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So now you're ready to shoot. You've set the time and the place. How do you stay safe during the shoot? Bringing a chaperone can help ensure a safe shoot, but can also bring with it drawbacks that can compromise the shoot. Read on to help make wise decisions about your well-being during the shoot.

The Shoot
Once again, be on time. Time is money, and being late can also tarnish the mood of a shoot. Punctuality is professionalism and this can't be stressed enough.

You should also be able to bring a chaperone. Your photographer should even insist on it. Some examples of good chaperones are: other models the photographer has worked with previously; make-up/hair stylists; a professional chaperone; or, someone you have agreed to beforehand ie. your assistant or the photographer's assistant. Of course, this comes with caveats. Your chaperone should:

1) NOT distract or interfere with the model or the photographer in any way. This includes talking needlessly, hovering over the photographer's shoulder, getting in the picture, or offering advice. The model and photographer have already discussed the direction ot the shoot beforehand.

2) NOT steal from the studio or public place where you are shooting. Needless to say, it is not a good thing for a chaperone who is "with" you to break the law. Think about your "guilt by association," your sullied reputation, and possible criminal prosecution.

3) AGREE to confidentiality and discretion. A lot of photographers work a certain way and like to keep it their "trade secret." The model and photographer may have also agreed to do a shoot considered sensitive, for instance semi-nudity or nudity, which may be awkard to do with an audience. The chaperone may be asked to leave the shooting area unless they can adhere to this.

4) BRING their own food, drink, or entertainment like a book, MP3, etc. The photographer is not obligated to provide this. Maybe since your chaperone is doing you a favor, you can provide this for them.

Bad chaperones include your boyfriend or husband – even in a professional atmosphere, they tend to get jealous easily. Your parents are also bad chaperones – they will nitpick everything you or the photographer does. Your friend who has another appointment after the shoot or the friend who wants to sneak into a few pictures are bad chaperones who cause distractions.

There are moments where the photographer may touch you, like positioning a body part or removing hair from your face. The photographer should ask for permission first. You might even be inclined to tell the photographer that you will only take verbal commands.

The shoot may require outfit changes. If you're on a studio shoot, there should be changing facilities. If you're on a location shoot, you might have to resort to changing behind a big rock or tree. Some photographers may also tote around portable tent-like changing facilities. If worse comes to worse, you may have to change in front of the photographer – this will depend on your comfort level with them.

Hopefully you've been educated by this article and are now aware of the safety issues of being a model. Now when you contact the photographer, you'll be armed with knowledge and you can ask the right questions. Good luck and stay safe.


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