Forums > Model Colloquy > Age of photographer -- does that matter ?

Photographer

Boreal Photography

Posts: 292

Portland, Oregon, US

Curious what models think on this topic? I am mid-fifty, though as anybody over 30 will tell you we stop aging mentally at about age 30, a cruelty of biology to feel 30 but be trapped in an aging body (I look at older and old people now a lot different, realizing inside they are 30 though their skin sags and their hair thins and the bones weaken). The nature of models is pretty much self-selecting for beauty and a young age range of 16 to perhaps 30 at most. So we have photographers of whatever age, and young beautiful models-- does the age of the photographer matter to you models?  Does doing photoshoots with photographers twice your age bother you? What about even much older photographers say 65+, would that turn you off or would you look at that as a plus at having someone with more experience and skill to help you the model improve your portfolio and career?  As a photographer, I am not looking to date models, just photograph them as I just plain love the visual arts (especially the human form) as well as other artforms (I write and also compose music). But in any other venue, it could look odd, dare i say a bit creepy, to pair up much older photographers and much younger beautiful models especially if of opposite genders. What got me thinking on this was reading a thread yesterday about how photographers find models, and how we photographers over a certain age wonder about approaching young beautiful models at e.g. a coffeeshop, as that can come off as a bit creepy given wide age differences.

Feb 08 13 08:33 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

I am a people person and love working with photographers of all ages. For me it comes down to simply creating a great image. When I look at the camera with whatever emotion I'm conveying (be it relaxed, sensual, happy...) I am looking at the camera, not the photographer. For me one of the great things about modeling is when you make it about the lens and not the person behind it you connect on a deeper level with every person who views that image. For example, on this shot

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121018/10/50804247bfca9_m.jpg

I had literally just met the photographer 20mins earlier. I've had a few people comment on how relaxed and trusting on the photographer I was which isn't exactly true. I relax and trust the lens (or I try my best to anyway)

I hope I don't offend any photographers with this as I admire your talent and skill, I'm just explaining it from my POV

Feb 08 13 08:42 am Link

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Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6308

New York, New York, US

If an old duffer's experience would be of any value to a young kid like you (I'm 76, shoot mostly nudes and pinups and most of my models have been between 18 and 25), I'd say don't worry about it.  Granted that NYC is a bit different from Duluth, if you are straight-forward and open about what you do and why you do it, you should have no problems, particularly with MM models.  Most of them, anyway.  You won't become their (pardon the expression) bosom buddies in most cases, although I have developed very nice friendships with a few of them, and in almost every case I've had very pleasant working relationships with the others.  Your portfolio will speak for you, as will your willingness to do a face-to-face meet to establish a comfort level.  Beyond that, I'd say just be yourself, enjoy your age and don't worry about any who are uncomfortable with it.  They will probably be too shallow to be good models anyway.

I've never tried soliciting models on the street, in coffee shops, etc. and if I were a woman of any age, I would be wary of anyone who did, whatever their age.  If you feel you need to get outside MM and the other networking sites, there's always Craig's List, but you'll probably do better with social situations that revolve around the arts.  They usually attract people who are less age-centric.  Volunteering to take production pictures for your local community theater, for example, taking an art class at your local community college or joining meet-up groups centered around photography might also help.

All IMHO as always, of course.

Feb 08 13 08:57 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36706

Columbus, Ohio, US

Chill.....you're thinking too much

Feb 08 13 09:03 am Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24315

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

i get older and older, but the models stay around 17-25yo...

creepy knows no age limits....
its a matter of your model being comfortable...

i have seen countless creepy young photographers and creepy old ones.....

http://i.imgur.com/m8TQi.png

Feb 08 13 09:10 am Link

Photographer

Ash Photographic

Posts: 378

Cirencester, England, United Kingdom

If you don't act like a creep then you won't be perceived as one.

I'm in my 50s and haven't had any problems because I treat my models as people and respect them and their boundaries regardless of age or what we're shooting.

Feb 08 13 09:13 am Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36282

San Francisco, California, US

I have noticed that only one model has responded in this thread even though we are in the models' forum.  This is mostly photographers saying:  "Don't worry about it."

I wonder what that means?

BTW, I am an old codger and shoot about 800 models a year.  I'd like to think it is my charm, but it is probably the fact that we pay them all.

Feb 08 13 09:17 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

GPS Studio Services wrote:
I have noticed that only one model has responded in this thread even though we are in the models' forum.  This is mostly photographers saying:  "Don't worry about it."

I wonder what that means?

BTW, I am an old codger and shoot about 800 models a year.  I'd like to think it is my charm, but it is probably the fact that we pay them all.

I noticed that too lol

Feb 08 13 09:18 am Link

Photographer

Michael McGowan

Posts: 3653

Tucson, Arizona, US

Models think I'm Santa. That's been a plus thus far.

One model told me she'd only shot with one guy under 50, not by choice, just by who was willing to work with her. These days, of course, we see lots of younger photographers who live in a digital world. I can see why young models would gravitate to that for artistic reasons. But the folks with disposable income who want to hire nude models in particular do tend to be older.

Feb 08 13 09:20 am Link

Photographer

CorrineAmentPhotography

Posts: 2

Laredo, Missouri, US

maybe we should ask Annie Liebovitz what she thinks..lol

Feb 08 13 09:21 am Link

Model

Saedcantas

Posts: 445

Saint Saviour, Saint Saviour, United Kingdom

The photographers age doesn't come into it whatsoever, quality of work however does! big_smile

Feb 08 13 09:26 am Link

Model

Kelleth

Posts: 2528

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I could care less about a photographer's age. What matters to me are that they are talented, nice and professional. That's it.

I've worked with photographers that were anywhere from 18 to 70.

Feb 08 13 09:32 am Link

Model

MatureModelMM

Posts: 1171

Detroit, Michigan, US

The photographer's age does not matter to me, it is their talent.  I am 60, started modelling at age 35 and over the years I have modelled for hundreds of artists and photographers.  The youngest were about 18 or so, the oldest 84.  On rare occasions a life drawing group will allow advanced high school art students to attend and draw nude models.

Out of the photos currently in my portfolio here, the most viewed and commented one was done by a girl about 19 or 20 at the time, and there is other work done by photographers who were around 50, and in their 60's.

When you work in group settings and classes, you do not get to choose the artists or photographers ages.

Feb 08 13 09:32 am Link

Photographer

AaronPawlak

Posts: 2708

New York, New York, US

Randall_Oelerich wrote:
Curious what models think on this topic? I am mid-fifty, though as anybody over 30 will tell you we stop aging mentally at about age 30, a cruelty of biology to feel 30 but be trapped in an aging body (I look at older and old people now a lot different, realizing inside they are 30 though their skin sags and their hair thins and the bones weaken). The nature of models is pretty much self-selecting for beauty and a young age range of 16 to perhaps 30 at most. So we have photographers of whatever age, and young beautiful models-- does the age of the photographer matter to you models?  Does doing photoshoots with photographers twice your age bother you? What about even much older photographers say 65+, would that turn you off or would you look at that as a plus at having someone with more experience and skill to help you the model improve your portfolio and career?  As a photographer, I am not looking to date models, just photograph them as I just plain love the visual arts (especially the human form) as well as other artforms (I write and also compose music). But in any other venue, it could look odd, dare i say a bit creepy, to pair up much older photographers and much younger beautiful models especially if of opposite genders. What got me thinking on this was reading a thread yesterday about how photographers find models, and how we photographers over a certain age wonder about approaching young beautiful models at e.g. a coffeeshop, as that can come off as a bit creepy given wide age differences.

I do think the mind slows down in the years after 30.

Why would anyone approach somebody in a coffeshop when we have modelmayhem to use?

Feb 08 13 09:41 am Link

Photographer

Boreal Photography

Posts: 292

Portland, Oregon, US

Kelleth wrote:
I could care less about a photographer's age. What matters to me are that they are talented, nice and professional. That's it. I've worked with photographers that were anywhere from 18 to 70.

+1 smile

Feb 08 13 09:49 am Link

Photographer

Boreal Photography

Posts: 292

Portland, Oregon, US

AaronPawlak wrote:
...Why would anyone approach somebody in a coffeshop when we have modelmayhem to use?

Just not so many MM models to choose from when a photographer does not live in a large metropolitan area.

Feb 08 13 09:51 am Link

Photographer

TouchofEleganceStudios

Posts: 5177

Upland, California, US

AaronPawlak wrote:

I do think the mind slows down in the years after 30.

Why would anyone approach somebody in a coffeshop when we have modelmayhem to use?

I totally disagree. For me I believe the mind slows down if you do not use it. I am 63 (well, for a few more months when I turn 64) and I am still extremely quick witted. I have had people in their 20's and 30's not able to keep up with my qicuk, I myen, quick witt......

smile

Feb 08 13 09:52 am Link

Photographer

Boreal Photography

Posts: 292

Portland, Oregon, US

AaronPawlak wrote:
...I do think the mind slows down in the years after 30.

Actually studies show the mind hits its peak 'wisdom' around age 50.

Feb 08 13 09:53 am Link

Photographer

Bilsen Galleries

Posts: 387

CORTLANDT MANOR, New York, US

I actually think my age helps in some way (I'm 60).

Every llama I work with can outrun me and half can probably beat me up so they are very comfortable shooting things they might not with someone more in their age category.

Feb 08 13 09:53 am Link

Photographer

Boreal Photography

Posts: 292

Portland, Oregon, US

AaronPawlak wrote:
...I do think the mind slows down in the years after 30.

Actually studies show the mind hits its peak 'wisdom' around age 50.

Feb 08 13 09:53 am Link

Photographer

Bearz Images

Posts: 816

Asheville, North Carolina, US

Age matters as much as someone's skin colour or race.

Feb 08 13 10:00 am Link

Photographer

Boreal Photography

Posts: 292

Portland, Oregon, US

Bilsen Galleries wrote:
I actually think my age helps in some way (I'm 60). Every model I work with can outrun me and half can probably beat me up so ...

Funny, lol. smile

Feb 08 13 10:26 am Link

Photographer

Backstreet Photography

Posts: 138

Salem, Oregon, US

Amusing story: one of my regular models brought her friend along one time, and the friend said to me: "OH MY GOSH, YOUR OLD".  The primary model said: "Mike treats me with more respect and consideration than my own boyfriend, and makes me feel more beautiful than my own boyfriend does".  She then told her friend to adjust her attitude since she will eventually be waking up each morning with an OLD GUY in her bed.  I laughed so hard i almost dropped my camera.  Age is nothing more than a number = we make that number positive or negative by our own perspective ~ m'

Feb 08 13 10:32 am Link

Model

angel emily

Posts: 1020

Boston, Massachusetts, US

No, but once I thought I had shot in lingerie for an underage photographer (who turned out not to be) and that thought kind of weirded me out because I wasn't sure if I could get in trouble.

Feb 08 13 10:35 am Link

Model

Paige Morgan

Posts: 4058

New York, New York, US

I could care less how old a photographer is.

I've worked with folks fresh out of high school and folks who have grandkids.


All I care about is the quality of the images he/she produces.

Feb 08 13 10:37 am Link

Photographer

KonstantKarma

Posts: 2513

Hickory, North Carolina, US

It does to model's jealous or insecure boyfriends. It's all fun and games until they realize I'm 26.

Feb 08 13 10:42 am Link

Model

Caitin Bre

Posts: 2248

Naperville, Illinois, US

If an older photographer approached me in a coffee, I would think kinda strange. But set up through a modeling site or so its expected.
How old well, if you can still stand up on your own that would be good!

Feb 08 13 10:51 am Link

Photographer

RachelReilly

Posts: 1730

Washington, District of Columbia, US

I am 24 and a female.. So I'm golden wink

Feb 08 13 10:56 am Link

Model

Caitin Bre

Posts: 2248

Naperville, Illinois, US

e m i l y wrote:
No, but once I thought I had shot in lingerie for an underage photographer (who turned out not to be) and that thought kind of weirded me out because I wasn't sure if I could get in trouble.

lol
I had a couple of college boys wanting to shoot for a school project! I had to keep asking them what the hell does cougar have to do with school projects? Thats when they informed me what the term meant. I never been called that before then. I was like oh great! (thats sux) LOL

Feb 08 13 10:59 am Link

Photographer

RachelReilly

Posts: 1730

Washington, District of Columbia, US

CorrineAmentPhotography wrote:
maybe we should ask Annie Liebovitz what she thinks..lol

Or patrick demarchelier
A lot of the best fashion/ portrait photographers are older (alive and dead)

Feb 08 13 11:01 am Link

Photographer

GeorgeMann

Posts: 1148

Orange, California, US

Rays Fine Art wrote:
If an old duffer's experience would be of any value to a young kid like you (I'm 76, shoot mostly nudes and pinups and most of my models have been between 18 and 25), I'd say don't worry about it.  Granted that NYC is a bit different from Duluth, if you are straight-forward and open about what you do and why you do it, you should have no problems, particularly with MM models.  Most of them, anyway.  You won't become their (pardon the expression) bosom buddies in most cases, although I have developed very nice friendships with a few of them, and in almost every case I've had very pleasant working relationships with the others.  Your portfolio will speak for you, as will your willingness to do a face-to-face meet to establish a comfort level.  Beyond that, I'd say just be yourself, enjoy your age and don't worry about any who are uncomfortable with it.  They will probably be too shallow to be good models anyway.

I've never tried soliciting models on the street, in coffee shops, etc. and if I were a woman of any age, I would be wary of anyone who did, whatever their age.  If you feel you need to get outside MM and the other networking sites, there's always Craig's List, but you'll probably do better with social situations that revolve around the arts.  They usually attract people who are less age-centric.  Volunteering to take production pictures for your local community theater, for example, taking an art class at your local community college or joining meet-up groups centered around photography might also help.

All IMHO as always, of course.

This 100%

Yesterday I was shooting one of our MM models and as usual was sitting in front of her on a stool, because I am old, slow, and handicapped.
I attempted to slide the stool backwards, but instead, the stool did not move and I fell over backwards onto the floor with feet in the air and holding the camera high.
Now, if I had been a young photographer the model would have probably laughed her head off, likely grabbed the camera and fired off a few, but instead rushed to grab my camera and help me get up, and was genuinely worried about me for the rest of the shoot.
I do not think being old was a drawback.

Feb 08 13 11:02 am Link

Model

Caitin Bre

Posts: 2248

Naperville, Illinois, US

I just now noticed something I have never paid any attention to in the past. Most photographers don't even post there age on there profile.

Feb 08 13 11:05 am Link

Photographer

Harold Rose

Posts: 2925

Calhoun, Georgia, US

Randall_Oelerich wrote:
Curious what models think on this topic? I am mid-fifty, though as anybody over 30 will tell you we stop aging mentally at about age 30, a cruelty of biology to feel 30 but be trapped in an aging body (I look at older and old people now a lot different, realizing inside they are 30 though their skin sags and their hair thins and the bones weaken). The nature of models is pretty much self-selecting for beauty and a young age range of 16 to perhaps 30 at most. So we have photographers of whatever age, and young beautiful models-- does the age of the photographer matter to you models?  Does doing photoshoots with photographers twice your age bother you? What about even much older photographers say 65+, would that turn you off or would you look at that as a plus at having someone with more experience and skill to help you the model improve your portfolio and career?  As a photographer, I am not looking to date models, just photograph them as I just plain love the visual arts (especially the human form) as well as other artforms (I write and also compose music). But in any other venue, it could look odd, dare i say a bit creepy, to pair up much older photographers and much younger beautiful models especially if of opposite genders. What got me thinking on this was reading a thread yesterday about how photographers find models, and how we photographers over a certain age wonder about approaching young beautiful models at e.g. a coffeeshop, as that can come off as a bit creepy given wide age differences.

Well here I am  75 plus,  and it seems pretty much the same as it was  50 years ago..  I treat my business on a  very high  professional level..    My customers know what to expect.   The models that I use  know what to expect.

I do not have time to treat Photography as a  play thing-hobby- sex tool!!!!!   

That said,  I do have a very enjoyable life.. many female friends.  (and male).  Some new models turn up for  commercial jobs,   and some become life long friends..     TRUST AND RESPECT   leaves a nice warm feeling..

I use 75 as a figure,   It is really 79,  and 80 in a couple of weeks..

Feb 08 13 11:08 am Link

Photographer

Harold Rose

Posts: 2925

Calhoun, Georgia, US

AaronPawlak wrote:

I do think the mind slows down in the years after 30.

Why would anyone approach somebody in a coffeshop when we have modelmayhem to use?

The mind slows down at 30,   I sure feel sorry for you!!!

Feb 08 13 11:11 am Link

Model

Caitin Bre

Posts: 2248

Naperville, Illinois, US

Harold Rose wrote:

The mind slows down at 30,   I sure feel sorry for you!!!

+1 lol

Feb 08 13 11:14 am Link

Model

angel emily

Posts: 1020

Boston, Massachusetts, US

AaronPawlak wrote:
Why would anyone approach somebody in a coffeshop when we have modelmayhem to use?

This is exactly how I was introduced to MM.

A photographer approached me at a coffee shop/cafe, handed me his business card, and hired me to model for his photography class.

Feb 08 13 11:17 am Link

Model

Yippieskip

Posts: 3

Los Angeles, California, US

It depends on the photographer, but for the most part I will say that yes, for me it definitely does matter. I put eroticism into everything I shoot and I'm sorry, but if you look old enough to be my grandfather, it's not easy for me to bounce that sexual energy off you.

Feb 08 13 11:17 am Link

Photographer

Harold Rose

Posts: 2925

Calhoun, Georgia, US

Caitin   wrote:
I just now noticed something I have never paid any attention to in the past. Most photographers don't even post there age on there profile.

Many of them lie about their experience..  So at least not two lies,,,

Feb 08 13 11:19 am Link

Photographer

Harold Rose

Posts: 2925

Calhoun, Georgia, US

Yippieskip wrote:
It depends on the photographer, but for the most part I will say that yes, for me it definitely does matter. I put eroticism into everything I shoot and I'm sorry, but if you look old enough to be my grandfather, it's not easy for me to bounce that sexual energy off you.

is your name "Lolita"

Feb 08 13 11:21 am Link

Photographer

PhotoSeven

Posts: 1194

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

Step Above Photography wrote:

I totally disagree. For me I believe the mind slows down if you do not use it. I am 63 (well, for a few more months when I turn 64) and I am still extremely quick witted. I have had people in their 20's and 30's not able to keep up with my qicuk, I myen, quick witt......

smile

Maybe they were just stupid  tongue

Feb 08 13 11:22 am Link