Save & earn with MPB; trade-in and buy pre-loved

Taken on trust


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.
...Read More

Taken on trust

12 Aug 2020 8:56AM   Views : 632 Unique : 397


Working with models a lot, Iím used to trusting people Ė and they trust me. We work in each otherís homes, make arrangements to meet in outlandish places, send deposits (or turn up miles from home without a deposit)Ö

Novices will do well to pay it really safe and work in an established studio Ė this has the benefit of a built-in chaperone, as well as plenty of lighting equipment and advice. Everyoneís interests are protected, and itís well worth the extra cost of a studio.

Thereís one area where trust should be backed up by hard evidence, and thatís age. If you take nude pictures, as I do, itís important to understand that there are significant legal consequences that result from photographing anyone under the age of 18 without clothes. It follows perfectly logically that partially-clothed or suggestive images are a dangerous area with an underage model. And, quite apart from the legal consequences, would you really want to take such images?


The standard check is to ask the model to produce photographic ID, either a passport or a driving licence. And Iíd suggest that Ė for any model who is young or young-looking, itís well worth asking for ID and taking a portrait with the ID next to the modelís face.

Of course, there can be strong circumstantial evidence of age: a model who has been a member of a networking website for six years, and posting nude images of herself all that time is very likely to be 24 or older. Reputable websites take great care with these things, because they would be likely to lead to closure and a lot of legal hassle, even for an innocent mistake.

Itís not an area where Iíve had many problems: I tend to photograph slightly older models Ė they fit my aesthetic. But occasionally, I meet models who can look young in the right light, or who have a smaller, underdeveloped-looking bust, and in these cases I take great care. Once, a model contacted me, keen to shoot nudes in her home: as soon as I asked her for identification, the conversation ended. I drew my own conclusions, and you may well do the same.


Even if you donít take nudes, you may need to be careful. There are potential crossover areas of photography which can sneak up on you and take you unawares.

If you agree to take portraits of a friendís daughter, shall we say, itís wise to lay out the territory in advance and ask that a chaperone is present all the time. Itís not unknown for a girl of 14 or 15 to want to present a glamorous view of themselves, in a way that could be very difficult to deal with. Mum or Dad in the room should provide a deterrent to this, though itís wise to remain alert anyway. Remember, your country needs lertsÖ


Recent blogs by dudler

Focus scales

If youíve been taking pictures since before autofocus arrived, youíll be very familiar with focus scales Ė they are one of the primary controls on an old-school camera, and just one more of the things that you really needed to get right. With autof...

Posted: 27 Dec 2022 7:01AM

Porcelain processing

People commented on the look in my last post and it seems like a good idea to share the secrets for Christmas. I learned the technique several years ago: a modelís boyfriend told me about it, and a website that described it in detail: I tried it, l...

Posted: 23 Dec 2022 10:47AM

You develop your own films donít you?

If you have your own darkroom, or if you use film cameras regularly, there are always a few people who mention the attic. As in ĎGrandpaís cameras are in the attic. I donít even know if they have film in them!í This leads me to ask if I can have a l...

Posted: 16 Aug 2022 11:17AM

Choose your pond

Thereís an old saying about being a big fish and a little pond. Do you want to be the most important person in a small organisation, or are you content being a relatively small cog in a big machine? Itís the same in photography. With relatively mo...

Posted: 3 Jun 2022 2:25PM

Graduated filters

This is for Hannah, and anyone else who has come across the casual way that a lot of togs talk about one or two types of filter that landscaper photographers use a lot: graduated filters and neutral density filters. A graduated filter is one that i...

Posted: 25 Apr 2022 12:18PM


dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
12 Aug 2020 8:57AM
Top to bottom, models are Kittekat, Niki Flynn, Princess B and Shadowside. To the best of my knowledge, only Princess B is still modelling.
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.6k 684 England
12 Aug 2020 2:07PM
Proof of age is so very important these days where trust has lost it's meaning Sad
JuBarney Avatar
JuBarney Plus
12 36 7 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2020 8:14PM
What sensible advice and love your bottom image.

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.