General Question

linguaphile's avatar

How does one know if a photographer for models is legitimate or a fraud?

Asked by linguaphile (13587 points ) April 27th, 2014

My step-daughter is interested in modeling. Her mother took her to a photo shoot with a photographer who said he was a professional with connections to modeling agencies that dealt with commercial modeling work. My step-daughter is a gorgeous young lady—she photographs well, but her dad and I are concerned about her being exploited. He doesn’t feel his ex wife is knowledgeable or cautious enough to make the best decisions regarding modeling. Instead of wondering, I decided to ask the collective—

How do I know that a photographer is legitimate and won’t lead her into the underbelly of the modeling industry? What things should we be looking for to protect her and make sure she’s getting real access and is not being taken advantage of? What are some red flags?

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8 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Ask him the names of the modeling agencies. Check out the agencies.(Call the Better Business Bureau in the city).Call the agencies to see what they say about the photographer.

These days you can also often get huge amounts of information by googling.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What are some red flags? money

As soon as the photographer starts asking for money for the access to modeling classes or access to agents, you know he’s fake.

pleiades's avatar

Well even if he’s amateur he could provide her with photos regardless so she can build her portfolio. It’s really a symbiotic culture in the modeling, photography, fashion world

jaytkay's avatar

Ask to see the photographer’s portfolio, specifically published work. Ask for references – models he has helped professionally with his connections. Always have a parent or yourself accompany her to the photo shoots.

There’s nothing wrong with charging for photos, but if the price is higher because of his connections, that has to be verified.

Smitha's avatar

You will have to do a thorough research with regard to his business and background. A well known or well established photographer would definitely have a professional-looking website and a portfolio. Make sure you discuss the terms and conditions, and create an agreement which defines how he may use your daughter’s photos.

GloPro's avatar

If she’s that serious get her an agent. Photographers don’t book models for shoots. They are hired by a company in the same manner as the models, through agents and managers.

Be careful signing contracts. Read the fine print.

linguaphile's avatar

Nodding… thank you all for your replies, which have been very helpful!

kullervo's avatar

You should check the following:
1) Portfolio – look at the photographer’s previous work. The difficulty here is that some frauds claim images that are not their own so try to also do a google image search for some of the images to see if anyone else is claiming those images
2) Ask for references – any real photographer should be able to show dozens of references – clients and models. Contact at least 2 of the models and ask their honest opinion or if anything shady
3) Discuss all charges/fees and exactly what you will get. You will be amazed at the add on charges that some exploiters use. They quote a small fee for the shoot but then £50–100 per image and require you buy 100 images minimum.
4) Photographers talking about getting you signed to agencies before even working with you is a red flag. Only a small percentage of aspiring models get signed and the photographer could not possibly promise anything.

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