Sunday, August 28, 2011

Models and Photographers Tips 05: Freelance Model Photography Safety Tips

Disclaimer: I'm NOT a professional; these are my opinions and my opinions only and based on my own experiences in model photography. I am NOT a professional writer, these written format pieces are meant for purely and primarily shared knowledge from my experiences as a model photographer. It is not my intent to have a perfectly written article, if you don't like my writing please report this article to the nearest college to make corrects (or yourselves) and send those corrections at and I'll make those changes if they do not interfere with the content. My focus is to give the content as soon as possible by any means instead of not giving the content at all (tips). Again I am not a great writer but I get my points across. The following tips are NOT meant for everyone for every situation, take the tips that you know that would work for YOU and anyway you choose. This is only a guide of tips, not strict rules that every or all persons should follow, these tips are meant for serious, business aware and pro-efficient people.

Models and Photographers Tips 05: Freelance Model Photography Safety Tips

Safety Tips for working in the freelance world of Model Photography.

When meeting with a person you have met online, such as Model Mayhem, ensure to properly research the person of interest you are interested in working with. Anyone, no exceptions to models, photographers, makeup artist, hair stylists, etc. anyone on model mayhem this applies.

Tip/Rule #1: Check their portfolio, not just on model mayhem, website(s), flickr, social media pages. Check facebook account page, fanpage, and see how many friends or LIKEs they have, the less numbers the more likely they are a fake.
Reason: Some people online may steal images and create model mayhem pages with those stolen images.

Tip/Rule #2: Never publically display your phone number, especially if it’s a landline phone number. And don’t give it out until you know for sure the person of interest is the one who (or helped) originally create the photos (photographer) in their portfolios.

Tip/Rule #3: After looking up their facebook account page, and checking their portfolios, they should have their own image (of themselves) on their facebook account page. Keep the image in your mind and setup a meeting on a webcam program (if possible) and ensure they are the same person, and during the webcam chat just talk about the setting up the shoot (like a pre-production). If not possible from not having access to a webcam on one or both parties of interest setup a in person meet up and set this up at a location you know or is very public like a mall (food courts are best in the mall) and at a time where it’s very busy like 12PM to 6PM. If you like bring an escort for extra comfort, but it’s really unnecessary if you follow my suggestions specifically. If meeting in person is super inefficient (or too costly, etc.) for all parties, try to attempt to setup a photo shoot outdoors where people should be around like a public park, the streets (main streets) street shoot and of course during the busy times like 12PM to 5PM is best for safety.

Tip/Rule #4: When attending your first collaboration photo shoot, or even on all shoots, bring an escort especially if a photo shoot is indoors or outdoors in the middle of nowhere. Some photographers may not mind this, some do mind it and won’t allow it for many, many reasons. If you want to persuade a photographer who’s not interested in allowing escorts make sure to let them know it’s not a big, scary, male, and the escort can be a helpful photo assistant if needed. If you need a big, scary, male as an escort, you can try to ask and let the photographer know they can be a very helpful hand as a photo assistant.

(myself I don’t mind one/two people as escorts if they are being used as my photo assistants because I could always use a hand when shooting.)

Generally a photo assistant could be doing many things from just holding equipment for somewhat long periods of time (not heavy), like light stands, lights, reflectors, fill cards, flags, props, etc… also being a personal assistant as well like getting refreshments for models/escorts and/or myself (the photographer).

I follow these rules and others should as well, it has always worked with me and I haven’t had a dangerous experience yet as a model photographer. Many female models who may be reading this may say I’m a guy it doesn’t happen to me, but in reality those female models don’t understand that us model photographers carry expensive gear so setting up a photo shoot with a complete stranger and meeting with a model in the middle of nowhere at night time, at a location of the model’s choice is very, very risky for me the photographer. My gear is very expensive and won’t risk my life/health and gear for nobody. And not just that, but these rules are also good for being efficient, and not being “stood-up” at a location where I may meet up a model for whatever reasons like a shoot or pre-production, hence is why right now I only do skype pre-productions or meet up for pre-production in my town (Hazleton, PA).

Disagree or Agree to the above content? Make comments here with questions, statements, concerns, etc. or send them to my email at and I'll respond to them as soon as possible. Thank You and much appreciated!

Like this article? Did you learn anything, want more? Check out related articles in the following blog series articles... Photographer to Model Tips, Models and Photographers Tips, Model Photographer Tips


  1. Your advice is RIGHT ON! The time it takes to check out some unknown person could save a life!