Saturday, February 2, 2013

Decorating models

Seattle, WA - January 2013

Take a close look at this photo and you will see what can happen when some products are used as body decorations for photo shoots. Years ago I went on a rant about not painting a model with acrylic paint, and citing that just because something is "non-toxic" does not mean that the product is "safe for body." I came out with a huge rash years ago when I was painted with non-toxic acrylic paint and since then I have been a stickler about only allowing actual bodypaint to be painted on me for shoots. I have since then learned I am not allergic to latex, so latex paint is fine on my body, but must be kept a small distance away from my pubic hairs for obvious reasons. 

This past month I learned about another thing my body is clearly allergic to - electrical tape. Some clubs have been decorating models with electrical tape to give them snazzy, sexy outfits, and a few photographers have started incorporating this into photoshoots. I tried this out with a good photographer friend and while peeling off the tape after shooting felt like ripping off a bandaid from all over my body, the sensation of the pulling tape was the least of my problems. I immediately broke out into a rash, and by a stroke of luck my friend had pregnesone on him as well as cortisone cream. While rope marks for a short amount of time might be fun, this semi-permanent rash of red stripes was horrifyingly stressful because the next photographers I would be working with clearly would not expect or enjoy a zebra-like model. My short dose of medicine as well as fortunately relaxed work schedule meant my rash proved to be a minor problem, but without these small fortunates, this would have been disastrous.

This was just my little reminder about your models being real people with real reactions to the substances you may decorate them with and the conditions you put them under for shoots.

(Side note to Dave - you know I think you are wonderfully respectful and sometimes accidents happen. Rash aside, I still can't wait to shoot with you again and see what new trouble we can cook up).


  1. Keira,

    Most likely it was the glue that was used on the electrical tape that your beautiful skin had an issue with. In the future, try bondage tape, it only sticks to itself.
    Someday I hope you and I get the chance to create together.

    The Opportunistic Photographer

  2. Being a life model myself, I've been a model for a artist friend of mine over the last few years. And I have found that whenever I do model for him, I have to ask if the neighbour's cat will be around as when any cat hair (whether it's on the cat or not) touches me, I break out in hives all over. Not a great sight for anyone. Fortunately for me, I carry antihistamines with me and usually pop one before posing because my nose does have a tendency of running at the most inopportune time.