updated 27 Feb 2014, 07:24
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Tue, Jan 21, 2014
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No authority here to monitor industry
by Benita Aw Yeong

It's one of the most unregulated industries here.

Photographers The New Paper on Sunday spoke to say that while there are model release forms - agreements detailing how photos taken can be published - using them and abiding by the terms are not widespread here.

The industry is also not formally monitored or regulated by a government body, although photographers say there are a group of them who are blacklisted based on reports of indecent behaviour.

TNPS tried to contact 10 photographers on a blacklist available online, but those whom we managed to reach declined to be interviewed.

The local photo scene - especially when amateur models and photographers are involved - is largely based on trust, say photographers.

Agreements are also usually verbal.

Mr Alex Lim, who runs Pimodi Photography, says that to his understanding, there are no fixed written rules when it comes to deleting photos of models who were caught in wardrobe slip-ups.

"Some photographers might not even inform the models that they have such shots," he says, adding that photo leaks are common. It all boils down to the agreement between the photographer and model, he says.

He clarifies that photographers under his company, however, respect the "dignity and privacy of the subjects", and have a practice of deleting pictures they deem inappropriate.

Mr Warren Wee , a commercial and fashion photographer who shoots mainly for corporate clients, represents a different segment of photographers.

"It is not common for me nor for my peers to distribute or profit from inappropriate photos where the model is exposed.

"As established professionals, we don't usually have time to spread inappropriate photographs of models or celebrities in the public domain as this would also damage our own reputation," he says.

Staying safe in shoots

1 View the photographer's portfolio before the shoot and assess his level of experience to see if you are comfortable with his work.

2 Be vigilant in ensuring that compromising photographs are not taken during the shoot. Reviewing all the pictures directly on the camera's display screen helps.

3 Bring a friend, or even your boyfriend, with you to the shoot, if it is not for an external client.

Tips from photographers Warren Wee, Alex Lim and Anson Chew.


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