Shoot planning

It’s back to the world of modelling, after a sidestep into the world of politics. This is my 3rd post on the blog, not sure this is something I want to keep doing. We’ll see if the inspiration continues to flow and if there is any kind of feedback..

Most of the time, you read about models complaining about the lack of seriousness of photographers. There are some weird stories around about photographers who cannot make the distinction between a model photoshoot and their own phantasms. They think they’re allowed to do anything just because they are paying. Not so. As in any job, the model deserves respect and should have her say in the nature of the shoot. Usually, it is agreed up front what the shoot will be about, portrait, fashion, nudeart, erotic.

Model photography, and especially nudeart, have received a bad name in the general public, probably because of all the silly people in the business and because they erroneously suspect that all sort of things, which cannot see daylight, are going on. Personally, although I stay well within artistic nudeart, I have been fired because of my work, not once but probably 2 times.  The first ones to have fired me were Mensura, occupational medecine in Belgium, they also insulted me by branding my perfectly artistic nudeart as pornography and BDSM (How blind can you be?). The second ones (CM, the “christian” health insurance company in Belgium) didn’t have the courage to tell me the real reasons and mentioned some minor shortcomings on my part. In hindsight, it would have been better to work under a pseudonym but I still do not want to hide behind one, having nothing to hide.

So not all photographers are serious in their business, but the opposite also occurs. There are perfectly understandable circumstances why a model cancels. But it also happens that models just do not show up for shoots without prior notification. I have been waiting 3 times in vain for the same model. With another model, I couldn’t agree on the hairstyle and that was the reason why she decided to  cancel one week before; This was supposed to have been a 2 day shoot, I had to cancel 2 other models and the rental of a Paris studio. I was happy that these people understood and graciously did not charge me any money, which they were probably entitled to.

I have been forced myself to cancel shoots on 2 occasions for what were, at least to me, justified reasons. One cancellation took place 3 months before the shoot was planned, the other one 12 days prior to it. Professional models should easily be able to find a replacement shoot so many days before, but nevertheless, they took it very wrong and almost insulted me.

The modelling world can be a strange world indeed.

The world’s a stage

I would like this blog to be about more than only photography. One thing that worries me is the actual development in politics, be it on the local level or on a larger scale. It seems that not much has been learnt from history. We fall in the same traps, over and over again. People flock behind leaders who promise them a bright future.

I admit that I like to believe in conspiracy theories and don’t always accept the official truth. 9/11 is a perfect example of this. The collapse of the towers was most likely planned well in advance, there are far too many inconsistencies in the official story. I always thought the reason was to influence public opinion so that Iraq could be invaded but, recently, I came across a story, illustrating the financial story behind 9/11. <Follow the money>, they say, and this appears also to be true here.

Another event which is highly worrying is the response of the US, UK and France to the recent “poison attack” on Douma in Syria. The speed at which this was executed, before providing any irrefutable proof, and before even consulting congress or parliament, is staggering. The video footage of the victims in the hospital did not entirely convince me and may well have been staged. If I am proven wrong, I will apologise for doubting. However, experts have not been allowed to inspect the site yet to properly evaluate whether poison gas was indeed used; I guess that all traces will disappear after some time. It has also been communicated that US deployed new weapon systems during the attack on Syria. War is big business indeed.

If you don’t deal with politics, politics will deal with you, they say. It is our responsability to make this a better world, our right to doubt anything and our duty to form our own opinion.

The song “Masters of war” by Bob Dylan is becoming very relevant again…

[update 1] Well before the strike on Syria, Russia received the coordinates of the targets. Syria was thus warned in advance and could evacuate and empty these buildings. “Mission accomplished”, boasted Mr. Orange. Sure…

[update 2] And now, the US pretends that the syrian regime and the russians are covering their tracks and remove all traces of chemical warfare. They imply that is why the inspectors are not (yet?) allowed on the bombed sites. I’m afraid that the truth about this attack will never come out.

Publication policy

As someone sensitive to the quality (artistic and technical) of pictures, I will always be disappointed by the so-called “social” media. BTW, not much “social” in there, everybody just sitting in his/her corner chatting away. That’s why I stopped using Instagram and have only shared a few videos on facebook. Luckily there is also the possibility of publishing on one’s own site or on sites like <500px> or <> which are of far superior technical quality.

Recent guidelines for NSFW content which are becoming increasingly restrictive do not make matters easier. It has been said sufficient times already, you can get away with murder but beware if you dare show a nipple. Pornography, depicted as a drawing or a painting, passes without any problems but a blurry nipple caused one of my Instagram photos to be removed. It should be the context of an image that counts, not the means by which it was depicted. I also do not see the value of auto-censureship by adding stars or blurry patches to a picture, which seems more like mutilation.

People who rely on these social media for business purposes obviously will have to keep using them; To the others I would say, why not consider to cease publication on these forums, there are much better ones around.

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