So this email went out to the whole student body this week –
Please see the message below from our local Police Service:
It has been identified that a bogus photographer has attempted to target Falmouth University students with the promise of modelling work. This male is considered a threat to would-be models, and has previous convictions for stalking type offences. Although there are legitimate photographers and model agents, the risk of meeting a stranger unprepared and unprotected should not be underestimated.
Please follow advice from the Police if you consider such an offer:”
Not that I often work with any students, but it is difficult enough to find willing models at the best of times without people becoming suspicious before we even start. It takes you back to the ‘good-old days’ when a model might get employed by a local camera club for a life class and the old joke was that half of the men didn’t even have any film in their cameras.
When you choose to work predominantly with the nude form then people are suspicious enough at the outset before you even have a chance to explain your requirements, or to show them testimonials which may put their minds at ease. So when someone is so unprofessional that the police get involved then we all get tarred with the same brush. I shouldn’t be so sensitive as I am moderately confident I have a half-decent reputation in the local community, but this now raises inklings of doubt in any prospective models or friends of models which makes sourcing new people to work with even harder.
It also brings to mind another popular misconception that my job is so fantastic in that I am able to work with such beautiful people and get to see them in the raw. I have long since given-up trying to explain that the nude model is about as erotic as a bowl of fruit when I am working and editing. While in the studio my mind is focused on the technicalities of my equipment as well as trying to be creatively inventive. No matter who or what I am photographing the chance of me finding the experience remotely erotic are minuscule. I guess the old Gynaecologist analogy comes to mind here.
But it does bring up a fair point about being moral, professional and ethical in everything that you do. As a lifetime’s reputation can be spoilt in a thoughtless second (unfortunately not necessarily by our own doing either).