Important lessons in photography from the Adult Entertainment Industry

Above: Image, Gina Milicia

“Success isn’t owned – it’s leased. And rent is due every day. Every single day, someone’s coming for your job. Someone’s coming for your greatness. If you’re the greatest, someone wants to be the greatest, and so if you’re not constantly improving your game, somebody else is.” – J. J. Watt

The Adult Entertainment Industry is one of the most successful industries in the world.

Its net worth is roughly 100 billion dollars. Oh yes, yes, yes! So what does this have to do with photography?

Stylistically, not much.

If I was critiquing one of these videos my notes would read something like this:

  1. What’s the backstory on the hunky plumber?
  2. Why is the lighting so flat?
  3. Replace saxophone soundtrack!
  4. More dialogue.
  5. Can you film at 24fps?
  6. Did the sink get fixed?

But there is one thing the Adult Entertainment Industry has implemented recently that we could all learn from.

Pornhub, one of the most popular porn sites on the internet, just added closed captions to their X-Rated content.

When I first heard about this I thought why bother? I mean, it’s a visual medium and most people don’t watch X-Rated content for the thought-provoking dialogue right? People who love porn don’t care about sets, story lines or dialogue. There is a basic formula, plumber walks into a house, unblocks a drain and leaves.

The fact that Pornhub decided to add closed captions means that even though they have a successful formula they are constantly thinking about ways to improve the customer experience. It’s a thoughtful decision that means that people who are hearing impaired or trying to watch on the train on the way home from work will have a better experience.

As professional or enthusiast photographers there are many ways we can improve the photography experience for our models. It’s these thoughtful details or going the extra mile that will set you apart from the pack.

Things like:

  • Spending an extra few minutes chatting to someone to calm their nerves before you photograph them.
  • Posing and directing your models in a more flattering way. Sometimes a tiny adjustment like asking your model to “bring their chin down” will make a huge difference.
  • Send your model a checklist before the shoot.
  • If you are photographing an event or function, take some room shots or photos of the flower arrangements and send them to the florist who created them.
  • Have your portrait taken by another photographer so that you get to experience what it feels like to be on the other side of the camera.

What are some of the strategies you’ve adopted to improve the photography experience for your models?

How to direct and pose like a pro

About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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