If there is one thing that I have learned with my short experience modeling, and being a photographer, it’s you need to have a sixth sense for detecting folks who claim to be a photographer but are honestly just perverts. You need to be especially careful when you are on sites such as Model Mayhem. Here are six tips for you to consider for your future modeling endeavors.
1.) Does the photographer have a decent portfolio? It is easy to tell the difference between magazine-quality photography and a photograph that was shot with point-and-shoot consumer camera. If the photographer does not have a portfolio that demonstrates his/her skills, or even if the portfolio is weak, chances are, working with them will not help your modeling career. In reality, this could damage your portfolio. Take pride in what you do and work with only skilled photographers. This should help you avoid a lot of trouble in the long run.
2.) Does this photographer want you to be alone with them? I have heard horror stories about models going to shoots, and they felt completely violated by a one-man photography studio. There are many photographers who can shoot amazing photos alone with the model and as I stated in the last tip, their portfolio will speak for their work. If this photographer has a problem with you bringing a friend, and their portfolio is not up to par, you may want to reconsider shooting with them. Always, always try to bring a friend if you are not sure.
3.) How much does this photographer want you to take off? As we know ladies, there are some men that are incredibly charming and can sweet-talk us into almost anything. This tragically happens to a lot of girls who are very gullible. Keep your guard up if you don’t know too much about the photographer. Make all of your agreements on what you will, and will not do prior to the shoot and be stern. It is incredibly easy for new models to get lost in the moment. Always keep your wits about you.
4.) Is the photographer really a photographer? There is nothing that will make a model that knows a little about photography feel more uncomfortable than working with a photographer who is shooting with a $300 point-and-shoot camera. Ask the photographer prior to scheduling a shoot about the equipment they use. If the photographer is not using a Digital or Film SLR camera, this is a big red flag! If you are that desperate for modeling pics; ask one of your friends to take photos of you instead with their point-and-shoot camera.
5.) Ensure the photographer has some credentials. Many professional photographers belong to organizations and agencies because they are truly passionate about their craft and want their business to grow. Many photographers are also getting their start in school and they belong to clubs and affiliate with organizations such as the Professional Photographers of America. Ask your photographer what organizations they belong to, or what credentials they have. This will give you some comfort knowing that you can model in good hands.
6.) Ask around to see what other models think of the photographer. If you are using a site like Model Mayhem, look at models the photographer has worked with in the past, and ask them what their experience was like. When all else fails, make friends with other models in the community and get their opinions before you decide to schedule your shoot.
Remember boys and girls, the modeling industry is not to be taken lightly! You must treat your career with the up most respect and delicacy. Make sure you are respectful to all photographers, even if you decide to not work with them.