12. Unexpected Visitors

A)  Friends and Relations

Sometimes people you know from your role in life as a stock
broker (or something) turn up at a session where you are modeling.
This may embarrass you, or your contact, or both.  There are several
possible responses.  Here are several suggestions – one of them,
where you are “up to it” by far the best; one of them by far the

1)  Ask the contact please not to take part in the session, since
your  relationship is in other areas of life.  This is honest
and fully respectable.

2)  Pretend there is no connection between you and your contact;

model as though your relationship did not exist.  This
approach, if it seems to be working, is very likely to change
a sense of embarrassment into a feeling of offense which can
cloud your regular relationship, as well as inhibit the
drawing session.  What is more likely to occur is that
either of you will quietly change your minds as the session
goes on, and straighten things out during breaks, or –
better – one or the other of you, recognizing the absurdity
of your subterfuge, will break out laughing, thus revealing
the situation to the group – in this way enriching all, and
moving everything into approach number:

3)  Welcome the contact publicly, by name, recognizing that
sharing this unexpected mutual interest can enhance the
aspects of life which you already share.  Your relationship
with a group member enriches the group as a whole.

B)  Photographers

Photographers should be sure ahead of time that a model expects,
and allows, photographs.  If someone comes to a workshop with a
camera, and you were not notified of this ahead of time, you should:

1)  Ask the photographer to give you the names and addresses of
three personal references, whom you will check out before
allowing pictures.  Work out plans for future photo
sessions, if references check out (and do check them out).
Don’t let yourself be persuaded to skip this step: too many
people have been personally or financially embarrassed by
neglecting to attend to it.  Use this pamphlet as back-up
when you insist on this safety measure; responsible
photographers and group leaders will respect your insistence.

2)  Show the photographer a model release, and agree to co-sign
if references check out and if you are willing to be

3)   Refuse to be photographed unless both conditions 1) and 2)
have been met, even if someone at the workshop had been
aware that a photographer was to be present, but had
neglected to tell you.

4)   These suggestions apply when you are posing with clothes as

well as when you are posing without them.  Every other member
of a drawing group should also be informed when photographs
are to be taken, and should not be photographed without
prior permission, and signing of a release similar to the
one offered in Appendix D.

C.  Societies, Clubs, School Groups, and Scout Troops

Sometimes people wander into a school or museum studio,
previously unaware that there would be a naked person in the room.  It
is good not to cover up or to leave the pose.  The best thing to do –
recognizing that you belong there and they don’t – is to welcome them
in, explain what is happening, and invite them to stay awhile, so they
can get an idea of what is going on.  A moderator or artist could take
the initiative here; the moderator has a special obligation to do so.
A model – being most uniquely present – is quite likely able to do it
best.  This approach puts things back into perspective, puts the
drawing group at ease, and provides an amazing amount of consciousness
raising – often with life-long effect – to children and adults in the
visiting body.

D.  Anything at All

The unexpected is always unprepared for, and “automatic reactions”
are a matter of course.  These reactions are likely to be mistaken
ones.  “On second thought” only comes later, of course.  An
unwelcoming automatic reaction can usually be bridged over by a mild
apology or a gentle joke, followed by a deliberate welcome – which may
be, freely, either accepted or refused.

E.  Taking Advantage of the Unexpected

Anything unexpected can serve an extremely valuable purpose.  It
reminds us that each experience is – in fact – a new one; it has never
happened before.  Renewal of this “newness of experience” is
essential; something unexpected jolts us into it, if we have

One thought on “12. Unexpected Visitors

  1. I quickly learned that modeling in an open session or class session, in a university setting, meant anyone and everyone would see me naked. My first time ever modeling for a class a student guide brought a tour group of potential students and their parents quietly through the back of the room during the long pose. Doubly surprising, one parent was my high school track coach! I had met his wife and daughter at multiple track team functions and here they all were. After the session, as I was scurrying to avoid them, I came out of the building and ran right into my old coach. With a big grin he said, “Jason! Good to see you are keeping all of your body in top track condition!” After enduring friendly teasing he told me he also modeled for art classes when he was an athlete in college.

    In the confines of an art department nudity is acceptable. Nude models are the norm so best not to expect privacy. While a level of respect towards the model is provided and most staff make sure your basic needs are met, you will not receive the level of privacy you expect at home. You are an employee so will be treated like any employee. I have had numerous experiences being totally nude when an instructor or assistant has had a conversation with me about scheduling or another administrative matter without a thought given to my nudity. Basically it’s left up to the model to provide the level of privacy they need.

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