23 May 2014

Private Sessions and What They Might Entail

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
"Nothing is more dangerous than a friend without discretion; even a prudent enemy is preferable."
~ Jean de La Fontaine

This series of posts has a bit more depth to it than I thought. I was asked by someone who read the original post about my private sessions and I thought I'd go into a bit more detail regarding them. So in that post, I was referencing moments when I do indeed take money for my artistic nude work and I explained it like this:
"But before I go into details, let me clarify. I DO charge for my art nude work and sessions under certain conditions. Two, in fact. There are times that I simply cannot turn down a paying gig in order to shoot model nudes. So in those cases, when I need to be about my business, shooting nudes will also have to be rolled into my revenue-generating efforts. The second reason is when said model chooses not to allow me to display the created work for my own artistic purposes. In these cases, the model becomes a client and monetary compensation is necessary since this becomes a work for hire agreement. If I can't use the images for my artwork, then I can only participate in the requested session for hire."

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Enough people have seen my work and form their own opinions about it and me. I was having breakfast with a good buddy of mine just the other day and he mentioned a lady who spoke disparagingly about my work. Understood. I totally get it. Its not for everyone and these people have their own reasons. So that's understood and I can respect and appreciate that. I try not to take it personally. I don't always succeed, but that's cool too. I always get over it. No biggie.

From time to time, word gets out to someone who appreciates what I do. Whether from curiosity or a longing desire to be seen as an art nude model, I get calls and requests for my services as a photographer to assist in bringing these visions to fruition. I am reminded of one such mother who sought me out. She had already worked with two photographers in as many years to little satisfaction. Her efforts had only resulted in pictures of herself naked, but not artistic. She wanted to give it one last time and found me on a Google search looking for art nude photographers in Las Vegas. When she saw my work, it just seemed to fit. However she had one simple request. The images needed to be her's and her's alone. They were not for me to use for my own work. They were not for public consumption. And she needed assurances that her confidence would be honored. Thankfully, after meeting me, she felt comfortable enough to do this after I described to her how I worked. Her previous sessions were a few hundred dollar gigs with photogs whom she believed lacked the skill she believed she required. After hearing my fees, she briefly considered allowing me to use her images in my art just to avoid the costs (as many often do!), but quickly dismissed that notion and elected to delay her session for two months until she was able to accommodate my fees in her budget.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley

She was very pleased with the results. For my fee, we did 3 different sessions over 3 different days that took about a two weeks to shoot. Two of those days were day long road trips to locations but each were distinct from one another. I took enough images to edit 100 shots for a hard-bound photo book and it was then that she realized she had gotten her money's worth. I have never used her images. No one has seen them, unless she herself has shown them. I have no model release authorizing my use of her recognizable work. Her confidence and her business is her's alone and I'll not betray it. She modeled in poses that started out ultra conservative, but which became explicit by the second session. I didn't judge her. My job was to place her in situations and poses that reflected her mood which became emboldened as time wore on. I asked and she gave. I advised and she relented. All that came through trust.

"Every man has a certain sphere of discretion which he has a right to expect shall not be infringed by his neighbors. This right flows from the very nature of man."
~ William Godwin


Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
To date, I think I've done private sessions for reasons that no longer surprise or catch me off guard. A wife taking striptease lessons for her deployed soldier husband (non-nude...just pole dancing). A mother wanting to build confidence in her own body. A lady with 4 kids wanting to give her man a Christmas present. A woman with unique physical features for which she desires to see in a more positive light with hope that my artistic view of things can help her achieve that. More commonly, its someone who sees and loves my work and wants to be a part of my art. But because of certain community standards or employment risks, they need their confidence protected. Some have elected to pose with non-recognizable anonymous poses just to be sure and more confident. Then later ask me post their work on my blog, unidentified, just to see themselves discretely published on the web. I love getting these requests from friends of long ago that reconnect with me via Facebook or who come across my name on a Google search. I once shot a girl who, who last I saw her, was TEN years old, but is now an adult. She did a Google search for my son, saw my name and work, and contacted me. After finally reaching an agreement (and convincing me to do it), I drove 5 hours to shoot her. I'll travel anywhere on the planet.

I shoot a variety of sizes, shapes and ages of women. Two of my best shoots last year were of women in their 50's. Having a perfect body is not a requirement. A good attitude, however is. Telling me you want to work with me when you lose weight is almost a "never happen". Rarely has that ever worked out. I'm an "as is" and "natural as possible" photog when I'm at my best. Glammed up, boudoir, sexy and alluring poses are not my specialty. I don't need a lot of hair and make-up. Just come as you are and take off your clothes. Let me see you. Let me find my angles, spots, and looks. Then pay me and let me go to work. That's how many of my private sessions go. If you have more questions contact me and lets talk. [PhotoAnthems (AT) Gmail (DOT) com] We'll discuss availability, your interests, possible solutions, and fees. BTW, twice I've had someone speak ill of my work and then within the same year, discretely request my private sessions. So I do honestly try to never take it personally. You just never know what their objection are or when they might overcome them. Had I retaliated, I'd have never gotten the business and more importantly, not have these two good friends.


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