Archive for November, 2010

November 24, 2010

Warning: Suspected Sexual Predator Al Carter is Seeking Models

The following is from Renee Blaine, also known as The Original Sin.  She’s a nude and fetish model who, to put it bluntly, really knows her shit.  She’s been modeling professionally for quite some time now, and does a lot of mentoring on various modeling sites.  Renee has stumbled across something very serious, thanks to a new model who asked her about this scumbag.  A known predator is looking for more victims…

Heads up for the mentors AND those in need of mentoring.  I got an email from one of the girls I’ve been mentoring last night, had to wait until I was out of the brig to post.

Al Carter, the infamous Conglomarattii Entertainment scammer, is out there and back in business, calling himself “Brian” now.  I’m happy to share all details I have, you can do a Google search, or you can simply contact the Leon County Sherriff’s Office (LCSO) in Tallahassee, FL for information.

Folks, this guy IS a danger to women.  I’ve personally nearly fallen for his scam- I was lucky that I had a concussion from a fall off a horse that day.  Otherwise I would have gone alone, and been assaulted as others have been.  As it was, I had to threaten to stab him with my shoe before he would step aside and let me pass to leave.  He has been removed from MM repeatedly.

His MO is simple- he offers good money for glamour nude/implied nude or urban glamour work.  You get there, he rushes you to sign the contract before the shoot. MOST don’t read the release.  Inserted in the release is a clause stating that you have been told and agree to all content shot.

He proceeds to rape on camera.  This is verifiable- he showed the tapes to LCSO, called the girls “stupid bitches” and laughed, because he has the release, signed before the shoot, that makes everything legal.  He usually just tosses the girls out with a few threats afterwards, occasionally he gives them bad checks.

He tried to get me to sign a release for him before the shoot.  I refused, he got insulting.  He then tried to get me to shoot “implied” sexual nudes (at a time I did not shoot nude) with him as the “male model”.  When I refused, he started getting loud, my driver banged on the door, and I got out of there.  That was three years and a bit ago.

If he contacts you, contact LCSO.  Let them know he is doing this, and encourage them to stop him.  He mainly focuses on FL/GA/AL models, new to MM, who have email addresses on their profiles, but he has gone further afield in the past- I know one girl was from NC.

First, and most importantly, this is a perfect example of why models must read releases before they sign them and why models should not sign releases prior to shooting.  Please please please don’t sign before you shoot, and read everything you are signing!  Because he has signed releases, it seems it doesn’t matter what he’s doing to the models he manages to lure in, which is scary as hell!

Edit, Jan 3, 2011: A friend of mine brought up a couple very valid points regarding the above paragraph.  Here’s what he said:

1. It is quite common for releases to be signed before a shoot, and in fact many commercial clients and ad agencies insist on it. Lots of MM photographers do also, although they generally have BS reasons for it. If a model reflexively refuses to sign a release pre-shoot, or takes it as a sign of some kind of predator or scam, it could cause her to lose real opportunities.

2. Although I think it’s a worthless procedure and do not recommend it, a lot of photographers have paragraphs in their releases in which the model states that she willingly posed as she did and the shoot was conducted in a professional manner. Those that have these clauses invariably get all emotional about them if asked to take them out, and mostly they are perfectly harmless people who just have gotten some bad advice.

So perhaps I should amend my above statement to read, “Models, always read releases before you sign them, and if you have questions about parts of them, ask.  You can also ask to see the release ahead of time and review it prior to the shoot date, which gives you ample time to ask questions about it as well.  And of course, if you’re not comfortable signing something, don’t sign it, but be aware that this may cause you to miss out on opportunities.”

Second, here is some more information on him, as well as links to stories others have of him:

And finally, here’s the Leon County Sheriff’s Office contact information. I urge you to call if you have any information on this guy, or if you are contacted by him. You should also call if you are in this guy’s area (typically FL, GA and AL) and want more information.

  • Phone: 1.850.922.3300
  • www.lcso.leonfl.org
  • Address: 2825 Municipal Way, Tallahassee, FL 32304-3807

EDIT (12/6/2010): I have been contacted via comment on this blog (which remains in “approve me” suspended animation) by a Howard Cook ESQ, claiming to be Al Carter’s lawyer.  The comment asks me to remove the post, or I’ll be sued for “malicious slander” (exact wording).  I did a little bit of research, with the help of a friend, and discovered that the only Howard Cook ESQ currently practicing law is in North Haledon, NJ.  He does not know anything about Al Carter, and is not representing him.  There is no Howard Cook, or even H. Cook, practicing law in the state of FL.

That said, unless I receive an official letter from Mr. Carter’s real lawyer, at the very least to my inbox at blog@modelracheljay.com, I will not be removing the above information.  I will verify any letter I get with the party who sends it, and will be contacting the LCSO to verify the information as well.  So please feel free to email me at the address above.  Comments from “lawyers” will be ignored… largely because I know that’s not how lawyers do things.  Thanks!

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November 8, 2010

Booking A Model

For whatever reason, some photographers are non-committal when it comes to booking, or think a minimal amount of info sent to a model suddenly means they’ve booked said model.  For models, this is frustrating (especially when the same photographers are seen in the forums complaining about no-show models or not being able to find any models in their area).  Here are some tips and things to avoid doing when booking a model.

“Let’s shoot” doesn’t constitute booking.
Models need, at the very least, a location, date, time and a basic idea of what they’re shooting.  Even better if you can provide information regarding a styling team (HS and MUA), your contact information (phone and email), and more specifics regarding shoot style and wardrobe required for it.  You don’t need to give all that info up front, and can even collaborate on it and discuss it all with individuals as you set stuff up.  But the more into a model has, the better.

Inviting a model to an event doesn’t mean you’ve booked her for that event.
Especially when there are going to be other photographers in attendance.  If you are interested in working with a model at an event, communicate this with her so she knows to set aside time for you.  Giving her details as to what you want to shoot (especially if it’s an open event) is helpful too (see above).

Discussing an upcoming shoot or event with a model on a forum doesn’t mean you’ve booked her for the shoot/event.
Even if the date, time and location are discussed in the forum, many models need a confirmation, contact details, and a few other bits of info to be sent privately (via PM or email).  Discussing something in a forum isn’t really the best way to book a model, and many models won’t consider themselves booked for the shoot/event without a PM to show the photographer was serious about working together.

“Bring whatever you want” isn’t a good idea when discussing wardrobe.
In fact, it generally leads to frustration for models.  Not only do we stress over what to bring, nut undoubtedly the photographer says “too bad you don’t have [something else]… I had a great idea involving [that item]” and it’s a piece of clothing or an accessory the model has sitting at home in her closet.  Had the photographer been open with his ideas in the first place, the model could have coordinated what she was bringing, and there’d be know “too bad” BS.

Dropping communication is lame.
This applies to everyone, really, because it’s not just a photographer issue.  But ceasing communication at any point during the planning process is a no no.  Believe me, I get that things get forgotten and stuff, however, if you’re super interested in shooting with someone, “forgetting” him or her isn’t going to score you any points.  If, for whatever reason, your circumstances change or you’re not interested in what they have to offer (like rates), say so. We’re human, we understand, and in many cases, we might even be willing to negotiate if money is an issue.  So don’t drop communication because you think our rates are too high, the concept discussion isn’t going the way you wanted, or whatever.  See if you can resolve the issues first!

Confirm, confirm, confirm!
Once you’set a date, idea, location, time, and everything else, confirm it all with the model in one, easy to read message (lists are good).  It doesn’t have to be long, but confirm everything to make sure you’re both still on the same page.  It’ll save a variety of headaches later on.

 

November 3, 2010

Modeling is Easy!

Modeling is hard work.  I love when people think it’s easy (insert eye-roll here).  Many models hear it a lot too. I can come from anyone–photographers, friends, significant others, parents, even new models and photographers–and chances are, every model has heard it at least once.

The problem is, it’s not true. Sure, it might be easy to stand in front of a camera and have your picture taken, and if the person taking the pictures knows what they’re doing, it might end up being an ok picture. But there’s more involved in modeling than just standing there and looking pretty, and that’s what makes modeling not-so-easy.

Properly posing and emoting to convey exactly what the photographer/client wants is hard to do.  And I’m not just talking “get bendy” or “look happy”.  A model can move, sure, but making it look effortless, without obvious discomfort, is hard.  Doing that while keeping your hands and feet in check and posed is also hard, but add in a face to work with, and it’s even harder.  Making sure your expression is dead on and your eyes aren’t dead takes a lot of practice.  Factor in learning how to find your light, and it’s even harder.  Now take all of that, and be able to do it fluidly, on demand, and rapidly… or hold complicated poses for an extended period of time.  There’s a good reason many models are sore after shoots–it’s hard work.

Oh, but wait!  That’s not even taking into account posing in harsh environments (and doing it without complaint and making it look good and effortless), uncomfortable clothing and shoes, and dealing with the effects crazy hair styles and a shitton of makeup have on their hair and skin.

And that’s not even taking into account how long models practice poses, or how many take dance classes, yoga, martial arts and/or acting classes to improve their posing and emotion skills.  Or the fact that many models eventually branch out into makeup artistry, photography, or wardrobe styling.

I would love someone who thinks modeling is easy to try keep up with an experienced professional model (or even an experienced hobbyist like me) on a shoot.

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