Reputation Management 101 (NSFW)

…And we’re back…For real this time.

The move to DC was painless, but absolutely exhausting. It’s an exciting time, to be sure, but enough about that, it’s time to get back on the horse and set up new shoots, even if I can’t help but feeling a bit like a fish out of water. Challenges can be exciting, you know…

As I sit here and parse through the last couple of weeks that were, all attention goes to model Amber Rose. Yet another victim of having her trust betrayed in some way or other, she has explicit pictures of her, pictures that were meant for someone she was seeing (while I love some gossip sites, I want to not make this site one of them) or interested in appear on the Web.

In this day and age, where “leaked” photos of celebrities regularly appear in places they shouldn’t, what would make Amber, with a profile as high as hers, think that pictures of herself masturbating wouldn’t make it online some way or some how?

But I suppose that isn’t something you think about in the moment. Some would argue that this could be an intentional “leak”, ala Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, but I don’t think so. Amber is no stranger to public nudity on the internet, but these pictures certainly have a much more personal tinge to it.

While the concept of no news being bad news, this particular leak hasn’t been all that kind to Amber, with an unnamed company splitting ties with her.

To be sure, she is who she is, and frankly anyone who likes her look will continue to hire her, so in this day and age of luridness for the sake of luridness, her career is in no real danger. Regardless of that, it goes without saying that when you create a brand, even an organic brand as oneself, it’s beyond important to ensure that missteps are minimized on the outset.

While it’s certainly a joy to view Amber nude, the stream by which that happens has to be controlled (by her), and not as a result of grainy cellphone pictures. If she wants to pose in Playboy, I’m all for it, because like it or not, it extends her personal brand, and makes her money at the same time. All she gains by giving explicit pictures to people she thinks she can trust is just a ton of headaches.

When not working with photos, or commenting on various things here, I’m in my day-job as a public relations professional. If I’ve seen anyone in need of through PR, it would be Amber. As a brand, I think she’s still slightly undefined. Sure, she has done high profile modeling gigs, working for Louis Vuitton, amongst others, however, because of her voluptuous stature, she certainly doesn’t limit herself to just runway work.

But it seems these days, it’s more about who she’s dating than how her career as a model is progressing. For all we know, that could be how she wants it, with her legacy as being arm candy for the Hip-Hop star of the moment. If that makes her happy, then who in their right mind would begrudge her?

Having said that, however, if she does want to build and extend the brand beyond being known for who she’s dating, then the first step would be to save the sex shows for a more intimate, in-person situation.

Many models I’ve shot over the years, especially those who don’t wish to pursue a career in nude modeling, have always been more protective of their image than others, because even with professionally shot photos, no one wants to have that nude image haunt them going forward. It’s taking responsibility of a situation in hopes that it never comes back to bite them. So just imagine how less control one can have with taking photos on phones which have been proven to be easily hacked.

Sometimes, you just have to plan better.

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