Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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4 Sep 2020 10:14AM   Views : 404 Unique : 266


Life altered a lot for most people when lockdown started: and perhaps models suffered more than most from it. Self-employed, and utterly dependant on being able to move around and associate with others in homes and studios.

On the whole, models and photographers are at opposite ends of the age spectrum: you need time and money to photograph people who charge for standing in front of a camera, and for studio time. Consequently, many of us are relatively well-off, older, possibly retired. Models are mostly young, and without a steady income, and they have suffered from a lack of work and income.

However, they are also enterprising and hard-working, so that they have found alternative ways to get a crust. A good number have followed the OnlyFans route to engage with their fans (that is, people who want to see them, and find out about them, rather than photograph them) and showcase a version of their lives. Some of you will have seen TV documentaries and newspaper articles about the risks and benefits – the stars of OnlyFans have got rich, and those lacking the necessary mental toughness and resilience have had severe problems.

One model who lives very close to me, in a flat attached to a recording studio started doing cleaning work there: and as we were short of someone to do a little housework every week, she now comes along every Friday – looking a sight less glamorous than when she’s been here to be photographed, but equally cheerful and hardworking. And for the record, she cleans fully clothed.

A lot of models have other jobs: one of the most lovely people I ever photographed kept her till job at Asda one day a week to keep herself grounded. Quite a few do extras work for films and TV programmes, and a few play bigger roles. Quite a few nurses and care workers model – as one said to me a couple of years ago, she gets as much for two hours’ modelling as she gets for an overnight shift at the local hospital as a care assistant.

The same person told me that she knew a few nurses who also work as lapdancers. Of course there’s a similar overlap with models – someone who can spend hours in silly shoes gyrating in her underwear is likely to find it positively relaxing posing in front of a camera. I have a memory of asking one new model (but experienced dancer) if she was OK – she was making little sighing sounds as she posed. Professional habit: apparently it encourages nightclub patrons to tip!

Many models are part-timers anyway, and treat modelling as fun, or a way of getting a little bit of extra income (and self-esteem). Hairdressers, accountants, leisure attendants. I have known a few models who have been training for higher-paid jobs: I think I’ve once photographed a medical student. And tattooists can find it very natural to be in front of a camera…

So here’s one for the people who work with models – without giving away any confidences, what’s the most unusual or surprising alternative employment any of your models have had?


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
4 Sep 2020 10:15AM
Usually, I post my blog and immediately post my image for the day - different today, as I have a few films waiting to be developed, and it's Film Friday. Around lunchtime, maybe?
JuBarney Avatar
JuBarney Plus
12 36 7 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2020 5:36PM
Love these shots, especially the bottom one.
nellacphoto Avatar
5 Sep 2020 7:48AM
Interesting well written blog

Colin Smile
philtaylorphoto Avatar
philtaylorphoto 22 334 2
6 Sep 2020 4:47PM
My son has a friend who is starting his part time wedding photography career. 2020 has just been a disaster. I wonder how full time studios are coping.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
7 Sep 2020 9:47AM
I haven't noticed any closed studios - yet... Many have started doing business again - the only one I've visited so far has forms to fill in and a forehead thermometer to check temperatures...
philtaylorphoto Avatar
philtaylorphoto 22 334 2
7 Sep 2020 9:50AM
If you could integrate a spot meter and thermo.eter?

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