There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Two C's in Modeling: Common Sense & Caution

When it comes to my posts about models of the opposite sex working with one another, I tend to get a lot of comments in regards to related topics that I haven't mentioned or left out of the post. Originally, I planned on creating additional posts to address these subjects but to be honest, I hate repeating myself.

Much of the guidelines and info I provide for male or female models when it comes to working with other models are interchangeable. So I don't really want to create more posts that basically say the same thing. With that said, this post is meant to address the whole safety issue of models working together and will hopefully put an end to this subject so that I can move along to other topics.

Unfortunately, common sense just isn't common enough these days. One of my biggest fears for aspiring models (both male and female) is the new territory that they'll come across and the naivete that often comes with being a newbie. We all have to start somewhere and believe me when I say there was a time when I myself was clueless.

Entering the modeling industry doesn't have to be scary as long as you practice common sense. Needless to say, there are more scammers, creepers and shady individuals than one can shake a stick at. Because of this, it is so important that you always use your best judgment when it comes to certain situations and if common sense is making the back of your head tingle--that's your "Spidey Sense"...it works for Spiderman so let it work for you.

Red flags will present themselves throughout your modeling endeavors. For example, if you submit yourself to a modeling gig and get an email from a photographer, claiming he's so well known and has done this, has shot this person and wants to meet with you at his house for a meeting...ummm, that's a huge red flag.

Ask to meet in a public place and let him know that you will be bringing an escort who will not be a part of the meeting but will be in the area during that time. If the photographer cops an attitude or tries to talk down to you and explain that they have a strict no escort policy, guess what? This isn't someone you want to deal with...no matter what he says he can do for your career. Walk away and find someone else.

Do you have a client requesting that you send nude photos? Guess what: red flag! Unless you're into the erotic modeling, Playboy style glamour stuff, there should be no reason for you to send photos of yourself nude to anyone! If you receive lewd photos from a male or female model that either has contacted you to work with you or that you have contacted in the hopes of working together, block that person's emails and ignore them completely. For extreme cases where they begin cyber stalking or otherwise harassing you online, report them to the police or other proper authorities. It's obvious that such individuals don't have all their marbles in one bag so avoid them at all costs.

Are you trying to find a male model to shoot with or vice versa? Use common sense when interacting with these people. In your communications state upfront that you are looking for a model for business purposes, not a hookup or date. To dissolve any awkwardness, arrange a public meeting at a cafe or other outdoor area during the day so that the two of you can get to know one another, discuss concepts, poses, etc. Bring an escort if it makes you feel more comfortable and let the other model know that one will be present during the meeting. He or she may end up bringing an escort of their own.

If you get turned down by a male or female model, do not take it personally and do not harass them. This is unacceptable and totally unprofessional. If that is your reaction to being rejected for a modeling gig, you might not be right for the industry.

Just like applying for a job with a company, there is such a thing as getting references when it comes to working with people in the modeling industry. Photographers almost always readily encourage having people contact previous models they have worked with in order to find out what the experience was like. Do your homework if you feel the need to do so. And don't be surprised if the photographer or client asks for references from you--it's not meant as an insult--it's merely common sense.

Always exercise caution when it comes to shooting with people you've never worked with before--this includes the photographer, client and other models involved. It's pretty easy to tell when a modeling assignment is legit and when there is something fishy. Again, common sense and red flags will help you determine whether you should take part in a project or pass on it. Don't take it personally if a photographer or model brings an escort with them to your shoot or meeting. It's better to be safe than sorry these days and models aren't the only ones that are concerned for their safety. Respect all those involved and keep it on a professional, business level.

Male and female models heed my warning when I say that doing couple shoots still means being respectful and on your best behavior. Even the most intimate of shoots can be conducted without it being a free-for-all. Fellas, working with a beautiful female model isn't the green light to a grab-fest. Ladies, working with a drop dead gorgeous male model doesn't mean that he wants to date you.

Chemistry is important and if you are both professionals and have some experience, the shoot should go off without a hitch. You can tell the difference between a model of the opposite sex doing his/her job in the proper manner and them simply trying to feel up on you. Both male and female models are guilty of this so I am addressing both genders. This is why it is so important to meet up with your "co-worker" before the shoot. If the vibe is there and your personalities mesh, it'll be all well and good.

If anything strikes you as "odd" or you just don't think it would be a good fit, politely decline. The way a model handles rejection is a surefire sign of their professionalism so be observant of his/her body language, tone of voice, etc. If they fly off the handle, well...this is why the meeting should take place during the day in a public venue (and also where an escort is handy to have around).

The Internet has made managing a modeling career and finding opportunities loads easier compared to back in the day but it brings with it a whole score of new scams and dangerous, ill-intentioned people. Just as you would use caution when shopping online, posting photos of yourself and entering your information onto certain sites, the caution level should be amped up times 10 when it comes to your modeling career online.

Overall, no one is 100% safe from the ills of the world. However, with common sense and caution on your side, you can decrease your chances of becoming a statistic in a horror story dramatically. Models have been doing their thang for decades with no problems so don't let your fears about what is out there keep you from letting your light shine. Be aware of your surroundings, research who you deal with and stress the importance of meeting with people so that you know they are who they say they are.

Aaaaaannnnndddd...that's all I really care to say about this topic. It's done! ;-)


Anonymous said...

Always be assertive and initiate contact with photographers, models, or clients. Never let them contact you first because they might be suspicious.

Anonymous said...

Also, for male models, there could be some female photographers who are very suspicious, claiming that they are very well known female photographers and want to invite you to their house or apartment for a meeting. And the next thing you know, they make you do Playgirl style photos that make you feel uncomfortable that you want to retaliate but can't because they'll charge you with crimes like assault, robbery, etc. In addition, to that they'll snap photos of you without any model release form and post it on their website, blog, or social networking site-talk about the girl-with-camera type female photographer or looky-loo girl, the type that male models ought to look out for but don't do anything stupid to them or you'll be in trouble.

Well, anyway, I think there ought to be an entry warning male models about shady female photographers, even fashion designers, make-up artists, hair stylists, agents, models, etc. It may not happen but it could be common.