One of the most difficult aspects in working with amateur performers is how they often underestimate the impact that them being photographed or filmed naked and/or having sex will have on their relationships.
In my casting questionnaire I ask the question “How would you feel if your partner/family/colleagues would find out you have appeared in a porn film?” The last thing I would like to happen is for someone to lose their job or break up with their partner because they have modelled for me.
It is important to me that potential performers understand that I can not control who will see their pictures or video footage once it has been released. If someone decides to appear in a porn film and does not tell their partner about it, they are taking a huge risk. Usually they get found out and then it is often me who has to deal with the outrage, anger and jealousy of the partner who had been left in the dark.
A few years back I did a photo shoot with a single mum in her mid-thirties. She had low self-esteem and found the shoot incredibly liberating. She loved the images and told me that it would give her the ultimate boost in confidence to see her best shots published. She agreed in writing to me publishing her images but she did not want her partner to know. He was already jealous and suspicious of her, so he went through her emails and found out about a publication in “Desire” magazine. He confronted her and she told him that she knew nothing of the publication to save her face. He was protective of her and started to bombard me with abusive text messages, hate mail and threats for weeks. I felt trapped. I did not want to “out” her in front of her partner as I feared for her safety and also felt that what I had agreed with her in writing was confidential. He was full of rage and tried to tarnish my name by approaching magazines that published my photos and the Guild of Erotic Artists telling everyone that I had betrayed his partner by publishing her shots without her consent. It was a nightmare. I had many sleepless nights, cried a lot and felt angry to be accused of exploiting a woman when it is my mission to support and liberate women. He only stopped when my lawyer stepped in and made sure he knew about the agreement I had with his lover. The model contacted me 2 years later and told me that she was now single, free and fancied another shoot and would like to see her images published. Somehow I did not feel like it.
Last year when I was shooting “Female Fantasies” a guy contacted who wanted to appear in my films but he told me his partner was not supposed to know. Having learnt from the photography drama a few years back, I told him then that this is not going to work as it sets my shoots up for dramas, tears and tantrums and ultimately jeopardises the production. When I heard from him again a few months ago, he said that he was now free and single and I believed him. This morning he called to warn me that his on/off partner was about to ring me. She had gone through his text messages and seen us arranging a casting and possible shoot. She was furious. I am not sure if he is back together with her and it is none of my business but if he is, I am surprised he did not tell her that he is going to be in a porn film. I don’t know what is going to happen now but now I am worried. I do not want a another rollercoaster ride when I need to focus on the production and make things work.