Posts tagged ‘beware’

May 7, 2012

Model Networking Sites, Safety, & More

Roger Talley, the guy who wrote www.newmodels.com and The Professional’s Guide to Modeling has written some articles concerning model networking sites (like OMP, Model Mayhem, Model Insider, etc.) that are very worth the read.  Roger owned a modeling agency once upon a time, and really understands how the modeling world works–both agency-wise and Internet-wise–and these articles touch on Internet-related stuff that isn’t addressed at www.newmodels.com.  And while, at first glance, these articles may seem like fear-mongering, knowing Roger personally, I can tell you that’s not the purpose of these articles.  Roger is big in educating models and giving them the tools to keep themselves safe, and fear-mongering ends up having the opposite effect.  These four articles were, no doubt, written to make models aware of certain things that model networking sites aren’t doing in the interest of their safety, and to explain to them why continuing to do their own due diligence prior to shoots is still very important.

Model Networking Sites and Common Sense
In the first article of the series, Roger leads with saying that, largely, “transactions” on model networking sites like Model Mayhem, OMP, and Model Insider (along with the vast majority of others) go off without a hitch.  However, he does take the time to highlight some of the “extreme cases on all networking sites that go horribly wrong”, listing a few cases where members have gotten others involved in prostitution, or have resorted to drugging and raping, or (worse), murder.  Very rare events, but it happens, and Roger talks about how sometimes, these few-and-far-between extremely bad cases can be blown out of proportion and result in near-paranoid handling of things.  And, of course, he touches on the flip side of that… that some people think everyone who signs up for those kind of sites is legit and safe.

Read Model Networking Sites and Common Sense here.

Model Networking Sites and Warnings to Models
The second in the series, this article talks about what the modeling sites are doing to warn members that other members may in fact be criminals, scammers, registered sex offenders, or whatever.  In short, the answer is “not much, if anything at all”, but it’s much, much more complicated than that.  Roger talks about the rules on some sites regarding telling members of others’ one has dealt with, as well as what some sites encourage others to do when registering.  It’s a good read, and an important one, that begins to shed light on what you’re either getting yourself into, or have gotten yourself into, once you’ve signed up for model networking sites.

Read Model Netowrking Sites and Warnings to Models here.

The Will to Believe and Model Networking Sites
In this article, Roger talks about “the will to believe” and how it relates to model networking sites.  What I am talking about (and thus what Roger is talking about) is that quite often, models think “oh, well this must be what it’s supposed to be like” and carry on with things that they might not be comfortable with, or might not feel right about.  And in some cases, this can get them in trouble ranging from getting scammed to getting hurt, sometimes even multiple times because “this is part of the job”.  Roger touches on how easy it is to lay blame on the victims of these scenarios, but that’s not always fair.  In the vast majority of these cases, the model networking sites and how they handle members (especially after being informed that a member is in fact a danger to others on the site) comes into play.

For more on this, read The Will to Believe and Model Networking Sites.

Prudent Use of Model Networking Sites
In the final article of the series, Roger outlines some of the problems that have arisen because model networking sites don’t educate their members, encourage members to sign up with fake names, and don’t police their members at all.  Roger talks about how, keeping things in perspective, it is possible to have positive experiences on model networking sites.  He talks about how members can often use the forums on the networking sites to research and discuss scammers and bad experiences (but user-beware, as the forums are also often full of misinformation and trolls).  Roger also points out resources like www.newmodels.com and the article database at Model Insider, often recommended by forum regulars, who are often fonts of information (and worth conversing with) themselves.

Read Prudent Use of Model Networking Sites here.

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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