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How to Alienate Photography Models in Five Easy Steps

Back in June, I decided to try my hand at modeling.

Photo by Mila Ritz

Photo by Mila Ritz

Now, this is not completely new — I’ve been modeling for myself (with my mom pressing the shutter button, as I don’t have a remote and have never mastered the self-timer) for about six years now, on and off since I got my first (and only) DSLR. I’ve modeled for my blog and my Lookbook.nu and Chictopia accounts. Since March of 2013, I’ve modeled accessories and jewelry and clothing for small, lovely, independent designers and sellers. As a product review, I’ve modeled a thing or two for bigger brands.

But in June, I realized that in fashion and editorial photography — on sites like ModelMayhem and PurplePort — it’s the models who get paid. And if you know me, you know I’ve been on shaky financial feet for quite a while now. So I decided to apply to a few castings, little things, and then I opened second accounts on my sites for my modeling, and this week I’ve already done two shoots. Good ones, too.

Looks like I’m finally learning to tell people who’ll creep me out apart from those who don’t. I’m also getting better at risking asking for defined terms before I agree to a shoot. (Yes, this is risky. Keep reading to find out why.)

I’m still not a model — I’m not agency standard: I’m too short, my face is…whatever. That’s not the point of the post.

The point of this post is that I am a human being and a creative person, and modeling is one of my lines of work. I do it for money, I do it because it’s fun, and I do it because I have an exhibitionist streak. (I don’t do nudity. I blame the creeps for that.) I do it because I like to pose, and I like to pretend I’m someone I’m not. Like acting, but without my neck-breaking-fast speech getting in the way. Modeling is creative work that I — a human being — do.

Some people seem to forget one of those three things either before, during or after shoots. Which is a shame, especially when the photos come out nicely and you want to share them everywhere…but you kind of don’t want to give the photographer that kind of exposure.

So here’s a quick list of steps to follow if you want to be that kind of photographer. You know, the one I hesitate to admit I’ve worked with and will never work with again.

Note: Not all photographers work with models, and not all photographers find models using the same methods. If you only shoot landscapes or products or architecture, or the only person you shoot is yourself, this post is probably not for you. But the truth is, a lot of the steps here will also alienate clients, and generally people.

Note #2: Not all of these are about the same person. They pretty much all are about different people. And there’s much, much worse — disappointment is bad, but it’s nothing compared to actual fact harassment — but that’s a whole other post, and probably not the kind you’re here to read. So let’s ease into it.

Before the Shoot

Photo by Daniel Borman

Photo by Daniel Borman

Be vague. Don’t mention when you’ll pay, and don’t agree how much. Don’t mention how long you plan to be shooting or what type of shots you want to get. Tell the model to do whatever she wants and don’t mean it.

It’s fine if you mean it, and you’re sure you won’t be disappointed in what the model turns up with — but I’ve heard more than one photographer complain about how models “can’t style themselves,” or do their own makeup. This wasn’t about me. What was about me was the photographers who seem disappointed with what you said you would do, like they want more, or like they’re bored, or simply like they expected something different.)

Could have been avoided if you’d talked about it beforehand!

Dismiss concerns and make yourself into the injured party. I’m sure you’ve had bad experiences with models before. Really. So stifle the spark of empathy within you for what models have had to go through, and get angry and outraged when they try to set safety terms for themselves.

You’ve obviously earned the model’s trust in the three brief messages you’ve shared with her! How could she possibly be concerned about getting in a car with you, practically a family member now, or going to a private residence or studio without anyone to come along with her in case you turn out to be something you’re not? What a jerk! It’s all about you, after all!

Oh wait.

Also, you know, just get really offended if you suggest something like doing a private shoot and not sharing the photos afterwards, and she doesn’t trust you to do that. I’ve never seen someone leak nudes of someone else without their consent before. Never ever. What a ridiculous concern. (sarcasm, people!)

During the Shoot

Photo by Eric May

Photo by Eric May

Keep a tight lid on your camera. Look, I get it. Sometimes I, too, am hesitant to show my work to clients as I shoot and before I edit, in case the photos aren’t turning out quite up to my standards.

I’ve never got that feeling from anyone who’s ever refused to show me the photos they’ve taken, though. I suppose it doesn’t help when it comes after them telling you they’re the photographer and you should shut up and look pretty. Maybe not in those exact words, but the message is loud and clear: The model has no say in what she does, and no suggestions are accepted.

Despite being a part of the creative industry and working with photographers all the time, she has no clue what looks good or how she looks good. You know better. So just ignore her. She’s a nice prop, isn’t she? Pretty little prop.

After the Shoot

Never send photos back, or don’t give a timeline of any kind for them. That way the model is prepared to wait forever, and if she messages you asking for the status of the project, you can get annoyed at her. Weren’t you vague enough? You paid her, and the terms of what you’d do with the photos were fully unclear, so there’s absolutely no reason she should hope to see anything.

Never mention her name. So you got exactly what you were going for! Congratulations. You love the photos you took, they’re just right, you’re having a blast with them, and you’re putting them up everywhere. The MUA is credited, the stylist is credited, and you are credited.

The model…well. I guess she just didn’t stand there for three hours getting her makeup on and pose for three hours trying to give you the right angle, and the right emotion, and the right mood. She didn’t come up with a whole story behind the styling or really get involved in the creative process in any way at all, so it was basically like shooting a chair, and you wouldn’t credit a chair. You don’t even know the name of the chair! I mean, you follow the chair on her social media channels and know exactly where to link her name, but that’s not the point. The point, my dear, is chair.

old chair - HDR

Photo by socrate78

If you follow all these steps, or some of them, you’ll find yourself with a model who is at minimum disappointed and at maximum really upset. Or angry. Anger and upset go hand in hand, don’t they? She may ignore you forever, or she may badmouth you all over social media, which would be her prerogative, especially if you didn’t bother to sign any agreements. She may feel really uncomfortable and off during the shoot, which will make things difficult for everybody — most of all her. She won’t be able to follow instructions properly because she’ll be thinking about whether you’re actually going to pay her. She’ll be off her game because she’ll be wondering if she’ll ever even get any of the photos back. And she’ll go back home, and feel gross, and give up on offering lingerie because even that increases the likelihood of discomfort by a lot.

Or she’ll have a fantastic time, and she’ll see the pictures and love them, and look forward to sharing them, and engage with you… and after four times not seeing her name anywhere you post her face, she’ll start reconsidering that stance. Because who wants to credit someone who doesn’t give them any credit?

We’re all human, here. It doesn’t cost us anything to start treating each other like equals. So let’s do that.

Lix Hewett

Lix Hewett is a multi-passionate creative: photographer (fine art and freelance), model, graphic designer and writer. She lives in London. You can connect with her through her blog or any of her social media accounts.
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  • Totes.

  • Reader

    This was an interesting article. I especially agree with not making your models uncomfortable. You shouldn’t make anyone uncomfortable but especially not people who need to trust you so you guys can work together to do your best work.

    But some of these, especially not having clear terms set out before hand, in terms of what is expected of the model and what is expected of the photographer in terms of credit or turn around time, are things that fall equally on the model’s and photographer’s shoulders. It takes two to make a contract and if the photographer doesn’t bring it up because they don’t think to, then the model should. If the photog drags their feet or refuses, then the time for the model to back out is then, before the shoot – you’re obviously not suited to working together and will only waste each other’s time.

    Credit is tricky. Pick up any store catalog, the models there aren’t credited by name. If you’re modelling for an ad, the business is going to put that ad up and they’re going to want to promote themselves, not you. That’s something you should discuss before you agree to take a modelling job – the photographer in those circumstances might not to be able to promise credit, though, because they’re not the ones in control. The business is. But you should get pictures for your portfolio. So while your name might be on the ads, you should have a picture of the ad in your portfolio to show prospective clients that you did do the work.

    Taking a peek at the photos during the shoot is so personal, and dependent on circumstances and time restrictions. If we only have a short period of time to get a shoot done, the model needs to be modelling, not looking over my shoulder, kwim? Like you said, models know modelling better than I do. They should know what works best for them and what their best angles are, they shouldn’t need to be checking the photos so far to see if they’re achieving that. If it’s a more casual shoot, then sure, doesn’t bother me.

    • I agree with a lot of this, actually, or admit it as truth anyway. The thing is that just because things are one way, that doesn’t mean they can’t be another BETTER way. The thing is that I’ve had photogs blow up at me for asking for a contract or more safety, and while it does help tell the bad apples apart, it’s not exactly enjoyable. It’s a risk for me bringing it up, esp when I need the money. And the thing is that someone not only not showing you photos as they go (which is fine, but which can actually also help the model model better because diffetent shoots require different things, and experience doesn’t mean you’ve stood sat lied down leaned on every door window chair bench fence ever) but also shutting down every suggestion of a good shot is incredibly rude and arrogant.

      (Yes, trolls, I too can be rude and arrogant. But that doesn’t make any of what I’ve said here less true. It just lets me know you’re more interested in attacking me than in making the creative industry better for everyone.)

      • Reader

        I feel you on needing the money to the point that you put up with stuff that you don’t or at least shouldn’t have to. But while you do risk the contract bringing it up, remember it’s not just models that have a choice to back out. The photog might not be backing out because you brought up a contract, but because the way you (not you personally, any model) did it suggested you’d be difficult to work with or you wanted terms they weren’t comfortable fulfilling. It’s better to part on good terms before you’ve both invested time and money in something not usable. I think you’re only going to give yourself grief if you expect things from photogs they haven’t promised but at the same time don’t let them know you’re expecting those things before hand.

        I hesitate to bring one more point up because I don’t want to be lumped in with trolls, but on the point of credit and linking back to you… not many brands are going to want to be publicly associated with someone who publicly talks about fantasizing about stabbing people. If violent fantasies are a coping method for you, I’m not trying to invalidate that, but violent talk can be uncomfortable and potentially triggering to others, and those others are the people that business is targeting as clients. Yeah, maybe they should have scoped out your social media presence before they hired you and not hired if they weren’t comfortable crediting, but you know, businesses have needs and budgets and deadlines too and maybe they couldn’t afford to turn the photog away anymore than the photog could afford to decline the job. A clearly hashed out contract would have solved that, even if the solution was that the shoot was cancelled.

        • Oh, I do push for contracts. But not everyone does. Because it’s risky, and it’s uncomfortable. And the last thing I want to do is blame someone who got screwed over for not pushing for a contract when they had the most to lose. Believe it or not, it’s not always all about me.

          I’ve actually been thinking a lot about the violent fantasies a bit and I’m going to give you that one. I have a locked twitter and I can use it. But I still want to use my platform to bring up the bullshit that goes on — even if I commit bullshit myself on a daily basis. My failings don’t absolve others of theirs, and they don’t render me unable to see shit when it’s in front of my face. Or to be upset and angered by things.

          • Anna

            Your grandmother is also a human being. Regardless of what you say here, it is quite obvious that you have one set of rules for yourself and one set for everyone else. I’m not blocked on your blog so I have no idea what you are talking about. You have a lot of growing up to do. The world does not cater to you or your whims and it never will. If you don’t like modeling, simply don’t offer your services as a model. Your expectations are very unreasonable especially considering that you rarely live up to the expectations for opportunities or jobs you are given. How was the Notting Hill Carnival today? You’ve said you had to attend but I see you didn’t even leave for the event until it was practically over. Not a surprise.

          • I fall short of my own expectations a lot, and that doesn’t mean I don’t blame myself or hold myself to the same standard. It just means I make mistakes. I also see other people make mistakes. If only people who never make mistakes were allowed to call other people out on theirs, the world would be even worse than it is right now. I’m not asking for perfection but empathy and respect, and I don’t have to be a bundle of goodness to say that empathy and respect are great.

          • Reader

            I don’t think anyone is saying you don’t deserve empathy and respect – well maybe some people are, but they’re wrong and you know that – but that since you value empathy and respect so highly, you should, you know, practice what you preach? You appear on Twitter at least, Twitter not being the sum of who you are, no one can know what you really think, only what you post etc, but you APPEAR to have very little empathy and respect for others (calling their work shitty; fantasizing violently about who annoy you; wishing your grandmother would die; getting mad at your landlady for nagging you when she’s done you a solid by letting you have a payment plan; being late to things, even just ten minutes!, instead of respecting other people’s time; asking to be given opportunities but flaking on them and not going when they are given).

            You don’t have to be perfect all the time but your message would be less hypocritical if you tried to live up to some of the things you REQUIRE from other people before they can interact with you because they deserve it as much as you do.

          • Anna

            What I am saying is that anyone who wishes their grandmother dead simply
            because they don’t want to share a room with their sister does not seem
            deserving of respect or empathy. You can not travel through life with such an obvious
            lack of empathy and respect towards other people but insist on it for yourself.
            You should discuss this behavior honestly with your doctor as it is definitely
            not “typical” or “normal” by any stretch of the imagination.

          • Wow, you’re still going on about that single comment that one single time? I’ve already apologized for it. She never read it (she never would have) and I was under a shit ton of pressure. Living with my parents and rooming with my sister is ridiculously hard, which you don’t seem to believe at all, so I don’t know that you’re the right person to be preaching about empathy, if I’m not. At least I’m willing to admit I’m not great at it. Most of my empathy is more common sense than actual heartfelt stuff. I was actual fact tentatively diagnosed with Asperger’s once and I kinda check all the boxes.

            Also, a lot of what I advised in this article is stuff I’m taking to heart myself as a photographer. And I’m always striving to do better. I’ve got nothing else to tell you.

          • welgelofme

            Good point!! Bloggers were paid to be at the event with their new LG G3 phones! I went and had a blast! Plus I was paid to be there and take piccies with my phone!! She didn’t take any because she arrived when it was over + don’t see any from today either! I’m gonna complain to LG cuz it was in my contract and why should she get a phone and get paid for nothing!!!! She’s always begging for free stuff pretending it’s for PR!! #carnivalview #LGG3

  • Celine

    When Lix works with someone and things don’t go her way she tweets about wanting to murder them or stab them in the eye. She often doesn’t even get out of bed or shows up hours late for jobs and then goes on a twitter rant and blames the other party for her problems. She talks bad about everyone but nothing is ever her fault. I think she should grow up before she starts giving others professional advice.

    • A lot of things are my fault. I actually haven’t showed up late to a shoot in what, two months? Save for one I was ten min late, and then I got TRULY slandered in a major way that made me lose a gig. The thing is that this article applies regardless of my failings, which I’m more than okay acknowledging – otherwise you wouldn’t know about any of them.

  • Guest

    I think is a little sad that somebody who claims to be a professional photographer ends up writing an article using photos that are not taken by her…

    • That’s just how stock photography works. Also, I didn’t want to point fingers at anyone who’s worked with me – believe it or not, this fed on my experience to advise, not to insult.

      • Celine

        As someone mentioned above, you really are delusional. I’ve seen you trash Gidi Meir Morris both here and on twitter and also Lauren Pearl Lingerie. You point fingers and publicly attack other creatives every single day because they don’t want to cater to your childish, unprofessional behavior.
        As you stated in this very article –
        “She may ignore you forever, or she may badmouth you all over social media, which would be her prerogative, especially if you didn’t bother to sign any agreements.”
        It’s about time someone called you on your bullshit.

        • You don’t know the situation with LP but I don’t believe I’ve trashed GMM? I wanted a bit more credit, but other than that there is nothing to trash. That was one of the only tfp shoots I’ve done since I started modeling and one of the most comfortable environments I’ve worked in. And the pics were great. So…

          • Celine

            Add liar to your list of personality flaws then. Parts of this article have already been removed, have they not? Like the type of print being sold and the price he was charging for it? You were definitely referring to GMM in a VERY unflattering light and even if his name wasn’t used you gave more than enough information to identify him. I do know the situation with LP quite well, at least your side of it. You tweeted about it on the 17th of this month and you did use her name. She hasn’t credited you by name on instagram, hasn’t given you any shout-outs, hasn’t used the photos you took on her website, the photos on her website were “f***ing shitty”, she gave you no travel fees, etc. Have you ever thought that maybe the photos you took were unflattering, poorly done, and just not useable for her needs? I feel for anyone who gets involved with you and doesn’t realize beforehand how horrible you behave when things don’t go your way.

          • Yes, I removed some specific stuff that wasn’t necessary to make my point and pointed to him. I did it for him, not for any other reason. The LP shoot was def not good in many many ways, some on my side – but the only pic I commented on was one I took and they somehow turned into lowres pixelated jpg. Which it was not, even if it wasn’t a work of art.

            I bought my camera in 2008, by the way. I went pro last year, pro meaning getting paid for it. Plenty of room for improvement and growth, but I’m not going to qualify my photog status to make snobs feel better.

          • Marie Tucjer

            But some of us DO know the LP side. You were horribly unprofessional and rude, You think because you bought a camera it makes you a professional. Have you even ever read a book about photography? Complaining about nightmares making you late… pleaseeeee.

          • I was late and I’ve never denied that. But I was only rude in response to rudeness, and I wasn’t exactly allowed to create shots, was I? I felt like a puppet, so I don’t think my education or equipment mattered in the slightest. I’m also pretty happy with some of the pics I took, thank you. And I’m a huge supporter of accessibility in art. What a lot of criticism you guys hurl my way comes down to is “you don’t have a degree”. Well, no. If you want to sponsor me going to uni, be my guest. As it is, I work with what I’ve got, and I’m pretty damn proud of myself. Flaws and all.

          • Celine

            You’ve already been to uni and slept through all your classes so had to drop out. Why would anyone want to sponser you for anything? Maybe you should apply for a job and work for a living like other people instead of begging for handouts and free swag on twitter. I personally don’t care if you have a degree or not and don’t think that has anything to do with being a professional. I also think you should stop using that as an excuse for why people call you unprofessional. Your behavior is the reason you’ve earned that reputation and that’s under no one’s control but your own. I actually find your landscapes and nature photos appealing but your shoots with people are for the most part unflattering.

          • I didn’t sleep through any of my classes. I dropped out of uni because of social anxiety, and then again because I couldn’t afford the tuition.

            I actually do work for a living. I don’t actually get paid for doing nothing, when I get paid for things. I feel like I’ve been having this same conversation with different people for the past two years.

            I’m pretty new at shooting people, but I’m excited to get some practice in.

          • Celine

            Nightmares? Really? I’m not a bit surprised she was late though. I’d actually be shocked if she had been on time.

      • So you paid the 150$ for the top image? Looking at your twitter feed, I doubt it.

  • And that’s me done for the weekend. Keep insulting me and ignoring the valid points I made in my post, I know how that thrills ya.

    • claire jones

      We are still waiting for the valid points. The problem is you do not educate yourself, you just think you know how to do it. You even admitted on your twitter that you copy other people’s design work. Also your photos aren’t that great. Go to the library and LEARN how to do it. Read a book. There are certain things that need to be known that can not be self taught. You blast anyone who tries to help you and give advice. You get mean and abusive.

      • Yeah, I have a hairtrigger temper when people tell me to pay money I don’t have for classes I don’t have time to take.

        The valid points are all in the article, which is about how photographers shouldn’t treat models. You just want me to validate my life to you instead.

        Do you know that people learn and grow their skills all the time? I didn’t wake up one morning, said, “This is it, this is what I do, I’m not going to learn anything new” and went on my merry way. You learn while you’re shooting, and while you’re planning to shoot, and while you’re editing, and basically you’re always learning as long as you’re thinking about and doing the thing. Sometimes, believe it or not, I even pick up books to learn more! I know, shocking! I’m perfectly capable of teaching myself things using all kinds of freely accessible stuff like BOOKS. Mmm books.

        • Celine

          I see you just went on another twitter attack only this time it was against higher education. Your extreme narcissism apparently keeps you from believing that anyone could possibly teach you anything. You know more than uni professors, more than your parents, more than your doctors, more than anyone. Yet you still can’t manage to pay your rent on your own or get your life in order. You’ve had how many paying modeling jobs in your life? Two, three?
          Yet here you are trying to tell experienced photographers that earn a living with their camera that they should give someone like yourself the ability to control a photo shoot because otherwise you’ll get angry and upset and make their life difficult and trash them on twitter and FB. You really do need therapy, if only to help you realize that you are not the center of the universe or the special snowflake you believe yourself to be. Seriously, try not to sleep through your next appointment.

          • Sue Tally

            Why are you even following her on Twitter if you hate her this much? With all the stuff you’ve said on here on has to wonder: what went wrong in your life that you need to hate on a person – you presumably don’t even know – this much?

            At this point she has made it very clear that the point of this post is NOT any of the mistakes she made, but how to treat a model (or any human being for that matter): with respect. If you cannot comprehend that then you should just stop commenting. Also she has already said she keeps learning new things (and one would assume even the books she picks up haven’t been written by herself) so there are your “other people she listents to” – yes, she might not listen to some random troll like you, and that makes you sad, but get over it and stop with the constant repeating of stuff that isn’t even relevant.

          • Celine

            Sue to the rescue! You obviously don’t know her very well, do you? Maybe you should start following her on twitter so you can read about how she wants to stab and murder people who don’t give her what she wants. Or better yet, why don’t you pay her rent next month and that way she won’t have to bother with making fake suicide threats until she rakes in enough donations? It’s super nice that you want to be her friend. Good luck!

          • Sue Tally

            But who are you?
            There is a link to Lix’ blog at the bottom of this article. I can see her twitter feed, I can look at her portfolio. You claim to know so much, but I have no idea who you are. What are your credentials? I can look at Lix’ pictures and I find them appealing – I can’t look at anything you have ever done, because you are hiding behind a mask of anonymity. Why should I trust some random stranger more than a person that is very open about her life? You could be 14 years for all I know, you could be 54 – it doesn’t matter, because I can’t see you or your credentials, so until you give prove of your “higher knowledge” why should I listen to you?

          • Celine

            My real name is Taylor Swift. Feel free to google me. I care not a whit who you trust or listen to or what your opinion is on anything. Tally ho!

          • Pammy

            How can you write a post about respect when you have no respect towards anyone else? You are defending a person who wishes her grandma would croak so she can inherit some money. A person who guilts her poor destitude mother out of money with fake suicide rants. A person who the minute she realizes she can’t get anything out of you will trash you on social media.

          • Sue Tally

            I don’t know if any of those claims are true – I highly doubt it to be honest – but I am not defending her as much as I’m trying to make you guys see that all those things you claim are not the point of this article!

            The point is that models deserve respect and even if you feel that people who don’t have respect don’t deserve it (which is a very limited world-view btw… you know the whole ‘throw the first stone’-thing?) that’s still not what this article is about! You’re personal hate towards the author are not what is relevant. Her education isn’t relevant. Her mental issues are not relevant. This is simply to state “if you photograph people, work WITH them and don’t just use them” – as a photographer can you honestly say that’s not a true statement?

          • Andre

            Sue says: This is simply to state “if you photograph people, work WITH them and
            don’t just use them” – as a photographer can you honestly say that’s not
            a true statement?

            That is a true statement, and I agree…to an extent. This article is littered with personal rants and is so ill-conceived it’s hard to get past that to find what the real message is. Its passive aggressive tone makes it uncomfortable, and does not do models any of the justice that they truly deserve. It kind of gives them a bad name. Who wants anyone on their team spewing vehement bile in such a unprofessional manner? It was a nice concept for an article but completely failed to get its message across because of the author’s underlying agenda.

          • Andre

            Wanted to add: This really should have the sub-title “How to Alienate Photographers in Five Easy Steps”

          • Celine

            So true, Andre. Lix Hewett doesn’t have the professional experience or credentials to speak as an “expert” on this subject which is why so many people are calling her on it. She is convinced that she’s the center of the universe so takes offense at everything. I’m not sure if you read the original article before she amended it but it was even more damaging and offensive than what appears here now. Narcissists always have a personal agenda.

    • “You’ve obviously earned the model’s trust in the three brief messages you’ve shared with her! How could she possibly be concerned about getting in a car with you, practically a family member now, or going to a private residence or studio without anyone to come along with her in case you turn out to be something you’re not? What a jerk! It’s all about you, after all!”

      This argument can be made for the photographer as well. I don;t know you and now you insist that another complete stranger be present around my super expensive gear. I’m now outnumbered two to one and have to spend half my time watching him or her from the corner of my eye to see if he/she is going to walk off with one of my flashes, bodies, lenses … instead of concentrating on the shoot.

      “You’ve obviously earned the PHOTOGRAPHER’s trust in the three brief messages you’ve shared with him/her! How could he/she possibly be concerned about letting you and your unknown companion in his/her private residence or studio? What a jerk! It’s all about you, after all!”

      You are a member of model mayhem? Hit the photographer boards and read up on the horror stories:

      Companions being disruptive, getting into fights with the photographer, stealing gear, bringing their own camera to shoot over the photographers shoulder …

      The companion is more than welcome to drop you off and pick you up after the shoot but they are not sticking around DURING the shoot.

      Trust me, I understand the fear … there are a lot of creeps with cameras out there but that’s why you do some research.

      • Amanda

        Eric, you make a good point. If Lix Hewett is fine with stealing images, she may have no problem helping herself to equipment that does not belong to her. This entire article smacks of entitlement. Is there a DO NOT HIRE list floating around out there for models and photographers? She’s being added to mine.

        • Most modeling sites like ModelMayhem prohibit the publishing of a black list and you could end up in legal trouble for creating one so it;s not worth it.

          When someone Googles her name when researching her for consideration for a gig, they’ll find this article and will think twice about it .. I know I would.

          When you Google her name now (along with the word model), this article and the re-print in PetaPixel shows up on the second page. That’s not good for her.

          • Amanda

            Thank you, good to know!

  • B.L.

    As someone who follows Lix and interacts with her sometimes through Twitter in blog chats, enough to maybe be called a friend or friendly acquaintance, I feel bad that I agree with some of the points in these comments.

    The articles general point about treating models fairly and like human beings is very true and something I support but the tone of this piece veers in a personal passive aggressive voice at times. It’s not really helpful or good to read that tone in an article.

    i’ve always been rly uncomfortable and disturbed with Lix’s violent tweets. I understand that perhaps it helps with anxiety so I’ve never said anything but I always feel really uncomfortable reading her tweets about punching or murdering someone. They may not be serious intentions but it’s uncomfortable to read these wishes of physical harm. I definitely think it’s unprofessional on social media and shouldn’t be done. If I were the photographer she was wishing harm on, I would be so scared. I agree that Lix shouldn’t have went on that 10 tweet in a row trashing of the company too.

    • B.L.

      As someone who left a abusive house, I would think that Lix too would understand that verbal abuse especially one for physical harm is something that shouldn’t be done often.

      • Anna

        I’ve also been friendly with Lix for some time and had sympathy for her until I started to notice a pattern in her behavior. At this point, I do not believe her father was actually abusive. It appears that he has little patience with her mental illness and is frustrated with her behavior. He may expect her to get out of bed and work instead of sleeping all day but that is hardly abusive. I’ve noticed that Lix seems to view abuse as any behavior that does not support her 100% and allow her to do and say whatever she wants. My support of her changed when she made a series of tweets wishing that her grandmother would just die so she would not have to move in with their family and force Lix into sharing a room with her younger sister. Mental illness is never an excuse for that sort of psychotic behavior. At this point, my sympathy lies with her family because they obviously don’t know how to deal with her and she continues to take advantage of their concern by threatening suicide so they will give her money. It’s quite a mess, isn’t it?

        • B.L

          I’m not going to judge if she was ever abused because that’s not my place. I also don’t know about death threats about her grandmother. I remember her annoyance at her grandmother but never wishing her death to come so idk.

          But I can that if Lix truly as abused at home, then her violent tweets now is terrible behavior. Horribly insensitive and troubling.

          I followed Lix on Twitter and other sites because I’m also someone who has mental illness issues and suffered from abuse. However, as these violent tweets become to pop up more often, I had to unfollow her. Her violent wishes sounded too much like actual threats my abusive parents have made and triggered very traumatic memories for me. I only found this article from her FB that I forgot to unfollow. She was complaining about the people in this post.

          The reason I’m bothering to comment is because I remember seeing Lix’s campaign to go to London and escape an abusive home. I bought things from her shops as a way to support a fellow abused woman but her verbal abuse at UK ppl now is something I feel bad for having a hand in. She’s left her own abusive home and is now spreading angry verbal abuse to people. It’s very scary and uncomfortable to read about. The fact that she first resorts to physical harm is especially horrific. Freelancing is frustrating but no one deserves violent tweets against them.

          I regret doing my part in fiscally supporting Lix now because it seems like she’s fallen into the sad habit of the abused turning into the abuser. For someone to promotes mental illness acceptance and urging people to be respective of people’s state of mind, she readily disregards her own advice and verbally abuses any one who annoys her. What if these photographers were as sensitive as her anxiety wise? How do these kind of threats do to these people? It’s awful. Don’t call yourself an abuse survival and ask people to fund you for it then go around spreading verbal abuse. It’s extremely disrespectful for people who have been verbally and physically abused.

          I don’t even want to comment official with my accounts because I’m afraid Lix will blast my twitter user name as a troll and want to punch me or something. Her verbal abuse is scary. Whether she does it in a locked account or a public one, I hope she understand the effects her violent words may have on people.

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  • Jeffrey Howarth

    Thanks for the advice. I have some for the model too. Grow your eyebrows back in and let the stylists decide how to groom them.

    • I’m actually doing that. :) It’s hard because I have an actual disorder called trichotillomania, but it’s got better since I started working with MUAs who made me feel better about my eyebrows. Who knew?

  • @lixhewett:disqus Curious – did you pay the $250 licensing fee for Mila Ritz’s photo at the top of this article?

  • I’m curious … did you get a license for all those images in this post?

    • I checked earlier – the top one is the only one that requires licensing – the others are (sadly) all Creative Commons with open use.

      • Hey Bob!

        That’s great that you’re so much concerned about licencing of the photos –
        it’s really important. I’m glad to inform you that not Lix, but me used this
        photo for the intro as I’m doing marketing for Photodoto. We have an official
        permission from Mila to use this photo for our article. So, don’t worry – all
        rights are reserved!

        • @nancy_its_me:disqus Hi Nancy – It’s good to hear that you have gotten clearance from Mila; though I think she would be embarrassed about it’s use in this case.

          I’m curious how you can publish the article that is so out of touch with what is the reality of the industry. This is filled with bad advice for beginner models, and will likely hurt their careers if many of the expectations put forth here were followed.

          I’m not saying there aren’t some problematic personalities (on either side of the camera) – but this isn’t an advice article as much as it is a rant coming from the author’s own (self-admitted) inexperience. As someone who’s been a professional photographer for nearly 30 years, and as someone who has worked as models’ advocate for over a decade, Ms. Hewitt’s article, and the subsequent comments and links that lead others to read her abusive/violent missives on social media sends the wrong message to models and photographers alike.

          If your site is about education, it should be sending the right message with accurate information about how the industry works, not setting false expectations for those beginning their careers. Afterall, becoming a model (especially a freelance one) is starting your own small business, and should be treated as such. Some of the attitudes expressed in this piece are far from neutral, or educational, and in many cases the opposite of how the real world works. It is a disservice to the audience it is trying to reach.

          • Thank you for your feedback, Bob.

            I do appreciate it, and will definitely take into account your thoughts in future. Also, I do appreciate your experience, after browsing the web for a while, I see that you have worked for LIFE, New York Times, and other great publications.

            Anyway, I think that the site like Photodoto that is oriented on amateur and beginner photographers who has just started their way to success these tips would be helpful.

            When it comes to Lix’s article, she said what she thinks and wants to say, it’s her own opinion with which you may agree or disagree, anyway, all these tips are subjective. And it’s up to you to follow these tips or not. I would like to offer you to write for us, but I’m afraid that our small month budget could hardly cover a fee for one piece of advice from you. Anyway, despite the small budget and other stuff we work here with enthusiasm and we do love photography and writing. And it really hurts to read comments like yours, Bob :( I put my soul into this site. Thank you for understanding!

          • Andre

            There’s nothing wrong with an opinionated article as long as it’s well written and not littered with obvious hidden agendas. I actually balked at the fact you paid someone to write this. It’s a personal rant for a personal blog. Not appropriate for your site in any way, shape, or form. Sorry. :/

          • Nancy, thanks for your comment.

            Please take these notes in the spirit which is intended, and that’s as help, not criticism.

            Education is my point; if the site is for beginners, then they should be getting good, accurate education. I’m a huge advocate of correct information; I mentor several up-and-coming photographers (one in fashion, one in corporate, and one in journalism); and the information photographers and models get early on can be critical.

            In educating, it isn’t enough to just ‘say what you think and want to say’, that’s what personal blogs are for. To educate, you must provide objective, accurate information, or it hurts the people you are trying to educate.

            And much of the information given here isn’t objective or accurate. Frankly, some of it is dead wrong, and will hurt the people it’s trying to help.

            Modeling a handful of times in 3 months does not qualify Ms. Hewett to educate on the subject – and its quite clear that she has a very limited understanding of the business; she should spend time learning about the business, and not trying to teach about it.

            Again, I say this as help to you, and not criticism. I love that you’ve created a site for education on photography-related subjects; but its also important that you post accurate information, or you are hurting your readers, and the reputation of your site.

            I might consider passing on an article or 2 to you that I’ve written to share, I’ll take a look at the rest of the site and see if the information on the site is more objective and educational than Ms. Hewetts. Regards!

          • Hey Bob,

            Just wanted to chime in and disagree with Nancy slightly.

            I don’t think your comments have been fair at all toward Lix…not by a longshot! I find it funny that you think they were.

            All I noticed from your comments was a personal agenda from a photographer who didn’t appreciate that a model–one who was only working for a few months, no less!!–had the audacity to give her two cents to photographers who didn’t treat her right. It’s almost like a child crying, “No fair! No fair! She hurt my feelings!” C’mon, Bob, you should be able to take criticism, as should any photographer.

            As someone who purports to be a photographer with a lot of experience, I expect more professionalism from you in terms of being able to handle a different opinion (read: Lix’s), but you weren’t able to, were ya? As someone who’s worked with Life and the Times (apparently), I’d expect that you’d be more tolerant to handle an opinion from a photographer/model like Lix.

            That’s why we stand by Lix’s opinion in her article because it’s OPINION…just because you don’t like it doesn’t give you the right to be a crybaby over it or imply that her article should get taken down. it sounds like you’re for censorship. However, we have the right to delete comments on this site because it’s our…site.

            Instead of whining about Lix’s article, you should do two things:

            1) Apologize for being wrong about Mila not granting permission for her photo (like you cared about her copyright and didn’t just want to get back at Lix)

            2) Apologize to Lix for essentially being an Internet bully. C’mon, Bob: Lix is a fragile, 24-year-old woman, and you know this from reading her social media posts. Yet instead of showing some understanding to her, you apparently like playing Internet “tough guy” by trying to destroy her confidence in her budding career. Nice going. Are you a misogynist or something?

            Bottom Line: Lix’s article was astounding. PetaPixel even picked it up, which speaks to its validity as a thought-provoking piece (check out all the social shares it got on PetaPixel!!). We stand by her piece, Bob.

          • Hysterectomypants

            So, your response to someone’s criticism, as the site’s chief editor, is condescension, passive-aggressive attempts at humor, personal insult, and baseless accusations of misogyny?

            I can see why this author is a perfect fit here.

          • Says the nameless coward whose post is full of false accusations!! LOL. I’ll take you seriously when you reveal your true identity. Until you do, you’re irrelevant.

          • Hysterectomypants

            Goodness. The few sites that I post to with Disqus use nicknames and not full names. My name is Jennifer Ackerman. I’m a jewelry designer and a photographer. I’m emerydrive on Instagram. Go nuts.

          • Well…I guess you showed everyone by…finally posting your real name, which is just a basic best practice. Congrats!

          • Andre

            I think you’re a little misled if you think feelings have been hurt. The only ill feelings I see here are the author’s under a guise of an article. I seriously question your judgement when an ill-conceived article such as this you describe as astounding. You lost me at that.

            Perhaps you could point the author to an article about how to avoid paying
            taxes on income, donations, and freebies. She has no clue that donations towards her rent that she can never manage to pay, a new phone,
            and expensive bag have to be declared on her tax returns and therefore not free after all. You support people flying under the legal radar? Great!

            I understand you have to stand by an author after you have paid them. I see you’ve paid them for yet another poorly written article which makes no sense and really, what exactly is the point of it anyway. It’s not an opinion. It’s hidden agendas that you have fallen for. Narcissists are fragile, yes, but they also tend to be liars and manipulators. Good luck with

          • Awwww, did someone not get their ego massaged today? Awwww.

          • Die Katze

            Wow, Marc. Very professional. Maybe you should let Nancy continue to handle the PR, eh, buddy? Although she obviously disagrees with the majority of the posters here, she handles it with grace and professionalism.

          • Bull, friend. You’re not being intellectually honest. What you really meant to say was that you like Nancy’s comments because she generally agrees with the critics and won’t fight back and put them in her place when they need to be put in their place. Therefore, that doesn’t threaten you, which is why you attribute undeserved adjectives like “grace” to her.

            There…I just exposed what you really meant! You’re welcome! :)

          • Celine

            Marc, you’re almost as unprofessional as Lix Hewett. Do you have a “people I’d like to stab” notebook too? Lix does and she writes in it everyday. She keeps track of anyone who disagrees with her. She calls them out on twitter and goes off on psychotic sounding attacks. It’s laughable that you would call her fragile and accuse someone else of being a bully when SHE is the one that does the bullying. She’s a 24 year old adult, not a child. If she can’t handle criticism perhaps she should get off the internet and stop giving unprofessional “advice”. Don’t ask me to use my real name here. I have no desire to be subjected to threats of violence by someone as unstable as Lix Hewett.

          • Everything you wrote is a hyperemotional lie, “Celine.” Because I dared to disagree with your agenda of bullying Lix, you name-called me as “unprofessional.” Sorry, Celine, but we don’t give in to extortion here at Photodoto. :)

          • Celine

            Just checking to make sure I have this right but you feel it’s professional for an editor to use terms such as crybaby, bully, whining, misogynist, internet tough guy, nameless coward, and irrelevant to describe readers and commenters on your site while referring to the author of this article as a “fragile, 24-year-old woman”? Nothing I’ve written here is a “hyperemotional lie”, Marc. Everything I’ve said about Lix Hewett is 100% fact and came directly from her twitter posts, her blog, and other social media sites that belong to her. The only reason that this article is getting any attention at all is because it’s completely out-of-touch with reality and was poorly written by a very immature, angry, passive-aggressive woman who hates men (yes, she’s stated this publicly MULTIPLE TIMES). No one is taking it seriously and now that you’ve shown up and started attacking your readers, you and this entire site appear just as unprofessional as Lix. One more thing, you should really check the definition of extortion so you’ll know how to use it correctly in the future. Feel free to have the last word. I won’t be visiting this pathetic site again.

          • So you’re a nameless coward who’s not a regular reader of this fine site, and all you did was twist the truth around and name-call me and EVERYONE who didn’t agree with your hateful, troll-view of the world? I’m proud of defending my writers, “Celine,” but all you do is go on the Internet and spread hate by trolling photography websites. Geez, do you also wear a white sheet over your head? Probably.

          • Die Katze

            Did…Did you just imply that someone is a Klansman because they disagree with you? Again, wow.

          • Says the nameless coward who’s not even a regular reader of Photodoto, but comes here just to libel Lix because it makes you feel all big and tough inside. Yeah…people should really listen to your POV. Yeah…

          • Die Katze

            What are you even going on about, man? Are you off your meds? I haven’t said a dang thing about Lix. I’m shocked at YOUR behavior as an editor of this site. I used to read photodoto regularly, but not anymore! I’m gobsmacked at your behavior. It’s so out of line it’s fascinating. And entertaining as all get out! Please do continue.

          • Your continued hate and personal attacks only continue to make you look horrible and without credibility, but you’re already a nameless coward, so you clearly know that you’re not convincing anyone to see things your way, are ya, sport? :) Too bad that we keep ANGERING you by defending Lix. Awww, that must make you hate even more. Ha ha.

          • Die Katze

            Of course your traffic goes up, as you can see from the comments, there are people who follow Lix’s Twitter. I assume she linked to the article. Therefore her followers (who do not appear to follow her in a positive light, but are more like “hate followers”) will naturally come to see what she has posted, but it’s not the kind of traffic you want. Same with your trolling. You’ll get people coming to look at the comments, but they won’t stay for the site. If anything, it will turn them off after the initial entertainment and it will ruin the credibility of your website. And I know I feed into that by continuing to comment, so after this, I’ll leave you to your trolling. Sure, you’ll temporarily get higher traffic, but in the long run it will do more harm than good.

          • Wow, YOU’RE the troll because you come on this site not to talk photography, but to spread hate toward a fragile, 24-year-old woman, yet you’re calling ME the troll for putting you in your place and defending my writer?! Wow…talk about a warped view of reality, bro! LOL. And like I’m going to take tips on running a website from you…a keyboard warrior who hides behind anonymity in your hate…double LOL!

          • Oh, and one more thing, child: Our site traffic AND Alexa rank continues to go UP after Lix’s articles, so we don’t need you, if you actually were a “regular” reader. God, you’re so incredible, it’s sad.

  • Amanda

    I encourage everyone to report Lix Hewett to the photographer Mila Ritz (you can find a link to her contact under the top photo here). This photograph has been stolen and used without permission. There is no way that Mila would want to be associated with this type of amateur nonsense. She is a true professional. Lix Hewett has no right to use this photo unless she pays a royalty fee and should be ashamed of herself.