A high-profile fashion photographer is being called out in online fashion and modelling circles for charging plus-size models US$100 over his regular rate.
New York-based photographer William Lords has done countless photoshoots for major magazines, such as Vogue, Glass Magazine, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, and has taken photos of celebrities like Katie Holmes, Canadian model Winnie Harlow, and Victoria Pedretti of the hit Netflix show You.
But his reputation could take a hit since model manager Megan Mesveskas posted an Instagram video over the weekend, exposing Lords’ double standards.
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“Okay, so you all probably have heard of designers charging more for curve models because it’s more fabric or whatever. But what about a photographer charging more to share curve or plus-size models? That’s a new one,” Mesveskas begins.
Mesveskas owns a body-diverse modelling agency and is always looking for test photographers for her clients. She messaged Lords to inquire about his rates, but her jaw dropped when she saw the reply.
The email shows that Lords charges US$950 as a “standard” rate for eight to 10 images of three styled looks. But the rate for plus-size models for the exact same services is US$1,050.
“Yeah, you’re reading that right. A curve, a plus-size model is going to cost an extra $100,” a frustrated Mesveskas says in the video. “I guess he just doesn’t want to have to look at them through his camera…?”
“This is insane! @williamlords, a well-known New York photographer shamelessly charges curve and plus-size models an extra $100 for his dissatisfaction of having to look at them on set,” they wrote in their caption.
The comments are flooded with anger and disappointment.
“Just when I think I’ve seen it all in this industry… The fact that both rates were listed, side by side, without any hesitation or trying to hide it,” wrote Canadian model Coco Rocha, who has often spoken in advocacy of young models entering the industry. “Unfortunately, forward progress is not always guaranteed in fashion, and I’m sadly starting to see more and more signs that we are being pulled backwards to the early days of the 2000s. It’s really disappointing,” she added.
Other people in the industry also came out with their experiences with Lords. Model and actress Grace Adkins wrote:
Soooo um I have the tea on this guy. I was always scared to say anything because he was my first test shoot out here in NYC but from telling me things like: he didn’t like working with curve girls who were “unhealthy” to blaming girls who are taking advantage of in the photography world because they “should’ve got that vibe” if the photographer had nude pictures all over there page. This man has issues and i’m so disappointed in myself that i got manipulated by him to think otherwise . @shitmodelmgmt this is only have the weird ass things he said to me before we even started shooting. (like he legitimately started the shoot of with an hour discussion about this stuff)
Despite being tagged in multiple comments and posts, Lords has not responded to the video or the allegations. He is, however, actively posting Instagram stories about other things.