This is not a pregnancy scare story.
Yesterday a candidate came in for her PROJECT: NO FEAR boudoir shoot. I was super excited, she was super excited… I don’t think either of us was really prepared for the backlash and onslaught of negative emotions after her shoot.
To be frankly honest with you, dear reader, this may have been the best one yet. Her photos were fire, she came with so much creativity and, and this is the most important part, she felt good after the shoot. When she told me that her perception of herself changed by the end of the shoot I nearly cried. That is what this project is all about for me. However, I would also like to be able to show off my work. Especially when the photos are just that fabulous.
My issue is that after the teaser was posted her brother saw, told mom and then all hell seemed to break loose. I took down the photo out of sadness for her getting berated but also because I knew this family. I had known this family for a long time. After taking it down though, I must admit to being kind of angry. These were my photos, my pieces art. I had a model release that said so. By law, I can do what I want with the photos, others be damned, but is it right? I don’t want to see this young lady get chewed up by her own family no less for the classy and confident boudoir pictures she came to create.
What to do?
Do I think it’s completely unfair? Of course. It’s unfair to me and to the model who came in and worked through mental barriers just to shoot with me that day. She was probably the most positive and and most willing to really embrace the spirit of this project. I have the right to show of the work but do I have the ability to turn of my emotions and not care what brash and unwarranted reaction she’ll get from her brother and parents and who knows who else? No. I’m honestly not sure.
The worst part of all of this would be that her teaser was basically fully clothed. She was in an oversized jersey, holding a football and wearing a SnapBack. There was absolutely nothing racy about her photo when compared to, say, literally anyone else who came in. I say that was a chuckle but, it’s still sad!
I barely slept last night because these photos, you guys, these photos are simply gorgeous. I understand that seeing you daughter or sister like this may be startling at first but try to get out of your head for a second and look at all of the confidence that was coursing through her. Look at the positive energy! Look at the sheer beauty and grace this young lady possessed throughout her shoot while managing to quell insecurities and worries. That takes work and it takes talent. She had both.
I’ve kind of steeled myself for the hate I may receive from her family. It’s unfortunate because this is personal on several levels for me. First level, I love the family. Second level, the model in question was brilliant and I very much want to show off the work we made. Third level, I am all about female empowererment so the whole situation really irks me. I have to be honest about that but I also have to say that it’s not my culture so, I will never fully understand. That’s the simplest way for me to put that statement. Forth level, YOU LITERALLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW GORGEOUS THESE PHOTOS ARE. It may be my best work yet and I can’t show it! The frustration is real.
If the degrees of separation weren’t so close, I would have said something along the lines of “sorry but you signed a release…” a while ago. This hurts. This just hurts. I’ve covered my ass but, who will cover hers? I don’t want be that photographer that ignores the plight of their models but, I have put a lot of time and effort into shoot and editing afterwards. I’m not just going to let the photos figuratively collect dust.
I will be dropping the set but, not at my normal time frame. She was excited to share these with you all and they will be shared. I hope that you all join me in wishing her the best of luck with all of this.