For most guys, being a lingerie photographer must sound like one of the most enviable jobs around. After all, being surrounded by beautiful women parading about in next to nothing is not a bad way to earn a living. But most freelance photographers will tell you the profession is not all it’s cracked up to be. Find out some of the behind-the-lens details of the profession after the jump.
When not working his other job selling life sciences equipment, Singaporean freelance photographer Larry Lim lives a life behind the lens. For the last eight years or so Lim has made extra money working for a photography agency. The majority of his photo shoots are for weddings and corporate clients, with the income for each job varying between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. However, there are the odd occasions where a client may request a nude photo shoot.
Whilst Lim doesn’t necessarily complain about being surrounded by beautiful scantily clad women for lingerie or nude photo shoots, he insists, “There is a lot of hard work involved…When I’m in the heat of a shoot, I’m not thinking about how attractive the girls are. Instead, it’s all about how to make the best pictures for myself, for the model, and the client.” Well, if that’s not the epitome of professionalism right there.
When you’re paid to take photos of a bikini model or shots that involve nudity, one would think this might take its toll on relationships. Understandably, it wasn’t easy at first for Lim’s wife to come to terms with his profession. “My wife knew all along that I was in this business and yes, at first, she had self-confidence issues because she must have thought I might run away with one of the girls,” admits the photographer.
Another concern for his wife, you may be surprised to hear, is that her husband is often required to source his own freelance models for these kinds of photo jobs. It must be tough not to be suspicious or jealous of a partner that has to carry around a phone book that contains a long list of female contacts who are willing to bare all at a moment’s notice. But Lim has a unique approach to keep his wife from being jealous or insecure: he brings her along to the nude photo shoots as his assistant. “She knows she can trust me,” he says. Inevitably, he has no choice but to behave when his partner is keeping an eye on him as he works.
In addition, Lim also needs to rely on his own crew of lighting and make-up artists – not that he has any difficulty rounding up assistants to help him out. Indeed, many of his friends, and even strangers, are more than willing to volunteer their services and lend a hand on set.
▼ It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.
Most of Lim’s photos end up appearing in advertisements and various publications, he is aware that sometimes they crop up on adult Internet sites. In another incident, a man pretended to be a professional photographer using photos from Lim’s portfolio which later led to a photo shoot where the fraud asked for sexual favours from the models. Situations like this can jeopardise a photographer’s credibility and reputation. “I had to spread the word that I’m not that same guy because credibility counts for everything in this business. Word gets around like wildfire.”
With his reputation on the line, Lim is very cautious about remaining professional. Having a strong work ethic, focus, and a supportive partner has helped the freelance photographer develop his career in this industry. To succeed in this line of work, he offers three handy tips for budding photographers:
1. Have a strong portfolio and a proven track record. One way to gain experience is by starting out as an assistant to a professional photographer.
2. Communicate with the models to make the models feel at ease. Try not to hide behind the camera.
3. Be respectful. Models will appreciate it if you delete compromising images in front of them. And don’t share your photos privately.
Source, images: Stomp