I really hate having to deal with folks who claim to be professional and clearly don't hold themselves to those standards.
When I first started shooting nude work with Models at first I didn't do that work with any Models under the age of 25. I thought that people tended to have a good grasp on be an adult at that point in their life and that the decision. I soon realized that my universe of Models would be very limited since most people that modeled were under the age of 25. I also came to the realization that it was bigotry for me to assign such an unfair opinion about maturity. So that's when I adopted a case-by-case standard and developed a lead generation/booking process that would give me clues to their state of mind.
So I started to see patterns develop when communicating with Model that raised flags. These would include
Red Flags (RUN Forrest! RUN!)
- Sluggos (Model Managers/Agents)
- insist that I sign their legal documents
- striking out clauses in my Shoot Agreement
- unreasonable shoot demands (e.g. "I need a copy of all the images at the end of the shoot")
Yellow Flag (proceed with caution)
- insistence on an escort (sign of immaturity or unwarranted suspicion and fear)
- "no porn" clause
- any type of restricted use
- changing terms of the Shoot Agreement
- agency representation/booking through Agency Bookers
Seeing stuff like that requires that those issued be addressed before moving forward with booking a shoot.
Now anyone that knows me and knows how I do business knows that I am big on documentation and transparency. Anything agreed to will be in written form and we both sign off on it and you will know what I'm doing and why I'm doing it so there is no claim of ignorance or deception.
All of this is done to avoid what I call Post Shoot Drama ("PSD"). PSD happens when there is a failure of understanding by anyone involved in a shoot production or poor communication. When this happen the first person I hold to account is myself. Conducting a self inflicted postmortem is not fun in this situation but one of the things that I want to understand is where I may have been at fault and to hold myself accountable. If I miss a deadline or fail to communicate with someone then that's on me. If I feel that I did my part and that this was just a misunderstanding than I try to educate. Sometimes PSD can be attributed to semantics and clearer communication is needed to make sure everyone is OK with the deal. Then there are folks who feel that they can just change the rules of the game after the fact.
Despite my best efforts, some PSD happens. If it's not my fault then the usual suspect is a Model having a post-shoot change of heart after shooting nudes. Now depending on how you come at me you will get either the super-cool and understanding Rodney or the douche-bag asshole Rodney. Models who are successful at getting me to take images down or not use them do the following:
- take personal responsibility and show humility that they understand they are bound by our agreement
- offer a specific reason why they need to take the image down
- recognize that my time and efforts are valued by them and offer some form of compensation for that time
Usually I'm more forgiving with trade shoots than Model Paid shoots. With Photographer-Paid shoots, unless I'm discounting my rate for usage of the take, I don't use images from shoot that people pay me to shoot for them. If I'm paying a Model and they come back at me with usage concerns, then at a minimum I want my money back from the shoot, otherwise they have very little standing with me if they want me to take an image down or not use images from a shoot. I'm generally OK with taking the L on the time investment so long as there is a recognition by the Model that the investment is valued which tells me that they understand that I'm doing them a favor. I don't need for them to genuflect but at least show some respect for my time and efforts.
Model that are the least successful at convincing me to take down an image and get to see how much of an asshole I can be should to do any the following:
- flippantly offer to buy me off as If I'm some $2 whore
- come at me with general, non-specific, subjective reasons for needing me to restrict me from using a specific images or to take down images
- threaten legal action or physical harm
Normally my immediate response to this shit usually is a terse short non-specific, non-committal message. I've learn to check my ego and wait a bit before replying back if I feel it necessary. Often it's a waste of time to get into a back and forth when emotions are high. Another trick that a lawyer that I worked for taught me was to write up everything that you want to say in your reply and sit on it for 48-72 hours. If you still feel strongly about it go ahead and send a reply back but often everything that needs to be said usually ends up in the latter part of the message so edit toward that essential part. When it comes to Client or Model communications, I always filter my words with the thinking that if a jury were to read what I'm saying would they say I'm acting fairly and reasonably toward the person that I'm dealing with. The next question that needs to asked: is this message even worthy or in need of a reply? Sometimes by the tone of the message you know how the PSD is going to play out so why engage it? My Grandma once advised me to never pick up any ones shit because even if you quickly put it down the stench is still on you hands. Drama=OPP...other peoples poop!
I'm not down with that kind of OPP (yeah you know me!)...lol.
Now not all PSD is of the evil, 666 satanic variety. If it the Client/Model Ed type then simple boilerplate solves this issue. I'm talking about:
- desire to change the terms of usage post shoot
- post-shoot demand images for images from a Model-Paid shoot
- additional retouching of images
- not liking the retouch of the shoot edit
- doing additional retouching or crops to retouched images
- providing images for commercial use to third parties without my permission
Again which Rodney you get depends on how you come at me with your request.