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Friday, January 17, 2014

The dirty truth of Singapore's modelling industry (photo-shoots)

So... About at least a third of the young female generation have secret fantasies of being a sexy lingerie model, or a model. Posing in front of the camera in alluring positions seem exciting and the glam that comes along with it when telling people "I am a model" is rather appealing. 



It truly puzzles me when so many girls I meet say they are 'freelance models' when all they've done is to get pictures taken by a photographer. And most of these girls, are not even paid. So how does that exactly make you a model?! Anyone can get their pictures taken and claim their a model. Such is the mentality of the minority self-claimed models in Singapore. 

It's quite pathetic that these girls, who probably only have done a shoot or two, claim themselves to be models while the really popular photo-shoot models in the industry plays down their popularity and always maintain humble. 

Unscrupulous photographers 

And, let's talk about the photographers. Also, in the same context, so many guys who own a camera are now claiming they are photographers. And we are not talking about DSLRs here, but those small digital cameras. (sorry not well equipped with knowledge about cameras) From the events I go, I get these guys asking me for pics. I would gladly oblige because: 

1) I'm not dressed indecently.
2) If my pic can help your portfolio, why not? 
3) I can use the pic for my blog anyway. 

But the thing that pisses me off is the unscrupulous photographers. The ones that try to prey on female's weaknesses, the females that need money, those that weaken at enticing promises and 'opportunities'. Yes sure you can say that it takes 2 hands to clap. 

The thing about Singaporeans, is we have a victim blaming mentality. You see someone gets into shit, and somehow feel that its her fault. I feel that more empathy should be given to the victims of the nude pictures. And yes I am referring to leaked nude pictures all over the internet (check out:http://sporehallofshame.blogspot.sg/). Although I do feel that it is really naive of the girls featured on the aforesaid blog, I do sympathize with them and feel that the fault lies entirely, if not, more than somewhat, on the photographers who took the pics. 

I have absolutely no interest in the fame that comes with doing shoots (being a photo shoot model) I have been approached several times but although have expressed interest, was not particularly keen carrying out the actual act. 

So I have had my fair share of weirdness from the photo-shoot photographers. This is one of them. I will call him Photographer: E. Will not mention who he is because he was polite and respectful to me when I met him again on another event. 

I met him before at a club, he requested to take pictures of me and the group of girls I work with. We obliged because it was clearly an arrangement between our in-charge and him. He told me he was looking for models for a tattoo themed photo-shoot so we exchanged contacts. 


I felt something was amiss when he said "meet for casting shoot" because he had already seen me in person and even took my pics already so why the need for a casting shoot. I had suspicion he is a 'cheapo photographer' who wants to shoot pics for free. 

Upon asking other people, my suspicions were confirmed. Heard that he liked to organize casting shoots so he can take pics of aspiring models for free. Anyway, conclusion of story is that always be aware when you feel that something is not right, and also, ask for details! Don't just jump headfirst into anything without checking. 



Another 'photographer' (lol bloody insult to professional photographers so I have to put apostrophe) that seriously pissed me off is this guy. I will call him Photographer: R. 

So he asked if he did photo shoots. And I said, yes I do. I started feeling that he was weird when he said he preferred to be 'transparent' about the shoot details. I mean it doesn't sound perverted or wrong in any way but I've always been suspicious about guys and 80% of the time, my predictions are always right. 


Stated clearly no skimpy shoots
As long as it's a 'photographer' over Facebook, I will make it clear immediately that I don't do skimpy shoots. Don't want to be wasting either parties time right? 




As I have already admitted, I'm not a 'professional' in the photo-shoot modelling industry. Also although I have been approached several times, I have never did shoots with photographers met from events and over Facebook. And also, seriously not keen on the fame that comes with being a photo-shoot model. Am certainly not insulting photo-shoot models but I find it so bloody tiring to pose infront of camera for hours. Too stressful for me.
So most of this post later below will come from info given by experienced photo-shoot models. 

Back to point. So since I'm not experienced, I didn't know what V stats referred to. And then, the ultimatum. 

Photographer R: "You think I asking for your V ah?"

I felt that it was fucking UNPROFESSIONAL conduct, language, and attitude. 


Instead of apologizing, this bloody fucker still have the cheek to hahaha me to which I didn't reply. 

And because we had already earlier exchanged contacts before he pissed me off, he had my number and Whatsapped me a few days later. 


I later found out that he passes off other photographers' portfolio as his own and is a blacklisted photographer on several forums. 


The Dirty Truth 

The reason while I titled this entry the dirty truth, is that because although the lure of fame, attention and money is enticing, there is the pool of perverted, sick photographers who uses these elements to influence aspiring photo-shoot models to possibly do nude, or erotic shoots. 


had to delete this pic immediately after saving and uploading here because if I forget,
 and my mom sees, she'd freak out and I confirm kena interrogated)

Sure, you see pictures of a very pretty girl dressed in a cute dress or underwear and you think "Wa she's so hot, wish I'm the one that can get these opportunities, to get nice pictures taken and get paid for it." 

The thing is, these photo shoot models work hard for it. Completing a photoshoot professionally is not easy, it's tiring to be in front of the camera for hours and obviously you can't be in the same position all the time. 

Some of those I spoke to have seen shit, there's so much bitchiness and two faced attitudes all the time and it probably gets tiring to be around an atmosphere as such too often.

You can say, what's the big deal, I can safe guard myself by asking around whether the particular photographer is credible. But fact is, there is always a risk being alone in a room with only the company of a photographer. Futhermore, you pose in suggestive poses. How sure can you be he would not attempt to make advances on you? 
***

I refer to the 'interview' done with a model (see above picture) whose pictures were leaked. She agreed to an interview with http://sporehallofshame.blogspot.sg/. (full interview on their site) 

"Qn: Why did you not just agree to do regular nudes, but instead took some very graphic pictures, some which clearly showed the pussy being spread by an object? 

Ans: Initially i thought it was suppose to be just regular nudes. But things change when I arrived. I was in a bad financial crisis & thought that I didn't have a choice." 

As quoted, 'things changed when I arrived' = What could have changed? Did the photographer offer her more $ or swayed her decision with cleverly planned words and promises?
***

My point is, if someone can be so persuasive enough to make this particular model insert a bottle in her private part, how could one be so sure that your stand may not crumble or be shaken when in such a situation? Most girls would say, "She's fucking stupid, I won't be that stupid as her." 

But you would have no idea what actually was said or took place. Could she have been threatened? Black mailed with prior nude pictures? Tempted by more money or simply enjoyed the thrill of posing in erotic positions in front of a camera? I'm merely jumping to wild assumptions BUT the point is - you didn't know what occurred and how sure, can you be, that you will stick to your 'morals and values' when put in a similar situation as her. 

And this was what she said

"Qn: What do you think about the local modelling industry? Any advice for young models out there?

Ans: Local modelling industry is bullshit. If u cant get a status, u will most like end up as just an extra. Advice: just dont do stupid things like i did. I did it for a bad bad reason. A reason so stupid that i am losing everything. Its a bad bet. & even if u think u have the "NDA" non disclosure agreement with them, do note that they may give u a fake identity/name. This was my only gamble i did. Though i won money, but i lost my dignity & self confidence now. It is not worth it." 

You never know where and who your number is being passed to. 


(screen shots provided by a photoshoot model who does not want to be named)

Because I wanted to find out a little more about the local photo shoot modelling industry, I spoke a little to 2 other popular photo shoot models. Both do lingerie shoots. I have always admired their pics because they make all the uncomfortable poses look flawless and absolutely sexy.  

Model X 

Photoshoot Model X who does not want to be named for fear of the repercussions that may follow. She provided me some insight to the risks photo shoot models have to take or go through in the nature of their jobs. I asked her several questions. (words in red are her reply) 

Have you met any photographers that seem very untrustable / tried to make advances on you / or anything around that context? If yes, what happened?

Yes. When that happens, I just refuse to shoot immediately and asked to leave. 



"We're shooting and usually some shoots take place in hotels. This guy wanted to shoot and I met him over MM. We exchanged e-mails and everything was okay and he said he will pre-book the hotel. So he claims he stays in the East and since I live in xxx he offered to give me a lift, so I said okay (some pgs who are my friend gives me lifts too). When I entered his car, he was really nice and professional and then he told me he forgot to book the hotel and asked me if I was okay with Geylang. I said no of course, so he brought me to this other place which looked really pretty, until I walked in.  Since I had a smoke before I entered, I didn't know it was like some love hotel, but since he was nice and he paid, I thought I'll be professional about it and so the shooting started. 

That was when it got weird. He didn't touch me or anything but he was smiling very freakily. I have this bad habit whereby I like to see the pictures that I took repeatedly cause I wanna know if I'm doing anything wrong. (angles wise, see if I look fat, or if my face chubby, how the make up shows up) and that's when I saw him shooting my ass with a tampon string! So I got really mad and asked to leave and he started doing stupid things like "I pay you more money etc" which make me more pissed. He tried to block the door and we were yelling at each other. The I took out my penknife (I swear I'm not kidding, I was hoping it'll scare him because I know if he force himself on me, a penknife won't save me too) and thankfully it did, so he let me leave but paid me still and then I cabbed home and we never spoke again. 

On another occasion, a photographer even told me he forgot to bring his camera and asked if he can pay me 2x payment to kiss him.

 Any advice for aspiring models? 

"Only join the industry if you have 'thick skin'. There are bitching between the girls or between different cliques, if you get dragged in the fight, it's horrible. Rumors and what people say about you can be extremely brutal and it hurts alot especially if you don't have thick skin.


We had more conversation, and it made me open my eyes, that it was not all about glam and risks are always present if you want to be a lingerie photo shoot model. Because I promised her I wouldn't disclose what else we talked about, we shall just leave it as this. 

Lulu Joys 

I also spoke to Lulu Joys, a gorgeous photoshoot model who does lingerie shoots.  


I put forward the questions of how she would judge whether a photographer is credible or not and how does she self guard her interests. (words in red are her replies) 

1. Sign a model release form. 
2. Check with the models he worked with before. (this one is extremely vital, you can do this by asking for his portfolio, and thereafter identify the models he has photographed before. I think most models would be glad to vouch for the photographers' professionalism and credibility if he is legit) 
3. Tell your close friends where the hotel is and time and once you start to feel uncomfortable, tell him immediately. 



Some people may simply dismiss models as bimbos but that is hardly true. Lulu's words of advise to aspiring models: "always stand firm to what you're shooting. Don't get swayed easily by photographers words.

Always stand firm to what you're shooting - if a fashion themed shoot was discussed, don't get persuaded to strip to your underwear, or expose your private parts. 

No matter how persuasive these creeps can get. If you are firm in your stand, no matter how much persuasion will not sway you to shift from what you agreed to shoot initially. 

Vanessa 

If you still think you would like to give the industry a shot, I would say go for it. But be prepared to take criticisms and look as if though you are not affected by it. The last photo shoot model I spoke to is Vanessa. She is absolutely gorgeous and has a sexy figure to compliment her looks. This was what she was told by a photographer: 

"Stop eating and do whatever you did before (I had bulimia), so you'll be skinny can. Fat girls are not pretty and I can't make you look nice on camera if you're this fat." 


Her piece of advice for aspiring models is to ask for referrals and as what Lulu had advised, talk to the girls the photographer have shot with before. 

Like the other models I spoke to, she also met her fair share of weirdos. She sent me screen shots of an email she received earlier today. 






***


 Top 10 Local Photographer Saga in Year 2013

1. Helixshots - 35 year old Malay photographer who leaked and traded local models' nude pictures and blowjob videos such as Jocelyn Wee, Ivy Soh & Raychelle

2. koebshaq0_0 Stefan Quek - Famous after leaking & trading Rina Yuki Chen nude pictures as well as other local models. Model Angel Lin also talked about him during an interview with The New Paper.

3. Htayy Win - Myanmar photographer who paid models such as Charis Goh for sensual photoshoots (pulling her panties down) as well as paying other models for petting and sex sessions

4. Derrick Poh Dpgrapher - Leaked and traded various local models nude shoot in high class hotels such as famous FHM model Jamie Ang

5. Joe Chan Guo Qiang - Massaged, fingered and bedded a model for free after a shoot and asked an underage 15 year old model to masturbate to get high feel expression for shoot.

6 Sasuke Erochi - Man behind the photography organization Modxnet. Got famous after hotel video shoot with Eileen Yap, Pat Ng as well as boudoir shoots with Cassey and Faith. Launched an online attack on Wonder Ming on his molest case with underage model Luna

7. Wonder Ming - Accused of molesting and french kissing underage model Luna as well as involved in fight in pub over touching a lady

8. Edwin Lim - Old married photographer who got online complaints by models after he was found out paying super low rates ($10/hr) to young models and making them wear skimpy outfits. Was reported by various photographers to be recruiting young innocent girls in events such as AFA, CATS Carnival and Tokyo Auton Salon

9. Shahril Nsync - Got complained by various models in local FB group regarding his out of the blue random sadistic chats with them and his accusation of his ex KL model girlfriend giving him the green hat during his conversation with them.

10. Riki Boo - Made a stir up on model Miki Ace on why she must bring her boyfriend along for every event and photoshoot and questioned her professionalism. Dragged his friend Roy Chung along in the saga and caused a big online argument in Facebook and Hardwarezone forum. 


Source: http://www.sammyboyforum.com/showthread.php?p=10276150


***

In my own personal opinion, I feel that if you don't think you have the willpower and determination to turn down requests made by these 'photographers' or you think you would be easily swayed, I would feel that it is best to just keep out of this industry. It may seem like fame and glam and everything alluring but behind all these is also a web of lecherous men looks for every opportunity to prey on unsuspecting females. 

Don't ever be too trusting no matter how sincere the promises made to you are, the reason why so many humans make stupid mistakes is because of impulse. Always take one step back and look at the situation again, or ask for a second opinion. 

Hope this was an insightful read to what the photo-shoot modelling industry is like! 

If you do like this post, please share it on Facebook to warn other females you care for of the dirty truth behind the photo-shoot industry. 


**UPDATE: After I shared the link to this post on Facebook, an individual messaged me with details on how the pictures got leaked. 

'Photographer: J' is also a blacklisted photographer on several websites and forums I visited. However, I have other sources that tell me he is not the photographer behind the leaked pictures. I can't say for certain who is telling the truth, or misled from the truth. I'll leave it up to you to decide. 



14 comments:

  1. Well I'm not very sure how this industry works but I felt that if female models are willing to pick up such offers. Definitely there will be some risk that one need to take and the above counter-measure are certainly good precaution. As for those who took nude picture I felt it kind of hard to really argue anything after all you did allowed someone to take your nude photos. I understand major nude shoot will undergo "non disclosure agreement" but seriously as a adult you really allow yourself to undergo such major risk ? If the non disclosure agreement is a legal binding contract then why are we seeing so many nude photos circulating on the internet ? I would have to say that taking nude photos is as good as setting yourself in a very vulnerable position and nothing much can be done because you have give someone the power to threaten or destroy your life.

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  2. This is an useful blogpost for inexperienced models out there . I feel that we girls should always protect ourselves under any circumstances .

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  3. Frankly, if the shoots are done in a safe manner and agreed beforehand, what's the problem? There's really no different between shooting lingerie and nudes, the models are still getting paid... Different style of photography, but nudes are all over the net. If so worried and have "financial troubles" just make sure model release is secure regarding posting of pictures ( or shoot with a reliable photographer ).

    If it was so bad, girls shouldn't be selling themselves out anyway, with or without clothing.

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  4. I would say it takes both hands to clap. To me real models are those walking on the stage infront of all the bosses, designers and cameras wearing expensive sponsored clothings and so on. These models have assistant or even managers, this is their full time job and they earn a living with it. They do not have to work a day job or part time job while being a model honestly, Singapore ones are those self claimed models because they took some photos and post it on their blog, i wouldn't say most of them need money. Some of them are after some fame and status, they enjoyed the feeling of walking down the street and then people like eh is this a model. I can go and buy a good camera and maybe have some practice and declared i am a photographer, usually these so call call models will use sex in exchange for the shoots. The photographers will tell them i will update your photos on my portfolio and maybe certain companies will contact you if there is any events and these girls will do anything to go for it. Hoping like got car shows they are contacted and be a racequeens and increase her fame and status. If you can earn alot then please go for it, if not i rather you be more practical and find a good job and earn money. This kind of fame won't last long honestly and if you got good body please show to your bf or husband don't have to go to a room and show some strangers or even offer sex just to get the so call model title. It's really pathetic seriously.

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    Replies
    1. To break it to you, many of such models you speak of, walking on a runway donning clothes of designers etc, went through countless of such sacrifices as well. They don't go instantly from a nobody to a supermodel without going through humiliation, sex trades, bitch slapping from the society and many other shits. Of course, many of the times didn't work out well that's why they'd rather give up halfway becoming a full-time model. But then again, if all the girls with good body has no aspirations of becoming a model, where are all your advertisements of female lingerie, or even for simple marketed products like ice-cream? Wouldn't be the industry by dead?

      The point is, there is no wrong aspiring to be a model. There are MANY things to be very careful of while pursuing modelling as a career that's why its always a big trade-off and often discouraged. If a girl still chose to go for it knowing about all about it, why still judge her? It's her life choice. Respect it. Also, it's because of so many perverted renowned photographers/ designers/ managers in the world that made sex as something "normal" to trade for a job that could be potentially advance a model's career. Many models were being threatened and blackmailed and left with choice but to comply. I'm sure if you are in their shoes you wouldn't have left with any choice because they are EXPERIENCED enough in this industry to drive you to the edge. So please. Stop being narrow minded and have at least some respect for them even though they had made mistakes that made them look dumb enough to commit them. Thank you.

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  5. Thanks for compiling the useful information and getting interviews done, Deb :) I'm sure a lot will appreciate this.

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  6. 10 Existing Common Tricks Used On Newbie Models

    1) Ask you decently for a shoot via Facebook, get your contact number/Whatapps number then ask you out for casting shoot before an actual paid shoot. The casting shoot can drag as long as 2 hours without getting paid and he required you to wear formal, fashion and swim wear.

    2) Praise how curvy and gorgeous your figure is, then persuade you hard to do a TFCD lingerie or bikini Shoot with him to benefit both parties' portfolios when you never even know him in first place.

    3) Take a few wrong angle shoots of you in event then start to ask for your contact number. After getting your number, start to persuade you to do lingerie/bikini shoot with him. Resort to calling you non stop to get your attention.

    4) Ask for a meetup before shoot to discuss shoot details then make you fill in personal details form which require address and IC number with no copy of the form given at all.

    5) Offer you a decent paid indoor shoot, but when ask for personal port, will send you some photos from other photographers' work. On actual day of shoot, will suddenly change theme to something nudity or implied and threaten to cancel shoot if you inform him that you will be bringing an escort.

    6) Message you to find you to do event/photoshoot job, but only get your contact number without giving his contact number at all. Unable to provide you full details of event and give you only an overseas number.

    7) Message you to find you to do event/photoshoot job, but after getting your contact, just interested in asking you out for dates without any job offers

    8) Contact you to offer you a paid organized group shoot but on actual day of shoot make you wear something sleazy which he did not tell/show you beforehand and you never agree at all. When refuse to wear, he will give great pressure that photographers have already paid and you will be blacklisted if refuse to carry on with the shoot.

    9) Offer you a paid casting offer which only requires you to come for casting. But on the other hand, organize a paid group photoshoot without your knowledge and use your photos without your permission in photoshoot advertisement and make you do the paid group shoot before paying you amount for casting.

    10) Invite you sincerely for a test/fun shoot in studio and persuade you on actual day to do lingerie/implied shoot to challenge yourself even if you state clearly that you do not do such shoots.

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  7. Have u thought of doing BRACES ? Why don't u do BRACES to solve your BUCK TEETH/CROOKED TEETH ?

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  8. i think all models should bring along friends or family to their photoshoots. the kardashians do it for playboy and playmate shoots, and their mother is actually their manager! i don't know why more singaporean aspiring models don't just bring along a friend to the shoot. not only can they provide backup makeup and hair but they can fix your outfit and even keep you motivated. don't give up! just don't give those scheming photographers a chance to get you alone with their weird kinky agendas and make that money! (the straight and legal way!)

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  9. I find those who sleep with these photographers and get their photo taken for money should just be prostitutes. At least their identity is not fully exposed and their nude pictures will not be all over the internet.

    Would say... these models deserve it.

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  10. Hahahaha and most of these photographers aren't even serious, they only take such photos for their 'private collections'.
    Singapore's modelling industry sucks.
    Frankly non-disclosure agreement is just a piece of paper. Have you heard of anyone successfully enforcing it and getting their images taken down from the web? Even so, the damage is already done.
    Thus -- don't do things like nude shoots!!! Unless it's a trusted photographer you have been working with for a VERY LONG period of time.

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  11. You guys forget Singapore's most ciko pek camera man.

    John Seah

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  12. hey please sensor the male genitals!! -_-

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  13. Thank you, Deborah for an informative article. You have changed my impression of the industry. But I can't share this on my FB wall for the benefit of my female students since it contains images that are inappropriate. Would you have another blog which is suitable to warn minors of the risks? I will be glad if you could let me know. Thanks again.

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