Archive | 6:31 pm

The importance of references

2 Aug

Hiya.

I’ve been touring Scotland, which is beautiful! I can’t believe I haven’t been since I was about 5 (I was born there). I went to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Next trip, which will be next Spring, I will go further North. 🙂

I’m saving my tourist-y pictures for when I have more shots from my photoshoots there, so today I’m going to talk about references. (Sorry this is a rather model-centred blog.)

Here are my latest, from Scottish photographers:

PUNKuate
Roswell is awesome. I can’t believe how many photos I got from one shoot with her, she’s an amazing model who follows direction well (and then comes up with things that are even better than what you were thinking).
She’s also absolutely lovely, she stayed with me for two days and she’s just the nicest person ever. She’s welcome back any time she wants.
Can’t recommend her highly enough.

Calandra_Images
Roswell is a great and easy person to work with. She came with excellent clothes and accessories, worked really hard, including climbing trees. She is beautiful with an amazing figure and understood exactly what sort of images I was after and how to achieve them. She calmly coped with locals with guns and even a lady checking a badger sett right where we were shooting! I would highly recommend her to anyone thinking of booking her on her next visit to Scotland and hoping that will be soon!

Flobelob
Wonderful shoot today with a really lovely person and fantastic model. One of those ‘magic’ sessions driven by Roswell’s beauty and instinctive sense of the image. Lots and lots of great pictures, would be a bit mean to only give 15 out of 10 so has to be 16. Thank you so, so much again.


BREAK FOR PRETTY PICTURES: 
Binkography: my friend, fellow model (and now photographer) Madame Bink. She is a multi-talented and super lovely lady. 😀

I cannot stress enough how important it is to check references, especially after something nasty happened to me in January, making the encounter the second bad experience I have ever had, in five years of modelling.
Networking sites Purestorm and Net-Model have a system so you can see what other models have to say. Modelmayhem sadly doesn’t, and here is where I fell into a trap:

I was booked by photographer Shaun Colclough and judged him by his (good) portfolio of agency models alone.
Here is what happened:

When I arrived, within minutes he began asking me personal questions:
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Yes.”
“Are you faithful?”
“Yes!”
“What a shame. I don’t believe in relationships.”

“Are you into watersports?” (urinating on each other)

“Have you ever had threesomes?”

As he had not physically touched me, I tried to maintain professional and refused to answer them. He repeatedly mentioned how his models are his “fuck buddies”.
He asked why I was not engaged or married (“do you not agree with ‘forsaking all others’?”). When I told him I was not interested in sex, he tried to knock my confidence, telling me that my boyfriend must not love me as we are not engaged. I ignored him. He then remarked that: “If I was to settle down, it would be with someone like you.”

When I continued to ignore his remarks he became menacing, standing too close and informing me “I don’t see any evidence of the strong powerful woman you portray in photos. You look vulnerable to me…”
I replied that I have a black belt in two martial arts. While he stepped back, he insisted throughout the shoot that I am vulnerable and repeatedly berated me for “having boundaries up”.

I continued with the shoot as he had not actually touched me. We moved onto lingerie, where he repeatedly pushed my levels before standing above me, with his crotch in my face. I got to my feet and dressed. He didn’t remark on this, but yet again, re-iterated that I am “vulnerable”.
As I walked out of the shoot, feeling numb and shaken, he forced me into a hug.

I considered reporting him, but did not feel I had grounds to. I decided that I would put this shoot down to a learning curve, until he e-mailed me with images and asked me not to mention his name, but instead credit a website called http://www.thevixenvamps.com

(EDIT: The website has been removed but you can image search his name. Look into the eyes of the models…)

It is full of the sort of work I DO NOT shoot. He has NO indicator in any of his online presences that he is associated with it. He did not once mention that he owned this site and it is very different to his portfolio work.

Later…
After his name came up in a discussion, two models I was with recounted their experiences (far more serious than mine- including indecent exposure). What I went through seems to be the LEAST of what this man has been known to do. I asked online for references and the story came out- around twenty models contacted me with chilling statements. I was lucky.

Researching further, it turns out that he has been blacklisted from almost all of the agencies he tested for, and he has since been removed from the networking sites.
He is now recruiting via his facebook page, where it is easier to meet inexperienced girls and harder to find references, (EDIT: NOT ANY MORE NOW HE’S IN JAIL AND THE PAGE HAS BEEN REMOVED BY POLICE) which is why I made the decision to speak out publically.

I hope I never have to do this again.

Models:
– Do not accept good pictures as good references.
– If you cannot see references, mail another model directly and ask.
– If you have a bad experience, speak out- you could save another model from the same.

Be safe, girls (and guys.)

ROSWELL x