You’re a model and you have got a shoot arranged, well done! Someone has obviously seen a quality in you that will help them in the marketing of their business or a personal feature that will appeal to a wider audience. Of course you are excited and deserve to be feeling satisfied with yourself.
But whether this is your first, second or tenth arranged shoot before you agree to do anything you should always acquaint yourself with some model safety guidelines.
When a models gained virtually all their modelling leads through agencies, it was down to the agencies to carry out checks and ensure the models were not being exploited. However times have changed and with the prolific use of the internet by individuals and companies it is commonplace for models to advertise themselves. As with most things there is the good and the bad side to self promotion. The good being that you have more control over your work and the downside to this is you alone have to be responsible for yourself and your safety.
There are very many photographers and movie makers who have a genuine concern for your well being. Unfortunately though, there will always be a few unscrupulous people who only have their needs in mind and will manipulate a situation to satisfy their own business or sexual requirements. With this thought, your own personal safety should be at the forefront when arranging a shoot.
Firstly, ensure that you only give out your address and telephone numbers to those that you trust. Check addresses of photographers in business listings. Check shoot location addresses, use an internet mapping facility such as Google maps to ascertain the exact position of the shoot and what is nearby.
It maybe advisable to take someone else along with you to a new meeting. If you have to travel alone to a location then make sure you have told someone else the address, for extra reassurance you could ask them to give you a call whilst you are there. If the location of the shoot changes at the last minute then contact someone and let them know the new place that you will be working at.
If you have to stay overnight either arrange your own accommodation or if it is part of the package then check the validity of the arrangements. Don’t be tempted to stay at the photographers home, however convenient that may seem at the time. If you have travelled a distance from your home then it is advisable to have some local Hotels, Bed & Breakfast and taxi company telephone numbers written down in the event that a shoot does run on and you find you have to stay over.
Find out the purpose of the shoot before you leave home, whether you will be paid cash or if it will be a TFP (trade for prints) or TFCD (trade for images on a CD).
Common sense is required, if the photographer acts in a business like manner and you feel happy with the arrangements and have carried out your checks then you can look forward to your next shoot.
If you have found yourself one of the many genuine professionals that are out there then afford them the courtesy of letting them know if you can’t make a shoot. Ensure that you yourself act in a business like manner and only cancel for a genuine reason such as a medical problem.
Lastly enjoy the shoot and stay safe.
Creativity is a way of life to me, sensing an idea and making that come alive. I write, photograph, make movies and create music. My tools are the latest technology in the form of advanced software, HD and SLR cameras, mixers and keyboards.