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Modeling Precautions for Teens

Updated on August 9, 2017
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.


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Photography is a wonderful art, capable of capturing the most beautiful to the most tragic of images to be shared the world over. But one should still use care when choosing a photographer, especially when children or young adults are involved.

Almost everyone enjoys having their image taken, some even pay to have it done.

Eager children with dreams of a modeling career are always pressing their parents to have their photos taken as part of their portfolio. Parents eager to accommodate their children quickly and often without reading sign contracts and model releases.

A minor cannot legally sign any release or enter into a contract and these releases and contracts rarely hold up in a courtroom.

There are many unscrupulous people who with the guise of photography take hundreds of images of children, especially teenage girls and promise them that they will be represented and probably hired as a top model for one of the largest modeling institutions in the world. This is pure fantasy.

The top modeling agencies and most legit agencies have potential new talent submit samples of their work directly to them or through modeling agencies. Almost never through an individual photographer.

Yes they use third party brokers, but will rarely to never request photos of underage children that are wearing skimpy outfits, lingerie, tiny bikinis, tight shorts,see through outfits, or the wet t-shirt look, and certainly these agencies never ask for anyone to submit photos in which the model is posed seductively, at least not in a portfolio or the images by themselves.

Although shots in beachwear are sometimes required as part of a portfolio, they are usually done in good taste. Otherwise, if needed, these shots will be done once a contract has been signed and never if the models are under 18.

If you find yourself being asked by a photographer to wear clothing in which you find yourself uncomfortable, then don't. Anyone under the age of 18 should not be asked to model outfits that are not age appropriate.

A common practice by so called photographers is to approach young girls or advertise for them. Once the contact is made, they tell the potential model that as part of their representation they are going to have to wear skimpy outfits, sometimes not outfit at all, although they disguise this by having the model cover intimate areas with their hands. "it's all part of the business", "everybody does it" they say.

Most, I dare say all of these photographers rarely allow the parents or any other adult to accompany the model into the studio. The comments is always the same or similar to "it will make the model self conscious and nervous".

Once a models falls for this, they will usually post the images on the web where people pay to view such images. Rarely if ever will the model receive an invitation from a modeling agency.

They do receive their cut from these photographers once the clients sign up and pay to view such shots. But in many instances this "modeling work" leads to an eventual request for nude photos and even pornographic images. Most of these web based sites go by the names of pre-teen modeling agencies or the most common Lolita's modeling sites.

Never ever allow a photographer to take images of your child without you being present. True photographers know this and welcome parents into the studio.

A true photographers never have underage models wear outfits which may be determined to be too risque for the age. True photographers will charge you a fee to take the photos and produce a portfolio. Question the use of excessive make up. Most legit agencies and photographers use very little makeup for underage models, since true beauty is always in demand.

So called photographers whose business is not really that of photography always are more than willing to take photographs of young girls completely free of charge. Ask yourself, they don't charge, so how do they make their money if your child is not a top model? This is big business and the lure to both unscrupulous photographers and desperate aspiring models is enormous.

Be wary of photographers who contacts your child and wants to speak to then apart from you. Legitimate photographers who make their living from photography have a studio in most cases, have samples of their work, have references which includes past models and will likely charge you to take your photos.

If an agency requires a particular type of modeling work and contacts a photographer to seek out new talent, this can be verified by simply asking for the agency name and verifying it yourself. Plus in many instances the models will have to sign a release which includes not only the photographer's name and contact information, but the requesting agency as well.

This is also true for the over 18 aspiring models. There are plenty of photographers who will photograph you for free and in some cases pay you. Many will require a portfolio and will gladly do one for you.


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Good video-must see

The message is always the same, it comes with a promise of representation to big modeling agencies and that they will make you into a top model.

Note: once you accept payment and sign a model's release, you lose most rights to how your image is used.

Note: there are many photographers who receive requests for new talent, but if the photographs involve nudity, semi nudity, or risque or not age appropriate outfits.

This type of photographs will be done by models who are at least 18 years of age and have documentation that proves it.


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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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