COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987
September 11, 2019

No Photos, Please

Hey, Bonita…

Hi Bonita,

This being Athens, there are artists and musicians everywhere. At a local art opening recently, I met someone that introduced themselves to me as a photographer, and we hit it off, since I model sometimes. They seem eager to do a shoot with me, but I just found them on social media. Their work is awful! Honestly, just so bad! Horrible lighting, composition—all of it is trash. I absolutely don't want to work with them, but I need a way to tell them that without coming off all rude. Besides, someone else might love it.

The easiest thing to do would be to just say no, but of course, that would beg plenty of questions if you’d been eager to model for them until you saw their work. I’ve gotten similar questions in the past, and it’s never easy to determine the right way to tell someone you don’t want to collaborate with them. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to hate on their art in order to turn down an offer to work together. You can simply say that your styles are too different and you’ve decided to pass on the opportunity, and hopefully they’d leave it at that. If they do press you for more details, keep repeating that, and don’t be tempted to say anything along the lines of “Your art is trash.” You could always suggest another model to work with them, someone who is maybe newer to the game and less attached to the quality of the finished product. 

More than anything, I really don’t want you to share your opinion with the photographer in question. Between instructors, other artists or classmates and people on the internet, I’m sure this person is already receiving plenty of biting commentary on their work. People love to share their worst opinions, and unless you have an interest in influencing this artist towards better work, there’s no need to share your dislikes with them. You’re not their instructor or an art critic, but you are definitely allowed to not lend your image to work that isn’t up to your personal standards. It’s all about impact vs. intent. Just say no thanks, and leave it at that.


A few months ago, I was swiping away on Tinder, as one does, and I have a rule about never swiping right on people who mention God or Jesus in their profiles. I’m not an atheist or a Satanist—I just find it to be a serious boner killer on a dating app. It’s weird to talk religion in a space where everyone’s trying to hook up. So, a few months ago, I swiped left on a guy who opened his profile with his love for Jesus and never thought of him again until I saw him on campus recently. 

Let’s just say that I have been rethinking this rule of mine, because he is a serious babe—waaay cuter in person. What’s worse is that my schedule this semester seems to have us crossing paths a few times a week, and I think I’m starting to develop a crush on him. Would it be crappy of me to make a move on him in person knowing that I dismissed his Tinder profile over his Jesus talk? I’m not a super religious person, but I don’t have a problem with dating religious people at all.

Shoot your shot, girl. He has no idea that you swiped left on him or your reasons why, and he’ll never know unless you tell him. I’d assume he’s DTF if he’s on Tinder, whether he’s talking Jesus or not. Some folks are just super obsessed with moral shuckin’ and jivin’ on social media. I know plenty of immoral heathens who post scriptures and church outfits every Sunday. Maybe he capes so hard for Jesus because of all the sinning he does on a regular basis. That’s a guess, but what you know is that he’s looking for dates in a literal meat market, so the experience of dating him probably won’t be as dull as one might think.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use the anonymous form at flagpole.com/getadvice, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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