You know how people and memes and stuff tell you not to let little things that people say bother you? Well, I’m horrible at that. Sometimes people say things to me and I mull over them for months, sometimes longer. I am trying to work on it, but that’s not really the point of this post, the point of this post is something someone said to me. One time I made a post about models looking out for one another and someone said to me something like “You seem so anti-photographer.” My first instinct was “What the heck?” and how could someone think that about me. I still think that, but I also think that if that one person feels that I somehow don’t like photographers (again, how someone arrives to that conclusion I do not know), then maybe others do too. And, more importantly, I think it’s just good to show appreciation for people.
I do feel that sometimes photographers as a whole get a bad reputation from a couple bad apples, just as models get a reputation based on a few diva and flakey types. And if you stop reading this post right now, just know this: the vast majority of photographers I’ve ever worked with have been good people who were kind and respectful, patient, and very easy to work with.
I also feel that we as people tend to focus a lot on negative or bad things that happen to us, especially when we make posts or tell people about things. I don’t want to go into that a lot, but I think we do this because A) We feel like we’re bragging if we talk about positive experiences and B) We want validation that our feelings on the negative experiences are “right.” I’m not saying this is wrong, I do it, you probably do it, too. But it is something that I think we should be mindful of.
So with all of that said, let’s talk about some positive things. You all know that modeling has done good things for me, at least if you follow me for long you should. It’s given me contentment with my own body, it’s given me a way to contribute to the artistic community, and it’s, perhaps not quite so directly, improved my life so much. And while it has been a lot of hard work and dedication on my part, it has also been all of the wonderful people I’ve worked with. Let’s talk a walk through the swirly purple time tunnel of Dekilah’s positive experiences with photographers…
The first photographer I ever worked with on a real shoot happened to be very talented and very patient. He really guided me through our first shoot and he is a big part of why I took the step into nudes. Instead of pressuring me or even encouraging me more than just agreeing I could if I wanted to, he showed me a few of his photos and told me that if I ever wanted to shoot them, he’d be happy to shoot with me and he would let me review them all right after the shoot on his computer and we would delete anything I didn’t like. He also took some pretty amazing photos of my butt during that first shoot that started that whole saga ^_~
Many of the first photographers I worked with really helped me with my posing. I told them I needed help and instead of declining to work with me, they guided me through it. They taught me about finding and using pose inspiration (along with people in the MM forums).
One of them caught me mid motion with my head turned to profile one day and wiped out this ridiculous notion someone put in my head about my jaw being manly. Now I love my profile and perhaps favor it a bit too much (I’ve been working on that).
And even outside of modeling, probably half of the photographers I’ve shot with have ended up being friends. They come help at events, they listen to my rants in PM and give me advice when I ask, they give me support when I need it. When I got evicted years ago (long story), I called a photographer friend to ask for advice/help. When I went through a horrible break up and was having issues living back at home a photographer offered me a rental home to stay in free of charge (I ended up not needing it, but the offer was priceless to me at the time). And there were other more specific situations that I won’t mention here, but that I am still very grateful for.
So to say that I’m anti-photographer… no. Just no. And you know what else? I’ve actually stood up for photographers when I felt they were being wrongfully accused or a model was blowing something out of proportion. At times I’ve felt like I was being the model version of a “white knight” for photographers.
Oh, and because I know someone will bring it up… yes, I am also married to a photographer. And no, he didn’t hit on me and I eventually fell for it. We were friends on MM and FB for at least a couple years before we considered dating. He was actually the first photographer whose work I came across on MM that was in a style I really wanted to shoot. It took a couple years, but it happened ^_~
So yeah, I’d say I’m pretty pro-photographer. Not pro the bad behavior and I absolutely know there are bad apples and yes I will speak up about and sometimes to those people, but I think that most photographers are good people and I’m happy to have so many as friends.