Emily just got an alluring offer. A man approached her on the street, introduced himself as a photographer and offered a free photo shoot in his studio. Emily has never been a model before.
This situation has the potential to be dangerous. Here are some basic safety tips if you are asked to be a model for a stranger.
1. Google the photographer. Read testimonials on Yelp, take a look at his social network. You might find out that it takes him two years to send the photos he took or that he is abusing the people he is working with. There can be something even more spooky. What if in our digital era Google knows nothing about this person? You have to be extra careful going on a shoot with an undiscoverable photographer.
2. Discuss up front the topic of the shooting. Ask the photographer what clothing you should bring, and what makeup and hair style he has in mind? Check the photographer’s portfolio. Make sure that his concept of a beautiful portrait does not represent a scene from “Friday The 13th”. Even if the photographer offers you a healthy financial compensation, the psychiatrist bill for restoring your mental health might be much greater.
3. Ask where the photographer wants to schedule the photoshoot. Better it should be a public place. Be sure that the photographer tells you all locations he has in mind and is not going to change the address just before the shoot. If it’s a mansion in Malibu, it might be lots of fun during the shoot and awesome photos afterwards, but nothing on Earth should make you go there without following the next two rules.
4. Take a friend on set with you. Do not forget to notify the photographer that you won’t be alone. Explain that in our dangerous and imperfect world you have to take some safety precautions. Most of my colleagues not only understand your feelings but also will happily use the friend as a free assistant, (a fact your friend does not have to know upfront about it. )
5. Sent a message to a couple of other friends with the date, time, and location of the photoshoot. Give them the estimated event duration and ask them to contact you later. It might be a good idea to take a photo of the photographer’s ID and send it to a few friends. The photographer will then be aware that safety precautions have been taken.
Sometimes I’m looking for new faces to illustrate my educational posts. Who knows, maybe I will invite you to be my next model. If so, google me first, discuss all the photoshoot details and text them to friends. See you soon, and do not forget to take a buddy with you. We’ll find an errand for him or her on set!