Don't Be a Creeper: A Few Tips When Working With Models

This day and age, bad news or gossip spreads a lot faster than praise and good feedback, especially when you are a photographer that's been labeled as a creeper among models. Models and other professionals in the industry do talk to each other.

In this video, Brett Seeley and model Annie Parker chat during one of their photo shoots to share some tips on how to work with models more respectfully. While some of this seems like common sense, it still happens, and maybe, it's one hundred percent unintentional, but you don't want rumors that you are a creeper photographer going around. 

One very important tip that was left off the list in the video is regarding touching the models: it's best if you do not touch the model. What if you absolutely have to touch the model to fix something? There are two tips that are mentioned in the video that come in handy in this situation: communicate with the model and use an assistant or use the model's photo shoot escort. If you are clearly communicating what needs to be addressed and the other person is able to correct the issue, this saves you from any misinterpretation of the touching. Maybe you have a stronger relationship with the model and there isn't anyone else on set and if the model isn't able to fix the issue themselves; if so, ask before touching, and clearly communicate what needs to change and how you are going to fix it. 

What was the best tip in the video? What are some other tips worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments below.

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26 Comments

Michael Jin's picture

Really good advice presented in a hilarious way. xD

Brett Seeley's picture

Thanks for watching!

Jared Wolfe's picture

I heard its also good not set the model on fire or get them hit by a train. Just a couple other things to keep in mind.

EL PIC's picture

It’s hard not to be a creepier when you photograph creepy photos of women .. just saying.

Another favorite F Stop article and documents that will no doubt be long time Cherished

It’s just not your genre...

Eric Crudup's picture

Not really. Maybe for you.

Felix Valeri's picture

What I don't understand is why this topic is always one sided, Models do a lot of inappropriate things as well.
this topic and that video (though I did not watch) probably stems from the issue with Jason Lanier, in one of the videos he posted, there was a moment of inappropriate behavior by the model which was captured on film.
I have seen models show up to shoots tipsy or high, I've heard stories of them trying to sleep with the photographer, etc. I agree, get permission if you have to touch but also lets stop pretending like the only offenders are the photographers, my 2 cents.

Brett Seeley's picture

This was actually shot/posted before the JL stuff emerged. I’ve encountered many models who act inappropriately, but it’s def not 50/50.

Tips like "Shut up and don't tell us all that you hate how you look on this photo" ?

C Fisher's picture

Link to the video?

Brett Seeley's picture

Thank you for posting!

No problem, great video.

Brett Seeley's picture

Tony and Chelsea Northrup just referenced this video in their upload yesterday- thank you for being a part of sharing the common sense message. Some obviously needed a refresher.

"but you don't want rumors that you are a creeper photographer going around. " Damn straight except these days it's rarely jsut rumours is it? More often it tends to go straight a name and shame facebook post that wipes the photographer out. I've seen it happen to two local cosplay/boudoir photographers this year. Probably they both were creepers but both protest their innocence and it makes me nervous.

As someone who almost exclusively shoots female clients in states of undress it's something I'm hyper aware of. I try never to be on set without a female assistant. Never touch the model. Be very careful about involving myself in any "banter" on set. Generally there's a lot of that. I often get marked down as shy because I don't participate in these conversations. In reality I'm just being very, very careful.

A couple of weeks I was shooting a model who always refuses to use the provided change rooms and likes to strut around naked for much of the shoot time. At such a shoot I spend a lot of time reviewing earlier shots and being super careful where my eyes go at all times.

Andy Day's picture

Excellent comment. I had 'child and vulnerable adult protection training' a few years ago for a (non-photography) job and one of the pieces of advice was to always be visible and, if that's not possible, have someone else with you. As well as protecting the vulnerable person, it also protects you against false accusations and misunderstandings.

Don’t touch a model unless you are female.

That’s a feeling I have, seeing many female photographers working.

Kang Lee's picture

Even if you are female, there should no physical contact without asking.

Very good advice that unfortunately needs to be constantly re-enforced. I would add one comment, stay away from the hugs, professionals do not hug each other when working together. Set the tone with a formal introduction and handshake and leave it at that. You may become friends with a model over time and the relationship may change but always remember that they are your employee and you are responsible for their safety.

C Fisher's picture

Sees article called Don't Be A Creeper
Accidentally opens it in incognito mode

I think I failed already

Sweetie - I mean Ms Parker - seemed a tad creepy herself. So what happens if the photographer is creeped out by the model ? And staring at her chest could (possibly) count as a further creative evaluation.. Maybe better to shoot Brett in drag, just to be safe....

Inspired by JL! Nice job. #westandtogether ?

Andy L Media's picture

Isn't it a little bit creepy that there's a zoom in on that fitness model's ass at 9:07? :-)

James Lewis's picture

A little long in the tooth, but fun & well done. All truth. Missed the part about fixing model wardrobe but you hit all the right highlights.