I’ve been modeling in various forms for years. I don’t work through an agency so a lot of photographers think they can take advantage of me and push my boundaries, especially the big names in our local community. I don’t let them because of one early client:
Client: Are you willing to do some trade work? I want you to be a part of my “girls and skulls” series. You pose naked with animal skulls in the desert. In exchange, I’ll do your headshots.
Me: I don’t work nude. I’ll do it partially clothed, but if for nude shots I would need payment.
Client: But all my models are nude! You have to do it.
Me: Not for free I won’t. I would be happy to discuss my rates.
Client: I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! THIS IS SO UNPROFESSIONAL. YOU’LL NEVER WORK AGAIN IF YOU KEEP BEING SO STUBBORN. You’ll NEVER be a real model with that attitude, don’t you know you have to work for exposure when you’re starting out?
I guess “setting boundaries” is a problem for professionals.
I’ve done runway modeling, modeled for expensive art shows, have at least 4 studio shoots a month, and photographers offering to fly me out of state to work together.
To this day, I still have not done a single full nude shoot without payment, but sure, I’ll never get work again.