Forums > General Industry > Model wrath....when should you cut your losses?

Photographer

altSWANK

Posts: 89

Maplewood, New Jersey, US

I've had a particularly difficult model to deal with lately and I'm not sure what to do.  This is unusual because most models I shoot with are pleasant and professional.

This began the end of December when I put a casting call out for a magazine submission.  A model answered who I thought might be a very good fit.  In early conversations, she stated that she's looking to get signed by an agency in NY while she's here.  In the meantime, the few photos she did have on her portfolio looked nice enough.

Shortly after, I booked her and a MUA and sent them both a mood board for the theme/ look.  I was very specific in my casting call and in our conversations that the shoot was TF for magazine publication, and that she would receive hi res tears if published.  She agreed to that and signed a release.

During the shoot I found her not so easy to work with. Even though I told her the ideas in advance, she decided that some she didn't want to do, so I was forced to modify the outfits and ideas.  Also, she seemed lifeless, lacking emotion which was  not so great for our magazine theme which was "LOVE".

Shortly after the shoot she began emailing, texting and messaging about the photos.  It got worse the following weeks and she insisted on my sending her ALL of the photos from the shoot. I took a stand and said no.  Soon after that I found out that she contacted my MUA saying that her makeup gave her an infection.  Highly unlikely since the MUA uses quality makeup and has very clean procedures.

Needless to say, the magazine didn't publish the photos.  I'm trying to get them published elsewhere but she has started bugging me for photos again.  Today, she sent a threatening text message saying she will plaster my wall with negative feedback if I don't give her the photos.

I'm feeling like just giving her some photos and writing this off as a bad experience.  But, it was an awful lot of work and someone might publish them.

What would you do in this case?

Mar 05 14 08:04 pm Link

Photographer

barepixels

Posts: 2910

San Diego, California, US

I would give her all the photos unedited and write it off

"hell know no fury as a woman scorned"

Mar 05 14 08:07 pm Link

Photographer

Farenell Photography

Posts: 18130

Albany, New York, US

altSWANK wrote:
What would you do in this case?

Give the bare mininum that you promised prior to shooting.

If necessary, block the user & be done with them.

Mar 05 14 08:08 pm Link

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Model

Koryn

Posts: 36716

Boston, Massachusetts, US

...or, you could just shoot with me when I'm in New Jersey next month, and I won't aggravate you about anything afterward...


wink

Mar 05 14 08:13 pm Link

Photographer

Bobby C

Posts: 1952

Portland, Oregon, US

That sucks.
Sorry for you, man.

Mar 05 14 08:18 pm Link

Model

Miss_Bee

Posts: 147

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Isn't that blackmail?

Mar 05 14 08:19 pm Link

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Photographer

CHAD ALAN

Posts: 3808

Los Angeles, California, US

altSWANK wrote:
I've had a particularly difficult model to deal with lately and I'm not sure what to do.  This is unusual because most models I shoot with are pleasant and professional.

This began the end of December when I put a casting call out for a magazine submission.  A model answered who I thought might be a very good fit.  In early conversations, she stated that she's looking to get signed by an agency in NY while she's here.  In the meantime, the few photos she did have on her portfolio looked nice enough.

Shortly after, I booked her and a MUA and sent them both a mood board for the theme/ look.  I was very specific in my casting call and in our conversations that the shoot was TF for magazine publication, and that she would receive hi res tears if published.  She agreed to that and signed a release.

During the shoot I found her not so easy to work with. Even though I told her the ideas in advance, she decided that some she didn't want to do, so I was forced to modify the outfits and ideas.  Also, she seemed lifeless, lacking emotion which was  not so great for our magazine theme which was "LOVE".

Shortly after the shoot she began emailing, texting and messaging about the photos.  It got worse the following weeks and she insisted on my sending her ALL of the photos from the shoot. I took a stand and said no.  Soon after that I found out that she contacted my MUA saying that her makeup gave her an infection.  Highly unlikely since the MUA uses quality makeup and has very clean procedures.

Needless to say, the magazine didn't publish the photos.  I'm trying to get them published elsewhere but she has started bugging me for photos again.  Today, she sent a threatening text message saying she will plaster my wall with negative feedback if I don't give her the photos.

I'm feeling like just giving her some photos and writing this off as a bad experience.  But, it was an awful lot of work and someone might publish them.

What would you do in this case?

Sorry man, she might be the type that plasters bad feedback even after getting the photos, unless she loves them. Were you clear on the amount of images she would get?

Did she understand that it wasn't a guaranteed publication? I'd give her a few images and call it a day.

...hopefully smile

Mar 05 14 09:26 pm Link

Model

Lumen Sky

Posts: 1774

Center Moriches, New York, US

why are you talking about me !!!!!!

Mar 05 14 09:29 pm Link

Model

Lumen Sky

Posts: 1774

Center Moriches, New York, US

(kidding) do you come to Long island? I wanna shoot moody with makeup and fun!!!!

Mar 05 14 09:31 pm Link

Photographer

ms-photo

Posts: 532

Portland, Oregon, US

barepixels wrote:
I would give her all the photos unedited and write it off

This would be my suggestion too.  The sooner you can quit worrying about this model, the better.

Mar 05 14 09:36 pm Link

Model

Evie Wolfe

Posts: 1201

Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

Wow.... That is disturbing! I'd definitely keep screen shots of her threats etc.
As for the photos, I think your best bet is to give her what she wants to avoid the bad publicity, but there is a chance that she might bad-mouth you anyway. It's a bit of a 'no win' situation. But, the sooner you make a decision on it, the sooner you can move on with your life smile

Mar 05 14 09:45 pm Link

Photographer

Charlie-CNP

Posts: 2644

New York, New York, US

OP: Photo 101 in this case. What did you agree to give her before the shoot?  and what does your release say that she signed?

From what I gather of your post, you promised that you were going to submit to a magazine so that she would get a tear sheet out of the experience. Were you clear that the magazine may or may not pick up the option? If not, I could understand why she is wanting to be compensated in images as she didn't really get anything for her time and you got images.

Technically while your release that she signed probably says authorization that you don't have to do jack, the karma is probably more worth while to cut your losses on a shoot that you don't sound like you were terribly excited about to begin with and move on by sending her some photos and making it clear with her why you are doing so. Sounds like you also got someone who was immature from the get go. Next time more rigorous casting?   good luck

p.s. your other option that you have is to continue to communicate with her and explain that you are attempting to get the images published in another magazine and cannot release any until the option is run. However, you would have to put up with her longer til the magazine was run.  your call. good luck

Mar 05 14 09:50 pm Link

Photographer

Vector One Photography

Posts: 2776

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

Give her whatever was promised up front. And as far as your wall goes.... sounds like FB BS to me... real men don't need walls.

Mar 05 14 09:51 pm Link

Photographer

Hi_Spade Photography

Posts: 897

Darlington, South Carolina, US

Me, personally....I don't deal well with "threats". I'll "cut off my nose to spite my face". If she was to try doing this to me, there is no way in hell I would give her anything other than what we agreed to upfront. If she wanted to start the "s%@t slinging", then hey, I can sling it with anyone. But I'm not trying to be "BIG TIME" though. I'm a firm believer in being nice and delivering what was agreed to during the negations but I'll be damn if I let anyone try to pull something like this on me.

Mar 05 14 09:55 pm Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7248

New York, New York, US

You got a dud and you continued to shoot? Why? You should have quit shooting and sent her home.

Mar 05 14 09:55 pm Link

Photographer

ms-photo

Posts: 532

Portland, Oregon, US

Hi_Spade Photography wrote:
Me, personally....I don't deal well with "threats". I'll "cut off my nose to spite my face". If she was to try doing this to me, there is no way in hell I would give her anything other than what we agreed to upfront. If she wanted to start the "s%@t slinging", then hey, I can sling it with anyone. But I'm not trying to be "BIG TIME" though. I'm a firm believer in being nice and delivering what was agreed to during the negations but I'll be damn if I let anyone try to pull something like this on me.

You must have a lot of time to waste on lost causes.

Mar 05 14 09:59 pm Link

Photographer

Top Gun Digital

Posts: 1273

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I would give her only what was originally agreed on and nothing more.  I think if you give her all the images she will bad mouth you anyway.

Mar 05 14 10:01 pm Link

Photographer

RacerXPhoto

Posts: 2470

Brooklyn, New York, US

"We don't negotiate with terrorists"

Mar 05 14 10:08 pm Link

Model

Kelleth

Posts: 2528

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Obviously she's cray cray.

Save her threatening messages to you, send her what she was promised and cut all ties with her. She obviously doesn't understand professionalism and can't comprehend, among other things, submitting photos for publication means you have to WAIT for them.

Good luck to her on getting signed with an agency....haha.

Mar 05 14 10:12 pm Link

Model

Jen B

Posts: 3183

Hopkinsville, Kentucky, US

altSWANK wrote:
I've had a particularly difficult model to deal with lately and I'm not sure what to do.  This is unusual because most models I shoot with are pleasant and professional.

...
Needless to say, the magazine didn't publish the photos.  I'm trying to get them published elsewhere but she has started bugging me for photos again.  Today, she sent a threatening text message saying she will plaster my wall with negative feedback if I don't give her the photos.

I'm feeling like just giving her some photos and writing this off as a bad experience.  But, it was an awful lot of work and someone might publish them.

What would you do in this case?

Hi,
Ouch. I'd cut my losses too and not use any of the shots and tell her they are unusable and not give her any either. Why have bad photos circulating with your name/seal of approval on them, right?

Its a bummer that this happened and I hope something comes along that will make this just a memory. Sounds like the model was definitely not in a good way, (hopefully it was just a temporary bad time for her.)

Although I think I've learned a lesson from your experience in that I won't likely accept a model without previous testing for such a weighty shoot for all involved, (you and mua with hopes of a high res tear.)

Jen

Mar 05 14 10:17 pm Link

Model

Danish delight

Posts: 691

Marina del Rey, California, US

well.... Give the dramaqueen the images and forget about it.
Dont even try to get them published elsewhere.
Why even bother.

Ive shot with lots of photographers.... TF... unfortunately I have never seen the pictures from some of them.
I say "f... it" ... waste of time.

Also ... you CAN get an infection even from quality products.
Like me... My skin hates makeup.... ALL makeup.
But Its the way it is.... i deal with it alone.... after the shoot.

Mar 05 14 10:19 pm Link

Photographer

barepixels

Posts: 2910

San Diego, California, US

I was looking at Danish delight  port  and now I forgot what to say

oh yeah,

we all can learn from this thread...  Landmine like that model  can/will happen to all of us who shoot often.

Mar 05 14 10:29 pm Link

Photographer

Hi_Spade Photography

Posts: 897

Darlington, South Carolina, US

ms-photo wrote:

You must have a lot of time to waste on lost causes.

Not really but I'd sure make the "time" for the "threats" like the OP received.

Mar 05 14 10:49 pm Link

Photographer

Patrick Walberg

Posts: 42738

Salinas, California, US

Give her the unedited photos and hope she doesn't give you credit, because those images might not be all that great.  Write this off as a lesson learned, even thougjh it's also a loss.   My reason is that the pictures are probably not worth fighting over.
Get as far away from this drama queen as possible! I am sure you can do better!

Mar 05 14 11:18 pm Link

Photographer

Patrick Walberg

Posts: 42738

Salinas, California, US

MB Jen B wrote:

Hi,
Ouch. I'd cut my losses too and not use any of the shots and tell her they are unusable and not give her any either. Why have bad photos circulating with your name/seal of approval on them, right?

Its a bummer that this happened and I hope something comes along that will make this just a memory. Sounds like the model was definitely not in a good way, (hopefully it was just a temporary bad time for her.)

Although I think I've learned a lesson from your experience in that I won't likely accept a model without previous testing for such a weighty shoot for all involved, (you and mua with hopes of a high res tear.)

Jen

Good point!   The only way to make sure the images never see the light if day is to delete them all.  Say an accident happened with the memory card and every thing got lost before you could save it.  Then do delete it!

Mar 05 14 11:24 pm Link

Photographer

ms-photo

Posts: 532

Portland, Oregon, US

Hi_Spade Photography wrote:

Not really but I'd sure make the "time" for the "threats" like the OP received.

Why waste time and energy?  Will she even learn from her mistake?  Not likely.  So why bother?

Mar 05 14 11:27 pm Link

Photographer

Hi_Spade Photography

Posts: 897

Darlington, South Carolina, US

ms-photo wrote:
Why waste time and energy?  Will she even learn from her mistake?  Not likely.  So why bother?

I agree that she may not learn from her mistake BUT, if every photographer that she (or others like her) keep doing things like this and getting away with it then why should she/they change her/their ways and make someone like the OP suffer because of her mistake and her threats? I mean, I'm all for trying to negotiate and work things out but when someone threatens me just to get what they want and not what we negotiated in the beginning, it's not going to go very well.

Mar 05 14 11:42 pm Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2831

London, England, United Kingdom

I can't friggin believe people are saying pretend there's a accident and delete them. Am I being a bit slow today and missing some in-joke?

Mar 06 14 12:04 am Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2831

London, England, United Kingdom

First of all be polite and stand your ground.

Explain that the first submission failed (doesn't help if you had to change the ideas to suit the model's whim) and that you are submitting them elsewhere. You should give her a time frame for how long you are submitting them before you give up and will release them. If nobody is biting then you have to consider they are not worthy of publication and need to re-shoot with a better model.

Also explain that once the photos are posted online no one will publish them. This is a common mistake people make (including photographers) forcing the mags to pull the article.

You should also consider giving her one or two photos she can use that would not ruin the submission. Maybe something that doesn't show off the whole outfit?

As for the threats of bad feedback? Tell her she so much as looks at your FB page with squinty-eyes, you'll block her and delete the photos.

It's YOUR job to communicate with her and keep her up dated.

Mar 06 14 12:18 am Link

Model

Ida Saint-Luc

Posts: 406

Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

RacerXPhoto wrote:
"We don't negotiate with terrorists"

Hahaha

Just saying, as a model, if a photographer's page were blown up with angry tags, I wouldn't assume it's the photographer who was the problem at that shoot. I mean, come on, anyone who behaves like that is not to be taken seriously.

Next time, check references?

Mar 06 14 04:03 am Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32233

Woodinville, Washington, US

As soon as she refused to do some of the agreed-upon/required looks, you should have given her the old heave-ho and gotten another model.

But since you went through with the shoot, give her just what she originally agreed to. Also give her a copy of the agreement with the looks and compensation she agreed to.

Then either leave it alone and let her rant like a slanderous madwoman, or post on your wall a screenshot of her threat to smear you.

Mar 06 14 04:35 am Link

Photographer

London Fog

Posts: 6770

London, England, United Kingdom

altSWANK wrote:
I've had a particularly difficult model to deal with lately and I'm not sure what to do.  This is unusual because most models I shoot with are pleasant and professional.

This began the end of December when I put a casting call out for a magazine submission.  A model answered who I thought might be a very good fit.  In early conversations, she stated that she's looking to get signed by an agency in NY while she's here.  In the meantime, the few photos she did have on her portfolio looked nice enough.

Shortly after, I booked her and a MUA and sent them both a mood board for the theme/ look.  I was very specific in my casting call and in our conversations that the shoot was TF for magazine publication, and that she would receive hi res tears if published.  She agreed to that and signed a release.

During the shoot I found her not so easy to work with. Even though I told her the ideas in advance, she decided that some she didn't want to do, so I was forced to modify the outfits and ideas.  Also, she seemed lifeless, lacking emotion which was  not so great for our magazine theme which was "LOVE".

Shortly after the shoot she began emailing, texting and messaging about the photos.  It got worse the following weeks and she insisted on my sending her ALL of the photos from the shoot. I took a stand and said no.  Soon after that I found out that she contacted my MUA saying that her makeup gave her an infection.  Highly unlikely since the MUA uses quality makeup and has very clean procedures.

Needless to say, the magazine didn't publish the photos.  I'm trying to get them published elsewhere but she has started bugging me for photos again.  Today, she sent a threatening text message saying she will plaster my wall with negative feedback if I don't give her the photos.

I'm feeling like just giving her some photos and writing this off as a bad experience.  But, it was an awful lot of work and someone might publish them.

What would you do in this case?

I would tell her to go fuck herself!

I've been in a similar situation recently where I was constantly harassed by the model for ALL of the pics after the shoot (which she did not get), and she threatened me with the same, i.e I'll post on my photography blog, FB etc etc.

Well, my attitude was, 'who gives a flying fuck about your crappy FB page and Blog, not me'. I stood my ground and sent her only the images she was promised, and you know what, she did put up the pics on her blog and FB and to date has received nothing but super positive comments!

So much for threats!

Mar 06 14 06:03 am Link

Model

Ann Stokes - All Natural

Posts: 72

Los Angeles, California, US

you should have moved on long long ago

Mar 06 14 06:17 am Link

Model

MoRina

Posts: 5816

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

What I don't see in the OP is any agreement on what the model would receive if the submission was rejected. 

Did you advise her that she would receive nothing in the event of a rejection, or did you tell her that you would keep re-submitting for X period of time before giving up the idea of publishing those images and then you would share a couple images for her portfolio?

If you look at this from the model's point of view, she did the shoot in hope of getting the tearsheets. With the absence of tears, she has nothing, not even a picture for her portfolio in return for her time.

I don't condone either side harassing the other, and we only hear one side here...

Mar 06 14 06:29 am Link

Photographer

pullins photography

Posts: 5878

Troy, Michigan, US

altSWANK wrote:
I've had a particularly difficult model to deal with lately and I'm not sure what to do.  This is unusual because most models I shoot with are pleasant and professional.

This began the end of December when I put a casting call out for a magazine submission.  A model answered who I thought might be a very good fit.  In early conversations, she stated that she's looking to get signed by an agency in NY while she's here.  In the meantime, the few photos she did have on her portfolio looked nice enough.

Shortly after, I booked her and a MUA and sent them both a mood board for the theme/ look.  I was very specific in my casting call and in our conversations that the shoot was TF for magazine publication, and that she would receive hi res tears if published.  She agreed to that and signed a release.

During the shoot I found her not so easy to work with. Even though I told her the ideas in advance, she decided that some she didn't want to do, so I was forced to modify the outfits and ideas.  Also, she seemed lifeless, lacking emotion which was  not so great for our magazine theme which was "LOVE".

Shortly after the shoot she began emailing, texting and messaging about the photos.  It got worse the following weeks and she insisted on my sending her ALL of the photos from the shoot. I took a stand and said no.  Soon after that I found out that she contacted my MUA saying that her makeup gave her an infection.  Highly unlikely since the MUA uses quality makeup and has very clean procedures.

Needless to say, the magazine didn't publish the photos.  I'm trying to get them published elsewhere but she has started bugging me for photos again.  Today, she sent a threatening text message saying she will plaster my wall with negative feedback if I don't give her the photos.

I'm feeling like just giving her some photos and writing this off as a bad experience.  But, it was an awful lot of work and someone might publish them.

What would you do in this case?

do? Nothing

Mar 06 14 06:35 am Link

Model

lynne g

Posts: 674

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

MoRina wrote:
What I don't see in the OP is any agreement on what the model would receive if the submission was rejected. 

Did you advise her that she would receive nothing in the event of a rejection, or did you tell her that you would keep re-submitting for X period of time before giving up the idea of publishing those images and then you would share a couple images for her portfolio?

If you look at this from the model's point of view, she did the shoot in hope of getting the tearsheets. With the absence of tears, she has nothing, not even a picture for her portfolio in return for her time.

I don't condone either side harassing the other, and we only hear one side here...

+1

I could see that she might be reacting to thinking she might not get anything. Was any sort of time frame discussed? Why not edit a few you know you won't submit for publication so she has something?

Mar 06 14 06:39 am Link

Photographer

Loki Studio

Posts: 3021

Royal Oak, Michigan, US

As the photographer, you have to be the captain of the ship and establish reasonable expectations.  One of the challenges of "magazine submissions" is that the photos will have no value if published in social media.  Under these circumstances, you need to be absolutely specific about how long the photos will be shopped, what date you will give up and allow portfolio use, and how many photos will be given to the model.

As you can see, when you do not have a very specific agreement some models will try to change it after the fact.   I would recommend a response of:

"We agreed that this would be a photo shoot for submission for magazine publication as this would be a great accomplishment for our careers.  Since exclusivity is critical for publication, I will provide the edited photos to you after I have attempted to get them published for 4 months.  I never agreed to provide you all the unedited photos.

Your new demand for all photos is a breach of our agreement for this shoot.  Reputations work both ways. Shall I recommend you as a reliable and professional new talent or as a diva amateur who broke our agreement? "

Mar 06 14 06:43 am Link

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Photographer

studio36uk

Posts: 21900

Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

altSWANK wrote:
During the shoot I found her not so easy to work with. Even though I told her the ideas in advance, she decided that some she didn't want to do, so I was forced to modify the outfits and ideas.  Also, she seemed lifeless, lacking emotion which was  not so great for our magazine theme which was "LOVE".

What would you do in this case?

You weren't "forced" to do any such thing. You should have shut it down as soon as she opened her mouth.

C'est la vie; C'est la guerre. So sad, too bad; bye bye!

Studio36

Mar 06 14 06:58 am Link

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Photographer

studio36uk

Posts: 21900

Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

barepixels wrote:
I would give her all the photos unedited and write it off

"hell know no fury as a woman scorned"

I wouldn't give her anything of the sort. She gets only what was agreed, and with a license, in writing, counter-signed by herself, to match.

Studio36

Mar 06 14 06:59 am Link

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Photographer

studio36uk

Posts: 21900

Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

In the alternative? Destroy everything and call it a wash. You can no longer give what you no longer have.

Studio36

Mar 06 14 07:01 am Link