Forums > General Industry > Shooting an underage girl

Photographer

Green Captures

Posts: 3

North Augusta, South Carolina, US

Hello everyone,

I'm new to portrait photography and I'm just starting to shoot models. I was approached by a girl who is 16 years old and according to her MM page she shoots nudes and she does lingerie and bikini shoots among everything else. Now, I have NO intentions of shooting lingerie and bikini pictures of her and especially any nude shots of her. I'm kinda worried about even doing a shoot with her because I don't want any weird stuff come up on the shoot. I'm a 23 year old guy and I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age. Any suggestions? Should I tell her to bring a chaperone or a parent? Is there Amy paperwork like a special model release for situations like this? How have y'all dealt with shoots with minors?

Apr 01 12 09:59 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21495

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

If she's on MM, she's 16, and her page says she does nudes, please share that information with the moderators.

http://www.ripoffreport.com

Apr 01 12 10:01 am Link

Photographer

Loki Studio

Posts: 3151

Royal Oak, Michigan, US

As you have noted, there are additional risks of problems at shoots with minors and they cannot sign a llama release.  I would also be highly suspicious of any profile of a minor that lists nudes or lingerie in their styles.

I never shoot with minor llamas unless they are signed with an agency and have a parent present.

Apr 01 12 10:03 am Link

Photographer

TA Craft Photography

Posts: 2879

Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Green Captures wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm new to portrait photography and I'm just starting to shoot models. I was approached by a girl who is 16 years old and according to her MM page she shoots nudes and she does lingerie and bikini shoots among everything else. Now, I have NO intentions of shooting lingerie and bikini pictures of her and especially any nude shots of her. I'm kinda worried about even doing a shoot with her because I don't want any weird stuff come up on the shoot. I'm a 23 year old guy and I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age. Any suggestions? Should I tell her to bring a chaperone or a parent? Is there Amy paperwork like a special model release for situations like this? How have y'all dealt with shoots with minors?

Last time I reported a girl for a similar profile the mod came back and said "a lot of these young girls just tick every box without actually reading it first."

Apr 01 12 10:04 am Link

Photographer

Wysiwyg Photography

Posts: 6326

Salt Lake City, Utah, US

Green Captures wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm new to portrait photography and I'm just starting to shoot models. I was approached by a girl who is 16 years old and according to her MM page she shoots nudes and she does lingerie and bikini shoots among everything else. Now, I have NO intentions of shooting lingerie and bikini pictures of her and especially any nude shots of her. I'm kinda worried about even doing a shoot with her because I don't want any weird stuff come up on the shoot. I'm a 23 year old guy and I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age. Any suggestions? Should I tell her to bring a chaperone or a parent? Is there Amy paperwork like a special model release for situations like this? How have y'all dealt with shoots with minors?

It isn't against the law to shoot any one under the age of 18 in the nude (otherwise people that have shot babies in the nude.. would have been 'taken out')

Second... I don't have the money to defend my "art" if someone found my images "pornographic" even though I found them artistic.. so I keep myself safe and just shoot 18+... It's about the curves and lines and shadows one can create with the figure of the human form.. why use someone under 18 when there are plenty over 18 for that purpose?

Last, If you want to shoot someone under 18 it's a good idea to have a parent or guardian there to sign your release..

Apr 01 12 10:07 am Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24320

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

Green Captures wrote:
I'm a 23 year old guy and I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age.

then you should stay far away from her...

http://i.imgur.com/m8TQi.png

Apr 01 12 10:12 am Link

Photographer

Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4126

Alexandria, Virginia, US

I shoot with under 18 models only if a parent or guardian at least brings her to the shoot and signs a model release - and only age appropriate topics - nothing that could be remotely considered exploitative, pervy or lacking in taste.   

I only ask for the model release as documentation of the parent's approval - with only one exception I have never used or published images of anyone under-age.

Apr 01 12 10:13 am Link

Photographer

Model And Actress

Posts: 148

Chicago, Illinois, US

Green Captures wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm new to portrait photography and I'm just starting to shoot models. I was approached by a girl who is 16 years old and according to her MM page she shoots nudes and she does lingerie and bikini shoots among everything else. Now, I have NO intentions of shooting lingerie and bikini pictures of her and especially any nude shots of her. I'm kinda worried about even doing a shoot with her because I don't want any weird stuff come up on the shoot. I'm a 23 year old guy and I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age. Any suggestions? Should I tell her to bring a chaperone or a parent? Is there Amy paperwork like a special model release for situations like this? How have y'all dealt with shoots with minors?

Contact your local law enforcement and let them talk with the District Attorneys office to determine what is best for this minor.

Apr 01 12 10:14 am Link

Model

-Lorelie-

Posts: 87

Darlington, England, United Kingdom

As a minor model myself (until August anyway!) I would be cautious of any under 18s who say they shoot nudes! However, I have shot lingerie before in tasteful ways because I'm getting closer to being an adult now, and as long as it isn't glamour style or overly sexual I wouldn't see a problem with lingerie or bikini.

However, if you want to play it safe just shoot 18+, they're generally more experienced and don't have to be chaperoned everywhere by parents/guardians so it'd probably be better anyway. You don't want to end up in a sticky situation.

Apr 01 12 10:15 am Link

Photographer

Abbitt Photography

Posts: 11931

Oakland Acres, Iowa, US

Green Captures wrote:
... I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age. Any suggestions?

My suggestion is to pass on shoots that you feel really uncomfortable about.

Apr 01 12 10:22 am Link

Model

NicoleNudes

Posts: 3963

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I would just not shoot her and save yourself the headache and trouble.

Apr 01 12 10:24 am Link

Photographer

Erlinda

Posts: 7286

London, England, United Kingdom

I've shot 14,15,16 and 17 year olds. Parents drop them off and we shoot. You can shoot the girl in a bikini you just can't have her posing like you have the other llamas in your portfolio posing. You just have to make sure that she is doing poses for her age and not overly sexy.

I don't understand why photographers are so petrified of shooting under age llamas..... I'd like to know how many actual real stories have people heard about a photographer being arrested for taking photographs of a 16 year old during a shoot? Cause I can honestly say in all the years I lived in Toronto and Paris and now London I haven't heard of one. And believe me there are many of photographers out there that shoot kids/teenagers and I'm one of them. smile

Apr 01 12 10:28 am Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11921

Olivet, Michigan, US

Green Captures wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm new to portrait photography and I'm just starting to shoot models. I was approached by a girl who is 16 years old and according to her MM page she shoots nudes and she does lingerie and bikini shoots among everything else. Now, I have NO intentions of shooting lingerie and bikini pictures of her and especially any nude shots of her. I'm kinda worried about even doing a shoot with her because I don't want any weird stuff come up on the shoot. I'm a 23 year old guy and I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age. Any suggestions? Should I tell her to bring a chaperone or a parent? Is there Amy paperwork like a special model release for situations like this? How have y'all dealt with shoots with minors?

Paintings and Pictures wrote:
Contact your local law enforcement and let them talk with the District Attorneys office to determine what is best for this minor.

"Dear police department, there's a girl on Model Mayhem who claims to be 16 and says she'll shoot nudes.  Will you have the DA determine what's best for her?"

Yeah, that'll work.

Apr 01 12 10:30 am Link

Photographer

Lance DuLac

Posts: 59

Colchester, England, United Kingdom

If she is a woman, especially a pretty young woman... she should have an escort. Always. Without a doubt.

Apr 01 12 10:31 am Link

Photographer

Erlinda

Posts: 7286

London, England, United Kingdom

Paintings and Pictures wrote:

Contact your local law enforcement and let them talk with the District Attorneys office to determine what is best for this minor.

WTF!!! District Attorneys don't have any power to determine whats best for the model unless they are her parents. roll

Apr 01 12 10:32 am Link

Photographer

Viking Models

Posts: 1553

Huntington Beach, California, US

Erlinda wrote:
I've shot 14,15,16 and 17 year olds. Parents drop them off and we shoot. You can shoot the girl in a bikini you just can't have her posing like you have the other models in your portfolio posing. You just have to make sure that she is doing poses for her age and not overly sexy.

I don't understand why photographers are so petrified of shooting under age models..... I'd like to know how many actual real stories have people heard about a photographer being arrested for taking photographs of a 16 year old during a shoot? Cause I can honestly say in all the years I lived in Toronto and Paris and now London I haven't heard of one. And believe me there are many of photographers out there that shoot kids/teenagers and I'm one of them. smile

http://davemundy.com/blog/2009/02/21/reanna-mae-taylor/

Apr 01 12 10:40 am Link

Photographer

2020 Photography

Posts: 440

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

There are three photographers in my area who shoot regularly with underage girls under very sketchy circumstances and two of them approached me and asked if I wanted to join them.  After I got a look at the way they did things I said no thanks and got the heck away from them as fast as I could but sadly that wasn't the end of it.  One of the photographers got himself butt hurt over my refusal to work with him and risk my name and reputation and he has started a smear campaign but I will have the last laugh.  Most of the people who used to hang out with him are recognizing for who he is and have dropped him and I have contacted the police who have talked with him so by being a dick this guy has hosed himself royally.

Bottom line is I tend to avoid working with under age models because there are way to many things that can go wrong.

Apr 01 12 10:40 am Link

Photographer

Michael Fryd

Posts: 4323

Miami Beach, Florida, US

Legalities:

No laws against shooting a minor nude.

Very serious laws against shooting (or possessing) pornographic images of a minor.

Parental consent does not make it legal, it makes the parents an accessory to the crime.


Realities:

Just because something is legal, doesn't mean you won't get in trouble for it.  Look around thee forums at all the stories of photographers being harassed for standing on the public sidewalk, and taking pictures of buildings, trains, etc.

Some photographers fear that by shooting nudes of a minor, they open themselves up to charges of being a child pornographer, or a pedophile.  They fear that simply being accused can cause damage to one's career, and if you need a lawyer, it could get expensive.  Some photographers take this even further, and refuse to shoot minors at all.  Keep in mind that nudity is not a requirement for an image to be legally pornographic.   Some photographers worry, that even if the images are legal, they are opening themselves up to charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Other photographers believe that art is more important, and as long as the images are legal, they will not let fear rule their lives.

Most photographers fall somewhere between the two extremes.


One of the fears is that the model's parents will go "ape shit" (a technical term) and accuse you of taking advantage of their daughter.  Forced to choose between their parents and the truth, the model may side with her parents.  As a general rule, if your are going to shoot a minor and/or nudes, you may wish a second person on the set (perhaps a female MUA).  This gives an independent witness who can testify to what really happened.

If you are worried about parental nonsense, you can suggest a parent be present. 

As to releases, you likely will want a release that is signed by both the model and the parent.  In general, a release signed only by a minor may not be binding.  Having the parent also sign the release makes it more likely to be binding.


The most important piece of advice I can give you is not to trust any legal advice you receive from the web (including this post).  I am not an attorney.  Always consult with an attorney for reliable legal advice.

Apr 01 12 10:41 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 37168

Columbus, Ohio, US

Lance DuLac wrote:
If she is a woman, especially a pretty young woman... she should have an llama herder. Always. Without a doubt.

Do you do a Dudley Do-Right imitation too?

Apr 01 12 10:42 am Link

Photographer

Michael Fryd

Posts: 4323

Miami Beach, Florida, US

Erlinda wrote:

WTF!!! District Attorneys don't have any power to determine whats best for the model unless they are her parents. roll

Contact the Republican party.  They have a lot of experience knowing what's best for women in our society.  :-)

Apr 01 12 10:43 am Link

Photographer

Skydancer Photos

Posts: 21934

Santa Cruz, California, US

Moderator Note!

Sita Mae wrote:
If she's on MM, she's 16, and her page says she does nudes, please share that information with the moderators.

http://www.ripoffreport.com

^This^

It's not allowed here on MM. It's also possible that she mistakenly checked "Yes" while selecting her model details/stats on her profile. In any case, we can discuss it with her.

Apr 01 12 10:43 am Link

Model

F Escort

Posts: 20

Detroit, Michigan, US

Lance DuLac wrote:
If she is a woman, especially a pretty young woman... she should have an escort. Always. Without a doubt.

backoff!

Shes mine!!!

Apr 01 12 10:45 am Link

Photographer

MCPHOTO

Posts: 740

Duvall, Washington, US

i have had a couple contact me that were underage and wanted to do bikini and lingerie. i just email them and say please feel free to contact me when your 18 if your still interested thank you.

Apr 01 12 10:46 am Link

Moderator

Attila the Mod

Posts: 46

Blagoevgrad, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

Moderator Note!

TA Craft Photography wrote:
Last time I reported a girl for a similar profile the mod came back and said "a lot of these young girls just tick every box without actually reading it first."

That's what 90% of them are about but we still send a message to them and make sure they change it.

To the OP:  please CAM us a link to her profile.  Thanks.

Apr 01 12 10:46 am Link

Photographer

Jouissance Images

Posts: 744

Bloomington, Minnesota, US

Green Captures wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm new to portrait photography and I'm just starting to shoot models. I was approached by a girl who is 16 years old and according to her MM page she shoots nudes and she does lingerie and bikini shoots among everything else. Now, I have NO intentions of shooting lingerie and bikini pictures of her and especially any nude shots of her. I'm kinda worried about even doing a shoot with her because I don't want any weird stuff come up on the shoot. I'm a 23 year old guy and I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age. Any suggestions? Should I tell her to bring a chaperone or a parent? Is there Amy paperwork like a special model release for situations like this? How have y'all dealt with shoots with minors?

Sounds as if this could be an undercover cop in disguise.

Apr 01 12 10:47 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12899

Atlanta, Georgia, US

A large number of fashion models are under 18, I have shot many myself but I don't shoot anything even remotely sexy and their parent is always present.  Its fairly common, Ford has a 15 year old in fashion week.  Again it's the context that is in question, however if you don't feel comfortable then don't; the images won't be worth using if you are uncomfortable anyhow  regardless of the models age so what would be the point

Apr 01 12 10:48 am Link

Photographer

KeithD3

Posts: 1434

Kansas City, Missouri, US

Lance DuLac wrote:
If she is a woman, especially a pretty young woman... she should have an escort. Always. Without a doubt.

Why?  Are you a danger to them?

I shoot minors all the time for portraits, family photos and senior sessions.  Parents are present most of the time and the wardrobe of the minor is always age appropriate.  No sexy shoots at all but that is just my policy not necessarily the law.

Apr 01 12 10:49 am Link

Photographer

Centaura

Posts: 5

Wenatchee, Washington, US

It's all right there for you, all good advice, if in dought, can it. Dought is a warning.

Apr 01 12 10:50 am Link

Photographer

Brian T Rickey

Posts: 4008

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

F Escort wrote:

backoff!

Shes mine!!!

lol

Apr 01 12 10:51 am Link

Moderator

Attila the Mod

Posts: 46

Blagoevgrad, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

Jouissance Images wrote:
Sounds as if this could be an undercover cop in disguise.

I've wondered that myself before but have never heard of it really happening.  Just shooting nudes isn't illegal in most places at least, it's the style.  Might happen in a specific locale if they were trolling for someone particular.

Apr 01 12 10:52 am Link

Photographer

Erlinda

Posts: 7286

London, England, United Kingdom

Kevin 66 Photography wrote:

http://davemundy.com/blog/2009/02/21/reanna-mae-taylor/

I'm sorry, what is this link for? To show me that photographers shoot glamour with 16 year olds?

Apr 01 12 10:53 am Link

Photographer

Green Captures

Posts: 3

North Augusta, South Carolina, US

Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm going to have to cancel the shoot. Someone mentioned that there are ways to pose young girls in bikini without it being risque or suggestive but, like I mentioned, Im new to this type of photography and working on learning how to pose girls so I don't feel comfortable in knowing exactly what works and what doesn't, or what's specifically allowed for a girl her age. I rather get more experience first. Also, being that I live on the border of GA and SC it'd be too much of a hassle trying to figure out the laws for both states and just seems like too much trouble for a TFP event anyways. Again, thanks!

Apr 01 12 10:55 am Link

Model

Miss Leilani Jade

Posts: 2513

Decatur, Alabama, US

under 18 model here... lol I have never posed a problem for photographers as far as I know.  My Mom however doesnt ever drop me off, she stays and reads magazines or something.  Helps me with my outfit changes and does hair and makeup if it isnt provided.  Most photographers wouldn't want her to leave me there.

But nude, nope not happening

Apr 01 12 10:58 am Link

Photographer

Erlinda

Posts: 7286

London, England, United Kingdom

Green Captures wrote:
Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm going to have to cancel the shoot. Someone mentioned that there are ways to pose young girls in bikini without it being risque or suggestive but, like I mentioned, Im new to this type of photography and working on learning how to pose girls so I don't feel comfortable in knowing exactly what works and what doesn't, or what's specifically allowed for a girl her age. I rather get more experience first. Also, being that I live on the border of GA and SC it'd be too much of a hassle trying to figure out the laws for both states and just seems like too much trouble for a TFP event anyways. Again, thanks!

You talk about gaining experience but how are you going to do that if you don't work with underage models?

Apr 01 12 10:59 am Link

Photographer

Marc Rosebeck

Posts: 2281

Albany, New York, US

Green Captures wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm new to portrait photography and I'm just starting to shoot models. I was approached by a girl who is 16 years old and according to her MM page she shoots nudes and she does lingerie and bikini shoots among everything else. Now, I have NO intentions of shooting lingerie and bikini pictures of her and especially any nude shots of her. I'm kinda worried about even doing a shoot with her because I don't want any weird stuff come up on the shoot. I'm a 23 year old guy and I feel really uncomfortable with this shoot die to her age. Any suggestions? Should I tell her to bring a chaperone or a parent? Is there Amy paperwork like a special model release for situations like this? How have y'all dealt with shoots with minors?

this sounds like a lie?

Apr 01 12 11:03 am Link

Model

Bella la Bell

Posts: 4451

Kansas City, Missouri, US

S W I N S K E Y wrote:

then you should stay far away from her...

Agreed.
Tell her she has to have a parent there and they both must sign the release... that might make it much better for you.

Apr 01 12 11:05 am Link

Photographer

New Kidd Imagery

Posts: 1909

South Salt Lake, Utah, US

Against the law?
nope.

Against the rules here on MM?
Yep.

Only shoot models that are 18+
It takes care of all the guess work of "Well is this age appropriate?"


Though, I have found that most americans would be more acceptable of a young (underage) girl doing some overly sexual clothed shoot than an artistic with zero sexual overtones (the type you would seen in an art gallery) nude shoot.

"Well.. you see... it's not porn because she isn't naked.." roll

Apr 01 12 11:26 am Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24320

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

S W I N S K E Y wrote:
then you should stay far away from her...

Bella la Bell wrote:
Agreed. Tell her she has to have a parent there and they both must sign the release... that might make it much better for you.

personally, i am way comfortable shooting any age female. An underage female doesn't cause me one minute's hesitation....age appropriate is the key.

if the OP is not comfortable around teenage girls, he should leave the shooting to someone that is..

http://i.imgur.com/m8TQi.png

Apr 01 12 11:41 am Link

Photographer

Erlinda

Posts: 7286

London, England, United Kingdom

New Kidd Imagery wrote:
Against the law?
nope.

Against the rules here on MM?
Yep.


Only shoot models that are 18+
It takes care of all the guess work of "Well is this age appropriate?"


Though, I have found that most americans would be more acceptable of a young (underage) girl doing some overly sexual clothed shoot than an artistic with zero sexual overtones (the type you would seen in an art gallery) nude shoot.

"Well.. you see... it's not porn because she isn't naked.." roll

Please do not make up MM rules.... There is nowhere on MM where it states that it's against MM rules to shoot underage models. If that was the case they wouldn't be allowed to sign up to the site roll

Apr 01 12 11:42 am Link

Photographer

Lamar

Posts: 77

Wilton, New Hampshire, US

Under 18 a parent parent or guardian must be present no way around this and I have received complaints from seniors.

Apr 01 12 11:52 am Link