Take Control of Your Digital Life with Mylio Photos: Try It; It’s FREE

Who are you ? and who are they?


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

Who are you – and who are they?

13 Nov 2020 9:45AM   Views : 511 Unique : 340


It’s all about identity. I’ve written about screen names on EPZ before, and the fact that most of the models I work with use an alias for work. Some go further: a few have different aliases for different styles of work, and there was one whose name as I’ve posted here was different from the one she signed the model release with, and different again from the name she needed written on the cheque for payment.

Had she been reading spy novels? John le Carré’s characters required two levels of cover, so that one could collapse under interrogation, leaving a second lie underneath, with the truth still hidden… I suspect, though, that I first came across the idea in Oresete Pinto’s Spycatcher books – where I also found the concept of the soft interrogation, which Pinto considered more effective than the more coercive approach that fills so much fiction, and causes so much moral debate.


And there are some models who want to preserve anonymity, like the one in my gallery post today. For one reason or another, they want to be anonynudes. This may be a less successful strategy when they have distinctive tattoos or body features, as is the case with a couple of people I know.

And I see no problem with this: it allows some people to have work names that are highly descriptive of what they do, and in all cases permits the individual to be more authentically themselves when posing. Make no mistake about this – the choice of a model largely defines how the pictures will look, and not only in terms of physiology. One model will be sweet, girl-next-door, another will be mysterious and magical, while a third will be strictly alpha male and a fourth will exude raunchy sexuality through a computer screen.


There are some much more versatile models, it’s true: but all have areas in which their main strength lies. It pays to work with the grain, like a good woodworker: so if (after Lockdown 2) you are booking a model, choose someone who fits your idea of how the pictures should look – or, at least, be ready to use their strengths to make your pictures. (Though, just occasionally, you and a model may decide to play against type, and do something completely alien, possibly to both of you.)

Which may lead to the line of the Who song that was removed when it became the theme for CSI: ‘Who the **** are you?’


Recent blogs by dudler

Focus scales

If you’ve been taking pictures since before autofocus arrived, you’ll be very familiar with focus scales – 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 model’s 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 don’t 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 ‘Grandpa’s cameras are in the attic. I don’t even know if they have film in them!’ This leads me to ask if I can have a l...

Posted: 16 Aug 2022 11:17AM

Choose your pond

There’s 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? It’s 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 2.1k 2048 England
13 Nov 2020 9:46AM
Top to bottom, models are Stephanie Dubois, Ben.M, Lottii Rose and French Chloe.
JuBarney Avatar
JuBarney Plus
12 36 7 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2020 5:30PM
Super shots of all these models
GeorgeP Avatar
GeorgeP 16 62 26 United States
14 Nov 2020 1:43AM
An interesting series of thoughts. Of course, some requirements for anonymity go back a stage further – starting with those models that are happy to pose for a trusted photographer but don’t want their charms displayed to the general public. After that, there are diminishing levels of privacy but they all hinge on a level of trust between the model and the photographer. Given the irrevocable consequences of posting anything on the Web where there is no delete button and errors and embarrassments can last for decades, (or until Google forgets) the relationship between a model and a photographer armed with a digital camera and a web access is something that should be emphasized. The code of appropriate conduct and the levels of trust between the model and the photographer have expanded!
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
14 Nov 2020 8:35AM
George, you have said it well.

It's relatively simple when the model is paid and signs a model release: it's altogether different when pictures are taken for private purposes.

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.