Photography and Modelling Scams

We do not live in a perfect society. People are more than willingly to con others for monies or other selfish gains. In this page, I would list all the kinds of common scam regardless of the severely. Do not be surprised that some "models" have their own ways to get better photos.

  1. Talent scout scouts you
    Targets: Models

    You are spotted by a so-called talent scout on the street, telling you how pretty you are and how much potential you have in modelling. He gives you a name card and asks you to go to his modelling agency for an interview. During the interview, you are told that you need a modelling portfolio in order to begin and you are asked to take up a photoshoot package that costs thousands of bucks.

    There are many modelling agencies in the market. Most modelling agencies are actually depending on selling such photoshoot packages to survive. How many clients and jobs do you think the agencies have for every model who has signed up with them?
  2. Hidden fee for casting
    Targets: Models

    It is normal for models to go for casting before being confirmed for any job. Of course, the models should consider the extra time spent for the casting to see if the work is worthwhile since they may be paid only for the actual working hours. Unethical agents may not only employ the delay-payment-tactic after the jobs are done, but also charge hidden fees for the "casting". One excuse is to tell the models that the photos taken during the casting are being used for making their comcards so that they can be given the job. For any fee, the agents should tell the models even before the casting and that both parties should agree to it before proceeding.
  3. Fake portfolio to schedule a shoot
    Targets: Models

    It is a common sense for models to ask to see the portfolio of the photographer to roughly gauge the photographer before agreeing to do the private shoot. Some "photographers" know their work is rubbish (they "shoot" just to see sexy models) and thus they will resort to using other photographers' work.
  4. Fake portfolio to draw admiration
    Targets: Models & others

    Some "photographers" have limited skill and have to resort to mislead others in order to gain fame. They would download other photographers' work that do not have copyright embeded and upload to their social media profiles, such as Facebook's cover album. Without giving credits, it directly makes visitors think that the photos are taken by the scammers. Even when people start commenting to ask if the photos are taken by them, they do not reply.
  5. Cheat models' private photos
    Targets: Models

    Some cheapo scammers do not want to pay models for sexy shoots. Therefore, they resort to cheating. They would bluff the models to send them private photos to decide whether they would "engage" the models or not. Some of them would also ask new models to take photos of themselves in lingerie (for lingerie shoot). Eventually, after getting the photos, the scammers would not schedule the shoot.
  6. Private sexy shoot for private use
    Targets: Models

    There are many "photographers" seeking models to do private sexy shoot, which they claim is solely for their own collections. These people can even use iPhone camera to do the "shoot". Many young models are tempted due to the easy money, which is at least a few hundred bucks. They think the "photographers" will keep their promises by signing a model release form with additional clauses to not send the photos to anyone.

    However, the naive models never expect their sexy photos can be sold online for thousand bucks per customer. There are many "kind" souls who will share the photos for free and thus the supposed-to-be private photos are practically released to the entire world wide web. Eventually, when the models start confronting the "photographers", they are told that the harddisks are being hacked. Nothing can be done to the scammers.
  7. Private parts to be covered by PhotoShop
    Targets: Models

    Some models are being told by photographers to do art shoot that involves nude, however, the private parts will be covered with a line across the photo using software like Photoshop.
  8. Normal shoot to sexy shoot
    Targets: Models

    A "photographer" may suggest a normal theme to get a model to agree to do a photoshoot with him. However, on the day itself, he tries to get the model to do sleazy shoot like taking off her bra. A new and young model may not be able to handle it and thus accept the unreasonable demands as she thinks it is bad to not "cooperate" with the photographer for a paid shoot.

    There are also incidents where the "photographer" brings the model to a remote place alone and insists it is a sexy shoot, and starts touching the model all over by force to create the "feel". Apparently, the model is also told that there are more people around for the shoot.
  9. Getting into the mood
    Targets: Models

    cgq modelling scam
    (click photo to view in full size)

    One way to produce a good photo is when the model is doing things naturally. Therefore, some "photographers" will request the models to caress themselves when they are doing sexy shoot. Some "photographers" will even offer to help the models. Eventually, the models cannot control their sexual desire and allow the "photographers" to have their way.
  10. Pose the model
    Targets: Models

    Often, it is very difficult to direct the models using words and even live demonstration. Some photographers want to save the hassle by physically adjusting the poses of the models. Some "photographers" use this as excuse to touch their models. While fulfilling their own desire, it is also a tactic to arouse the models.
  11. Drag payment
    Targets: Photographers, models, makeup artists & others

    Some companies and even institutes are practising the drag payment method to exhaust the victims from claiming their fees for commercial shoot. The easiest move is to get the victims to wait. Some, however, have various "standard operation procedures" to make the victims submit documents after documents with interval of weeks in between. Despite the initial discussion and promises of "smooth delivery" of payment, the victims have no choice but to suck thumb. Hence, if the amount of payment is small, it may not even worth the trouble to follow up to chase after the payment.
  12. Sexy shoot to normal fashion shoot
    Targets: Photographers

    Most established photographers are doing TFCD photoshoots selectively due to their tight schedules and that they already have enough good portfolios to showcase to their clients. Therefore, they would only work with models who are outstanding in looks or can benefit their portfolios somehow.

    Therefore, some less outstanding "models" who like their work would try to approach them and offer them to collaborate on sexy shoot, such as bikini shoot. Eventually, they would give excuses like their menses have arrived or that they need to exercise more to get their abs out first, and try to change the sexy shoot into normal fashion shoot, which will only benefit themselves and not the photographers. Eventually, after wasting so much time on the discussion, the photographers may proceed as to not waste the effort or they do not want to appear as the "bad person" who cancels shoots.
  13. Under-declaration of vital statuses
    Targets: Photographers & wardrobe sponsors

    While the three measurements are a good way to determine the size of the model, it is even more crucial for wardrobe. Some models with bigger body sizes are worried that they would be rejected and thus they under-declare their sizes. Eventually, during the sizing or even actual shooting day, they cannot fit into the prepared clothes that are somehow already altered to their given measurements.
  14. Over-declaration of "status"
    Targets: Photographers & wardrobe sponsors

    Many modelling agencies have a few different groups of talents, such as "models" and "talents". Models are, of course, those who are ready to do modelling and will be recommended for commercial projects. Talents are people of any age or looks, and may fit into different roles of any project, including filming.

    There are people who manage to get into the "talent" group of some established modelling agencies and self declare that they are "models" under the agencies. It will definitely raise their statuses since they are being "qualified" by the agencies.
  15. Ideas theft
    Targets: Photographers

    Photographers can be known for their skill in lighting, creativeness or/and retouching/post-processing. Ideas are so important that they can draw admiration from even people who do not know how to appreciate quality of photos. Hence, some people may resort to stealing ideas from those creative photographers. An easy way for models to get around with it is to seek collaboration with the photographer and ask him to suggest special themes.
  16. Pro bono (free) work for public
    Targets: Photographers, makeup artists & others

    For certain events, whether they are charity event or competition, the organisers may engage event companies or even individuals to handle. The person-in-charge is likely to be given a sum of money from the organisers. In order to earn more from the balance of fund, the person may resort to asking for volunteers and claiming that it is purely a non-profit event for the good of whoever. Hello? If you are earning money, what makes you think your team members should earn nothing although the event is for the good of others? Resorting to lie to all the kind souls about you not making any cent out of this event to seek their free services is disgusting.
  17. Your top photographer's replacement
    Targets: Clients

    Some clients specially go to a photographer because they like the photographer's work. Eventually, the photographer happens to take up another job on the exact same shooting day. In order to accomplish it, he does not split himself into two but outsource it to another photographer, who may or not be his staff. Instead of telling the clients frankly immediately, he leaves it to the actual day or the day before to broadcast it to the client whom he chooses to "abandon". Even though he or his retoucher would be doing both post-processing work for both clients to create the same usual "feel", it is very unethical since shooting style is unique for every photographer. The "abandoned" client could have approached another photographer if he/she were to know that the chosen top photographer will not be doing the actual shoot.
  18. Refilling branded cosmetic products' containers
    Targets: Clients & models

    Cosmetic product attributes a lot to the cost of doing makeup. The prices of good cosmetic products can be a few times higher than normal ones. This is why some makeup artists can quote a lower price to clients - they do not use the top products. What unethical makeup artists may do is to use the containers of branded products and "refill" them with low quality products. Regardless of the source and quality of the products, "refilling" may cause contamination. Eventually, using the final product may cause allergic problems to the model and also wreck her skin.
  19. Fake job: transfer the payment to another team member
    Targets: Photographers, models, makeup artists & others

    This is an old scam, which has started around year 2009 or earlier. The scammer will either post an online casting for the talents or farm their email addresses directly from photography networking websites, such as ModelMayhem, and offers the "job". He will claim that he is from a established company although he has no link to it.

    Some of the victims have tried to bank in the cheques after receiving them and thus got into trouble with the bank because the cheques are fake. No prankster is so playful to do a big scale scam like this, which requires time and money (creating and printing fake cheques and paying the postage fee), just to fool so many people.

    Just as people wonder why would any scammer go into such extent to play pranks on people who are less suspicious, there is actually a catch. There are very kind-hearted and honest people in this world. They will immediately wire the balance of the money from the cheque to the "third party", whether is a stylist, photographer or model. It may take some days for the bank to check and determine the cheque is a fake one. By the time, the victims have already wired the balance of the money to the scammer.

    This is a warning from the real Hello Magazine.
    Hello,

    We are happy to inform you that you are one of the few make-up artist chosen out of the screening exercise performed for us by modelmayhem, you have got the physical Requirement we need for our Magazine update (www.hellomagazine.com) Febuary - March issue, We here by decided as a committee to offer you this pay Fashion job, I will be very happy if you could send me more pictures. My client wants to update her Catalog with her New Release Fashion outfits . So if you are interested you can get back to me. The shoot will hold at a rented photographers studio very close to your location, the shoot will be 2hrs daily, we would be responsible for your transport and feeding throughout the photo shoot, the invitation letter would be mailed to you, all make up will be taken care of in the studio. You have the opportunity to bring along an Escort which we would handle the expenses along with your own just for you to feel comfortable throughout the shoot.

    JOB DETAILS:

    You have 5 different Fashion outfits to cover, which would be provided by our wardrobe stylist on the day of the shooting and the shoot is just for 2 days and you will be paid $1,280 for the whole project, the Job is Urgent so you are to get back to us as soon as possible so that we can arrange on how to get you the part payment. You would be paid the initial payment of $500 to guarantee your participation in the shoot, as part of our working policy and ethics of our company, we give part payment to any client before we proceed with any job and balance immediately after the work. As I told you earlier this project is very urgent we will be taking care of your payment, accommodation and other expenses. The part payment would be mailed directly to you along side with your makeup stuffs allowance for the shoot, Location,time and date will be made known to you soon,this is to ensure that we pick a convenient time and place for the shoot NOTE: As soon as you get the payment, you will deduct $500 and wire the remaining balance to the wardrobe stylist. The wardrobe stylist will contact you as soon as she receives all your information from us, if you are interested kindly get back to us with your details as follows:

    MAKE-UP ARTIST INFORMATION
    1. Name on check:
    _____________________________________________
    2. Complete Mailing Address:
    _____________________________________________
    3. Cities:
    _____________________________________________
    4. State:
    _____________________________________________
    5. Zip Code:
    _____________________________________________
    6. Phone#:
    _____________________________________________

    OTHER NAMES:
    List any stage or professional names, maiden name, aliases, or any Other name you have ever used.
    _____________________________________________
    _____________________________________________
    _____________________________________________
    _____________________________________________
    _____________________________________________
    _____________________________________________

    I hereby represent and warrant that the above information is true and correct. The names listed above include my present name and every name that I have ever used including my maiden name, alias, nickname, professional or stage name. Kindly know that PO Box not applicable .
    Thanks
    Tips / Conclusion:

    There are, of course, some ways to tell if a job offer is real or fake.
    1. Poor grammar
      Official job casting/email usually does not have poor grammar all over the contents.
    2. No personalised message
      These scammers usually play number game and thus are not able to even address the victim by name. For example, they would greet "Hi" instead of "Hi Skai". They are just using their templates to mass send to all potential victims. Imagine 1% of the potential victims fall for the trick and you can guess how much money the scammer can make.
    3. Different location from you
      Why would someone from another country contact you for a shoot? Did he mention about paying for your air ticket as well?
    4. Trying to pay you before the job is done
      Which client would pay you before the job is done when both of you have not even met? I have only experienced clients delaying payment.
    5. Using free email address such as Yahoo and Gmail instead of email with the company's domain name
      If someone is representing a company to send you any email, the email address should be from that company's domain name and not any free email like GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook... etc. For example, if the person claims to be john from Hello Magazine, he should be using an email address like john@hellomagazine.com.


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