6 Red Flags: Working with a freelance model


– Model won’t give out phone number once shoot has been confirmed. 

Giving out personal digits to a relative stranger can be uncomfortable, but it’s essential that you be able to get in touch with a model the day-of, or in an emergency.

– Model takes a long time to respond to a message (5+ days).

This kind of model is almost guaranteed to flake. If you are using ModelMayhem.com for browsing/booking models, I recommend displaying the profile search results by “Recently Updated.” 

– Model shows up “not as advertised” or visibly intoxicated/messed up.  

A couple pounds lighter/heavier or hair recently trimmed? No biggie. Completely different hair color or many pounds lighter/heavier or smelling like booze? Serious problem. 

– Model demands photos immediately. 

Personally, I feel that 4 weeks is an acceptable amount of time to expect images from a trade shoot. If you paid a model, then they should NOT expect images. 

– Model uses your photos for prints or other related merch without asking.  

This is the BIGGEST NO-NO I CAN THINK OF. Models do not own the copyright to a photo just because they’re in it. Legally, whoever pressed the shutter is the owner.   

– Model is mean or has a bad attitude.

If that’s a selling point, then okay. But I think shoots should be fun, and models should be upbeat. Leave your problems at the door, yo.