Forums > General Industry > Ambushed by model's parents!

Photographer

Urban Candy

Posts: 8

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Hi guys,

I had a shoot last week with a model at a very populated area on the Gold Coast, Queensland.  It was school holidays so I drove to the location early and picked a quiet spot about 200 meters down from the busy tourist beach and decided to shoot on a sandy track leading to the beach.

The model arrived and while we were having an introductory chat in the main carpark (aproximately 100 cars parked around), I noticed two people walking towards us in their mid 40's.  They walked right up to me and said "hi, we are ...... parent's".   

I was a bit taken aback but I was polite and courteous.  They said "we are just here to make sure you are not a wierdo"..

So here we are and I am feeling really uncomfortable and I expected after a few minutes chatting that they would be ok for myself and their daughter to drive down the beach road to the location about 200 meters
from the carpark. 

They said "we will drive behind you guys and meet you there"

So we got in our cars (myself first, the model second and the parents last)..  I nearly decided to keep driving and go home at this point...

Then we all got out and walked up the track and I began to shoot with the parents watching.  After ten minutes they decided to go for a beach walk but returned about 30 minutes later and watched me shoot for another 5 minutes before leaving...

Now I understand about model security and I have never told a model that she cannot bring a 'support' person along but it would have been great if she had asked or even just told me that they were coming..

I felt very uncomfortable as I don't enjoy onlookers and I wanted to hear your thoughts?

Thanks

Oct 10 12 10:43 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6706

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Was she an adult?

Oct 10 12 10:46 pm Link

Photographer

R A V E N D R I V E

Posts: 15867

New York, New York, US

well, do you still support "support persons"?


similar experiences are how every other photographer have made their conclusion

Oct 10 12 10:46 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27257

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

So I guess what you learned is that you aren't  "a weirdo "?

Oct 10 12 10:46 pm Link

Model

Aaliyah Love

Posts: 113

Los Angeles, California, US

IF she was over 18 she should of at least ASKED your permission. NEVER bring unexpected or unwanted guests to a JOB! That was very unprofessional of her and kind of creepy on her parent's part. I would of prob canceled the shoot:/

Oct 10 12 10:48 pm Link

Photographer

Don Olson Imagery

Posts: 291

Eugene, Oregon, US

Security goes both ways. As well as being up front and honest. Which the model wasn't.

Oct 10 12 10:48 pm Link

Photographer

Blue Ash Film Group

Posts: 9545

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

How old is the llama?

Oct 10 12 10:48 pm Link

Photographer

Urban Candy

Posts: 8

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

She is 17 years old so in Qld she is an adult.

Oct 10 12 10:50 pm Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32234

Woodinville, Washington, US

-JAY- wrote:
Was she an adult?

Not if she brings Mommy and Daddy.

Oct 10 12 10:55 pm Link

Photographer

SB Glamour Photos

Posts: 712

Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

If i brought bouncers to a shoot, I am sure it would make the model uncomfortable and think i am a weirdo.

I dont understand why it is always the photographer that has to be the weirdo. Should i bring my parents to shoots to protect me from weirdo models.

Oct 10 12 10:55 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1720

San Antonio, Texas, US

Really ????

Oct 10 12 10:56 pm Link

Photographer

DG at studio47

Posts: 2365

East Ridge, Tennessee, US

ok, so she is legally an "adult" who is followed around by mommy and daddy. 17yo, probably still lives at home? told mom n dad about the shoot and they decided to show up on their own? or at the daughter's request? the model did not do her homework in establishing you as a reliable individual with references that she could also share with mommy/daddy? lots of questions in a scenario that presents itself here all the time. llama herders, known llama herders, secret llama herders, family llama herders.....................................

Oct 10 12 10:57 pm Link

Photographer

Karl Blessing

Posts: 30853

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

Urban Candy wrote:
She is 17 years old so in Qld she is an adult.

Course in the US she'd still be a minor and couldn't sign a model release by herself (or at all I don't think).

But yea I agree with what someone said earlier, if she's bringing mommy and daddy around to make her decisions for her, still a child.

Oct 10 12 10:58 pm Link

Model

hygvhgvkhy

Posts: 2092

Chicago, Illinois, US

Urban Candy wrote:
She is 17 years old so in Qld she is an adult.

You dont say......

Oct 10 12 10:58 pm Link

Model

J Jessica

Posts: 2337

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, US

Urban Candy wrote:
Hi guys,

I had a shoot last week with a model at a very populated area on the Gold Coast, Queensland.  It was school holidays so I drove to the location early and picked a quiet spot about 200 meters down from the busy tourist beach and decided to shoot on a sandy track leading to the beach.

The model arrived and while we were having an introductory chat in the main carpark (aproximately 100 cars parked around), I noticed two people walking towards us in their mid 40's.  They walked right up to me and said "hi, we are ...... parent's".   

I was a bit taken aback but I was polite and courteous.  They said "we are just here to make sure you are not a wierdo"..

So here we are and I am feeling really uncomfortable and I expected after a few minutes chatting that they would be ok for myself and their daughter to drive down the beach road to the location about 200 meters
from the carpark. 

They said "we will drive behind you guys and meet you there"

So we got in our cars (myself first, the model second and the parents last)..  I nearly decided to keep driving and go home at this point...

Then we all got out and walked up the track and I began to shoot with the parents watching.  After ten minutes they decided to go for a beach walk but returned about 30 minutes later and watched me shoot for another 5 minutes before leaving...

Now I understand about model security and I have never told a model that she cannot bring a 'support' person along but it would have been great if she had asked or even just told me that they were coming..

I felt very uncomfortable as I don't enjoy onlookers and I wanted to hear your thoughts?

Thanks

Since she was a teenage adult/young adult, it's nice that her parents care.
I can tell they care a LOT. o_O
It's quite strange that they'd do this in-person (there are cellphones)... But... To each his or her own...

Did the shoot turn out well?
I'm sure there are worse things that could happen, too. smile
At least you and the model were not abducted by aliens. That happens a lot. yikes

Oct 10 12 11:05 pm Link

Photographer

Urban Candy

Posts: 8

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Yes, shoot turned out fine and yes in this day and age I think its great that these parents care about their daughter.  I se nothing wrong in that.  My issue is that I wasn't informed they were coming and certainly did not think that after they met me they would become onlookers.

But yes, there could have been worse things to happen for sure...

Oct 10 12 11:07 pm Link

Photographer

True Colours Photograph

Posts: 203

Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

If it happened to me we would have be taking an early mark.  I have a strict "no boyfriends, SO's, parents rule."  A female chaperone is OK provided it is pre-arranged.  In fact I encourage it.

As for the model's age, I have had several conversations with Queensland police officers regarding the legality of shooting with young models.  Their responses varied a little, and as best I can sort it there is no clear answer.  The situation is confusing to say the least. 

It seems that a girl can legally work as a stripper at 17, but can't be on premises licensed to sell alcohol, neither as a worker nor a customer, until the age of 18.  Can legally have sex at 16, but can't marry without parental consent until 18.  Can legally leave home and set up house with a boyfriend at 14 with the support of the Department of Families, Housing, and Community Services.  The parents have no say in the matter, but the couple can't legally have sex until she is 16, he 17.  She can legally work as a nude artists'/photographers' model from any age, but needs parental consent up to the age of 17.  Context and content considerations apply.

She can join the Defence Forces at 16, but can't vote until 18.  Over-riding the lot is that she can't sign a legally binding contract until she is 18.

My take on it is that if she can work as a stripper at 17, she can shoot with me.

Oct 11 12 12:28 am Link

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Model

Anna Adrielle

Posts: 18763

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Urban Candy wrote:
Yes, shoot turned out fine and yes in this day and age I think its great that these parents care about their daughter.  I se nothing wrong in that.  My issue is that I wasn't informed they were coming and certainly did not think that after they met me they would become onlookers.

But yes, there could have been worse things to happen for sure...

have you talked to the model about this?

shoot went fine, great that the parents care... othe than you feeling uncomfortable (which you shouldn't have, by the way) no harm was done. SO I wouldn't make a very big deal about it to the model, but I would definitely say something along the lines of "hey, I would have been cool if you brought your parents, but you should have said something beforehand. I felt a bit ambushed right now, you understand?"

Oct 11 12 12:32 am Link

Photographer

Drew Smith Photography

Posts: 5210

Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

Meh.

So what.

The thing to do is find a quite, reflective spot and have a think about the experience and see if there is any 'learning' there.

Then move on. smile

ps. You cannot control life, you can only control how you react to it. I think you reacted appropriately under the circumstances.

Oct 11 12 12:37 am Link

Photographer

Rich Burroughs

Posts: 3259

Portland, Oregon, US

How many times have I see threads here where people agree to things they didn't want to and then complain about it later?

If you didn't want them around you should have told them so.

Oct 11 12 12:50 am Link

Model

hygvhgvkhy

Posts: 2092

Chicago, Illinois, US

True Colours Photograph wrote:
If it happened to me we would have be taking an early mark.  I have a strict "no boyfriends, SO's, parents rule."  A female chaperone is OK provided it is pre-arranged.

As for the model's age, I have had several conversations with Queensland police officers regarding the legality of shooting with young models.  Their responses varied a little, and as best I can sort it there is no clear answer.  The situation is confusing to say the least. 

It seems that a girl can legally work as a stripper at 17, but can't be on premises licensed to sell alcohol, neither as a worker nor a customer, until the age of 18.  Can legally have sex at 16, but can't marry without parental consent until 18.  Can legally leave home and set up house with a boyfriend at 14 with the support of the Department of Families, Housing, and Community Services.  The parents have no say in the matter, but the couple can't legally have sex until she is 16, he 17.  She can legally work as a nude artists'/photographers' model from any age, but needs parental consent up to the age of 17.  Context and content considerations apply.

She can join the Defence Forces at 16, but can't vote until 18.  Over-riding the lot is that she can't sign a legally binding contract until she is 18.

My take on it is that if she can work as a stripper at 17, she can shoot with me.

Wait a minute its illegal to have sex in Australia until a certain age????


they might be on to something...

Oct 11 12 12:55 am Link

Photographer

fiona Quinn photographe

Posts: 287

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Ah does it really matter? 17 is still pretty young and I don't think its unreasonable for parents to be concerned about their teenage daughter meeting up with a stranger even if it is in a public place. She probably still lives at home. If you got good pics whats the harm for 15mins of being watched and feeling a little uncomfortable  its not personal they are just looking out for their kid and hey you passed the test.
I often find if I am shooting anyone under 18 I have to sometimes reassure the parents if the model is still living at home and is fairly new to modelling.

Oct 11 12 01:09 am Link

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Model

Anna Adrielle

Posts: 18763

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Presley ONeil wrote:

Wait a minute its illegal to have sex in Australia until a certain age????


they might be on to something...

...isn't it the same in the US?

Oct 11 12 01:13 am Link

Model

hygvhgvkhy

Posts: 2092

Chicago, Illinois, US

Anna Adrielle wrote:

...isn't it the same in the US?

only if one of the people is over 18.

two underage isnt illegal..

Oct 11 12 01:21 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Happened to me once - 18yo newbie model who had told me she'd be bringing 'a' freind, eventually turned up with three freinds and her parents, who quizzed me in the studio as to exactly the type of images we'd be shooting and going over the release and usage agreement in fine detail, even though I'd emailed it to the model two weeks previously.

Had I not also contraced a MUA for the shoot (paid, even though the model was on TFP-basis), I'd have binned it all there and then, but I'd still have had to pay the MUA's $80 fee.

Thankfully they left while she was in make-up, but it left a distinctly bad taste in the mouth...
The model also turned out the be the most drama after the shoot as she announced at the end that she wanted all the RAW images as she "wanted to try out her photoshop skills with her freind who was also a photographer "(one who was present at the shoot)...

I think after I presented her with my selection (25-ish as I recall) there were a further 50 emails from her demanding in ever more shrill tones 'her' photos...

Oct 11 12 04:10 am Link

Photographer

Jeffrey M Fletcher

Posts: 4344

Asheville, North Carolina, US

Op: It sounds quite awkward, you probably made the best of it if you didn't want to take a more assertive and possibly argumentative tack and end the shoot early. I agree with some of the others in that I insist on working with adults who also behave in an adult manner, which doesn't include having family members show up at work unannounced.

However, this is a young person and it could be helpful if you had a conversation with her about how you run your business and expectations and whether this actually fits with her current living situation and life.


(begin threadjack)

Presley ONeil wrote:
only if one of the people is over 18.

two underage isnt illegal..

Actually every state in the US has some version of age of consent laws under which sex is illegal for persons under a certain age. In your state the age of consent is 17. The illegality is based on the age of the younger participant, in your state it is the older partner who can be charged in the 13-17 age group in the event of penetration or sexual conduct. In Illinois the law is written with an increased level of charges and penalties when there is a more than 5 year difference in age between the participants.

(end threadjack, back to photography)

Oct 11 12 04:49 am Link

Photographer

Woven Thought

Posts: 329

Petersburg, Virginia, US

As a mom, I can understand this.  As a professional, I still can see this happening and understand it.  I agree, it messes up the vibe, but you can't INSTANTLY have a great relationship with someone. 

Seventeen is AWFULLY young.  I don't care what any country's age of adulthood is, generally 25 is about right.  Unfortunately, I've known some hardened adult 16-year-olds (which is just sad).  Think about all the "adult" decisions you made in your teens and early twenties!!  I have several I wish I could take back.

Always obstacles to overcome!

Oct 11 12 05:03 am Link

Photographer

Loki Studio

Posts: 3024

Royal Oak, Michigan, US

Yes having a model's parents there is a little strange, just as if your parents showed up and told the model they were there to make sure she was not "a weirdo".  Yes it would have been an easier situation if the model told you in advance.  Still, when you are shooting in public you have to be able to keep focus even when there are people around.

All factors that are critical for the success of your shoots should be agreed with the model before it starts.  Simply telling every model need to approve of any extra guests at your shoot would have prevented this situation.

Oct 11 12 05:13 am Link

Photographer

Kevin Ian

Posts: 333

Columbus, Ohio, US

Presley ONeil wrote:

only if one of the people is over 18.

two underage isnt illegal..

Very wrong.

Oct 11 12 05:14 am Link

Retoucher

Angela Perez

Posts: 340

Orlando, Florida, US

Meh they watched you for 15 mins and left, You were in a public beach I'm pretty sure others also watch. If they would have pestered you or stayed the whole entirety of the shoot I would understand but the parents seemed to behave  accordingly.

Oct 11 12 05:14 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36719

Columbus, Ohio, US

Presley ONeil wrote:

only if one of the people is over 18.

two underage isnt illegal..

It seems you need to educate yourself on a number of topics.

Oct 11 12 05:19 am Link

Photographer

Outa the Box

Posts: 24

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Angela Perez wrote:
Meh they watched you for 15 mins and left you were in a public beach I'm pretty sure others also watch. If they would have pestered you or stayed the whole entirety of the shoot I would understand but the parents seemed to behave  accordingly.

+1

Oct 11 12 05:25 am Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 2996

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

True Colours Photograph wrote:
If it happened to me we would have be taking an early mark.  I have a strict "no boyfriends, SO's, parents rule."  A female chaperone is OK provided it is pre-arranged.

As for the model's age, I have had several conversations with Queensland police officers regarding the legality of shooting with young models.  Their responses varied a little, and as best I can sort it there is no clear answer.  The situation is confusing to say the least. 

It seems that a girl can legally work as a stripper at 17, but can't be on premises licensed to sell alcohol, neither as a worker nor a customer, until the age of 18.  Can legally have sex at 16, but can't marry without parental consent until 18.  Can legally leave home and set up house with a boyfriend at 14 with the support of the Department of Families, Housing, and Community Services.  The parents have no say in the matter, but the couple can't legally have sex until she is 16, he 17.  She can legally work as a nude artists'/photographers' model from any age, but needs parental consent up to the age of 17.  Context and content considerations apply.

She can join the Defence Forces at 16, but can't vote until 18.  Over-riding the lot is that she can't sign a legally binding contract until she is 18.

My take on it is that if she can work as a stripper at 17, she can shoot with me.

That is an excellent digest, Cliff.  Well done!.

Oct 11 12 05:30 am Link

Photographer

Woven Thought

Posts: 329

Petersburg, Virginia, US

Presley ONeil wrote:
only if one of the people is over 18.

two underage isnt illegal..

Cherrystone wrote:
It seems you need to educate yourself on a number of topics.

No, if the age gap is too large, and I think it's only two years in some states, it IS still illegal.  A 17-year-old may not have sex with a 12-year-old legally in every state in the US, I do believe.  I also think the law is never for under a certain age, 12-ish.  Of course every state is different, but there are similarities.

Oct 11 12 05:42 am Link

Retoucher

Angela Perez

Posts: 340

Orlando, Florida, US

Cherrystone wrote:
It seems you need to educate yourself on a number of topics.

If 2 underage kids of the same age have sex who gets prosecuted?

example two 10 year old's have sex is it illegal? And if it is illegal then who is prosecuted?

Oct 11 12 05:43 am Link

Photographer

Woven Thought

Posts: 329

Petersburg, Virginia, US

Angela Perez wrote:
If 2 underage kids of the same age have sex who goes to Jail?

Generally that isn't illegal.  If they're under a certain age, like 12, probably their parents.  And honestly, I don't think they'd go to jail, they'd be taken out of the home and put in foster care.

Oct 11 12 05:47 am Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 2996

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Urban Candy wrote:
Yes, shoot turned out fine and yes in this day and age I think its great that these parents care about their daughter.  I se nothing wrong in that.  My issue is that I wasn't informed they were coming and certainly did not think that after they met me they would become onlookers.

But yes, there could have been worse things to happen for sure...

It is good to hear that the shoot turned out OK.

I had a similar situation not so long ago where model (aged 20 and last logged on to MM 2 days ago) turned up with unannounced mother.  Mother hung around for about 30 mins, made a number of mildly insulting comments about Australians, and then left.

Daughter turned out to be a real clunker - it was TF so I sent her the best of the batch but there was nothing that I could use for my own portfolio.  To top it off, I checked her portfolio a few months later and read how she described the various shoots she had done so far as "to this date I think I have only found one picture that is good enough for my portfolio".

At least you did better than that.

Oct 11 12 05:47 am Link

Photographer

Jeffrey M Fletcher

Posts: 4344

Asheville, North Carolina, US

Woven Thought wrote:

No, if the age gap is too large, and I think it's only two years in some states, it IS still illegal.  A 17-year-old may not have sex with a 12-year-old legally in every state in the US, I do believe.  I also think the law is never for under a certain age, 12-ish.  Of course every state is different, but there are similarities.

Again. Actually in her state no one under the age of 17 may legally consent to sex. Not under any circumstances, not if the two individuals are born on the same day, not with parental permission, a note from the teacher, permission from the local judge... Under 17 is under age of consent in Illinois. There is a more severe level of charges if there is a more than 5 year age difference and the younger individual is in the 13-17 age group.

Woven Thought wrote:
Generally that isn't illegal.  If they're under a certain age, like 12, probably their parents.  And honestly, I don't think they'd go to jail, they'd be taken out of the home and put in foster care.

Please re-check your information. In Illinois, people under the age of 17 may not legally consent to sex. This is not dependent on the age difference or similarity of the participants.

Oct 11 12 05:53 am Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 2996

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Angela Perez wrote:
If 2 underage kids of the same age have sex who goes to Jail?

Woven Thought wrote:
Generally that isn't illegal.  If they're under a certain age, like 12, probably their parents.  And honestly, I don't think they'd go to jail, they'd be taken out of the home and put in foster care.

You may find that there is a legal presumption that anyone so young is physically incapable of sex, so no offence is possible.

Beyond that, at that age neither party would have full legal responsibility because they are judged to have a limited understanding of the consequences of their actions.  Under the british legal system, which is also the foundation of the american legal system, children under 7 years of age are considered to be wild animals basically with no comprehension of the consequences of their action and hence incapable of criminal actions.

As they get older, they assume more legal responsibility and may be "adult" by 12 or a bit later, depending on the jurisdiction, but, even then, most western countries have children's courts for young teens even though they may be old enough for full legal responsibility.

Oct 11 12 05:57 am Link

Retoucher

Angela Perez

Posts: 340

Orlando, Florida, US

Jeffrey M Fletcher wrote:
Again. Actually in her state no one under the age of 17 may legally consent to sex. Not under any circumstances, not if the two individuals are born on the same day, not with parental permission, a note from the teacher, permission from the local judge... Under 17 is under age of consent in Illinois. There is a more severe level of charges if there is a more than 5 year age difference and the younger individual is in the 13-17 age group.


Please re-check your information. In Illinois, people under the age of 17 may not legally consent to sex. This is not dependent on the age difference or similarity of the participants.

who gets prosecuted if both children are the same age? Do both children get charged or the parents?

Oct 11 12 06:00 am Link