I wish models and women in general didn’t have to be so cautious.
I wish the creative community was stress free, and anyone could work freely with each other to create beautiful things, explore, and create meaningful or meaningless art with the similar excitement we had when waking up on field trip days when we were kids.
Instead, we have to heavily research who we work with prior to working with them, we have to carry the weight of the fact that we may get taken advantage of, we have to prepare for the worst, we end up tolerating unacceptable behaviour because when it’s a “respected” and “loved” member of the creative community it’s a lot harder to speak out about our experiences because of the backlash we face and the victim shaming questions that are asked of us by everyone and their mothers.
Women and models become sex objects in the eyes of their consumers and the people working with them. Nearly every model I know (and I know many) has a story about sexual harassment.
It’s also common for models, including minors, to be put on the spot to pose semi-nude, in bras, and give sexual favours to powerful photographers who have a frightening amount of control over their careers.
Considering the fact that many models are vulnerable and young, modeling agencies have the responsibility to protect these men and women and I haven’t seen agencies do much. Not a lot of background check on photographers and other creatives, discreet dismissal of models concerns. I can almost understand why, model’s careers only last a decade while big brands like Zara and H&M will hand them their money for a long time. To the fashion industry, models are disposable. We are toys to be played with, to be assaulted, to flirt with, to ask on dates, to throw around, and to insult when we defy demands.
It’s a pretty open secret that creatives who work daily with beautiful women are often more interested in the women they work with than actually creating art.
Finding photographers that don’t make you uncomfortable is a continuous struggle for new models and anyone who wants their pictures taken, so I took the liberty of compiling a list of photographers here in Edmonton! It’s a list that I’ll always be working on 😀 Please feel free to use this as a starting point/resource. I’ve attached all of the photographer’s Instagram handles below!