This morning I woke up to a text message from a former model asking me to take down a photo we shot almost a decade ago because her husband found it, and he was furious. The picture was taken before they were married, before they’d even met, and while it was certainly “sexy”, it wasn’t explicit. She was barely recognizable in the photo, and her name wasn’t used (how he managed to find that picture is a mystery since he’d really have to go digging to find it).
I did as she requested, and even removed another picture of her because I didn’t want to add to the domestic strife she was experiencing.
When we did the set, she was fine with it. She was fully aware of the message the photo would convey. We worked with her personal limits to create the photo I was after. And, as mentioned, there was nothing explicit about the photo except what the viewer filled in.
But years later that photo became a problem for her.
I have taken down pictures of models long after a shoot because:
- “My co-worker found them”
- “I’m trying to start a career in real estate, and those pictures come up when you Google me”
- “I got a job as a teacher, and I really can’t have those pictures online anymore”
Models, as you get started in this weird world of glamour, beauty, nude, or more photography, keep in mind that what you shoot today when you are 22 years old will still be around when you are 35 years old. Your future significant other may see the sexy pictures you did when you were care-free and in a carpe diem frame of mind.
The photographers you worked with may consider those pictures portfolio worthy, and may not want to take them down. You may have been paid and signed a release – in which case the photographer has no obligation to take any pictures down.
It isn’t possible to look into the future, but please be aware that what you do today will still be around long after today is over.