Saying No

I’ve been debating about whether or not I should write about this incident. I’ve decided to, but leave it intentionally vague.

At a recent shoot, something happened that I wasn’t comfortable with. True, I never specifically said, “I’m uncomfortable with this” before the shoot- but I felt that it was something I should have been told about beforehand. It was iffy territory regarding my personal modeling limits.

My first thought was, “stop the shoot right now! You’re not comfortable with this!”

My second thought was, “well, maybe it’s not so bad.”

My third thought was, “don’t say anything, you’ll be 100 dollars richer after this.”

So, I didn’t say anything. I let the shoot keep going for a while. And then- I stopped it. It was just that point where I could not let myself go on feeling like I was feeling. I was fairly upset afterwards- a little at the photographer, who didn’t tell me exactly what the last set of images was going to consist of exactly- and a lot at me, for not stopping the shoot right away. When it comes down to it, it’s not worth putting yourself through shit like this just for some dough.

But it revealed a part of me that I’m not proud of- a part that puts money before her own comfort level, a part that’s scared to speak up, a part that I’d rather keep hidden from everyone, especially myself.

But I think that I have to write about something like this- this is one of the most effective tools I have for self-expression, even in a polished, limited fashion.

There will be another occasion when something like this happens again, and I hope that, next time around, I will be powerful enough to do what I have to do without hesitation, and without putting myself through needless distress.

Photograph by the marvelous Martini, and featuring the fabulous Isobel Wren. October 2006.

5 Responses to “Saying No”

  1. on 22 Dec 2006 at 7:11 amMoraxian

    Well put. You know you always have that right anytime we shoot, and you do have that right whether or not the photographer says so. Only 15 more days until our next shoot.

    Great photo of you and the indeed fabulous Isobel Wren, who was the Game Room’s Damsel of the Year for 2005. I was the very first photographer to put bondage photos of her on the internet, and once I did folks were all asking about her. Some folks have been asking about you too, and I’m sure we can get some shots that’ll get them excited.

    Enjoy the holidays, and I’ll see you on the 6th (the ropes await!)


  2. on 22 Dec 2006 at 2:17 pmB

    I’d comment more, but I have no idea what happened. However, sometimes there isn’t a clear, bright line between what is acceptable and unacceptable to people. And when someone cleverly pushes toward the unacceptable area, it results in a really murky, uncomfortable situation.

  3. on 23 Dec 2006 at 2:50 pmAnonymous

    i think modeling provides situations where morals and comfort come under more intense examination than usual. However, this makes dealing with them no easier. It takes a small amount of self loathing to achieve anything. Im sure there were times you tried to conform to others expectations before finding what you think is really beautiful (and i’d have to agree). Im sure this experience will be the same and recognition of where you don’t want to go will only enhance the path you ultimately choose for your art. I do apologize for the length of the comment, this is the first topic i felt i could do justice to with a contribution. Keep up the beautiful photos, don’t sell out and keep fighting the power! haha merry Christmas…

  4. on 24 Dec 2006 at 9:09 ammnmjr.

    It’s hard to comment on your situation without knowing the details, but I can say that I leave it to the model to decide what their limits are. I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate when I shoot, and it’s not fair to my creative process to stand around worrying if the model is within their comfort zone. To me, silence is tantamount to consent. I like to think that any model who agrees to work with me has a clear idea of their limits and the ability to make those limits known if the need arises.

    But that’s just me. I’m sure everyone looks at it differently.

  5. on 27 Dec 2006 at 1:42 pmBob

    It sounds to me like you’ve learned something about yourself. Knowing this (the temptation to compromise your feelings/values for the immediate reward of being paid) will only help you in the future. I can’t help but to think that, having read your blog for a while, this knowledge will make it easier for you to stop the shoot when you are uncomfortable. 90% of your reactions to a given situation are dictated by previous occurances of the same or similar situation. The fact that you did stop the shoot means it will be easier for you to do it in the future. More simply put, practice makes perfect.

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