Confessions Of A Nude Model- a wee rantette

14 Mar

In general, I’m of the ‘whatever floats your boat’ camp. If you have an unusual lifestyle, that’s cool as long as nobody gets hurt. If you have an odd opinion or two, again I’m okay with that as long as you don’t push it on me or interfere with other people (e.g. gay rights).
BUT… (yep, always a but)… you know what really grinds my gears?  When an article is written with the clear intention of being subversive or shocking while full of wrong facts, opinions presented as facts, and then presented as an ‘inside view’ of ‘what really goes on’ in somebody’s world or lifestyle. It not only makes me procrastinate (that book isn’t going to write itself!) but could risk damaging reputations. For example: THIS article here, written by that prolific journalist “Anonymous.” (That Anonymous- s/he really gets around!)
Now, I know it’s meant to be a ‘confessional’ piece and therefore it’s one person’s experience, but it is very interestingly presented as though this is the sad reality of the nude modelling industry. Let’s pick it to pieces…

The scene is set by taking you- the reader- right there to the centre of the action and adorning the paragraph with words like ‘terrifying’ and ‘sweaty’. “Loosen up”, says the patient photographer. Did he also rub his knees and purr “oh yeah, baby- you’re gonna be a STAR!”?

‘Anonymous’ was a twenty year old student when she first ‘took her clothes off for money’. Apparently, this may seem sordid- well, it certainly does now! Even more so as she introduces us to her friend ‘Tania’ (a pseudonym) who made some money “art modelling” for photographers. I wonder if it was a deliberate attempt to be bitchy, or a way of keeping Tania’s modesty by putting the words in quotation marks… Either way, the writer takes great pains to let us know that she was desperate for money.

First myth: While many girls may start by looking for some quick money, they learn very fast that modelling is not as easy as it looks and when you’re one in thousands of pretty girls, you need to stand out and take the time to either learn your trade or give up. One gripe I hear from photographers concerns girls who do two photoshoots and then try to charge £100 per hour. Often, the girls are misled- somebody has told them that they can earn hundreds from one shoot and so off they go- after all, if you’re doing it for money, you want to maximise your earnings, right? However, if you’re earning enough to make a consistent full-time living from this industry, you have most likely spent a considerable amount of time networking, practising posing, taking care of yourself and building up a client base. Though I could be wrong, as our friend ‘Anonymous’ says “I learned the tricks of the trade within a few weeks.”

So she joined Modelmayhem- good move. Networking sites are invaluable for getting a career started, though I’m not sure how she discerned which clients were “men with lucrative jobs who were willing to invest heavily in their ‘new photography hobby'”. There are those speech marks again…

“Despite this, I didn’t stop. The money was too good. After a while I raised my rate to $100/hour. Between interning, writing papers, and extra-curricular activities, I believed that I had no other choice if I wanted to be financially secure.” This sentence worries me for it tends to appear in tearful articles with names like “I was a teenage prostitute”. Now, I think we should do what makes us happy. In theory, I have no problem with stripping or porn so long as everyone is keeping safe and there because they want to be. To take on a job like that due to lack of money?? I feel that that is the line between fun and degrading. (And yes, I speak from experience- as a poor student myself, I walked out of an interview at a lapdancing club. I couldn’t do it- I preferred to work in a sandwich shop for less money and retain my dignity*).
*NOTE: I felt undignified because it passed my personal boundaries- not because of the nature of the work.

Poor ‘Anonymous’ regarded her body as a money making tool, which included keeping her hair long and not shaving her pubic hair. Why? “Most people don’t believe me when I say this, but a nude art model getting a Brazilian bikini wax is career suicide”.

I don’t believe you.


Yes, if being unshaven is your USP (unique selling point), then yes it may be a bad idea to employ a lady-gardener, but for an established nude model, there is very little that is truly career ending so long as you know how to market yourself, with the exception, possibly maybe, of getting a large tattoo.

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that the more people you work with, the greater the chance of having a bad experience. It happens, sadly, but rarely. If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll have heard it all before from me- there are ways to minimise your chances of such a thing. Our writer mentions the photographers who wanted to pay her for sex. Call it a hunch, but I feel that there’s a way she could have kept such propositions to a minimum. I never mentioned it due to the possibility of stating the obvious but…
Don’t have sex with photographers!!! Especially (and she quotes) “numerous photographers”. Models talk, photographers talk, stylists talk and iin the words of all those wartime posters, “careless talk costs lives”. Now, talk about career suicide! While it may increase your chances of being booked, it’ll be for the wrong reasons and the ‘mostly creeps’ statement will take on a knee-rubbing, purring life of its’ own- a side-effect being numerous propositions!
Now, when people socialise with other industry professionals on a regular basis, relationships do start (it’s why teachers always seem to marry other teachers!) but unless you’re sure, it’s generally best not to have sex with numerous photographers.
I never thought I’d have to say that!

And so we reach the end of our article, with a consciously poignant moment involving regret and some polaroids in a box. It’s a sad ending. I wish the writer all the best in her chosen path, but hope she can one day look upon her experiences without regret. I’m not claiming to have followed my career path perfectly- I’ve done things that were dumb as a brush, but I hope that when I’m no longer modelling, I will not only have my polaroids in a box but on my wall.

For now though, I’m going to be incredibly subversive and illustrate this ranty little blog with my clothes on!

Have some more pictures from MS-Photography in Berlin, featuring AM-Statik latex. Hair and make-up by me.
I’ve been thinking of this set as ‘Fireflies’- the sun was so, so hot I thought my latex was going to ignite, and though I didn’t see the little dust shafts at the time, I love that they’re here in the finished pictures. Magical! 🙂






13 Responses to “Confessions Of A Nude Model- a wee rantette”

  1. Romantic Dominant March 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I admire you. Truly.
    And you are beautiful even when you rant

  2. kxtphotography March 15, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Hi Roswell.
    I read your blog with some interest, I am one of those behind the camera types and yes I fall into the category mentioned of older men with new and expensive toys.
    My experience and take on it is somewhat different. I had taken shall we say normal photo’s for friends for a number of years and one asked me to do something a little more revealing for her Boyfriend. We did a shoot on a beach and she showed a little more than normal taste would dictate, not enough for page 3 I hasten to add. The Boyfriend was delighted as I knew he would,a request for a calender was made, which had to be shot in a studio as we both did not like the idea of a public display. Never having shot in a studio before I found one locally and met with the owner who showed me around. I was blown away and joined his monthly shoot club. First time shoot was an eye opener, I was told in no uncertain terms how to behave, what to do and what not to do. it was OK, I was petrified. The first hurdle Poses, what on earth do I ask her to do, I have never done anything like this before. I fell back on my usual stuff but after 10 minutes I was finished, we had another 50 minutes to go, a couple of clothing changes maybe.
    I was incredibly lucky as the model knew her stuff, went through her routine poses and was soon standing in a state of undress in front of me. We went through a number of outfit changes and lighting changes. My initial trepidation was conquered and I have to thank the Model for her help and patience.
    To cut a long story short the calender shoot went well and we had some great results. I still shoot models in the studio and this has taken my understanding of photography to new levels.

    I do have my own levels and standards, I find the girls who model are in the main brilliant, sound people who when treated with respect offer friendship help and advice. I have made a lot of new friends and appreciate their friendship and the time they give to help me get my ideas and theirs into the light of day. Mods/Togs are a great community and I find them mutually supportive and always willing to help offer advice and generally help us to get the most out of photography.

    With all people however in life there are always those who want to take advantage of others. I have come across a few of these characters but they soon get found out and end up friendless.

    I must also say I do like the images Roswell and enjoy reading your blog.

    All the best Kevin 😀

    • roswellivory March 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

      Hello there,

      That’s really interesting and I’m glad all is now going well. I have just returned from Malta, where I modelled at a photographic workshop (the first of its kind there) dealing with art-nude photography and focussing on how to speak to and work with models.

      That was one thing I particularly hated about the article- the implication that most photographers are creeps. I know very few without standards of their own. I’m not a great fan of the politics/nastiness that goes on in the forums, but at the same time, some (if not most) of my best friends have been people I’ve met through modelling.

      Thanks for the lovely compliments about my work- more pictures and stories coming soon. 😀

      R xx

  3. Helena, March 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    How do nude models deal with the posibility that people could have dirty fantasies with them?

    • roswellivory March 21, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      Hey there!

      Honestly, I don’t. There is plenty of free porn for people to find on the internet which people are more likely to fantasise over so I just don’t let the thought worry me.
      You can have a dirty fantasy about anything or anyone (there’s a fetish for everything after all) and so if someone is that way inclined, they are just as likely to fantasise about me wearing green shoes or my red hair. Or some othermember of the public’s green shoes or red hair.) 🙂

      R xxx

  4. James May 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Obviously the nude model is going to argue against the other nude model that had a bad experience. Personally I hate nude photography. It’s basically porn.

    • roswellivory May 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

      Thanks- your comment just gave me a great laugh, though I’m sad that you have clearly never seen proper nude art. Or proper porn, apparently!

  5. Will May 18, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    i am in love with your nude photography,
    you really are an artist giving me fantasy which even porn can not complete.
    i love fantasizing about you!
    and would love to explore all of you 😀

    • roswellivory May 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      Is it National Douchebag Day?
      What exactly makes you think it okay to say something like that to me?

      Hate to ruin that fantasy, but if you were to meet me in person and say that, you would lose some teeth. It is NEVER flattering to mail people your slobbering delusions. Ever.

      Just to reiterate; you are a douchebag.

  6. Torsten May 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    I just learned about you via ModelMahem and this is about the first post I’ve red from you – picked by random. I just enjoyed it! First of all you’re absolutely right and as photographer I may add you should not sleep with a ton of models either. It’s a relatively small business and news about someone being just a GWC travel fast.

    The mentioned article indeed is on the brink between hilarious and dangerous, playing with all the strange ideas people like James (some comments above) might have about photography, nude modeling and porn. Boy, the author of this piece really must have some problems …

    The greater picture that gets painted here is the analogy of modeling and prostitution, photography and drooling old sexists and of course doing any kind of work in ‘this business’ (note the marks) as a road to perdition (without the benefit of meeting Tom Hanks). In the end it leaves me wondering why I only have met models who really enjoyed their work and were out for some great art. But then they never asked 100$/h.

    I’m also quite baffled that I’m obviously about the only photographer who has not managed to get that “lucrative job” and is not willing to “heavily invest”, at least not the aforementioned 100$/h for a model feeling “like a piece of meat” for “creeps”. I rather work with models who have a sense for artistic expression – I always think it shows up in the pictures.

    Thus being said I’m sure I’ll follow your blog from now on – of course just for the interviews, as the avid Playboy reader would state (surely not, as your shots are great, too).

    • roswellivory May 28, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      Hello there!

      Thankyou for the kind words about my work and I’m glad you like my post!

      I agree about the article- my problem is that it gives the impression that this kind of thing is normal practice among professional nude models, which firstly is damaging to our reputation but also could cause problems for new models who do not know what to expect from the industry. And I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at James’s comment- If I remember correctly, it’s right next to another comment with the opposite idea (someone who thinks I’d like to be spoken to disrespectfully). Amazing.

      LOL!!!! I assure you there will be no 100$ per hour charges here… I don’t get out of bed for less than 1000$ (joking!) 😛

      And thanks- happy to have gained a new subscriber.

      R x


  1. Confessions of a Nude Model - One Photographer's Musings - April 6, 2016

    […] which was written and posted to her blog by another model who also poses nude, titled: “Confessions of a Nude Model: A Wee Rantette.” Both were very interesting reads. The latter much more so than the former, […]

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