Adult photography

Post length: 642 words, almost 3 minutes.

I was approached yesterday by one of my clients (for whom I’m shooting this year’s Relentless Boardmasters festival in Cornwall this August) asking if I would be willing to shoot some sets for a new website he is producing.  Now, I’m not totally sure of the details of what he is looking for — the details will be worked out if I choose to accept the job — but basically he’s looking for glamour / softcore erotic photographs.

This obviously throws up a few issues, both morally and technically.

To be quite honest I don’t personally have a moral problem with the adult industry.  It’s not something I’ve particularly wanted to get into, but I don’t have objections to the principal.  My view is that so long as the people involved are there willingly and are comfortable with the situation then there’s no problem.  I appreciate the argument that some of the issues are with the message this kind of work gives to young people, but my general opinion is that the majority of people understand that it’s art and that the people in the images have chosen to be involved.  Not everyone I know would agree, and this is another slight issue — if I do take the job, do I keep quiet about it?

Technically it’s portrait work and normally I would turn down portrait work.  It’s not my area of expertise and I know others who specialise in that kind of thing could do a much better job.  While I have similar thoughts about this kind of thing, and it’s well out of my comfort zone, I kind of think that I wouldn’t feel as unconfident about taking these pictures as I would doing traditional studio or location portraiture.  For one thing I think these would be more casual shoots with fewer expectations of what is expected.  This would give me more freedom to experiment, and to some extent shoot in a more candid style that I’m comfortable with.

I gather that the client already has a number of ‘models’ lined up — a handful of friends who want to do some sets of this kind — and I guess he’s got a good idea of the direction of the site he’s building and so the kind of image he wants to end up with, but another concern would be how we would go about about capturing the images themselves.  I’d want the shoots to be casual and fun, but I don’t really know the best way to go about making the models feel comfortable.  I’d certainly want to take a girl with me as my assistant because I think that would help the model feel more relaxed, and then I guess the client would want to come along.  (In fact I’d really appreciate that — given I don’t have any experience in this kind of thing I wouldn’t feel comfortable myself trying to direct a shoot.  Obviously I’d be willing to put my artistic opinion in but I wouldn’t be happy being fully artistically in control, at least for the first few sets. )  I’d also be happy for the model to bring a friend along with her, be that a boyfriend or a girly friend, if that would make her feel happier, but after that I think I’d want a closed set.  That would mean there would be 5 people on set, each with a clearly defined role.  I would be concerned if it turned into a much bigger group with people hanging around not having anything to do.

I still have to get back to them about if I’m willing to do it, and it still might not take off.  But I’ll keep this updated with what I decide and, if I do agree (which I think I’m leaning toward at the moment) my experiences of the shoots themselves.

Posted on Friday 27th March, 2009 at 2:24 am in Photography, Work & Career.
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