Annals of Advertising: Shooting Escorts

Today in political news, we get to see photos of the call girl, “Kristen,” with whom New York’s soon-to-be ex-governor liaised. We knew that was coming, right? The pictures of Kristen weren’t that good, however. So on my way to work I wondered, where would an escort go to get good pictures for online advertising?

Today in political news, we get to see photos of the call girl, "Kristen," with whom New York's soon-to-be ex-governor liaised. We knew that was coming, right? The pictures of Kristen weren't that good, however. So on my way to work I wondered, where would an escort go to get good pictures for online advertising? A bit of research on Eros Guide New York showed that there are indeed a number of photographers who specialize in this niche area.
"Where there is a demand for a particular service, someone will step in to fill it," said one of the photographers listed on the guide. (He asked me not to use his name or indicate which company he shoots for. Though he's been shooting escorts for couple of years, he says he is primarily a fashion specialist. He prefers to keep the escort work private.)

 For this photographer, the decision to shoot escorts was purely market-based. “What’s the first thing you see when you type the word “escort” into Google? Sh\*\*ty pictures,” he says. “I thought, here’s an industry that appears to generate a lot of money, but not much care is being taken with the imagery used to promote it. So I created my business.”  
 Given the nature of their work, many escorts simply snap pictures of themselves. A pro photographer can upgrade the look with basic beauty lighting, simple styling, and minimal retouching. “Basically I create the same kinds of images you see in Maxim magazine,” says the photographer I spoke with. “Some clients want their faces in the images, others not. “  
 The Eros ad for one photo service makes the importance of imagery clear. “You’ve got about 2 seconds to make an impression on the viewer,” the ad advises escorts. “Make those 2 seconds count.”  
 Judging from the ads on Eros, the rates for escort photography is roughly in line with those for actors, models, and others who need commercial imagery—anywhere from $300 to $1,000 or so for packages that include digital images and other services like styling. Most of the photographers advertising on the site in fact also shoot other types of clients as well.—David Schonauer