I was not really planning to write anything today. I was scanning some ads on Craigslist and found the following:
…Lookin for women that are interested in dressing up in some sexy outfits for me to take pics of them with my car.
Must be willing to do some nude photos .
please respond with pics…
Compensation for a top quality shoot like this will be “no pay”.
Breaking this down in my mind I first think that it is just some doorknob with a camera, mirror or sketchbook – or maybe nothing whatsoever. It’s a dude that wants to see some T&A for free. Perhaps this person is just looking to get some free nude pics in his inbox. “Dressing up in some sexy outfits”… to take pictures for some random guy with some random car with no apparent reason to do it other than for the sheer thrill of posing with a car? And then the kicker: Must be willing to do some nude photos. Oh yeah? Why? For what reason other than “must be willing to”. I keep forgetting there’s an unspecified car involved. There’s the motivation.
Then I start thinking a little. I like to see women in sexy outfits too. I also do not mind an occasional nude. I never offer pay. I don’t even have a freakin’ bathroom here in the studio… I have to send them across the street. So, maybe this guy is not so different than me. Maybe he even has a bathroom.
Things like this cause me to wonder why I do what I do. I wonder if I think differently about shooting now than I did a few years ago. I think I am constantly thinking differently about it. This advertisement is again one of the constant factors that continue to shape what I think about an image, the people I work with, the goals I have, how I see things. In all of this there is never a real conclusive answer. My hope is that the progression is towards something positive. Positive not as in all happy smiley rainbows and unicorns images… positive as in things like a better understanding of light and light modification, a better understanding of my camera’s capabilities, keeping up with or at least learning more about the software used in post processing some of the images. Positive in telling a better story. Positive in pushing myself to show something interesting. Positive in working with other individuals that are open to going beyond the standard photomill portraits.
It gets harder for me to look at a lot of images that in my mind are lame. Lame for many reasons – content, composition, quality, clarity, theme, lighting and others. I also look at these images and try to guess where this person is as a photographer or a model. Perhaps they are just starting out. I’ll cut them a break. I was there too and often go back to crap quality images myself from time to time.
I have been very fortunate to work with some very nice people who in the end all just want some great image. Maybe more. Maybe the image promotes, maybe it sells something, maybe it is just an ego thing.
I also wonder who, if anyone, responds to these ads. I wonder why they do. I’ve got to think that there are different sides to this – there’s the spank material that the poster is looking for along with the slight possibility some babe or babe-like-wannabe person will pose with his hot car. Then there’s the – what… sexy side? What would motivate a woman to answer this ad? There are no examples of work. There is no offer for examples of work with a reply to the ad. So somewhere out there is some female that reads this and thinks “it’s been a long time since I broke out the sexy outfits so I could dress up in them and pose next to some stranger’s car- and then slip them off so he can get some shots of me nude”. Sounds like a damn fine and intelligent thing for anyone to consider.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to lure victims to the studio (still bathroomless, by the way) in my own way… with image examples and some better communication.