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The following are some tips for models to use to ensure their safety, these are not to be considered all inclusive, but simply a good overview.

If a photographer claims to be working for a big company or campaign, and contacts you through your online networking profile, ask yourself these questions first:

– Do I fit the normal look of the models this company use? Think of it simply, if you look nothing like a V.S. model, would V.S. use you in a campaign?

-Why aren’t they using an agency? Nothing against freelance models, but an agency offers back-ups if something happens, a model can’t show and many other benefits to a photographer when a major paycheck is on the line.

-If claiming to be from a company, is their email name@companyname.com or is it name@yahoo/hotmail/gmail.com? Major companies have branded email addresses, not free web email services.

If a photographer claims to be a scout for a model agency or a major company, you can always verify this to see if the claim is legitimate. For example, if a photographer claims to be a scout for Playboy magazine, call the magazine’s business office and ask them.

Utilize your network.

Be clear with the photographer of your comforts and limits. Do not feel pressured to do anything you’re not comfortable with, be firm and vocal when asked to do something you’re not comfortable with.

Make sure you know where you will be. If it supposed to be a studio shoot  and the photographer decides to go on location, don’t change plans without letting someone now.

Have a rough timeline of when-to-when. while you should maintain professionalism, arrange to make a call before and after the shoot, to someone that knows where you are.

If the photographer starts acting inappropriately or trying to push your limits, leave. Don’t worry about making sure you get your money. better to leave safe and broke, then paid and uncomfortable(or worse).

If you work with a modeling agency and they send you out on a job or for a test shoot, they have checked the photographer, know where the shoot will be and know the terms of the shoot. Agency models show up alone, on time and ready to work. as a freelance model, due diligence will allow you to be just as prepared as an agency model and just as safe, it is just up to you to do your homework.

This is model Katia Novakova in my Cleveland studio.