Well, here’s an impromptu industry blog, but I think it had to be posted immediately if not sooner!
A couple of days ago, I was contacted about the discount I’m currently running*, by a very amateur-looking photographer. I mailed him back, explaining the details and asking to be put in contact with a couple of models I could ask for references. He never replied and as the days drew on, I checked back to his portfolio. One image (the avatar) stood out- much, much stronger than the other images and with a drastically different location.
Now, either the photographer had taken part in a workshop with an excellent teacher and produced the image, or it was stolen. (As it looked like an Ann Summers catalogue and was cropped very very closely, I guessed a watermark had been cropped out).
I posted on a model networking site, asking if anyone knew of this person and the lovely Fizzy‘s advice was so good, I’m passing it on here for the benefit of other models.
This is how to use Google reverse image search:
1) Right-click the image in question and copy the URL.
2) Go to this link: https://www.google.co.uk/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi
3) Click the little image of a camera and paste the link into the box that comes up. Hit ‘search’.
This gives you a list of the sites the image appears on- and showed that the photographer in question had indeed stolen almost all of his images.
(He was, of course, reported and removed from the website.)
It’s not something I had really worried about or come across before- it was just lucky that I check references for everyone and the alarm bell came when he stopped replying as soon as I mentioned this. (I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to check references).
Also, keep an eye out for drastically different quality in images, images so closely or strangely cropped that they could be hiding a watermark, especially on profiles that have virtually no comments, friends or conversation. (Some photographers do prefer to keep their networking website profiles tidy but it can be a sign of someone trying to keep their head down.)
Anyway, there’s my modelly advice for the day! 😉
p.s. * I’m now fully booked with the exception of the 25th, in the afternoon (after 3pm). Reading and London area. If you’d like to take my last free afternoon in the country until the end of October, get in touch asap!!!