Touching subjects and models

The subject comes up many times about photographers touching subjects and models during photoshoots, not just nude, intimate, or boudoir photoshoots. It’s been discussed in various social media groups and modeling related websites and there will be a variety of viewpoints. I am here to share mine, it’s really quite simple. When I am photographing a model, or a private client for any kind of intimate work, I am asking them for their trust based on my work, reputation, and personality. Many don’t have much time to know me well prior to working with me, only feeling me out in the initial vetting process. I refuse to take part in the silly stigmas that male photographers have to automatically be up to something, always bring bodyguards, all that fear mongering horse shit. But in return, I make sure that my reputation stays above board.

Every subject that comes to me for any nude or other intimate photos comes to me for my ability to capture the female form in it’s simple but elegant beauty. I want it to be a fun, and discreet experience for them. A photographer touching a scantily dressed or nude subject can make even an experienced model uncomfortable. Usually I ask the subject to move her shoulder back, space her fingers apart, loosen her grip, etc. Just simple yet important details to a photograph and it’s mood….and that usually suffices. If I need them to do something complex or if they are having difficulty understanding what I need them to do, I simply ask if I can adjust them. I’ve never been told no. I’ve never asked unless necessary, and it’s fairly rare. And even then, it’s adjusting an arm or shoulder. So in short…touching a subject isn’t usually necessary. But if it is necessary, only do so after asking. It removes any element of surprise and only buys the photographer credibility. Part of the accountability process.

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