BY MARK EDWARD
Models and photographers need to consider carefully what they're getting into when they start shooting. Consider my recent experience with a first-time male fitness model who — after doing an excellent photoshoot with me and having me spend hours processing his photos — decided afterwards that he wasn't comfortable being in the public eye.
I felt bad for this newbie model, and realized that there should be guidelines to help male models and photographers make the most out of the collaborative process. The result is this series of posts, called "Are You Ready to Be Famous? A Male Model's Guide to Fame, Fans and Flakes." Part 1 provided Three Questions to Ask Yourself before becoming famous, and Part 3 offers suggestions on How to Deal with Fans — The Good and Bad.
Here, I'll address some ways you can protect your privacy as you enter the world of modeling, so that you won't be overwhelmed as you build a fan base.
1. Pay the Photographer, and Keep Control of the Rights. If you don’t want your photos promoted and visible to other people, it’s simple: Pay the photographer to do the work. That way, it’s considered “work for hire” and you retain the rights.
Models and photographers looking to build their portfolios without spending cash often do a trade (often called TFP/TFCD, which means "Time For Prints" or "Time For CD"), which means neither the photographer nor the model charges money for their time and services. Instead, it's a fair trade of talent and time, and both parties get images they can use. You obviously can’t expect the photographer (or the model) to work for free.
With this kind of arrangement, both the model and the photographer will have the right to use the images as compensation for not being paid cash money, and you can expect to sign a release form that confirms this arrangement. If you don't feel comfortable with your images being promoted by a photographer, it's best to save up some money and hire a photographer.
2. Limit how you share your photos. Don’t post photos from your shoots on your personal sites (Facebook, etc.) until you feel comfortable with people seeing them. Perhaps share them privately with a few trusted friends before unleashing them on the public.
3. Don't use your full name. If you can’t afford to hire a photographer and therefore need to do a trade (TFP/TFCD) to build your portfolio, ask the photographer to refrain from posting your full name with the photos, to prevent unwanted “fans” from tracking you down.
4. Use a stage name. You may already have another career in a field that has nothing to do with modeling, and there may be no reason to confuse the two career paths. It is perfectly acceptable to use a different name as a model. Actors, models and other artists have been doing it for centuries.
• Are You Ready to Be Famous? Three Questions to Ask Yourself
• How to Deal with Fans — the Good and the Bad
Subscribe to the modelJOCK Youtube Channel!