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12/14/2009 09:26:18 AM · #1
Every once in a while I just like to start threads to get some healthy debates going here.....well this may be one of those threads.

I think the number is about 40% of spouses meet at work. The number is higher for just couples who meet at work. But if you are a photographer who works with models it's frowned upon to ever hit on a model. As a young photographer, I got to thinking, is there ever a time when it's okay to ask a model out? If you and a model of similar age are getting along great at a shoot and sort of hitting it off, is it ever okay to cross the line and ask her out?

The most common reply expected is no....but a 20 something year old photographer shooting 20 something year old models, there are times where you two will hit it off or you are working with girls that you are attracted to. Would your answer be the same if it were a female photographer asking out a male model?

Two rules in your reponse:
1) Understand that this is not something that I'm doing, have done, or plan on doing. Just asking the question. So please don't post accusing me of doing anything this is simply a general discussion
2) This is not to be confused with asking a model for sex/pervsion/or anything of that sort...this is simply a discussion about DATING among models and photographers.

Thank you
12/14/2009 09:30:00 AM · #2
Models may assume it will destroy the professional relationship.

ETA: And you may be destroying it by just asking.

Message edited by author 2009-12-14 09:31:01.
12/14/2009 09:56:32 AM · #3
Most professional circles are very, very small and thus when hired on a professional basis, best to keep it professional. I am a horse trainer and have had a client ask if we could date.

I told him no, and why - I have a reputation to protect and didn't want to be known as someone who slept with their clients. (Should also add that I do not have my own facilities, I travel to their farm and work with clients at home). He respected my decision, and I continue to have him as a client.

Reputations are just too valuable to risk, even more so when it is a professional capacity.
12/14/2009 09:57:59 AM · #4
I met my wife at work. She wasn't my model then but she is my model now :)
12/14/2009 10:04:51 AM · #5
Originally posted by TrollMan:

I met my wife at work. She wasn't my model then but she is my model now :)

But she's not your only model. Others aren't so lucky ;)
12/14/2009 10:32:36 AM · #6
I met my wife at a bar. Does that count?
12/14/2009 12:20:47 PM · #7
Originally posted by danculwell:

I met my wife at a bar. Does that count?

Only if you were the bartender! LOL!!!

Seriously, if the relationship goes south, and the model gets mad, your reputation will be nil, because you DID cross the line.
12/14/2009 12:21:53 PM · #8
I've known several 'working' couples in the industry. Do not understand why you think there would be a debate on it or why because of this industry it wold be different than any other?
12/14/2009 12:22:25 PM · #9
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by danculwell:

I met my wife at a bar. Does that count?

Only if you were the bartender! LOL!!!

Seriously, if the relationship goes south, and the model gets mad, your reputation will be nil, because you DID cross the line.


Same shoe other side.... it is a two-way street ya know.
12/14/2009 12:30:33 PM · #10
Originally posted by danculwell:

I met my wife at a bar. Does that count?

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Only if you were the bartender! LOL!!!

Seriously, if the relationship goes south, and the model gets mad, your reputation will be nil, because you DID cross the line.


Originally posted by littlegett:

Same shoe other side.... it is a two-way street ya know.

Yes and no...if you date the model, you cross the professional boundary, period. What happens after that is to a certain extent irrelevant because you crossed that line.

You can't come back from that.

As far as the two way street thing.....yes, it's that way in theory, but if you think in the real world that any man that cries sexual harassment is taken as seriously as a woman in the same case, you're severely mistaken.
12/14/2009 12:31:19 PM · #11
Dan, so did I, having said that it was a Comedy "Bar".
I don't think it's a great idea, not only from a professional pov, but what's to stop her thinking later that you are hitting on other models once your dating/married? i.e. it's your Modus Operandi!
12/14/2009 12:50:49 PM · #12
I spend a fair bit of time with this particular model

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/615/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_461390.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/615/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_461390.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

but it's not really like a date or anything - we're just good friends . .
12/14/2009 01:01:49 PM · #13
I'm all for it..
12/14/2009 01:07:08 PM · #14
I am dating a professional photographer, but met him while looking for someone to go shooting with. We were both pleasantly surprised to learn how well we hit it off. And we've both modelled for each other.
12/14/2009 01:22:39 PM · #15
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by danculwell:

I met my wife at a bar. Does that count?

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Only if you were the bartender! LOL!!!

Seriously, if the relationship goes south, and the model gets mad, your reputation will be nil, because you DID cross the line.


Originally posted by littlegett:

Same shoe other side.... it is a two-way street ya know.

Yes and no...if you date the model, you cross the professional boundary, period. What happens after that is to a certain extent irrelevant because you crossed that line.

You can't come back from that.

As far as the two way street thing.....yes, it's that way in theory, but if you think in the real world that any man that cries sexual harassment is taken as seriously as a woman in the same case, you're severely mistaken.


A Model's reputation can be soiled just as quickly as a photographers. Funny though you automatically assume Male photographer, Female model roles. I know a ton of male models and Female photographers. I suggest sex is left out of the discussion if it is to be any type of decent discussion.

Also, you can come back. If you are a decent person and not a full-on jerk-off to begin with, you can and will come back. Ya know, stuff happens. People get together they break up. Its life. With 4 billion people on this dirtball, its bound to happen once or twice.

As for the OP, I see no issue. There is none. There is only issue where people want to make issue. You cannot choose who you love, you just do. If it is a love returned, then don't be the fool and refuse it simple because of some stone aged philosophy.
12/14/2009 01:36:46 PM · #16
Originally posted by snaffles:

I am dating a professional photographer, but met him while looking for someone to go shooting with. We were both pleasantly surprised to learn how well we hit it off. And we've both modelled for each other.


You *are* aware the discussion is specifically geared to professional models and whether it's OK for photographers to "hit on them", right? 'Cuz I can tell you, it's definitely something of a problem. In the same sense that superiors hitting on underlings in any workplace is a problem. For the purposes of the relationship, models are employees and photographers are bosses, and adding anything social to the mix makes it very volatile.

It may be less of an issue if it's an amateur hiring a model out of mayhem or something, but it's still definitely an issue. Models, in general, tend to be very good-looking individuals, so they naturally get hit on a lot more than ordinary mortals. It helps if you look at this from the model's perspective; ask yourself how annoyed YOU'D be if you had to fend off advances every time you went to work, and the principle becomes clear...

So my advice, for what it's worth, is "Don't!" Life is simpler that way.

R.

Message edited by author 2009-12-14 13:37:35.
12/14/2009 01:49:49 PM · #17
I think as long as there is a solid separation in personal and business, you can do what you want. I mean the shoot is the shoot, its not a chance for you to lay down game on a hot model, its work. But if after the business portion is done (and I mean completely done...images delivered, etc) that its ok to have a personal relationship with model/photographer.
12/14/2009 01:53:44 PM · #18
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

...So my advice, for what it's worth, is "Don't!" Life is simpler that way.

R.


I pretty much agree 100% with what Robert has said... with one small caveat, which I will address. During a shoot, I absolutely agree that the relationship is like any other manager-employee relationship. It's really never OK for the boss to get involved with someone who reports directly to them.
Now, the difference in this scenario is that the boss is only the boss for the duration of the job. I would see absolutely nothing wrong with the photog (whether male or female) to leave their card with the model at the very end of the shoot and let them know that there is an interest in a social meeting, *if* the model is interested. Leave it in the model's hands.
The bottom line is, after the job is over, there is no manager-employee relationship. If the photog met the model on the street, unaware she was a model, and asked her out, it would not be unethical. We can't expect people to ignore a chance at a lifelong relationship because someone once modeled for them.
12/14/2009 01:56:06 PM · #19
It happens...look at Gilles Bensimon and Elle Macpherson. They were married for years, but are divorced now.
12/14/2009 02:11:03 PM · #20
Now this is exactly the kind of debate I was looking for.....

Leggett, I glad you and NikonJeb bought up sex. I figured the answer debate would be different if it were female photographer and male model. Most people immediately assume male photographer and female model...which most times it is, but should that make a difference?

I have to agree that during a shoot, there should be no hitting on anyone. Both sides should feel comfortable during the shoot and shouldn't have to worry about that.....except during the shoot is probably where the compatibility is found. During the shoot is where you are having your conversations, making each other laugh, and bringing out eachothers personality (hate to say it, if you as the photog don't have a personality you probably are going to either a) make the model bored during the shoot or b) not be able to get his/her personality to come out on camera). In a huge production atmosphere is probably much harder to accidentally have that connection as you have several people on set...but in most of our situations where it's just you, the model, and maybe an MUA it's much easier to develop a connection.

I used to be completely on the side of you don't hit on the models EVER. And now my thoughts are starting to bend.
12/14/2009 02:24:28 PM · #21
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by snaffles:

I am dating a professional photographer, but met him while looking for someone to go shooting with. We were both pleasantly surprised to learn how well we hit it off. And we've both modelled for each other.


You *are* aware the discussion is specifically geared to professional models and whether it's OK for photographers to "hit on them", right? 'Cuz I can tell you, it's definitely something of a problem....
R.


True, Robert, and I guess I should have mentioned that I have been a professional model in the past (oh like half a lifetime ago now) and got hit on a couple of times by photogs.

Just to make things a little more interesting, so far it seems that most people are thinking the photog has hired the model. From my Advertising experience, it was often the client or agency responsible for hiring both, though if the photog had a certain model in mind they were certainly considered.

Furthermore, what if the model is the one doing the hiring? When I got hit on, it was by photogs I had hired to get shots for my portfolio, which pissed me off twice over in both cases. One, because they were being unprofessional, and two, because I was the one paying them. I was never supermodel material and they were certainly no Scavullos or Bensimons, so no harm done to reputations, but still.

Message edited by author 2009-12-14 14:25:25.
12/14/2009 02:40:16 PM · #22
I don't think there's a hard and fast rule that photogs and models should never date, nor should there be. After all, people generally spend most of their time working and it's reasonable to expect that they will be attracted to people they meet at work. Just like any other professional who dates a coworker, there are certain boundaries that need to be set up for how to keep things professional at work while allowing romance outside of work.

I do agree that "hitting on" models is cheesy and lame when taken in the "Hey baby...Your place or mine?" context that implies casual sex, one night stands etc. However, asking someone out for coffee or what have you in the context of developing a relationship isn't.

12/14/2009 02:40:32 PM · #23
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' snaffles, if I was flirting with my coworkers, I'd probably be flirting with the higher-ups, as would many others. First of all, if the subordinate hits on the superior, it can be seen as sucking up and the subordinate might get fired if (s)he steps over the line... the line being pretty far; if the superior hits on the subordinate, there's no way (s)he is sucking up, so it's definitely harassment and is dealt with in other ways with bigger consequences... and the line is crossed much sooner because of this lack of other potential reason for the behavior. So I think our culture (the world's culture, that is) has taught us that it's okay to flirt with the superior because you can mask it as sucking up, but not the subordinate because you can't mask it as anything. Second, there's this whole flirting with the boss thing that's come up that has to do more with the boss's status than the logical "looks like I'm sucking up." There are a lot of people who fantasize about their bosses or teachers (or cops) just because those are authoritative figures.

So that could explain why your hired photographers flirted more than those that hired you... the world taught them that's the way to go. The only problem is you're not a regular employer, but have a contract ...which may or may not include rules regarding harassment, meaning you may or may not be able to kick them out with no pay.

Message edited by author 2009-12-14 14:44:17.
12/14/2009 04:28:06 PM · #24
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

You *are* aware the discussion is specifically geared to professional models and whether it's OK for photographers to "hit on them", right? 'Cuz I can tell you, it's definitely something of a problem. In the same sense that superiors hitting on underlings in any workplace is a problem. For the purposes of the relationship, models are employees and photographers are bosses, and adding anything social to the mix makes it very volatile.

It may be less of an issue if it's an amateur hiring a model out of mayhem or something, but it's still definitely an issue. Models, in general, tend to be very good-looking individuals, so they naturally get hit on a lot more than ordinary mortals. It helps if you look at this from the model's perspective; ask yourself how annoyed YOU'D be if you had to fend off advances every time you went to work, and the principle becomes clear...

So my advice, for what it's worth, is "Don't!" Life is simpler that way.

R.

There will always be exceptions to the rule, but there are reasons why it's considered unethical to ask out someone you work with.......and the most predominant one is in case it goes sour.

If you have to work with the person you had a personal falling out with it gets messy, especially if there's a difference in the heirarchy.

I took the question to be hypothetical, and that the OP was asking as a general rule of thumb. If you want tyo talk about the occasional exception, tyhat';s fine, but if you want guidelines to keep your life simple, and to avoid the perception of impropriety, then the smart path is to not make any indication that there is any interest on a personal level.

There are plenty of people out there such that the old expression, "You don't sh*t where you eat." really comes to bear.

It's common sense, the path of least resistance, or whatever cliche you want to use to describe keeping your life simple and hassle-free.

In general, don't you find models to be somewhat tempermental, demanding, and having "strong" personalities? Are these qualities you're looking for ibn a life partner????......8>)

12/14/2009 04:40:09 PM · #25
Modeling and fashion is an industry centered around sexuality. Flirtatious interludes are normal and naturally result in casual relationships more often than you may realize. Photographers, stylists, choreographers, promoters and designers all participate on one level or another. It is the paradigm on which the industry is centered and is clearly visible when you are active within those circles. As long as you fit the persona and have the looks to back it up, you can get away with the foolishness quite easily. It is not as taboo as it may be in other professions because it is often an expression of power, influence and opportunity. The problem arises when you do not fit the current fashion mould as you will be labeled as predatory and repulsive. It is that extreme and that simple.

Relations with models are easy when they want to have relations with you. When they do not, then it is a serious breech of ethics and word may travel fast in the community.

"Survivor" is a perfect training ground for aspiring models and photographers.

You need to be suited to play the game otherwise it could get ugly.
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