Freitag, 8. Juli 2016

Things That Piss Me Off About The TFP Photo Community

About two years ago I decided that after years of being behind the camera I wanted to try being in front of it. So I joined a facebook group for tfp photographers and models and asked if anyone was interested in a shoot with me to which I got a very nice respond from a photographer whom I met a few days later and then did my first shoot with. So far, so good. He’s one of those people whom I am happy to have met because he’s a really nice, down to earth guy and I have since then worked with him several times and will continue to do so. I’ve met other really nice, interesting and amazing people, too, don’t get me wrong. I have, since the first, joined several of these groups, all of them are about tfp photo shoots in and around my area and they all feature pretty much the same members.

This isn’t a generalisation of the ‚community’, it’s only about a certain type of person that is unfortunately represented quite a lot in this so-called community.

And God, do they piss me off. There are two things especially, and they are the amount of bitching and gossip that is going on, and then there’s weird and creepy requests from self-proclaimed photographers that sound like they don’t actually want to take photos.

I have never actually met someone whom I found creepy, it usually becomes clear after they write a few sentences and I can sort them out right away. I have, however, heard stories from other models that weren’t so lucky. Nobody got locked in a cellar, but well, you get naked for a nude photo shoot and find out the photographer’s intention isn’t just taking photos.

I hardly ever do nude or lingerie photo shoots since my boyfriend doesn’t really like the idea of my naked body being all over the internet, which I obviously respect, but if I do those shoots, I only do it if I have either met the photographer before or have only heard good things about him from people I trust. If some weird guy who doesn’t even have a fanpage on facebook messages me and asks me to come over to his apartment – and under no circumstances bring anyone along with me! – it’s pretty obvious what the intention is. And maybe I'm wrong it’s really just taking photos, but considering the amout of creepy stories you hear, if he doesn’t understand my worries then he’s clearly not very empathetic. Those conversations go as follows

Photographer: Hey, I really love your photos and your style, want to come over and do a shoot with me?
Me: I like your photos, too. Do you have a specific idea what you want to do with me?
Photographer: Yeah, you come over and bring some clothes and lingerie and then we’ll see, I have my own studio at home. Are you coming alone or do you need mummy and daddy with you?
Me: I would like to bring my boyfriend if that’s okay.
Photographer: No, I don’t do that then. It’s interrupting my work. Nothing’s ever happened to any of my models at my place and they all trust me. No one has ever doubted my intentions before and I've even taken models abroad with me.
Me: Then I guess we have different ideas of this, I’m afraid it won’t work out.
Photographer: I don’t care, I have plenty of other models. I’ve already given your appointment to someone else.

This is just an example of how fast it gets from „love your style and photos“ to „I don't need you, I have plenty of other models“, it’s an actual conversation I had with a photographer except that I shortened it a little bit. The funny part is that this excact same photographer messaged me again about a year later and asked for a shoot, I didn’t respond this time though.

But it’s not just the „if you’re not coming over and getting naked you’re not worth it“ part, there’s also a huge problem with making appointments and sticking to them.
Judging from what I have experienced, a lot of the photographers (I can’t really talk about models because I don’t interact with them as much) expect you to make them your number one priority. I have a job, school, uni, friends or family? What?
If a photographer messages you, you NEED to respond right away, tell him when you’re free, tell him what you’re comfortable with doing so he can decide whether you’re worth it or not, and so on. Sometimes I open a pretty long message and I’m at work or out with friends so I don’t have the time to respond right away. I will get back to it later, maybe a few hours, maybe two days. It doesn’t mean I’m not interested, it just means that I have a life.
What we all need to take into consideration here is that this is a hobby. It’s nothing I get paid for and I need to make a living so it just cannot be my number one priority. If you pay me, okay, but if not, don’t expect me to drop everything and just come running to you. It doesn’t work that way. I’m under no obligation to respond to your messages five seconds later, in fact I’m under no obligation to respnd at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have a lot of respect for photographers. I take photos myself so I know the amount of work and money that goes into it. And getting beautiful photos of myself that I don’t have to pay for is a privilige. But for me it’s work, too, so don’t look down on me. I’d claim that we’re equally as important in this. You’re the artist and I’m pretty much the object, okay. I’m fine with that. But that doesn’t mean that you’re my boss.
Another funny anecdote. A photographer messaged me and I thought his photos were alright so I agreed to plan a shoot. Then he asked me to call him on the phone which was rather difficult because we were working at different hours. So I messaged him and to tell him I was working late one day – which I was – and then didn’t call the next two days because I was still busy. Then I was on my way to an appointment, waiting for my train, and got a message stating the time and the place I was at the moment and „you don’t look too busy or stressed out“. Like, what the fuck? How do you know if I’m busy? I’m on my way to an appointment, so OBVIOUSLY I’m busy? And sorry I forgot to write „stressed out“ on my forehead today. I replied that if he wrote messages like that one I didn’t want to shoot with him anyway to which he replied „I wrote you off days ago, you’re ’ambitions’ make me sick.“ I wonder why he felt the need to message me in that case, but whatever.

Getting rude private messages is one thing, but a whole different thing are public posts about people, with names and all. Public. Posts. Let me remind you there are mostly adult men in these facebook groups. And I’ve seriously seen posts like

„Don’t shoot with (insert name of model), I met her for a shoot yesterday and she was not only half an hour late but also didn’t bring the clothes we needed for the planned shoot. I won’t post any pictures from that shoot because I’m not at all content and can’t stand looking at them.“ 
And I get that people get pissed if someone is late or not dressed the way it was planned or forgets about the appointment all along, and so on. I get it. It’s shit behaviour and you just don’t do that, you’re wasting other people’s time. BUT! As grown ups, do we really need to make public posts calling those people out? Can’t we just tell the person in a private message or on the phone that we’re dissappointed, mad, whatever. And then forget about it, maybe warn our friends that that person is not very reliable, but not tell everyone in a public post. That’s something 12 year olds would do but when 40+ year old men do it, I just don’t know what to say. I get pissed in these situations, too. Somebody stands you up, somebody fails to message back, somebody is late, whatever. Unreliable people aren’t fun to work with. But I would never ever make this a public thing, that’s character assassination and something that’s shit when 12 year olds do it but even worse when grown ups do it. And the last time I checked, we were all grown ups. So let’s act that way and argue out our conflicts in private.

There’s talking anyway, when someone’s had a bad experience with someone else, they’re going to spread it around. And to a certain extend that might be human nature and we all gossip sometimes, me included. But the amount of bad things I’ve read about people in these groups is huge, and I know that there’s a lot of talking that I don’t even know about. Sometimes I wonder if anyone talks about me in that way, too, but then again, I don’t really care. I try to keep in touch with the nice people, the reasonably thinking people and the people who understand that there is always two sides to a story and you should really think about both sides in depth before making a public post about someone on social media.
And those who let their „success“ get to their heads and think it’s okay to treat others like shit now will eventually get what they deserve.

I just wanted to get this off my chest since all this bitching and hating on each other amazes me again and again. I get it, artists tend to be excentric and sometimes conceited, but deciding you’re an artist now doesn’t give you the right to treat people like shit.
 So what about you? Are you a model, are you a photographer? Have you ever experienced any of this stuff? Do you think I’m overreacting? I’m really curious about your experiences and opinions, so make sure to leave me a comment!

Also check out my facebook and instagram! <3

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen