Editor's note: the following is a tongue-in-cheek, often irreverent, question and answer column published in the ASMP News solely for the entertainment of our readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of ASMP, the local chapter or other ASMP members. All opinions and answers are solely those of the author, and he is welcome to them.

Readers' questions about any aspect of photography, or life in general, are welcome and Dr. Photography will answer them in future columns, if he happens to feel like it. Send mail to:
Dear Dr. Photography

Dear Dr. Photography,

I'm a student planning a career as a fashion photographer. I read a recent interview with a top modeling agency director, who said "Every model in her career finds a perfect photographer... who gets her to make love to the camera." I've heard this phrase countless times before. What's the point?

Learning in San Francisco


DP: The world of fashion is very strange, indeed -- but no more so than say, the entertainment industry. What you are dealing with are a tremendous number of people with huge egos, all of whom feel that they possess a chosen "vision." Each of them, of course, have their own theory about how to make clothing and the people who wear it come alive for the camera.

As a photographer, the idea of getting models to "make love to the camera" is simply to get them to interact emotionally so that the viewers of the final ad image see a personal connection with the subject, hopefully enticing them to buy. Please don't be foolish and take the phrase "making love to the camera" literally.

The one time Dr. Photography actually saw a model do this was not a particularly pleasant experience. A three-ton bull elephant seal took exception to a wildlife photographer's presence on his turf and charged. The photographer took off in the opposite direction, abandoning his Nikon and 600mm lens on a tripod. What the elephant seal did to the equipment was not what any sane person would call a "loving" act, although by literal definition, could be so deemed. Neither the images on film nor the resulting condition of the camera were exactly pretty pictures.

With that in mind, if you're still planning your career path, consider that life might be simpler if you just shot weddings.

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©1993 Scott Highton
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