Fitness magazine covers seem to be getting racier every month, and many fitness models ask me if they really have to put themselves in compromising positions to get a gig.
My advice is never to pose for a photo that you’re personally uncomfortable with. I’ve done thousands of photo shoots, and if I’ve learned one thing it’s that the results of just a few hours of work will be around forever.
Before you say, ‘Anything goes,’ consider how you’ll feel about a photo in 10 years. You can also try the family test before agreeing to a job: Will your mother, father, children, siblings or grandparents approve?
Different people have different standards, and just because one person is comfortable with something doesn’t mean that you have to be. In the world of fitness modeling you can find a lot of fun and fulfilling work that falls within your standard of decorum.
Sometimes you get to a shoot and everything starts out fine, but little by little you find yourself wearing less and less clothing. All of a sudden you’re asked to put yourself in a compromising position with all your bodyparts exposed!
Do yourself and the photographer a favor. At least a week before the shoot, call the photographer or the photographer’s assistant and talk about what you’ll be expected to do. Find out what type of bathing suit you’ll have to wear (or not wear), if you’ll be posing with another model, if you’ll have to touch the other model and so on.
If you’re uncomfortable wearing a G-string, for example, make it known in advance. If you don’t want to pose with a topless female model out of respect for your wife or girlfriend, speak up.
You may be replaced for that particular shoot, but others will come if you’re persistent. It can be very discouraging to lose a job, but it’s a lot worse if you let a paycheck tempt you to do something you’ll regret later on. I can’t tell you how many models have come to me and said, ‘I wish I’d never taken those pictures!’
A photographer will respect you a whole lot more if you draw the line before the shoot takes place. Trust me: I do it every time, and my career has been the better for it.
If you’ve already taken some pictures you don’t want anyone to see, all you can do is contact the photographer and ask him or her to put them in the round file. If they’ve already gotten out and someone says, ‘Well, you’ve done that kind of work before,’ politely say that you’ve learned from your mistakes.
Editor’s note: Send your questions to [email protected]. His new book, You Too Can Be a Fitness Model, is available from Home Gym Warehouse, 1-800-447-0008 or www.home-gym.com.