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Forums > Model Colloquy > How to get started in bondage/fetish work? Search   Reply
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Model
Hailey Knight
Posts: 13
Roanoke, Virginia, US


I am very interested in doing bondage and fetish type photo shoots.  What is the best way to get started?
Jul 29 10 08:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-moved-
Posts: 3,382
Shelton, Connecticut, US


Hailey Knight wrote:
I am very interested in doing bondage and fetish type photo shoots.  What is the best way to get started?

I am going to send you a PM in a bit.
I am a retired bondage fetish model myself and my SO is a bondage/fetish photographer. I will tell you everything and anything you need to know.

Jul 29 10 08:11 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Hailey Knight
Posts: 13
Roanoke, Virginia, US


I mostly put that in my profile in case somebody who knows me came across it.  I didn't want them to think badly of me.
Jul 29 10 09:58 am  Link  Quote 
Model
miss pandora
Posts: 1,542
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


There are so many ways to get work...

-do Google searches for bondage sites and see if they are hiring models
-look at the portfolios of models who do bondage. Find out which photographers they worked with. Contact those photographers to see if they will do TFP with you
-do a search for bondage references on MM to find photographers and models who do it

I think you will have to be willing to travel to do bondage/fetish. I'm from Virginia and I'm very familiar with Roanoke.  You may have some trouble finding fetish photographers there! lol
Jul 29 10 10:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael McGowan
Posts: 3,650
Tucson, Arizona, US


You may not find many fetish folks in Roanoke itself, but they're around.

On here, look for photographers in your area who do fetish work. You might find some in Richmond and DC. I know several are in North Carolina. If you get up to Pittsburgh or Ohio, there are more.

Pay attention to what other models tell you. You can easily get yourself in over your head doing fetish/bondage work. On the other hand, the fetish models I know tell me the most pleasant folks they work with are the fetish/bondage photographers.
Jul 29 10 10:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Marcus Studios
Posts: 8,482
Los Angeles, California, US


Sandra W wrote:
There are so many ways to get work...

-do Google searches for bondage sites and see if they are hiring models
-look at the portfolios of models who do bondage. Find out which photographers they worked with. Contact those photographers to see if they will do TFP with you
-do a search for bondage references on MM to find photographers and models who do it

I think you will have to be willing to travel to do bondage/fetish. I'm from Virginia and I'm very familiar with Roanoke.  You may have some trouble finding fetish photographers there! lol

What Sandra says . . .


Find your way out to Los Angeles and work with the many fetish/bondage/bdsm photographers and production companies that are here

Jul 29 10 10:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
IMAK Photo
Posts: 526
Eureka, California, US


Even if I'm shooting fetish and/or bondage that doesn't require nudity, I prefer to shoot with a model who is comfortable with her body enough to model nude. Putting a latex fetish costume together can get expensive, and I don't want a model who may back out because it's too sexy, or have misgivings after doing the shoot.

Also I wouldn't even consider a model who is asking about shooting but then on her brand new profile states that she isn't scheduling shoots right now.

But if you're thinking about doing bondage, at least get Midori's or the Two Knotty Boys books and read up about bondage safety. Make sure you work only with photographers who also know about bondage safety.
Jul 29 10 11:15 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Angele Fonce
Posts: 5,157
Dayton, Ohio, US


I dont do know many bondage photographers who will shoot someone who won't do full nude.
Jul 29 10 11:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PE Arts
Posts: 1,041
Falls Church, Virginia, US


take little steps, and get your feet wet first, before plunging into it.

join www.fetlife.com and look around at what the people on their are doing, and their facial expressions, you'll need these to be convincing
Jul 29 10 11:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotographia Fantastique
Posts: 17,325
Lebanon, New Hampshire, US


Hailey Knight wrote:
I mostly put that in my profile in case somebody who knows me came across it.  I didn't want them to think badly of me.

No offense, but personally, I wouldn't put you high on my list of people to shoot with.
Even if you are comfortable with nudes, this response, and other things in your profile (insistence on an escort, etc.) make me feel you are not ready for this type of work.

You will be judged - harshly by some - for doing this kind of work, and I don't want to have to deal with flaking, or having to pull images from a port at a later date due to a change of heart, etc.

BDSM work is best done by BDSM lifestylists. If you are truly interested, learn a little about the lifestyle and what people fetish-ize, etc. The suggestion someone made to check out fetlife is a good one. Also maybe stop in at your local BDSM support group or specialty shop.

In the meantime maybe concentrate on building up your portfolio with more mundane images while you are 'learning the ropes' so to speak. Once you know a little about the lifestyle, expressions, what makes for a good image, safe words, etc. then maybe take the next step.

Jul 29 10 11:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D P Photo
Posts: 708
Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy


Angele Fonce wrote:
I dont do know many bondage photographers who will shoot someone who won't do full nude.

Bondage is not strictly related to full nude..
I shoot also clothed models in bondage...

Jul 29 10 11:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Craig Thomson
Posts: 13,462
Tacoma, Washington, US


Sandra W wrote:
There are so many ways to get work...

-do Google searches for bondage sites and see if they are hiring models
-look at the portfolios of models who do bondage. Find out which photographers they worked with. Contact those photographers to see if they will do TFP with you
-do a search for bondage references on MM to find photographers and models who do it

I think you will have to be willing to travel to do bondage/fetish. I'm from Virginia and I'm very familiar with Roanoke.  You may have some trouble finding fetish photographers there! lol

+1

Jul 29 10 11:32 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Angele Fonce
Posts: 5,157
Dayton, Ohio, US


D P Photo wrote:

Bondage is not strictly related to full nude..
I shoot also clothed models in bondage...

I never said its strictly nude but the comfortability with the body must be there.

Jul 29 10 11:35 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Angele Fonce
Posts: 5,157
Dayton, Ohio, US


Fotographia Fantastique wrote:

No offense, but personally, I wouldn't put you high on my list of people to shoot with.
Even if you are comfortable with nudes, this response, and other things in your profile (insistence on an escort, etc.) make me feel you are not ready for this type of work.

You will be judged - harshly by some - for doing this kind of work, and I don't want to have to deal with flaking, or having to pull images from a port at a later date due to a change of heart, etc.

BDSM work is best done by BDSM lifestylists. If you are truly interested, learn a little about the lifestyle and what people fetish-ize, etc. The suggestion someone made to check out fetlife is a good one. Also maybe stop in at your local BDSM support group or specialty shop.

In the meantime maybe concentrate on building up your portfolio with more mundane images while you are 'learning the ropes' so to speak. Once you know a little about the lifestyle, expressions, what makes for a good image, safe words, etc. then maybe take the next step.

Yes its good to learn about what you are looking to get into .You must realize this is a big difference between glamour and such.

Jul 29 10 11:36 am  Link  Quote 
Model
MissSybarite
Posts: 11,863
Los Angeles, California, US


D P Photo wrote:
Bondage is not strictly related to full nude..
I shoot also clothed models in bondage...

Angele Fonce wrote:
I never said its strictly nude but the comfortability with the body must be there.

Agreed... and I've read where some fashion photographers are more apt to use
models who are comfortable doing nudes, even if they don't shoot them wink

Jul 29 10 11:39 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Ashley Graham
Posts: 26,797
Los Angeles, California, US


fetlife.com
Google.
Castings.
Theres quite a few people in DC
Jul 29 10 11:43 am  Link  Quote 
Hair Stylist
DoomBunny
Posts: 487
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


Fotographia Fantastique wrote:

No offense, but personally, I wouldn't put you high on my list of people to shoot with.
Even if you are comfortable with nudes, this response, and other things in your profile (insistence on an escort, etc.) make me feel you are not ready for this type of work.

You will be judged - harshly by some - for doing this kind of work, and I don't want to have to deal with flaking, or having to pull images from a port at a later date due to a change of heart, etc.

BDSM work is best done by BDSM lifestylists. If you are truly interested, learn a little about the lifestyle and what people fetish-ize, etc. The suggestion someone made to check out fetlife is a good one. Also maybe stop in at your local BDSM support group or specialty shop.

In the meantime maybe concentrate on building up your portfolio with more mundane images while you are 'learning the ropes' so to speak. Once you know a little about the lifestyle, expressions, what makes for a good image, safe words, etc. then maybe take the next step.

This a thousand times over.

I know a few *ahem* "Vanilla" models that tried BDSM modeling and freaked out on set because they didn't know what they were getting themselves into ("I didn't know when you said "immobilize me with rope" that I wouldn't be able to move at all...") or they looked unamused with a horse bit/ball gag in their mouth and then got upset because they were drooling.

Jul 29 10 11:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
IMAK Photo
Posts: 526
Eureka, California, US


D P Photo wrote:

Bondage is not strictly related to full nude..
I shoot also clothed models in bondage...

Shooting bondage requires a model that is comfortable with images of her that may be outside of what society thinks of as "normal". If a model is worried about having artistically done nude images of herself out in the public, then I don't feel comfortable working with her doing bondage. Bondage brings a lot more emotional baggage with it than just being nude.

I've had people who've complimented my artistic nudes consider my clothed bondage shots pornographic.

I recently had a shoot where I had scheduled a MM model for a latex shoot. After showing her the garments she didn't want to wear them. Even though every message I sent her mentioned it was going to be a latex shoot.

So at this point I'll probably only contact models that have established themselves with similar images in their portfolio.

To answer the OPs question then, how to get started? Find a photographer who has shot work like you want and pay them to get you some photos for you portfolio.

And maybe consider a second profile with a alias for your fetish/bondage work.

Jul 29 10 11:52 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Sophie Nova
Posts: 2,105
Los Angeles, California, US


I would definately see about attending a few kink-related meetups, or clubs in your area if you have the chance, and ask lots of questions, make some friends, see what *you* are into. Getting involved will earn you some respect, and possibly open some doors for you in terms of contacts.

Realise that shooting bondage/fetish is equal to shooting porn for some, you need to be comfortable with the idea  that when you are shooting for content, you are doing something highly sexual as far as the viewer is concerned and they will likely be jerking off over your images/video clips.

Do get recomendations for anyone you will be shooting with from a reliable source. I would recommend you find someone you trust to start out with (they may or may not be a photographer, a lot of life-stylers are happy to letting you try something in a safe, controlled way where you can be with others who are looking out for you) before you try an actual shoot.
Jul 29 10 12:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
_cupcake_
Posts: 713
Thousand Oaks, California, US


Sophie Nova wrote:
Do get recomendations for anyone you will be shooting with from a reliable source. I would recommend you find someone you trust to start out with (they may or may not be a photographer, a lot of life-stylers are happy to letting you try something in a safe, controlled way where you can be with others who are looking out for you) before you try an actual shoot.

this times a million. Having someone who you know and trust will make getting into bondage so much easier! My first time was with someone i knew and trusted and it was such a cool experience! And what i have found is Lifestylers are usually very open to answering questions. IF and only if you seem to have a genuine interest. I've had people asking questions in kind of a..snooty tone, and i had no interest in answering their questions. So be kind and polite and you could make tons of friends who will introduce you to the people you need to know :]

and i was rambling so forgive me tongue
and go here:

http://www.knottyboys.com/code/downloads.php

and here:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … 765&page=1

Jul 29 10 12:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
miss pandora
Posts: 1,542
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


BTW a lot of "damsel in distress" producers do not require models to shoot nude. They usually like you to wear a business suit, or casual clothing.  That kind of work can be very lucrative, but also physically exhausting, as they like you to struggle a lot in the ropes. That's what their audience wants to see.
Jul 29 10 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
MissSybarite
Posts: 11,863
Los Angeles, California, US


Sandra W wrote:
BTW a lot of "damsel in distress" producers do not require models to shoot nude. They usually like you to wear a business suit, or casual clothing.  That kind of work can be very lucrative, but also physically exhausting, as they like you to struggle a lot in the ropes. That's what their audience wants to see.

In mine I was hog-tied big_smile

Jul 29 10 03:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
The Original Sin
Posts: 13,894
Louisville, Kentucky, US


Okay, I'm going to name the elephant in the room.

You seem like a nice girl.  You also care far too much about other people's opinions to do well in bondage and fetish work.

Most BDSM photographers want models who will model nude- whether the set is CLOTHED or NOT.  There's a very simple reason for that- MOST Nude models are comfortable with their bodies, know how to move in unnatural positions and make it look easy, and aren't going to flip out anytime a photographer has to adjust or move something.  Which, in BDSM photography, happens A LOT.

Also, 99% of BDSM photographers are not going to allow your boyfriend on set.  Sorry.  Just not happening.  You have an extremely conflicted profile, you are in the wrong market area, and you certainly present yourself as too much trouble to do well in BDSM work.  Almost all the professional fetish models I know are some of the most laid-back, articulate and confident women I've ever met.  They are also available- no one wants to hire a model who says she isn't shooting right now.

I've done fetish and nude modeling for three years and some change.  I love it.  Sometimes, it doesn't love me.  You will get bruised, pinched, abraded, touched in ways that are probably illegal in 37 states (and it almost always non-sexual, lol), ridiculed by family and friends, talked down to, insulted, and be called all sorts of filthy names by people.

You have to have the ability to not care, and to love what you do too much to quit.  You also have to be willing to accept that these images and actions will follow you. FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  I'd recommend taking a second look at glamour.  Fetish in irreversible.  Glamour can be explained away as "Oh, it was just something to do for fun."  Fetish, not so much.
Jul 29 10 04:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Whiplash Studios
Posts: 262
Arlington, Texas, US


Angele Fonce wrote:
I dont do know many bondage photographers who will shoot someone who won't do full nude.

Ask around, I know a lot who will shoot without full nude or nude at all. If you were in my neck of the woods, I'd shoot with you.

Jul 29 10 04:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
hbutz New York
Posts: 3,220
Ronkonkoma, New York, US


Hailey Knight wrote:
I am very interested in doing bondage and fetish type photo shoots.  What is the best way to get started?

Jul 29 10 05:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Angele Fonce
Posts: 5,157
Dayton, Ohio, US


Whiplash Studios wrote:

Ask around, I know a lot who will shoot without full nude or nude at all. If you were in my neck of the woods, I'd shoot with you.

Its the comfortability with the body. Nude models are very comfortable with their bodies (the experienced ones) Plus I shoot nudes.

Jul 29 10 07:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jaguar Photography
Posts: 519
Antioch, California, US


The Original Sin wrote:
Okay, I'm going to name the elephant in the room.

You seem like a nice girl.  You also care far too much about other people's opinions to do well in bondage and fetish work.

Most BDSM photographers want models who will model nude- whether the set is CLOTHED or NOT.  There's a very simple reason for that- MOST Nude models are comfortable with their bodies, know how to move in unnatural positions and make it look easy, and aren't going to flip out anytime a photographer has to adjust or move something.  Which, in BDSM photography, happens A LOT.

Also, 99% of BDSM photographers are not going to allow your boyfriend on set.  Sorry.  Just not happening.  You have an extremely conflicted profile, you are in the wrong market area, and you certainly present yourself as too much trouble to do well in BDSM work.  Almost all the professional fetish models I know are some of the most laid-back, articulate and confident women I've ever met.  They are also available- no one wants to hire a model who says she isn't shooting right now.

I've done fetish and nude modeling for three years and some change.  I love it.  Sometimes, it doesn't love me.  You will get bruised, pinched, abraded, touched in ways that are probably illegal in 37 states (and it almost always non-sexual, lol), ridiculed by family and friends, talked down to, insulted, and be called all sorts of filthy names by people.

You have to have the ability to not care, and to love what you do too much to quit.  You also have to be willing to accept that these images and actions will follow you. FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  I'd recommend taking a second look at glamour.  Fetish in irreversible.  Glamour can be explained away as "Oh, it was just something to do for fun."  Fetish, not so much.

Very sound advice.

To the OP, I would also suggest joining FetLife and taking a look around a bit at the lifestyle before jumping into fetish/bondage modeling. I would also suggest going to some munches(meet & greets) to get to know some of the people in your area that are into the lifestyle. After the munch some people will go to a dungeon or a private residence for play and these can be very safe for newbies because you'll be with a large group. It would be best if you just watch the first couple of times before joining in the fun... If you find you enjoy it, then get into the modeling aspect of it...Hope this helps and good luck!

Jul 29 10 07:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Angele Fonce
Posts: 5,157
Dayton, Ohio, US


Jaguar Photography wrote:

Very sound advice.

To the OP, I would also suggest joining FetLife and taking a look around a bit at the lifestyle before jumping into fetish/bondage modeling. I would also suggest going to some munches(meet & greets) to get to know some of the people in your area that are into the lifestyle. After the munch some people will go to a dungeon or a private residence for play and these can be very safe for newbies because you'll be with a large group. It would be best if you just watch the first couple of times before joining in the fun... If you find you enjoy it, then get into the modeling aspect of it...Hope this helps and good luck!

Ummm I wouldnt suggest getting involved more than just watching until you really know what is going on. That can be a dangerous idea to just "jump in"

Jul 29 10 07:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
miss pandora
Posts: 1,542
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


Huh? Why would you say that?

Are you implying she'd be at risk of some physical danger? Not sure what you're trying to suggest here.

I'm not sure how you expect her to do otherwise than just jump in - what are you thinking she needs to do to prepare? Read books on the topic? Take a class? hmmm.

Angele Fonce wrote:
That can be a dangerous idea to just "jump in"

Jul 30 10 02:35 am  Link  Quote 
Model
The Original Sin
Posts: 13,894
Louisville, Kentucky, US


Sandra W wrote:
Huh? Why would you say that?

Are you implying she'd be at risk of some physical danger? Not sure what you're trying to suggest here.

I'm not sure how you expect her to do otherwise than just jump in - what are you thinking she needs to do to prepare? Read books on the topic? Take a class? hmmm.


Yes, that is EXACTLY what we mean.  Read, observe, and educate.  YES you can get hurt in the BDSM world if you just start letting anyone with a handful of cash tie you up and take pictures.  There's one photographer in Tampa who NO ONE will work with without at least second person on set, because he's an IDIOT.  There's a couple here on MM who have put out casting calls for a model (very young- 18-20) to come and live with them, star in all their fetish production films, BE THEIR SEXUAL SUBMISSIVE, for room, board and "credit" in their films.

Like any other business, the BDSM community has their problems and their shady characters.  The difference is- We know who they are, and we take care of our own.  99% of the time, if you are a part of the community, as well as a model, you will NEVER have a bad shoot.  You can check personal as well as professional references, and you'll get advance warning of people to avoid.

SO YES, please get involved as an educated observer in the BDSM community before you try bondage and fetish modeling.  Otherwise, you very well may end up hurt, embarrassed or get way over your head way too quickly.

Jul 30 10 08:52 am  Link  Quote 
Hair Stylist
DoomBunny
Posts: 487
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


I think Sandra was being sarcastic. :3
Jul 30 10 08:56 am  Link  Quote 
Model
MissSybarite
Posts: 11,863
Los Angeles, California, US


Hailey Knight wrote:
I am very interested in doing bondage and fetish type photo shoots.  What is the best way to get started?

If you find yourself going to NYC, contact Stark-Arts by JWC http://www.modelmayhem.com/373226,
'cause he's very good with newbies, as well his ropework
is creatively off the hook and does it himself smile

Jul 30 10 08:59 am  Link  Quote 
Model
miss pandora
Posts: 1,542
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


All you're saying is, do your due diligence and check references and all that--that is what you should do, no matter WHAT type of modeling you're doing.

I resent the implication that BDSM is more "dangerous" than other types of modeling. That's just not the case.

That photographer in Tampa could easily be shooting glamour or artistic nudes. I've never had a BDSM photographer behave any more inappropriately with me than any other type of photographer!

The Original Sin wrote:
Yes, that is EXACTLY what we mean.  Read, observe, and educate.  YES you can get hurt in the BDSM world if you just start letting anyone with a handful of cash tie you up and take pictures.  There's one photographer in Tampa who NO ONE will work with without at least second person on set, because he's an IDIOT.  There's a couple here on MM who have put out casting calls for a model (very young- 18-20) to come and live with them, star in all their fetish production films, BE THEIR SEXUAL SUBMISSIVE, for room, board and "credit" in their films.

Like any other business, the BDSM community has their problems and their shady characters.  The difference is- We know who they are, and we take care of our own.  99% of the time, if you are a part of the community, as well as a model, you will NEVER have a bad shoot.  You can check personal as well as professional references, and you'll get advance warning of people to avoid.

SO YES, please get involved as an educated observer in the BDSM community before you try bondage and fetish modeling.  Otherwise, you very well may end up hurt, embarrassed or get way over your head way too quickly.

Jul 30 10 09:17 am  Link  Quote 
Model
miss pandora
Posts: 1,542
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


I was, kinda, but I am also trying to point out people's implied bias against fetish modeling...as if it's somehow more "dangerous" than other types of modeling. That's just not the case.

It's common sense to check your references and all that--be safe--no matter WHAT type of modeling you're doing, but people are putting so much emphasis here on "ooh, with BDSM stuff, you CAN'T just jump in"...etc.

Well, I just jumped in...been doing it for a few months now...and I love it. Everyone I've worked with doing bondage or fetish modeling has been just as professional, appropriate, and yes, "NORMAL", as photographers doing any other type of work.

If you're gonna get on Fetlife and start picking up guys there for one-night-stands, or engaging in BDSM play, then yeah, maybe you oughta be cautious...but that's not what we're discussing here.

Jenn Whitten-Hancock wrote:
I think Sandra was being sarcastic. :3

Jul 30 10 09:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FitzMulti - Las Vegas
Posts: 1,476
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


That was quick.
The OP's profile seems to have been removed, or she canceled it.


P.S. - Hi Sandra! :-)
Jul 30 10 09:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Marcus Studios
Posts: 8,482
Los Angeles, California, US


Food photography utilizes knives and machines that can take your fingers off.

Car photography with models has claimed a life of a glamour model a few years ago when some local photog killed her.

Underwater photography has been responsible for many deaths by drowning

Photojournalism photography has severe death risks in war zones

Product photography can bore you to death


By comparison, fetish and bondage is just a fun way to spend the day !

KM
Jul 30 10 10:17 am  Link  Quote 
Model
P I X I E
Posts: 35,327
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Angele Fonce wrote:
I dont do know many bondage photographers who will shoot someone who won't do full nude.

True.

Before jumping into fetish/bondage modeling, I started doing full nudes first.

Jul 30 10 10:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Collin J. Rae
Posts: 7,652
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


Hailey Knight wrote:
I am very interested in doing bondage and fetish type photo shoots.  What is the best way to get started?

For feet visit me big_smile

Jul 30 10 10:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JRSFoto
Posts: 693
San Francisco, California, US


Hailey Knight wrote:
I mostly put that in my profile in case somebody who knows me came across it.  I didn't want them to think badly of me.

Guess someone who knew her, thought badly of her, because the profile vanished!
Hmmm a disappearing fetish, that's a new one! tongue

Jul 30 10 10:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Classic Rock Unveiled
Posts: 36
Springfield, Oregon, US


FitzMulti - Las Vegas wrote:
That was quick.
The OP's profile seems to have been removed, or she canceled it.


P.S. - Hi Sandra! :-)

Someone stole her already

Jul 30 10 10:36 am  Link  Quote 
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