I am being offered to be flown to various places in the US (I am from VA) to shoot for a weekend or so, all expenses paid plus photo shoot compensation. How do I know who's legit?
How do I travel safely? Should I bring someone? Do I have to pay for my "bodyguard"s travel expenses myself or should that be included for the photographer to pay? General tips and advice on safely traveling to meet new photographers long distances - especially FLYING!
- 3 years into the game, never been flown!
Dec 02 12 02:13 am Link
Rancho Cucamonga, California, US
If you're booked in Southern California... shoot me a message. Been on this website for close to 8 years and know thousands of regional photographers... good chance I might know them...
Dec 02 12 02:24 am Link
Nacogdoches, Texas, US
All (or most) newbies on MM receive the usual incredible offers to travel and do professional modeling gigs in distant places. After you've been here a while, those will taper off. Right now you are 'new meat' and the scammers are hoping they can get to you, before you do something smart and report them.
In the mean time... think about this... did it cross your mind that there are literally thousands and thousands of seasoned, qualified models scattered out all over the U.S? Did you ever think... 'Why would they want me when they could get a qualified model locally and save the travel expenses?' Or 'Why would they choose me out of all the models on MM?' Or even... 'This offer seems too good to be true!' Or how about this... 'WOW, I just got here and the offers are already coming! I should have become a model a long time ago!'
If you haven't yet thought about those things.... do it now.
If this offer came from a MM member... In the upper right hand corner of this page, click on 'help'... then click on 'contact a mod'... then send them a copy of the email so they can put a stop to it before someone actually sends personal info. (or worse yet... accepts a check and sends the balance to a third party), and gets burned real bad.
Newmodels.com has some great tips for you. There are hundreds of threads about 'incredible offers' and 'is this legit?' on MM. Search and read and you will be surprised to find out that you aren't the only one receiving these offers.
Be safe. Read. Learn. Enjoy your time at MM. I wish you the best
Dec 02 12 02:47 am Link
Poulsbo, Washington, US
It would probably be a good idea to downplay in your profile your screaming desire to travel until you've got *some* idea of how to travel safely.
Dec 02 12 03:27 am Link
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Minnie Prynn wrote:
Why would you even consider shooting with somebody if you felt you needed a bodyguard?
Dec 02 12 04:25 am Link
Dallas, Texas, US
Stay near home! Shoot near home!
I'm sure that if someone were willing to fly you somewhere then there should be numerous persons willing to pay you at home.
If you feel the need to protect yourself then why consider it?
Dec 02 12 04:29 am Link
Dec 02 12 12:46 pm Link
Dearborn, Michigan, US
I often shoot models that I've never met before nude. If you have reservations about the shoot don't go.
Dec 02 12 01:20 pm Link
Austin, Texas, US
Orca Bay Images wrote:
Dec 02 12 01:25 pm Link
Minnie Prynn wrote:
huh? wha? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Albertex Photography wrote:
Dec 02 12 01:27 pm Link
Olney, Maryland, US
There are several scam scenarios. Can't tell from what you posted.
Never accept a check for too much money and forward the overage to a third party.
Paying for the airline ticket can be problematic. Don't pay for it out of your own money. Don't accept a check which might bounce. A bonefide gig will provide a ticket for you.
Also, if you expect an escort to be paid for, you should ask the specific photographer, not us. The typical scam says that they will pay for an escort.
Minnie Prynn wrote:
"especially FLYING!" Take a train.
Dec 02 12 01:32 pm Link
Mark Salo wrote:
I would use
Dec 02 12 01:47 pm Link
Minnie Prynn wrote:
Are these offers coming to you in your model mayhem inbox?
Dec 02 12 01:50 pm Link
Petersburg, Virginia, US
NOOO, girl! I am hearing scam offers in your inbox right now. Listen to your gut, does that really ring true?
No way is anyone paying for your entourage.
Sorry there are so many scams out there. Crazy stuff.
Dec 02 12 01:55 pm Link
I have not received any professional offers, I have only worked with hobbyists (meaning they all have other jobs that bring home the real bacon) and most of them do not mind (even sometimes expect) the model to bring an escort. If I were going to a professional shoot I would not make it a "bring a friend to work" event.
Dec 03 12 01:58 pm Link
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Please check references. Make it a habit. Do it every time.
Dec 03 12 02:03 pm Link
Oakland Acres, Iowa, US
so, you've been llamaing for three years, but haven't flown yet.
What exactly is it about traveling further afield that you feel is a safety concern that you have not had before?
It seems to me the big difference is a flight as well as the time and possibly money commitment, none of which bringing a "body guard" addresses.
Dec 03 12 02:08 pm Link
Yes, three years of working with ONLY hobbyists in my local area. Roanoke is not a good location at all for professional modeling jobs. I suppose since I haven't been offered professional opportunities is why I am so unfamiliar with the "pros" protocol (although I was referring to less professional work seeing as that is all I am getting). And only considering BG's because I would be working with a stranger (if a "meet and greet" is not a possibility before the shoot) that only shoots as a hobby, not a job/career. Checking references is the best option I am seeing as far as "peace of mind" when working with someone I have not previously met.
Dec 03 12 02:20 pm Link
Salem, Oregon, US
i know a model who got her airfare to the east coast covered by a photographer. just do your homework on the photographer as always and make sure you don't flake on them (especially if they paid the travel in advance).
watch out for travel to dubai. supposedly you end up as a sex slave for a prince or something. at least that's what i thought i read once.
and in general i would say that once a guy starts paying you thousands of dollars you might want to consider if photography is all they're interested in (some might be expecting escort-level attention).
Dec 03 12 02:27 pm Link
Orlando, Florida, US
Minnie Prynn wrote:
At 5'2", your bread and butter paying shoot will not be a professional shooter. It will be the photographer with a little bit of money who wants to shoot your body. Some of those people will allow you to bring someone, but most will not.
Dec 03 12 02:39 pm Link
Augusta, Georgia, US
Minnie Prynn wrote:
First, Ah Home sweet home! I am from Roanoke as well! Family there and Miss it! Second! Beware. If it sounds too good to be true it is! Stick close to home and keep your expectations realistic.
Dec 03 12 02:52 pm Link
Fairfax, Virginia, US
Minnie--I'm from Virginia too (though, the other end of the State). Beautiful territory Roanoke--if you're ever in the NoVa area, drop me a line and we'll set something up.
Okay, safety for traveling models....
1. Do the best you can to be sure it's not a scam or some creepo trying to get a cute naked girl at his place for the weekend in hopes he'll get "lucky." I know, a bit hard to do but you can check references of photographers and if they can't give you good ones then don't travel. Plenty of traveling models will tell you that they make good money off of shooting for "private collectors" or hobbyists who are well off. So just b/c you got offers doesn't automatically make it a scam. But do check out the photographer. Ask for references. (or contact some of the models in his portfolio). The ideal would be to find some model's he's worked with who are traveling models (like Sera Ferron, Madame Kitty, Sie ist Idaho, Hannah Perez) who have not only shot with hundreds or thousands of photographers but are well connected. Related to that, find a model who's local to that area who's well connected and ask her for an opinion--if she's worked with this shooter or not.
2. I don't mean to make it sound like your physical safety doesn't matter but....it's far more likely you'll fly in to an area and then get cancelations. I talked to one traveling model who went to LA with a promise of 8 paying gigs...and 7 of them canceled on her. She ended up having to call her parents to have them wire her money just so she could get home. So if it's a traveling gig, either make sure that the traveling expenses are covered upfront (under no condition should you pay for the ticket with the promise that you'll be reimbursed). Or get traveling arrangements that are cheap/free (staying with another model who is local).
3. Traveling with an escort, friend or body guard just isn't viable. Unless you've stumbled across a rich dude with money to burn, no-one is going to pay for a second person to travel...unless they're part of the shoot. I've known some traveling models who do travel in pairs...partially for the friendship but also the security. But you could book them both. To travel with an escort (even assuming most photographers wouldn't be put off by that) doubles your expenses. And one of the keys to being a successful traveling model is to travel cheap--minimize your expenses.
4. Get details upfront (where are you staying, approximate time of the shoot) and set up pre-arranged "check-in" calls with someone who is reliable...to let them know you arrived on time, etc. Get the same details from the shooter too (b/c you need to be able to notify him if you get lost, your flight is running late, etc.).
5. If you're looking to get into traveling as a model, the key (as I pointed out earlier) is to minimize your expenses. If you can get a photographer to cover your airfare in exchange for shooting time, and a local model to let you sleep on her sofa and you eat cheaply....then probably half of your shoot income is profit (rather than going to traveling costs). Other models will book a workshop and use that as an anchor (and then book shoots up around that).
One last point: as a general rule, I'd suggest that you start with some smaller steps. Travel to a city that you can drive to (so you have a car and control over your transportation) that is close by or maybe you have friends at (former college roommate or buddy that moved from Roanoke or a distant cousin). Before you travel to that city, book a couple of shoots (contact photographers directly or set up a casting call). Get a feel for what it's like living out of a backpack, doing 2-3 shoots a day in different locations in a strange city. But you'll have a safety net (like your car and friend/family in the area). You'll then find that flying to a strange city to shoot with a complete stranger isn't such a learning curve for you--you've already acquired some of the skills on screening and safety behavior that this thread has addressed. View it (a smaller, shorter trip to a drivable location) as an investment in your education as a model.
Best of luck whichever way you decide to go,
Dec 05 12 03:41 am Link
Los Angeles, California, US
Post hidden on Feb 12, 2013 03:32 pm
Reason: violates rules
Feb 12 13 01:39 pm Link
Seattle, Washington, US
Feb 12 13 03:15 pm Link