Diving into the dazzling whirlwind of London, Barcelona, and Paris Fashion Weeks as a former teacher, my eyes were opened to an aspect of the fashion industry that often goes unnoticed by the gleaming lights and the thunderous applause. Behind the curtain of glamour and prestige, I stumbled upon a reality that struck a chord deep within me, revealing a stark contrast to the shimmering facade presented on the runway.

Walking through the backstage areas, bustling with activity, the air thick with anticipation and a hint of anxiety, I couldn’t help but notice the vulnerability of these young models. Men and women, many barely out of their teens, navigated this high-pressure environment with a mix of excitement and palpable nervousness. It was here, amidst the chaos of preparation, that a pressing question began to haunt me: Who is watching over these young individuals behind the lens of the fashion photographer?

This concern transcends the mere act of capturing stunning visuals for the next big campaign or editorial spread. It delves into the safeguarding of these young talents from potential exploitation and abuse in an industry notorious for its lack of transparency and regulation behind the scenes. The photographer’s lens, while capable of immortalizing beauty and artistry, also holds the power to objectify and exploit if wielded without ethical consideration and respect for the model’s dignity and boundaries.

The fashion industry, with its global allure and promise of fame, attracts a myriad of young hopefuls eager to make their mark. However, this eagerness can often render them susceptible to manipulation and mistreatment by those who view them as mere commodities rather than individuals with rights and aspirations. The responsibility to protect these young models falls not only on the agencies that represent them but also on the brands, designers, and professionals they work with, including photographers.

Hackett London London Collections men 2015 (3)


As someone who has dedicated a part of my life to nurturing young minds, I find it imperative that the fashion industry adopts a more vigilant and caring approach towards the welfare of its youngest participants. This means implementing stricter guidelines and oversight during photoshoots, ensuring a safe and respectful working environment, and fostering a culture where young models feel empowered to voice their concerns without fear of retribution or career jeopardy.

Moreover, it’s crucial for industry stakeholders to cultivate a support system that includes mental health resources and guidance for navigating the complex dynamics of the fashion world. Educating young models about their rights, as well as the potential risks and how to address them, is a step towards empowering them against exploitation.

Reflecting on my experiences behind the scenes at some of the world’s most prestigious fashion weeks, I am reminded of the role I, and others who witness these vulnerabilities, play in advocating for change. It’s a call to action for all involved in the fashion industry to look beyond the lens and see the individuals who bring the visions to life. By fostering an environment of care, respect, and protection, we can ensure that the journey into fashion remains a dream worth pursuing for young talents, free from the shadows of exploitation.

True Story Of Sexual Abuse By A Fashion Photographer

As I settle into the plush embrace of my first-class seat, en route from Mexico, I find myself ensnared in the luxury of endless salted nuts and a seat that massages my back just right. Clad in my finest hoodie and sweatpants ensemble, I can’t help but catch the disdainful glances from a suit-clad businessman across the aisle. If only I could serve him a peanut, right between the eyes, I muse, chuckling to myself as the flight attendant showers me with a level of attention that has me throwing around ‘splendid’ as if it were going out of fashion. And just like that, I’ve pocketed a cool 30,000 grand.

Landing in the dead of night, I breeze through customs, my luggage first off the carousel, catching the eye of Mr. Businessman one last time. His gaze screams contempt, but little does he know, I’m off to conquer worlds he can only dream of. A sleek Mercedes awaits, whisking me away to a studio that’s the epitome of chic minimalism. But before I can dive into the lavish breakfast spread laid out before me, I’m hustled into makeup, coming out bronzed and buffed, ready to bare it all in front of the camera.

Cindy Crawford Kaia famous mother explains,

By the time Kaia started modelling she was pretty well-versed in designers and young photographers. She was prepared.’

Sadley not everyone has a mother like Cindy Crawford and it is worth noting Cindy at the beginning of Kaia, modelling career never allowed her daughter to go on any shoots, alone.

Never Allow The Photographer Isolate You From Others

As I engage in banter with another model, his tales of on-set antics paint a vivid picture of the day’s shoot. It’s a world where boundaries blur, and professionalism often takes a backseat to raw, unfiltered expression. Enter the fashion photographer, the archetype of sleaze, armed with cameras and an ego that fills the room. He’s the type we love to hate, dictating the shoot with a swagger that makes my skin crawl, blasting music that’s as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face.

Breakfast becomes an afterthought as I witness a scene unfold that’s straight out of a voyeur’s fantasy.

The model, a girl barely out of her teens, transforms under the photographer’s lens into an object of desire, yet behind the makeup and the facade, I see her truth. She’s shy, uncomfortable, a stark contrast to the image we’re compelled to create. It’s a moment of clarity in an industry often blinded by its own glitter.

The shoot takes a turn for the absurd, with poses that push the limits of decency, culminating in a closed set that leaves us all on edge. Behind those walls, the flash of the camera is the only sign of life, a beacon of activity that does little to quell the storm of worry brewing in our minds. What unfolds in that hidden space is anyone’s guess, but the silence that follows is deafening, a tangible discomfort that settles over us like a thick fog.

fashion shoot

Speak Up As A Witness

When the shoot resumes, the atmosphere is charged with unspoken questions and fears for the young girl who emerged from behind the screen, her exit as silent as her presence. The questions hang heavy in the air, unasked and unanswered. Was she just another young dream caught in the predatory gaze of the industry?

As I prepare for my next adventure, a shoot in the Maldives, I can’t help but reflect on the paths we choose and the roles we play in the grand tapestry of fashion. The glamour, the excitement, it’s all intoxicating, but at what cost? The experiences of the young girl, and countless others like her, serve as a stark reminder of the darker side of beauty, a side that demands to be acknowledged and challenged.

So, as I bask in the beauty of the Maldives, surrounded by crystal clear waters and skies that stretch into infinity, I carry with me a resolve to speak up, to share not just the gloss and the glam but the truths that lie beneath. For in the end, it’s not just about the places we go or the money we make, but the voices we amplify and the changes we inspire. Let’s not be silent witnesses to the shadows; let’s bring them into the light.