait work tends to have a bit of sexual energy coming through. Lucky for me most of the kids we have to shoot are during weddings, and I let my wife handle those .... I am not a kid person.

yes i totally agree. The problem is that there are those that will over-sexualise children or take a shoot in the wrong way. I don't want to just have a photo, i am creating art. I think as long as the parents and the model is ok with the shoot and they are comfortable then it's all good.

I have been called the 'p' word by a collegue at my old job when i was editing a series of photos from a recent ish shoot with two 13yo girls from our horse yard. We went to the beach riding and i shot them basically as a 'best friends' shoot with them riding their horses.

Because they were in jhodpurs and xc tops (like rash vests) aparrently i was perverted. i mean WTF!?!?!?

I guess you will never please everyone and there will always be someone questioning your motives....


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mathogre
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Oct 24, 2016 12:27 |  #5

I can empathize.

I've been doing fashion since 2011. It's a hobby inasmuch as I'm not making money at it. Yet. I've shot professional models, some for money, some TFP (time for photos), as well as my daughter who is about to turn 18. Once I did a fashion shoot with my daughter and one of her friends in preparation for an American Girl Fashion Show shoot. Both girls were 13 at the time. As it was about lighting, outfits weren't all that important. Since both my wife and I knew the other girl's Mom, it was just the three of us. That said, the other Mom had to sign a release. The girls' payment was ice cream at their favorite ice cream shop.

Generally speaking I will not shoot minors for fashion. I'm paranoid.

I am the chair of our high school band boosters photography & media group, which means I'm shooting lots of kids. The band has ~160 kids, almost all of whom are minors. In the context of a marching band or concert band event, I'm fine with photographing them. They're great kids, and their parents are equally good. Our photos go to a closed website. I also shoot high school girls varsity soccer. It's a sporting event, so it's public.

This last spring I was going to NY and was trying to coordinate a fashion shoot through Model Mayhem (MM). One option would have been with two young girls and we were going to be on the streets of Manhattan. They were good, one a ballet dancer and the other just starting out in modeling. When I learned one of them was only 17 and that her Mom would send a signed release with her, I said no. No parent in person handing off the model? No shoot. They seem to be nice girls, and probably everything would have been fine. It's the unpredictable that worries me. Tentatively we've planned to shoot next year, and that would be great. For now however, no. I have far too much to lose.

Regarding the "P" word, that's why I won't do fashion with minors. I've shot nudes but really prefer my models clothed. There's a photo of a girl on a premiere artistic photo website where she was modeling as implied nude and appears to be a minor. She's beautiful. She's physically mature. It's a stunning photograph, fully tasteful. Regardless, I never would have taken the photo, and had I done so I never would have posted it publicly.

So there's all of the negativity.

Were I in your shoes, would I do it?

I'd be open to it.

The model and her Mom are good with it. As long as you've communicated everything, once they say they're good with everything, stop worrying and don't give them a reason to worry either. Get them to sign a release, and be prepared to have them say they don't want the photos made public. Should they do that, be gracious and comply. That's your reputation, and you don't want to ruin that.

Screw those who call you pervert. If they have a problem with your photos, tell them to make their own bloody photos!

As long as you have a mutual understanding between the model and the Mom, and everyone is comfortable with the shoot, go for it.

Good luck!


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urbanfreestyle
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Oct 25, 2016 03:16 as a reply to  @ mathogre's post |  #6

Thanks for your reply. really means something to me that someone has taken time to share their experience and put my mind at ease. Is there a universal model / minor model release form i should use or just write one up?


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Oct 25, 2016 10:25 as a reply to  @ urbanfreestyle's post |  #7

I would look online. I have created two simplified releases that I use, one if it is TFP and the other if it is for money. For the TFP releases, I tell how many photos the model will get and when the model will receive them. Both releases have lines for a parent or guardian to sign if the model is a minor. Typically I bring two copies. We each sign then and we each get a copy. The releases are signed prior to the shoot.

Releases can be long and tedious or they can be short and direct; I tend toward the latter. I'm not a lawyer however, so you should look for samples online and see what you're comfortable using.

Good luck!


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urbanfreestyle
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Oct 25, 2016 10:38 as a reply to  @ mathogre's post |  #8

Thanks, I didn't think about having 2 copies. such a simple thing for me to over look


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