Photoshoot Safety Tips For Models
I originally wrote this article for Backstage.com as a contributing writing and reposted my writing to my blog with some tweaks. Click here to see the original article entitled "The safety tips every model must know!"
It can be super tempting to respond “yes!” the moment you get a modeling job offer due to the sheer excitement of booking work.
In an industry that is often unreliable with producing consistent gigs, it can feel daunting to not book and worse, to give up what seems like a great opportunity.
While this industry is stocked high with individuals of high moral character and who are here to help make a model’s journey as smooth and successful as possible, there are still individuals who prey on dreams and take advantage when they see a loophole.
Before you dive into a paid work opportunity, or even the offer to do a shoot for “exposure”, it is vital to your safety that you implement some key action steps to ensure you feel safe and protected in the presence of an agent, photographer and/or production team.
1. Research And Ask Questions
If a modeling agency, photographer or other industry individual reaches out to you, do a Google search to see if their personal or company name appears in any searches and whether there have been positive or negative reviews posted.
In addition, check to see if they have a website and have credible information and updated content, such as a blog, posted to their site.
For instance, if a modeling agency reaches out to you via social media for representation (whether you are already signed and looking for new representation or new to the industry), check their website via Google and then call the number that is listed on the Google
website. Upon calling, you can see if the agency truly did send you a social media message or if the agency identity has been stolen by a fake online account.
It would also be highly beneficial to reach out to other models who you see listed either on their website or their social media page and ask the model(s) the following types of questions.
· I saw you listed on [ insert name] website and I wanted to ask if you had a good experience working with that individual?
· Did you feel comfortable working with said individual?
· Would you recommend working with said individual?
In most cases, other models will be more than happy to share their experiences to either protect you from a potential negative encounter or to encourage you that you should be in good hands.
2. Share Your Location With Loved One
Whenever setting up a meeting with an agency (especially one that you are not as familiar with) or heading to meet with a photographer to do a paid or collaborative shoot, always give a loved one the address of your location.
Be sure to let them know what time you are heading to your location and when you expect to be finished with your meeting. You can also share your live google maps location via your cell-phone.
In addition, while you are typically not allowed to being a friend or family member with you on a paid shoot that is arranged by your reputable modeling agency (unless under the age of 18), you can always ask to bring one person with you for other shoots that you arrange.
Should you ask a photographer you have personally arranged to meet with if you can bring a friend or family member with you to ensure your safety and they give you a really hard time about being able to do so, re-consider if you want to continue the arrangements.
Even if your tag-along departs part way through the shoot once your comfort level settles, bringing someone who can be accountable for your whereabouts is a smart move.
3. Location Scout
Prior to accepting a job or going to set, always try to find out the location of the shoot. This is important because it will allow you to do a Google maps search of the location.
For instance, if an apparent client tells you an address of where to meet them for an open call or a casting, it is important to see if this location is a public place such as on official office building or place of work.
If the location looks suspicious, then you certainly want to do your due diligence to ask more questions such as the ones listed prior.
4. Set Your Boundaries Ahead of Time
It is not uncommon to see models shooting in bathing suits, lingerie or even in the nude. While this may be the case, you are not required to do any of the 3 to succeed in this industry if that is not where your comfort level lies.
Therefore, prior to setting up any photoshoot, you should always discuss with the team your level of comfort and set your boundaries.
Make note that it is a common scam for photographers and agents (the not so reputable ones) to ask a model to send them photos in the nude and pretend that they just need to ensure the model is not camera shy.
Be aware that this is a scam and is not the industry standard. At no point should you be required to be nude in order to book a job or get signed to a modeling agency.
In this case, if the photographer or agent seems to be pushing you being in the nude and thus making you feel unsafe despite you stating your desires to not do so, it would be in your best interest to politely end communication or interactions with said individual.
Also, do not allow a photographer to touch you without your permission. If they need to adjust your garment or your body position, good photographers will first ask if they can touch you especially if they are the opposite sex as you.
By engaging in these simple, yet important steps, you can be sure that you are taking precautions to the best of your ability to increase your well-being and safety as your chase after your modeling career goals.
p.s Practice your poses before your shoot. Need help? See below
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