But the thought of [in many cases] older photographers circling naïve young damsels for profit and salaciousness is a bit sickening. It is probably the same everywhere in the *western* world.
Yes. If you see the words "Fine Art Photography," in most internet type cases (Craigslist, Flickr, etc.), it means:Some scragly old dude, 50-65 years old, probably with a beard, who shoots b&w nudes of young women in the landscape/abandonded barns/etc. and calls it art.
Of course the younger guys have digital cameras and their own schtick.
I have one model I worked with who does primarily nude modelling (not for me - she was surprised that I wanted her to keep her clothes on!)
She would go to a "photo shoot" at a hot tub spa, etc. Had a boyfriend go with her always, but seems like 80% of the time the guys assumed sex was included. She is one of the models who moved to LA - god help her, I hope she is OK.
It is amazing how incredibly eager young women are to be "models" = stars, famous, beautiful, rich, sexy in their eyes.
I did a birthday photo shoot for 3, 15 year old girls, as a favor to the mom of the BD girl (my wifes friend.) With a make up artist, styling, wardrobes, etc.
One of them became so obsessed with me that she talked for a year about how she was going to be my model, that she was my favorite model, she was going to become famous, etc. etc.
On the mom's direction, I never printed, posted, or released a single image from the 100's of pics I took. It caused so much stress between the 3 about who was "my favorite", who was in front of the camera the most (apparently at one point the obsessed one locked a door or something, so the other two couldn't get back to my studio from the dressing room? Something like that.)
Anyway, it is scary, scary, scary how eager they are, how blind they are, and how easy it would be to manipulate them. And that opportunity for manipulation exists at every level of the game, from the PWC to (almost) the highest end of the business.
And that doesn't even include the agents, agencies, photogs, etc. who merely treat the models as some sort of subhuman dog or robot, to be ordered and kicked around, then tpssed aside when they are no longer wanted.
It is in many ways a very slimy business. I always had conflicted feelings about the work. To make matters worse for me, I have a degree in Philosophy (along with Photography), and tend to be introspective about that sort of thing. I do consider myself a "feminist", or at least strongly in favor of equal rights and respect for all.
That was how my studio was run at least. We were all good friends, we had fun working together, there was a bit of teasing, etc. But I did always maintain that clear, bright line.