is the FAQ for Models
Page last updated June 14, 2004
What is Looknsee's Only Rule For Models?
Are Models Compensated for Modeling?
What Constitutes A Successful Sitting?
What Does It Mean To Behave Like A Professional Model?
Does Looknsee Have Advice For Models Wishing To Avoid "Bad" Photographers?
Can Models Get Prints From Their Modeling Session?
What's A Modeling Session Like?
Can I Bring A Friend To The Modeling Session?
What Should I Do To Prepare Before The Sitting?
What If There Are Some Poses I Don't Want To Do?
What Happens After The Sitting (Previewing the Web Pages)
Can I Use Pictures From The Session For A Modeling Site Or My Site?
Why Does Looknsee Make These Pictures?
What Does Looknsee Do With These Pictures?
What If A Friend Of Mine Wants To Have A Print?
Do You Have Any Posing Guidelines?
What Does Looknsee Look For In Models?
Would You Please Photograph Me?
How do you negotiate modeling fees (blog entry)?
Will you make some erotic photographs of me?
Don't do anything that makes you
uncomfortable! If a pose makes you
uncomfortable, it'll show in your face & in your body language.
So, usually, an uncomfortable pose is a waste of both your & my
time. So, if a suggestion isn't something you want to do, just
tell me, and we'll move on -- I rarely run out of ideas. If I ask
you about it, I'm not trying to talk you into it, I'm just trying to
find out what is making you uncomfortable.
Absolutely every model is compensated in
some way for their modeling time. The actual compensation varies
greatly. Some models accept prints as compensation ("Trade
For Prints" or TFP), in which case, we can negotiate a specific
number top quality, hand printed 8x10's. I usually pay models for
nude modeling. The rates are negotiable, starting at ~$25 an hour
for inexperienced models, going up significantly for more experienced
models (and, yes, experience is worth it). I usually like to
"start the clock" when the model is in the studio & ready
to go (I provide ample breaks). My typical modeling session in the
studio averages about two to three hours (plus getting ready time for
the model). For "field trips", we can negotiate start
times to deal with commute times & other logistics -- a "half
day" or a "full day" rate works best for field trips.
For me, the bottom line is this: at the end of the sitting, if both the photographer & the model feel respected, then the sitting was successful. Bonus points are scored for any of the following:
minimum expectation is that we treat each other with respect during the
There are several things that experienced, successful, professional models do that make them fun & easy to work with. All models can benefit from these things, not only in their modeling professional life but in their overall relationships to others.
Well, to me, there are two kinds of "bad":
As far as I'm concerned, I would hope that models wouldn't avoid unskilled or inexperienced photographers -- we all start out unskilled & inexperienced, and we can only improve our skills through practice.
However, we've all heard horror stories about predator photographers who prey on models. I think predator photographers are fairly rare, but they exist, and yes, they should be avoided at all costs. Here are some ideas to help models weed out these kinds of photographers:
Bottom line: do your homework, try to find out as much as you can before the sitting, & be as clear as possible about what you should expect at the sitting. And as scary as all this is, I would think that you will be okay if you use common sense. That being said, be sure to be positive & bring a sense of adventure to the sitting. Any "good" photographer will work hard to make your experience fun, and that includes making sure you are safe & comfortable.
I should mention that typically, my relationship with models extends to the work we produce together and not much beyond that. On occasion, we become friends, but that's rare & not expected.
additional point: while we often hear horror stories about
predator photographer, there are plenty of less-known stories about
models and their escorts beating & robbing photographers. Be
sensitive to a photographer's concerns about security, too. This
is one reason why I greatly prefer working with experienced models.
(Updated in 2010): As I've gotten older, my eyesight has suffered. As such, I no longer make film negatives or paper prints. I can no longer produce photographic prints for models. Sorry.
I can, however, work with digital images & digital prints. We can negotiate an inkjet print, if the model wishes.
I'm a pretty mellow kind of guy, and my pace is slow, easy, & relaxed. When a new model first arrives, I like to show her around and then sit down for a moment. When we sit, I like to review our compensation agreement, so there's no mistakes. I also like to remind models that they shouldn't do anything that makes them uncomfortable. Then, I ask the model to sign a model's release. The model's release will clarify my ownership of the pictures we make. By signing the release before doing any modeling, the model is reminded about that rule about doing things that make them uncomfortable. (Another way of thinking about that rule is "don't show any photographer anything you don't want photographed".) I prefer to use simple model's releases, with clear & understandable language. Click here for an Microsoft Word version of my model release.
There is a bathroom that is available for the private & exclusive use of the model. During the session, no one else will be using this room.
During the session, I respect a model's "space": I don't enter the model's space without telling the model (I typically have to come over to fine-tune the light placement).
There is never any touching in the studio. That sometimes means that it'll take a little time for me to communicate an exact pose, but that's okay -- remember, I maintain a slow & easy (& patient) pace. Note: sometimes, especially during fetish posing, some contact is needed (e.g. adjust the fall of the model's hair) -- if that is the case, I typically tell the model exactly what I want to do & I ask permission. At no time during the sitting (even during the bondage sittings) should the model not feel safe.
I use a medium format camera, with 10 exposures on a roll. I like to change the lighting set up or the image concept after 2 or so rolls. These lighting-change times is a good time for a model's break.
Traditionally, I typically have the goal to expose 10 rolls of film (100 exposures), which typically takes around 2½ to 3 hours. If things are really exciting, we'll expose more. If time is running out, it's okay if I expose less than 10 rolls. But in general, I'm pretty slow & deliberate. Lately, I've been thinking about conducting shorter sittings, around 2 hours & 7-8 rolls of film, exploring more specific ideas. We'll discuss the length of the sitting when we first start talking.
I have a stereo that plays music in the background. The music is never loud, because I like to talk with the model while we are making art.
Sometimes in the middle of the session, I "zone out". I'm typically thinking about technical aspects of the session -- light placement, exposure, etc. I'm not being rude -- please be patient.
I tend to carry on a conversation with the model during the
sitting. The primary reason is that I want the model to be
involved in the session, and I like to see pictures of models with
something going on on their face; I dislike seeing pictures of models
with vacant stares. My best advice to models is to look like you
are thinking about something, and the best way to do that is to ask
questions during the sitting. But, to be fair, I don't always hear
everything that is said, because I'm splitting my time between the
conversation and the techniques of making good exposures &
images. I mention this because the rare model doesn't like
answering questions -- I'm not trying to become your best buddy, I just
want your brain engaged. If a question makes you uncomfortable,
just let me know, and we'll move on. Also, remember, your answers
don't have to be the truth -- I'm simply trying to get your brain
Well, remember the only rule -- don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable. If bringing a friend improves your comfort, then by all means, bring one, just let me know that you are bringing an escort -- I prefer not to be surprized. I have more guidelines & rules for studio visitors than I do have for models:
Something I should mention: we have all heard horror stories about bad photographers abusing models during a sitting. It's terrible, but it does happen, and models should take steps to avoid untrustworthy photographers. You don't often hear about it, but there are stories about models and their escorts taking advantage of photographers, beating & robbing them. Be sensitive to the photographer. Don't surprise the photographer with an unexpected escort, and the escort should remain nearby at all times. An escort that sneaks away to wander through the house is a definite, unwanted distraction. (This is one of the major reasons I prefer working with experienced models.)
That is no problem at all, just let me know. I've had models who have requested that I de-emphasize or hide their faces. I've had models who have requested that I don't photograph their feet. I've had models request that I don't photograph other specific body parts. I've had models be very clear about their limits with regards to erotic posing. The key is, simply tell me.
Remember my only rule: don't do
anything that makes you uncomfortable. I have no interest in
making someone pose in any manner that makes them uncomfortable.
Just remember that I can't read your mind; if you let me know your
limits, we'll stay within your comfort zone.
Well, I have a lot of work to do after the sitting. I usually have a day in the darkroom to develop the negatives, two or three days to make work prints, another day to scan them, and a couple of days to put together web pages.
Typically, I try to put a lot of pictures onto my web site. One of the objectives of this site is to be instructive for other photographers, and that sometime means that I display not only the best images from the sitting but also the "near misses".
At that point, I may post the draft pages, and I'll send models an e-mail so that they could preview the pages (assuming that the models have chosen to leave me contact information). I give models a few days to preview them, and if I don't hear anything, I'll "announce" the availability of some new images on selected Usenet newsgroups. Models are encouraged to give me feedback during this preview period, and I am totally open to suggestions, requests for changes or deletions, etc. at any time.
no circumstances do I give out models' contact information.
If someone seems to have a legit reason to contact a model, I will
collect their contact information & forward it to the model. I
also forward nice comments & feedback I receive to models, if they
would like it.
First of all, you should understand & internalize that when you sign a model release, you relinquish all rights to the photographs from the sitting. The images belong to the photographer & not the model. If you aren't comfortable with that, don't sign the release. (Note: I ask for a signature before the sitting starts).
That being said, I think it is proper etiquette to request permission to use the images from this sitting, and if the photographer refuses to grant that permission, you'll have to accept that.
However, if asked, I will certainly grant such permission if the site where it will be used is appropriate and provided that there is an opportunity to indicate the copyright of the image. Ideally, there should be a link to my site. It is my expectation that you are using these to promote your modeling career and that people are not being charged to see these images.
I think One Model
Place is one of the most popular modeling web sites. I would
appreciate it if you put me in your Favorites with a "Worked
With" public note -- that way, your modeling number will appear in
my "Recommendations / Acknowledgements" list. I will do
the same for you. (I am OMP Photographer #24608).
Well, it's a heck of a lot of fun! I'm an amateur & proud of it. I am pretending to be an artist. Making nude photographs is one of the most difficult & most exciting things a photographer can do. It is a challenge to establish a comfortable setting (for both the model & the photographer). Nobody believes me, but I'm real shy. I just don't let my shyness get in my way.
By posing for me, you would be participating in the artistic
Not much. I'm an amateur & proud of it. I display my favorite pictures in my home and on my web page. My pictures are not for sale. I've had offers, but so far, I've had no problem resisting them. I would imagine that if I did want to sell my pictures, I'd attempt to discuss the situation with the model. So, keep in touch, or let me know your feelings when you review the pictures after the session.
I am often asked for prints, and to date, I've always said no. But
I've been laid off, and I've had to triple the bandwidth for this web
site. While I don't intend to charge for access to this web site,
I may consider selling some prints at some point in the future, to help
cover my expenses (web hosting, modeling fees, photographic materials,
My only priority is protecting the model's rights & privacy. Therefore, I tell people who claim to be a friend that the model can request additional prints from me, and I'll give those prints to the model. The model can do what she wishes with those prints. That way, the model maintains control, and I don't mistake a stalker for a model's friend.
Also remember, it takes me a lot of time & effort for me to make a print good enough to give away, and if I was willing to sell them, I'd charge a lot of money. Please consider these prints to be worth a few hundred dollars. If the requested number of prints is small, there's typically no problem, as long as you are patient. If the request is significant, I sometimes provide additional prints to models in exchange for more modeling. Don't ask to buy prints -- not too many people could afford what I'd want to charge. (Rule of thumb -- it'll take me maybe four hours to produce a good print, which doesn't count the days of processing that went into the original prints that the model gets to see.)
I get a good amount of traffic on my web
site, and occasionally, someone will request additional information
about a model. I provide zilch to such requests; nine times out of
ten I don't respond at all to such requests. At best, I'll collect
contact information from the requester & will forward it to the
model, and the model can decide what to do.
Every photographer has a unique style, and in order to deliver that style, every photographer has different posing guidelines for models. Here are mine:
I think that selecting models (and negotiating with models) to be part of the artistic process, and at this point, I guess it would be fair to say that I am selective. Here are some thoughts:
I'm doing okay in finding models, and I am fairly particular, but I am always open to meet & work with new people. See this page for more information.
Maybe. Before we get too serious about setting up a sitting, consider the following:
So, the initial key question: are you working for me or am I working for you? If you are working for me, I will compensate you & will look to put the resulting pictures on the web. If I am working for you, then you would be paying me & you would retain the rights to the resulting photographs. There is no scenario where I would compensate you & allow you to retain the rights to the photographs. I'm not a lawyer, but the person who pays the other person typically winds up with the rights to the photographs.
I should also be honest. The women I photograph tend to be young & beautiful, and frankly, that's the kind of woman I want to photograph. I have time only for a limited number of sittings per year, so I tend to be selective.
Okay, I've been candid. But I like to think that I can help inexperienced models. I'm fairly easy-going & quiet; I am certainly respectful, so I can be a good photographer for amateurs.
So, the answer is maybe. Some things that would help:
Note: The last person who asked me to do this for her backed out at the last minute. While I respect her decision to decline to pose nude, it is annoying for me to put in the time & effort to do someone a favor, only to have it fall apart in the eleventh hour. Thus, I am somewhat reluctant to undertake this kind of thing.
(Updated in 2010): Lately, I've been getting this question a lot. I have a few thoughts:
I really need comfort before working with a model in an erotic session. So, unless you are a) experienced, and b) recommended by someone I know well, chances are our first session together would be solo.
Hits since December 1, 2003: