Amherst, Massachusetts, US
I've been on MM for 2 days now and have received messages from two local photographers, both located in the same town as me. Their messages were both definitely human-sounding (I'm pretty sure they are real people) so I agreed to do a shoot with one of them outdoors in a public park. I'm nervous to go anywhere private because I'm a girl going by myself. Is there anything else I should know to avoid getting somehow scammed?? Is this typical for MM newbies?
Aug 19 13 11:49 am Link
Belmont, California, US
Yes, fresh models are in great demand.
There are many postings on vetting photographers, if you want to search on the subject. Shooting in a public park is a great idea. So is a telephone call ahead of time and checking references.
As for your question on scams, read this:
Welcome and have fun!
Aug 19 13 11:54 am Link
Sarasota, Florida, US
How are you expecting to get scammed? Might they not give you your images? Sure. Might you possible flake? Maybe. Might they make overtures you don't like? Maybe. And that would be different from any non photographer you meet in a club or bar??
Just relax and enjoy the shoot. You said its in a public place so that should reduce the anxiety. Also, let a friend know the details and what time you will be done and you'll call afterwards. You have less to worry about with a photographer than the hot guy you're on a date with. .
Now have fun and let us know how it went.
Lakeville, Massachusetts, US
Welcome to MM! I'm originally from MA and there are a lot of great people in your area.
Ask local models who have been on MM for a while who they like working with, who they don't recommend, and always trust your own gut instinct over anything else.
I let someone know where I'm going and who I'm working with, even if I have a good feeling about them. Meeting in public is a good idea as well!
Orlando, Florida, US
Tell people where you'll be.
Get a phone number for the photographer and verify it's theirs.
Do the shoot and have fun.
On the scale of red flag shoots, this doesn't have any as you've described.
Aug 19 13 11:58 am Link
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Welcome to MM!
When you book a shoot with a photographer, one thing you can do for your safety is check out references. Message models he previously worked with and ask them how the shoot went.
When I go to a shoot, I either check references, bring someone with me (this is a controversial one because many people don't like to have someone not participating to the shoot on set), or if I go alone I leave the photographer phone number and address where the shoot will take place to a relative.
Aug 19 13 12:00 pm Link
Buena Park, California, US
Emily Messing wrote:
Look up other people they have worked with and check up on them.
Aug 19 13 12:26 pm Link
Savannah, Georgia, US
Also, check out the location. A recent collaboration between myself and a model was at a public park, but we chose it for the lack of public actually there. There is hardly ever anyone out there, so we didn't have to contend with trying to not get kids in our shots, that kind of thing. But checking out the location ahead of time can help put your mind at ease as well. Try to make it on the same day of the week, and about the same time as your shoot will be.
Aug 19 13 12:33 pm Link
New Orleans, Louisiana, US
emily, this is kind of a tough one! because in order to get photos, you do have to put yourself out there and take a risk...absolutely there are dangerous people on here (as there are in the real world) but also bear in mind that there are excellent photographers as well. as others have said, go to a public place and definitely check up on the photographer. there are red flags and you will know them when you see them....such as not being able to find the photographer's web site, them not having any models pictured in their albums, etc!!
but the risk is often worth it, as it can lead to some great pics! fwiw, i'm glad i put myself out there (though i have brought an escort...i recommend finding someone, as it will make you feel 100000x more safe)
Aug 19 13 12:57 pm Link
Los Angeles, California, US
Relax and enjoy the shoot. Obviously the photographers see your potential. Don't blow a great shoot by looking nervous.
Also if he/she is in your same town it should be pretty easy to check them out before the shoot.
Have fun, and looking forward to seeing the pics
Aug 19 13 01:08 pm Link
San Francisco, California, US
Everybody has to have a first shoot. Be careful and I am sure it will work out fine. Pretty soon you will develop an internal barometer to help you figure out which shoots are a problem and which are not.
Aug 19 13 01:11 pm Link
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Another 5 cents here - find a pro photographer friend (even here) and ask for advise about particular photographer.
Check his/her profile. Do you like style and results?
Aug 19 13 01:18 pm Link
STUDIO CITY, California, US
Toto Photo wrote:
Aug 19 13 01:28 pm Link
Peoria, Illinois, US
Olga Ratinova wrote:
Ditto ... always always check references if you can Some new photogs may not have any yet though so you gotta use your Spider senses ... if they are tingling don't shoot. Your trepidation will show up int the images.
Aug 19 13 01:31 pm Link
Royal Oak, Michigan, US
Most people meet other people in public and semi-public places everyday in complete safety. I'm sure even you have met many people who were formally strangers in school, work, and family situations before without problems. Being "scammed" means somebody is using lies or tricks to take your money or property. I fail to see how that is possible on a photo shoot in a public park.
Some amateur photographers will not have concerns with you bringing a friend to a shoot build an illusion of safety. Almost all professional or contract employers do not expect you to come to work with friends. In reality, all people are at much higher risk of violence or problems with people they already know.
I hope that your first experiences with modeling are good and you realize that basic research and trusting your instincts can make modeling as safe as any other activity. Independent traveling is essential to professional paid work as a model. If you are only going to book shoots with people you already know, you won't make it as a model.
Aug 19 13 01:40 pm Link
New York, New York, US
When I'm in an unfamiliar situation, I like to set up a safe call with a friend of mine. We decide on a time in which I agree to contact him/her to let them know I'm ok. I've done this once when I was working until really late. My friend was nice enough to talk to me on the phone while I walked to the train station which made me feel safer.
Aug 19 13 02:48 pm Link
Sacramento, California, US
Emily Messing wrote:
Yes, especially newbies who have never been out with a new person for any reason whatsoever.
Aug 19 13 03:12 pm Link
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Photographers contacting models to set up shoots is kind of what MM is all about.
Welcome to the MAYHEM
Here's an excellent post by Madame Bink, one of the best known and most successful art nude models in the UK. She's been modelling (mostly nude) for 6 years and has never had a serious problem with a photographer because she uses her head and takes reasonable precautions, including checking references, before working with somebody for the first time.
Starting Modelling: Staying Safe - by Madame Bink
Just my $0.02
Aug 19 13 03:16 pm Link
New York, New York, US
Last question first: Yes, it's usual for newbies to have a lot of fears, most of them unfounded, until they get a few shoots under their belts.
Until then, may I present my own list of Ways to Avoid Dangerous People. I first posted this in another thread so not everything applies to your individual case, but they do apply generally to being safe as a model or, for that matter as pretty much anything else.
1--Take your real name off your profile. The fact that you've started this thread is now a matter of internet record. Anyone who stumbles across it can now, with a little effort, connect the idea that you pose for pictures with your real name. Therefore, and for a couple of other reasons, it's a good idea that what you do on Model Mayhem not be directly traceable back to you. You might also want to want to remove modeling references from your facebook, etc.
2--Google the people who want to shoot with you and the people with whom you want to shoot. Make sure you have not only their screen names but their real names as well. Anyone unwilling to give you his/her real name in the negotiation process is automatically suspect.
3--Proactively check references. Don't just rely on the references they provide. If they're on MM check with the people who've tagged them and/or the models they've credited in their portfolios.
4--Check their postings in the forums, not only on MM but on other social media as well. They often reveal a different persona than the one you see in their profiles.
5--If at all possible, meet them in person to discuss the proposed shoot. If that isn't possible, at the very least have a telephone conversation. You call them and record the telephone number. Make sure that all of the important conditions are discussed and agreed to, especially your personal boundaries. And keep your "Creep Meter" turned on during the conversation. If things don't look right, sound right or feel right, turn down the shoot. This is one of the few situations where "women's intuition" is a valid reason.
Once The Shoot is Set Up
6--You will be going to shoots alone and tempting though it may be, don't cut your parents or significant others out of the loop. Make sure that someone knows where you're going, with whom and when to expect you home, just in case.
7--Until you've established a good working relationship with the photographer, don't go to remote locations unless you have your own wheels. Don't rely on the photographer to take you and bring you back.
8--If possible, it's a good idea to have someone else drive you to the location and pick you up. There's a difference between a driver and an escort, and most legitimate photographers won't have a problem with a driver. If that's not possible, as soon as you arrive at the location call a significant other (and if you don't have one at that point call your own voice mail) in the presence of the photographer. The conversation should go something like this: "Hi, Mom. I'm here at 123 Anyplace with the photographer, Olden Creepie, and we should be shooting for about two hours. We should be done at 4:00 O'Clock. Yeah, I'l call you when I leave so we can go shopping. Bye." (See, I told you all those acting lessons would pay off someday!) Don't worry about insulting the photographer by doing this. If he's legit he'll applaud you for being a careful, smart woman. If he's not, he'll know that if you don't show up on time, an angry Dad with a shotgun will be out looking for him.
9--Stick to the script, at least for the first shoot with a new (to you) photographer. It's not the end of the world if he asks you to show a little more or in a different style than you had originally planned on, but once you say no (and once is enough) if he pushes you or tries to "convince" you, it should be the end of the shoot. It's your face, it's your body so it's up to you what you are willing to do with it. If it's time to walk, walk!
And Remember Model photography is statistically one of the safest pastimes around. Most of the photographers you meet will be old enough to be your father or even your grandfather, with kids and families of their own, for whom they are just as concerned as your parents are for you. In most cases, they have a place in their communities that they protect by behaving properly and professionally. Consequently you are probably as safe if not safer on a shoot than you are on a date, or going to a supermarket, or just going for a stroll in the park. Excessive hysterical fear can be every bit as dangerous as too little concern because it blinds you to what is really going on around you. Be smart, be alert and you'll be alright.
And have fun with it. Ultimately, that's what it's all about.
All IMHO, as always.
Aug 19 13 03:27 pm Link
Salem, Oregon, US
i think the reality is you are probably more at risk from guys you know than guys you don't. look at the girl who was kidnapped recently and taken to the Idaho wilderness.
that said there definitely are some creepers and you need to learn how to avoid them (if they start asking about your taste in men that's a bad sign) or deal with them if they get too hands-on during the shoot. by the way, it's not normal for a photographer to grope you -- if they need to touch you they should explain why and ask permission. maybe it's normal for models to get groped when they do runway but this isn't runway. and don't let the guy talk you out of your clothes if you haven't agreed to that beforehand. only do what you feel comfortable with. and don't hesitate to leave if things get out of hand -- i think some models are too gentle and let the photographer take liberties because they aren't sure if it's ok to say no.
there are some common sense precautions you can take but in reality a model never can be completely sure but by the same token a photographer can't be sure about the model (and her escort if she has one). we take our chances here. fortunately i think it tends to work out fine in most cases. one model i worked with recently said she encountered two creepers in her first year but has learned to weed them out in advance. i've done maybe 100 shoots with no major problems (and we allow on-set escorts).
here's one of many articles about staying safe:
anyway, you are right to be concerned about your safety. don't let anyone suggest otherwise. however be advised that not all photographers allow on-set escorts (especially boyfriend types).
Aug 20 13 12:34 pm Link
San Jose, California, US
You'll be all right have fun and enjoy..!
Aug 20 13 04:16 pm Link
Imperial, California, US
Horribly dangerous!! You could get struck by lightning posing out in the open like that!:-))))))
Aug 20 13 04:21 pm Link
Dallas, Texas, US
Emily Queen wrote:
Check to see if their profile has been around awhile and if they've shot with anyone you know and ask around. I think that is what most will tell you.
Aug 20 13 04:27 pm Link