How not to be a Creepy Photographer (part 2)

Posted on August 16, 2013


In the first installment, we defined what being creepy is, and how to avoid it in social situations. What about non-social situations like a photoshoot or in private communications? Here are some of the things that your subjects will make them think you are a creepy photographer.  Again, this list isn’t everything but just some of the more dominate things I have heard or seen. I highly recommend reading some of the exploits of Terry Richardson if you think these are supposed to be humorous.

Probably the biggest individual creep factor is the way you send messages and talk with your subjects and models. When you send messages like “I have a thong panty for you, what colour should it be for you to model it?” or asking models for dates or sexual favours because they are doing something of value for you or demanding something from them without even knowing them, you are sending creepy messages. If the only type of conversation is sexual in nature, then you are being creepy. If you are a professional, you act and behave like a professional. That means you are up front and spell things out for your subjects and models. You don’t date them, and you don’t ask them for anything sexual unless you spell out to them that it is that type of shoot and both of you have agreed to the terms of doing this shoot.

Another indicator is that creepy person with a lot of photographic equipment who is only out to shoot nude women showing the most pornographic image they can get. You know the guy (or gal). Sometimes they are referred to as a GWC (guy or gal with camera). They try for down shirt shots, upskirt shots, and get the models out of their clothes as fast as they are able under the guise of this is what models must do or how they are helping them get ahead in the industry. The really bold ones will touch the models at the neck and face and their hands will move to other inappropriate areas on the model. The images these people take are often horrible (although some are decent photographers). And, they are usually the first ones to say that to be a model, the model has to take their clothes off and that nudity sells. They rarely respect the models in any way or shape. Do any of these things, and anyone who has worked with you will think of you as a creep. If you have been in this industry long enough, you know who some of these people are. Unfortunately, when getting models to pose in an edgy or pinup style, you might come across as a creepy person when you aren’t. Do your best to give your subjects private space, be polite, and respect who they are. Part of this is being clear what your subject will be doing prior to shooting.

Yet another is personal hygiene. Always shower and clean up before a shoot. You need to smell well and try your best to keep your mouth smelling well. You may need to be close to the model, and nothing causes a sense of creep than an unkept person who has horrible breath.

Some other things that are creepy to most:

– continually harassing a model or subject to shoot with you. If you are begging, you have crossed the line of what you should do as a photographer and have become a creep. Once the model says no, continuing to pressure them only harasses them.

– Not having a clean studio to work in if you have a studio. A work place and changing area should be spotless and clean. Having a clean studio is safer and easier to move around in. Some models may question if there is something hidden.

– Telling a subject she has sexy body parts, referring to any sexual parts, saying you want to jump the model, or how you want the subject to do something sexual to you. This is often not a turn on for the model. To a less degree, pushing a model to let you take them on a date, or similar activity.

– making rude noises, mimicking sexual acts, winking, touching yourself inappropriately, or similar. This includes heavy breathing, flatulence, and drooling.

– Having things that are inappropriate for the shoot around the studio or with you at a location shoot. This includes gels, lubricants, whips, chains, handcuffs, sexual toys, etc.

– hearing or smelling things that the subject can’t

– trying to wear the model’s clothes.

– showing off any images of yourself to the model-clothed or unclothed.

– touching the model for any reason. Joining the model on set for any reason to be in the pictures.

– shooting for your own images and not keeping focused on modeling.

– any comments about the subjects weight or height.

– having fake blood on you, and it isn’t a horror type shoot.

– inviting them to sleep at your place or stay the night.

– not allowing escorts

– claiming you are a really great photographer, but only post garbage that is not exposed correctly or in focus or over edited or just looks very horrible.

– telling the model to “give that look that daddy doesn’t know about” or similar direction.

– not providing direction, mumbling, or talking to a third person when giving direction ot the model.

– asking a model to feel any part of you or your hired help

– showing erotic nudes of other models they know for any reason

– plumbers crack or plumbers crack wearing a thong; not wearing underwear and hanging out

– poor hygiene – not being clean, showered, with brushed teeth, and shaven.


These are all things that will define you as a creep. Keep this in mind the next time you shoot so you aren’t labeled as a creep.

Posted in: Photography