Following up on Friday’s post about new face models being photographed topless for test shoots, I called a few bookers to get their opinions on the matter. Remember, this is specifically relating to unpaid test shoots with new face models. It’s not an argument about nudity in photographs or in fashion, but about new face models doing nude or topless test shoots. Okay? Okay. First up, I contacted a top booker in Sydney (who wishes to remain nameless). He said, “It does seem exploitative so early on in a girl’s career, especially if it’s just for a test. I wouldn’t put a shot like that on a girl’s card. I would always want to know prior to the shoot if nudity were to be involved. It’s not that common in Sydney. It’s not how I would promote a new face.”
Responses from Auckland agents, below.
According to Ryan Sharp from 62 Models, “We are extremely careful about what kind of work our new face girls undertake and nudity is something we would endeavor to protect them from. Nude photographs can be stunningly beautiful and many top models and photographers collaborate on these, however the model must be old enough, fully informed and aware of what it is she is doing, something I do not believe many new entrants into this industry are.”
Huia Ngapo, a model-turned booker: “I do not think it helps ANY model’s career to go topless be they new-face or an experienced international model. I think that it is incredibly unprofessional and unethical to encourage a new-face model to go topless in a shoot of any kind- regardless of age. At that point in a model’s career they are still being introduced to this industry and developing trust within the agency- model relationship. They are as yet unskilled and inexperienced in front of the camera. I expect my models to be very good at what they do, they get their work because of talent, devotion and professionalism – not because I have over-sexualised them as a marketing or promotional technique. If the model is over 18 and experienced, I will consider her doing topless IF I think that the resulting shot will be tasteful, beautiful and beneficial to their portfolio – if these requirements are met and I am satisfied the model will be well taken care of and treated with the utmost care and respect during the shoot then I will allow her to make the final decision herself.
“I know that there are certain people in this industry who have not only allowed but encouraged young girls to reveal themselves in an overly sexual way and it is these people that it is my job to protect my models from. As an agent I feel a strong responsibility to my models and their families to manage their careers with professionalism and respect at all times. I know from feedback I have received from major international and local players in this industry (Super Agencies, photographers, editors, stylists and designers) that nudity is not what creates a good model and it is neither here nor there in a model’s career. Any agency who tells a model otherwise is putting that model, her confidence, her trust and her reputation in danger – is this agent a good agent? Absolutely not. Should you trust them? Absolutely not. Do they have your best interests at heart? No. During my modeling career of 10 years I feel I had the best possible management I could have. I was protected, I was informed, I was managed. Correctly. It made ALL the difference to me and my family. It is because of this excellent management that I am now a booker myself, keeping my models safe.”
A commenter on the previous post had this to say: “I think young models should realise in NZ it most likely isn’t going to lead to a career. Plus with the increasingly imposing information age they are not going to be taken seriously in the workplace if you google their name and boobie photos come up.”
According to Amanda Betts at Red Eleven, “Undeniably, there are many photographers, men and women, who do want to shoot some of our talent, both men and women, semi/nude. Red11’s staff treat all job offers on a case-by-case basis as it is Red11’s company policy that we forward all work offered to our talent despite our personal feelings or opinions on the work. Having said that, we have never been asked by any of our clients to offer semi/nude work to anyone under 18 years.
“We have not yet had a case where a model under 18 years old has been involved in semi/nude work to my recollection. However, there has been one occasion where a model who had been modelling for over 18 months did a semi-nude shoot when she was in Australia which was done direct via her overseas agency and the model’s mother. We had no input in this matter.
“Personally, all of us here at Red11love many images that many of our photographers, stylists and models are producing for different reasons: because they are beautiful…or make us think or buy into a fantasy, break moulds and ideals…all sorts of things.”
Clyne and Nova have also been contacted, I’m awaiting their responses.
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