Anonymous Model, © 2012 Terrell Neasley

 “The more I like me, the less I want to pretend to be other people.” 
~ Jamie Lee Curtis

An interesting young lady, photography student in the UK, contacted me earlier this week and asked about some comments I made on Alex B’s blog post “Therapeutic or Artistic“. Alex was discussing the reasons why we pose nude and I made offered my sentiments. She runs a fabulous blog, by the way. Genea Bailey found my comment interesting and asked me about my experience and opinion where models site a confident boost from modeling with me. She wanted to know the long term effects of whether or not these feeling are a lasting and positive change of self-image or if the moment is only temporary.

It does raise an interesting question and I hadn’t really contemplated this issue from the perspective of her query. “Long Term Effects”…

Anonymous Model, © 2012 Terrell Neasley

I don’t know anyone who has done any in-depth study and analysis on this matter and I’d challenge anybody to show me empirical evidence to back up their findings if they had. Not because I’d have an automatic dispute, but because I REALLY would like to know and would certainly want to research their findings that substantiate their claims. I’ll be following Miss Bailey’s work very closely and would love to even collaborate even further on the matter. You can check out her post which includes my responses from our email correspondence. >> “My Chat with T. L. Neasley” <<

I almost wish I had given more thought to her questions. I think I answered too quickly. I gave her my “off the top of my head” response. The more I think about it, the more I contemplate the different women I’ve shot and wonder how they may feel now after having worked with me. I used to ask some models to fill out a quick survey which recorded how they felt immediately after working with me, but I don’t think I’ve asked this of many models after several years. I’m still in contact with many of them and not all had self-esteem issues to begin with. Not everybody who worked with me as did it for a confidence booster. It would still be interesting to know how some of these women feel who did a one time project with me. Several posed nude only once and never did it again. Not because anything bad happened, but because they got it out of their systems. It was never more than a one-time thing.

“One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body. I got tired of hating myself.”
Gabourey Sidibe, (from the movie, “Precious”)

Anonymous Model, © 2012 Terrell Neasley

I’ve often pondered getting with some of the models whom were my firsts. I’d SOOO love to shoot with some of them again just to see how I might do them differently. I’ve learned so much since I shot my first nude model November of 2005. I was using a cheap film camera and kit lens that may have cost me about $400. I have flash guns that cost more than that. Interestingly enough, a few of those projects remain the best work I’ve done to date. Some, you will never see because they do not exist in digital form as per the agreement I made with two models. I have never made an agreement like that since, but the work I did with them was also incredible. These works only exist in print form which I developed and mounted myself. Actually, let me correct that statement. One of them did eventually allow me to post images as long as they remained anonymous. I miss those days of film. I drove to Colorado last year to work with one of my original models again, but things did not pan out and we were not able to meet after I arrived. I’ve come close a few times to working again with a few other former models of my days before Vegas and have only repeated projects with one former model. In the meantime, I will contact some of these girls and see how things have been since then.

I do know that I’ve worked with models since coming to Vegas who have had body image and self-esteem issues. I’ve done incredible work with them and the affects have been varying. As I eluded to in Miss Bailey’s post, I think much of the sustainability of any improved confidence is heavily weighted on the cause of the lack of confidence. For instance, one model compared herself to others was encouraged when she saw my pics of her that showed her she was just as beautiful. On the other hand, that same confidence of another model, while much improved initially, was not reinforced at home because of her choice in men. So its my opinion that any measure of confidence will be dependent on the environment in which the model finds herself in.

But now, I have to find out on my own more details on this question. Thanks so much Genea Bailey!