Story 1: The WOW Project

The first photographer I ever spoke/shot with asked me about how comfortable I was in front of the camera. I responded with a genuine “It’s not so bad.” And he responded with “Now how comfortable would you be topless?” The next session I went to I brought my boyfriend to try and buffer the situation, and this time the photographer told me politely yet firmly that he was not allowed on set because it would ‘inhibit’ my modeling for him. Little did I know that with him gone he would wittle away at my self confidence and dignity to the point where I agreed to wear only a robe for photos. Then when he pushed things over the edge towards pornographic I pushed back. Suddenly I was a terrible model. “Don’t you want to have a career? This is what models do for money. Don’t you want to be a model?” That’s a question that a lot of young models are asked, or demanded. Take an already semi awkward situation and add in an even more awkward proposition. Some respond with no, some respond with sure, some don’t respond at all. And the point isn’t wether or not their responses are correct, but why are we even asked these questions in the first place? People I have worked with claim that nude or pornographic models are the only models that make money or make it big, and that’s simply untrue. But for a young model starting out who is going to tell her that? She’s putting her trust in these photographers who may or may not have the right drive for her. I never received the photos from that shoot, until a few years later when a man from the internet sent me a link to them on a website. They had been posted places without my knowledge or consent. It took a fight to get them taken down, and it was one that was never acknowledged from the man who took them. To this day it is a difficult decision on who to work with, when to say no, and when to be concerned for your own well being. And I don’t really have any life changing advice, just to always trust your gut feelings, don’t be afraid to speak up when something doesn’t feel right.

– A Local Wichita Model

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