Walt's Photography

Because sometimes you just want a nice photo of yourself...


JM01-LBD2-177-264 There's a common concern often expressed by models: they prefer female photographers to male ones. While personal safety is expressed as the rationalization, almost always the sentiment is coupled with a side note about photographers not wanting escorts present.

Several observations about this line of thinking:

One, if you're uncomfortable with a photographer, you shouldn't be doing a shoot — period.

Two, you should really be bringing an escort to your female photographers anyhow, especially if you go on location; what makes you think she isn't the 'front' and there isn't a load of thugs hiding in the back room.

Three, you should always do your homework, talk with with references, and make sure the photographer can be located. A photographer that hides their contact information isn't one you should be dealing with. Check references.

Professional photographers usually don't have a problem with bringing an escort or your pet elephant for that matter. What they do dislike is the photo session being disturbed. Here are the top annoying factors, even for female photographers:

  • The escort getting curious and messing with or breaking the equipment, simply getting in the way, or asking questions of the photographer during the shoot.
  • The escort wanting to be photographed as well. This includes "just a few at the end."
  • The model being distracted by the escort, whether by talking or looking to the escort for validation.
Explain these concerns to the escort up front and most problems vanish.

When someone brings an escort, I usually hand them a reflector which keeps them busy, fills their hands, and makes them have a vested interest in getting the job done. Babysitting an escort in this manner reduces risk of the top three issues, but the model is now getting far less attention and most likely, less photos. A good escort will stay out of the way and quietly monitor that no funny business is going on — although, after a short time, this will get very boring.

One other interesting point is worth mentioning. Some models get self-conscious (even professional ones) when someone they know is watching them; this can totally ruin a shoot, which ends up wasting everyone's time. If the escort sits in a waiting room only a shout away, often you can get around this problem.

The best solution I've seen is to bring the escort, let them sit on the sidelines until both they and you feel comfortable with the arrangement, at that point let them leave with the photographer's business card, the address they dropped the model off at, and a known pre-arranged check-in time for the model to call via her cell phone.

Having an escort call to check in is even the worse than being there, it totally breaks the pace to stop and dig through a purse. The escort should call if he hasn't heard from the model at the check-in time.

If you do bring an escort, let the photographer know in advance for logistics reasons – especially for location shoots – as if an extra person is riding in the vehicle, sometimes alternate travel arrangements are necessary (e.g., taking the van instead of the two-seater car).

Follow this simple advice and you should have no problem bringing an escort, thereby doubling the number of photographers and broadening your portfolio photo contents.

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