Dear “photographers”,

I use the term loosely, because though you have a camera and you are photographing, I’m not convinced you are a photographer. You are most likely that flavor of creepy dude that gives real photographers a bad rep. I could buy a fancy ass camera too. Does that make me a photographer?

Here’s the thing. Modeling is work. I know models. They have terrible back pain and muscle aches because modeling for photographers and painters requires they hold awkward poses for unnatural lengths of time. I’ve done a fair bit of modeling myself. It’s not exactly fun. It can be, if you have a good relationship with the photographer, but on a list of things I might like to do with an afternoon for the hell of it, it doesn’t even rate. I’d rather be organizing my sock drawer than posing for you, pal. So, approaching me with some insincere “complement”, telling me I look like some actress/singer/famous person that only shows me you think all brown people look the same, thinking that’s gonna blow my pants off and get me to sit for you for the fun of it? Not gonna work.

I will model for random people whether they are photographers or they just think they are. But, being work, I will require compensation. Don’t look all shocked when I give you a list of rates. Do you work for free? Shall I ask you to come to my house and immortalize my dog for the sheer joy of using your fancy camera equipment? I thought not. You can’t afford to pay a model? Then I suggest you do what other broke artist types do and offer to feed your friends in exchange for letting you use their image and time. My photographer friend gives me prints in trade for my time. She’s extremely talented, so this is a fair trade as far as I’m concerned. You want to trade, show me your portfolio and I’ll decide if that’s as good as cash for my time.

For her, I will also model just to help her out. She can feed me for it. It’s what friends do for their artist friends. You’re not my friend. I don’t know you. You just started bugging me in line at the store. In other words, no. I will not sit/stand/frolic/take my clothes off because it’s ok you’re an artist so it’s art, for you for the privilege of being immortalized alone. Stop accosting women in stores. You’re making it harder for real artists to find models because you smell of creeper.

No love,

The Girl Who Most Definitely Bears No Resemblance To Salma Hayak Whatsoever