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Author Topic : Modelling and Seizure disorders 
StephanieWeller

Thread Starter / Model
City: FLEET
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posts: 93
Views : 2268  Dec 12, 2012 2:08am

Hi All,

I'm back from my little break but I need advice on whether or not I should carry on modelling.

The reason I had a break was because I started have seizures around early June and it was only this week that the neurologist confirmed that it was a seizure disorder. But now I've had this I'm worried that modelling again might affect it.

If you've got advice on what to do or if you have a seizure disorder yourself please let me know as I'm in the middle of a really tricky decision right now.

Many Thanks,

Steph

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Damien

Photographer
City: Bristol
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Sep 13, 2003
Posts: 5390

I know nothing about your disorder but wouldn't your neurologist be the best person to advise you?

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mannybash

Photographer
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posts: 1051

I have epilepsy and i am fine the only time something happens is if someone else is photographing otherwise i'm ok

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 Ace



Photographer
City: Reading
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Apr 12, 2006
Posts: 6208

I've been through this problem with a heart disorder. This is what works for me based on medical advice and my own experience.

1) Live your life as fully as possible. You are only here once and not for very long.

2) Be guided by your medics and ask them what is ok and not ok to do.

3) Do things that are safe for you and those around you. Don't endanger anyone.

4) Warn people in a positive way and tell them on "a need to know" basis.

5) Carry an envelope or card with contacts and what do in an emergency info.

I say nothing at first but when it looks like a shoot is going to happen, I say something like "Just so you know, I have a bit of a heart problem and may become breathless and need to sit out for a few minutes. It's not a big deal, I'm not going to keel over and die on you or anything" and give a big smile and a chuckle to reassure the other person.

People take their lead from you, if you don't make a big deal, neither will they. Hope that helps.



Ace, Ace baby! on Facebook http://on.fb.me/IqRzBZ

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 doctorontop
[ Moderator ]



Photographer
City: La Condamine
Country: Morroco
Member Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posts: 2592

Only work with photographers who are prepared to shoot you with fixed lighting and no flash. I have a friend who works as a professorial stylist, she has to leave the studio floor whilst each set is shooting.


John.

A Cynic is what an Idealist calls a Realist.

10% Photographer 90% Digital Bulldozer.

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 Razoir



Photographer
City: Crediton
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 5028
RE: Modelling and Seizure disorders Dec 12, 2012 10:32am

quoting post from  doctorontop:

Only work with photographers who are prepared to shoot you with fixed lighting and no flash. I have a friend who works as a professorial stylist, she has to leave the studio floor whilst each set is shooting.


John.

A Cynic is what an Idealist calls a Realist.

10% Photographer 90% Digital Bulldozer.


Photo-sensitive epilepsy is relatively rare. Each individual needs to understand their own epilepsy and modify their life-style accordingly.

I would suggest the most important thing here is to ensure you are working with a photographer who understands the condition and is happy to look after you should you have a seizure on set.

YOU are the most expert on YOUR epilepsy.

Epilepsy frightens the bejabbers out of non-medical folk. It shouldn't.

The biggest problem is that there is probably more wrong information out there about epilepsy, than any other condition.

I did a three month post-reg course on 'working with people with epilepsy' and we all sub-titled it, 'everything you ever knew about epilepsy is probably wrong!'

General guidance is to do as your consultant tells you. EP's are even worse than diabetics for not doing as they are told!!! ALWAYS do dangerous things safely, no climbing ladders, no frying food, no carrying hot things etc. No driving, no cycling. Do not sleep on the top bunk of bunk beds. Etc. etc.

DO live a normal life.

Do keep a seizure diary. Include possible triggers and any feelings you get before seizures (aura) then you can establish protective measure that work for you. I know of a young man who works in a posh hotel as a silver service waiter. He fits three or four times a day. Not a problem. He gets clear auras and simply excuses himself, goes out of the restaurant, sits on the floor in the corridor, has his seizure, dusts himself off and carries on working. Brilliant attitude.

I know of another, a middle aged woman who very occasionally has a seizure. Her life has ended. She can never leave the house. No one understands how awful it is etc. etc. Self indulgent twaddle! She refuses to address the issue and face it and get organised so she can lead a fulfilling life.

I bet you are more of a waiter than a middle aged woman? Eh?

I would happily work with you even if it was guaranteed that you would have a seizure during the shoot but for me epilepsy holds no terrors. Others are not so lucky.

Huge Hairy Jeremy

Website: www.photoartimages.org

Remember, Trolls' brains are silica based and only function properly at temperatures lower than minus 72 degrees Kevin.

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rod

Photographer
City: Cambridge
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 3439
RE: Modelling and Seizure disorders Dec 12, 2012 10:47am

Comments above raise an interesting point: Can a strobe firing at a slow rate (say once every 15-20 secs, which would be about average for me during a shoot) trigger photosensitive epilepsy? I thought it had to be running at about 12/15 fps to constitute a risk?

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StephanieWeller

Thread Starter / Model
City: FLEET
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posts: 93

Thanks for the info, I have been told I'm photo sensitive so it is a sort of issue but its only very fast strobe and very bright yellow or white that i see for more than 5 seconds that will set of my auras.

I came on here because my neurologist wasn't too sure so yeah.

Thanks for the reassurance and info!

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mannybash

Photographer
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posts: 1051

Seizures that are triggered by flash must be at a particular frequency what that is i cannot say but if your experience is ok then carry on if you are having seizures don't. Make sure you have eaten well and are well hydrated don't have caffeine or anything that may trigger a seizure

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 Razoir



Photographer
City: Crediton
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 5028

Rod and Manny are correct as far as I am aware. I can't remember the exact Herz rate but it is way above any normal shooting rate. Having said that, though, I have a Metz 76MZ5 which can be set to fire mutiple flashes at a pre-set Herz rate for a set number of flashes. I would not want to use that on a model who had any tendency to photosensitive epilepsy.

There have been attempts in the past to make ant-riot weapons from flashing lights. The complications and dangers have stopped it happening so far.

Epilepsy may be related to migraine, from which I suffer, and for ME a single flash close too and very bright MAY set off an attack BUT often I can take disco lights etc. without a problem. I need to be in a susceptible state for the trigger to work.

Huge Hairy Jeremy

Website: www.photoartimages.org

Remember, Trolls' brains are silica based and only function properly at temperatures lower than minus 72 degrees Kevin.

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 Sharpshooter



Photographer
City: Glastonbury
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Dec 1, 2005
Posts: 2873

Steph

Sorry to hear of your problem, but hopefully you are rassured by the advice given above and won't feel a need to give up modelling. I enjoyed working with you earlier in the year, was impressed by your enthusiasm and potential and would happily work with you again.





Ed
---------------------------------------------

I've found a way to make you
I've found a way
a way to make you smile


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StephanieWeller

Thread Starter / Model
City: FLEET
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posts: 93

Hi,

Thank you! Glad I wont have to give up modelling, but instead just make sure the tech issues with flash is sorted before the shoot to avoid confusion


Many thanks,

Steph

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Helen_Stephens

Model
City: Southampton
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posts: 112
RE: Modelling and Seizure disorders Dec 17, 2012 12:59pm

Hello Steph.

I have epilepsy - and it can be a bit of a bummer!

But I manage to maintain a successful modelling career - in fact I find modelling ideal for this condition since you can work more when your well and reduce it when your not.

Just make sure that you're honest and open with photographers about your condition and do not feel ashamed of it. Explain what happens and what you would like the on looker to do just in case anything were to happen. Assure people that it's nothing to be worried of. I try to make a bit of a joke of it even! I feel that this way it puts everyone at ease.

I don't know about you, but tiredness and stress are a couple of the main causes to my fits. I overcome this by not overbooking myself. I try to limit mine to one a week and if I'm feeling better, I try and get some last-minute ones in. Or, if I have a really long shoot/a shoot I have to travel for, then I make sure I do not book anything for the next couple days. For the stress thing, I make sure I'm totally organised and prepared before the day of my shoot - i.e. transport booked/bag packed/photographer's contact number ready.

You'll soon get ways and routines to get around your problems - just be patient! It's bloody frustrating at first, but you'll find a way!

We also get free bus travel and discounted rail travel - so rock and roll!!


I hope this has been a help to you?

All the best to your career - don't let a little problem like seizures get in the way!!

Helen xx

"It's always funny until someone gets hurt. Then it's just hilarious." Bill Hicks.


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 Razoir



Photographer
City: Crediton
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 5028

quoting post from Helen_Stephens:

Hello Steph.

I have epilepsy - and it can be a bit of a bummer!

But I manage to maintain a successful modelling career - in fact I find modelling ideal for this condition since you can work more when your well and reduce it when your not.

Just make sure that you're honest and open with photographers about your condition and do not feel ashamed of it. Explain what happens and what you would like the on looker to do just in case anything were to happen. Assure people that it's nothing to be worried of. I try to make a bit of a joke of it even! I feel that this way it puts everyone at ease.

I don't know about you, but tiredness and stress are a couple of the main causes to my fits. I overcome this by not overbooking myself. I try to limit mine to one a week and if I'm feeling better, I try and get some last-minute ones in. Or, if I have a really long shoot/a shoot I have to travel for, then I make sure I do not book anything for the next couple days. For the stress thing, I make sure I'm totally organised and prepared before the day of my shoot - i.e. transport booked/bag packed/photographer's contact number ready.

You'll soon get ways and routines to get around your problems - just be patient! It's bloody frustrating at first, but you'll find a way!

We also get free bus travel and discounted rail travel - so rock and roll!!


I hope this has been a help to you?

All the best to your career - don't let a little problem like seizures get in the way!!

Helen xx

"It's always funny until someone gets hurt. Then it's just hilarious." Bill Hicks.


Lots of common sense in there.

I would add that it would be a good idea to let the people with whom you are working know what type of seizure you have. A full blown tonic/clonic seizure can be bloody frightening for the bystander.

Complex partials can be very confusing and simple partials can be misunderstood. Absences are also tricky for the bystander to understand.

For the potential bystanders out there. An absence can happen with no warning and the patient has no knowledge that it has happened. I will try to illustrate in text.

Woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle













woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle woffle .

Only the bystander notices the break in the conversation. Hope that helps.

The other two are when only part of the brain is affected by the 'electrical storm' and so are very individual.

You keep working kid, there are more of us who would be happy to pick you up and give you a cup of tea than there others who will shun you.

Also for the bystanders out there. If you come across someone in the street having a seizure. Please do not call an ambulance at once. Give them 5 minutes to come round. Seasoned epileptics get very p*ssed off with trying to do their shopping and repeatedly waking up on the other side of town when they thought they were in Tescos. It can take all day to buy a loaf and bottle of milk.

Anyone having s first seizure or anyone having a seizure that takes more than five minutes to resolve or who has repeated seizure after seizure SHOULD go to hospital.

Give privacy and be discrete. Sometimes there is incontinence and the safe way to give the emergency medication is to shove it up the bum! Not really for a PG audience.

Huge Hairy Jeremy

Website: www.photoartimages.org

Remember, Trolls' brains are silica based and only function properly at temperatures lower than minus 72 degrees Kevin.

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StephanieWeller

Thread Starter / Model
City: FLEET
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posts: 93

quoting post from StephanieWeller:

Hi,

Thank you! Glad I wont have to give up modelling, but instead just make sure the tech issues with flash is sorted before the shoot to avoid confusion


Many thanks,

Steph


It's good to know that someone else here knows what I'm going through! I will stick to the advice though

I'm only doing shoots here and there because I need so much rest. AEDs are a bit of a pain when it comes to being tired but as long as they begin to reduce my seizures then I'm happy!

Steph x

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CNI

Photographer
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 6, 2013
Posts: 1

The way I see it is that there are many forms of modelling and many forms of photographers.
Some are very forgiving and will have the patience you need, so I suggest don't give up continue and see how you fare, perhaps then you will have a better idea as to how you will cope as well?

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 Solveman



Photographer
City: Basildon
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 27, 2012
Posts: 587

I would agree with everything stated. In my part time day job I teach disabled and disadvantaged adults a level 3 City and Guilds Diploma in Media Techniques. I am disabled myself with... here we go with the list... cervical spondylosis, arthritis, sciatica, IBS, migraine, balance issues, muscle wasting and a frozen shoulder due to a tendon issue. I manage to teach and shoot video commercially, as well as my photography which I am hoping to do more of. I am also a full time carer for my wife who is an epileptic and has osteoperosis, arthritis and depression. My students have managed to gain the highest marks for the course in the UK! Essentially, what I am saying is that you can let it hold you back or grab life by the throat and throttle the hell out of it! Also, I am happy to use continuous lighting (which I use for video) solving the strobe issue. Just work to your physical constraints, be honest with those you work with and you should be absolutely fine. If a photographer isn't ok with it then he isn't worth working with.

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 Solveman



Photographer
City: Basildon
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Jan 27, 2012
Posts: 587

quoting post from  Solveman:

I would agree with everything stated. In my part time day job I teach disabled and disadvantaged adults a level 3 City and Guilds Diploma in Media Techniques. I am disabled myself with... here we go with the list... cervical spondylosis, arthritis, sciatica, IBS, migraine, balance issues, muscle wasting and a frozen shoulder due to a tendon issue. I manage to teach and shoot video commercially, as well as my photography which I am hoping to do more of. I am also a full time carer for my wife who is an epileptic and has osteoperosis, arthritis and depression. My students have managed to gain the highest marks for the course in the UK! Essentially, what I am saying is that you can let it hold you back or grab life by the throat and throttle the hell out of it! Also, I am happy to use continuous lighting (which I use for video) solving the strobe issue. Just work to your physical constraints, be honest with those you work with and you should be absolutely fine. If a photographer isn't ok with it then he isn't worth working with.

Your biggest issue will be other people's ignorance and intolerance.

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