Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

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Latest post Wed, May 29 2013 12:58 AM by Angie, Community Moderator (Admin). 22 replies.
  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 4:28 PM

    • N.Treuby
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Wed, Nov 21 2012
    • NE
    • Posts 21

    Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    Back in September, I answered a talent agency's Craigslist ad seeking "guy-next-door-style fashion models." Enticed by the prospect of making "up to $400 per hour in the glamorous world of catalog photography," I did a test-shoot at their private studio in an all-but-abandoned strip mall. The shoddy location should have been my first clue that this company wasn't as mainstream as they pretended to be, but they did have a professional sign and logo behind the desk and expensive-looking cameras and spotlights behind the curtain. My assigned photographer was disarmingly friendly and convincing, she even showed me her resume which included a stint at the mall location. Eventually she made me feel comfortable enough to take off my shirt and put on a cowboy hat; by the end of the session I was twirling a lasso in boxer shorts.

    Lo and behold, I got a call a few weeks later -- the confidence and manliness I had projected had impressed the casting director and I had been selected to appear in an upcoming catalog! I was told it would be a four-hour session at the full $400 per hour rate. All I had to do was show up at the same studio with a can-do attitude, and sign a standard model release beforehand so they could publish my photos in future online and print catalogs. IN MY EAGERNESS TO BE A STAR, I DID NOT EVEN READ THE CONTRACT. I JUST SIGNED. I ALSO DID NOT THINK TO ASK FOR A COPY.

    I won't go into unnecessary details, but the photo shoot was NOT at all what I expected. In retrospect I am uncomfortable with many of the items they had me model.

    I put in four UNCOMFORTABLE hours and received my $1,600 check which did not bounce. But now I am wondering if there may be a legal way for me to return the money and WITHDRAW my agreement to have my photographs published? Perhaps due to the presence of tequila shots, which they insisted I drink non-stop throughout the shoot? Or the fact that I signed the papers BEFORE I understood the borderline-pornographic nature of the content I was about to be involved in?

    Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!

  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 4:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    N.Treuby:
    IN MY EAGERNESS TO BE A STAR, I DID NOT EVEN READ THE CONTRACT. I JUST SIGNED. I ALSO DID NOT THINK TO ASK FOR A COPY.

    You ought to easily be able to predict how this discussion will go.

    But in case you can't, here it is: You signed, you performed, you got your money, you're done.

    N.Treuby:
    But now I am wondering if there may be a legal way for me to return the money and WITHDRAW my agreement to have my photographs published?

    No.

    If you are over 18 you are stuck with the terms and conditions of the contract you signed. Not reading it doesn't help you.

    N.Treuby:
    Perhaps due to the presence of tequila shots, which they insisted I drink non-stop throughout the shoot?

    You were sober when you signed the contract.

    N.Treuby:
    Or the fact that I signed the papers BEFORE I understood the borderline-pornographic nature of the content I was about to be involved in?

    Were your genitals exposed?

    Were you having sex with another person? Or even simulating sex?

    If no to those questions then it's not even "borderline-pornograph" at all.

    Maybe suggestive but a lot of advertising is suggestive and I'm guessing that whatever modelling you did isn't any worse than what appears in magazines like Cosmopolitan or Elle.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 4:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    I think you need to re-think the membership picture (I still can't fathom why this site seeks them) if you want to complain about being tricked into an untoward photo shoot in boxer shorts, etc. Just sayin'.

    If your post had gone onto say that they photoshopped your head onto someone else's nude body, then I'd say you MIGHT have a point depending on precisely what the contract says, but ... you didn't.

    Reputable talent agencies don't limit ads to Craigslist (if they use it at all), so you also may in future want to do other checking out of companies before responding, and even more before agreeing to X.  You should also do due diligence to know what the market rate in your area is for "catalog photography" or any other kind of model, and of course take particular note of any "up to" phrase and some outrageous higher-end hourly rate.  NE isn't a hotbed of fashion photography, and $400 an hour doesn't strike me as remotely plausible rate for non-"uncomfortable (in hindsight)" pictures.

    Sounds like you saw what you wanted to see (whether someone had professional signage should be the least of it). 

    You've also learned the important lesson of insisting on an exact duplicate of whatever it is you're signing and, if there isn't one, you say "Excuse me; I need to go make a copy of this."

    "In retrospect I am uncomfortable with many of the items they had me model."

    I'm sorry, but ... while regrettable, I don't see any legal argument here.

    "But now I am wondering if there may be a legal way for me to return the money and WITHDRAW my agreement to have my photographs published?"

    I don't see it.  That's something you could easily cough up that $1600 to have an attorney (you also haven't checked out) mislead you and say "Sure!   Just give me a $5k [or $10k] retainer."  I don't mean to be harsh, but ... this is real world stuff.

    "Perhaps due to the presence of tequila shots, which they insisted I drink non-stop throughout the shoot?"

    Seriously, don't even go there in terms of excuses.  Like your mom may have said ... "If someone insists you ought to jump off a bridge, you'll just ... jump?"

    "Or the fact that I signed the papers BEFORE I understood the borderline-pornographic nature of the content I was about to be involved in?"

    But you weren't forced to do whatever you were told even after you signed the document; the world wouldn't collapse and there's no gun to your head.  Had this agreement by some chance even said anything remotely like "you have to do what you're told, no matter what ... there's no turnin' back or you'll owe US money!" that doesn't mean you couldn't tell them to "Pound sand.  I won't do that; pay me for the time through this moment and we'll call it even."

     

  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 4:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    You signed a contract?

    you did what you signed to do?

    And you got paid for it right?

    If you did not read the contract, or understand the contract that's is your problem?

    I'm sorry

    So

    They insisted you drink constantly, after you signed a contract for photos

    and you did?

    the check cleared for what the contract you signed and agreed to said ?

     

  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 5:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    N.Treuby:
    But now I am wondering if there may be a legal way for me to return the money and WITHDRAW my agreement to have my photographs published?

    None is apparent from your post, but it will depend on the specifics of the document you signed but did not read or even keep a copy.

     

    N.Treuby:
    Perhaps due to the presence of tequila shots, which they insisted I drink non-stop throughout the shoot?

    Ever heard of the word "no"?  Unless you were intoxicated at the time you signed the contract, that you consumed alcohol afterward is irrelevant.  Even if you were intoxicated when you signed the contract, you'd have one heck of an uphill battle.

     

    N.Treuby:
    Or the fact that I signed the papers BEFORE I understood the borderline-pornographic nature of the content I was about to be involved in?

    The first problem here is that the document you signed may have disclosed this information.  Even if it didn't, your post does not suggest that you were misled about this or that you even discussed what the nature of the photo shoot was going to be.  And, of course, at any point, you could have said no.

    Try and get a copy of the document you signed.  Then talk with a local attorney, but I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you.

  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 5:56 PM In reply to

    • N.Treuby
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Wed, Nov 21 2012
    • NE
    • Posts 21

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    adjuster jack:
    Were your genitals exposed? Were you having sex with another person? Or even simulating sex? If no to those questions then it's not even "borderline-pornograph" at all. Maybe suggestive but a lot of advertising is suggestive and I'm guessing that whatever modelling you did isn't any worse than what appears in magazines like Cosmopolitan or Elle.

    Okay, I was deliberately shying away from describing the specific content of the shoot in order to keep this PG-rated (and obviously to avoid my own further embarrassment.)

    When I walked into the session, I was under the impression I would be posing in various types of FASHION. I wrongly assumed that it would be fun stuff like the cowboy hat, the lasso, maybe even some sexy underwear. What I soon figured out was that this was a different type of catalog: an ADULT TOY CATALOG. At one point I was directed to crawl on all fours with a saddle strapped to my back and fake horse hooves over my hands. A photographer's assistant in jeans and cowgirl boots soon put a bridle in my mouth and climbed on my back for a "horsey" ride. I will admit that they did go to great lengths to have me HIDE my genitals in each of the shots, using strategic placement of my arms or her legs or even fake rocks and cactus props. Nevertheless, I would be very surprised if Elle magazine typically shows bare-assed men being ridden around by cowgirls. :-(

  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 6:18 PM In reply to

    • N.Treuby
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Nov 21 2012
    • NE
    • Posts 21

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    Chancey1:
    I think you need to re-think the membership picture (I still can't fathom why this site seeks them) if you want to complain about being tricked into an untoward photo shoot in boxer shorts, etc. Just sayin'.

    I see your point, LOL. For the record, I DO wish to be a semi-professional MODEL and I have no problem with being photographed shirtless or in my underwear. I have even modeled nude for college art classes before. For precisely that reason (plus the tequila I'm sure) I was nervous to say "no" to anything during the photo shoot, not wanting to build an early reputation among professionals as the guy who refuses to allow the photographer her creative freedom.

    On the other hand, I wasn't exactly looking for photos of myself hogtied in a ball-gag for my portfolio, which is why I posted my concerns here!!

  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 6:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    N.Treuby:
    At one point I was directed to crawl on all fours with a saddle strapped to my back and fake horse hooves over my hands

    The exact moment that you could have said no, got your clothes and walked out.

    But you didn't.

    That's called consent.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 6:47 PM In reply to

    • N.Treuby
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Nov 21 2012
    • NE
    • Posts 21

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    Chancey1:
    But you weren't forced to do whatever you were told even after you signed the document; the world wouldn't collapse and there's no gun to your head. Had this agreement by some chance even said anything remotely like "you have to do what you're told, no matter what ... there's no turnin' back or you'll owe US money!" that doesn't mean you couldn't tell them to "Pound sand.  I won't do that; pay me for the time through this moment and we'll call it even."

    Not trying to be a baby here, I am a grown man and I do take responsibility for my inexperience and stupidity in signing the document sight unseen. On the other hand ... might it matter AT ALL if I were to point out that I was literally CHAINED TO A WALL with a blindfold over my eyes and a massive gag in my mouth during a significant chunk of the event? At one point someone started tickling me with a feather and I was bucking like a wild animal, screaming, CLEARLY trying to communicate that I didn't like what was happening. Could be a technicality that gets my case heard...

  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 6:55 PM In reply to

    • N.Treuby
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Nov 21 2012
    • NE
    • Posts 21

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    adjuster jack:
    The exact moment that you could have said no, got your clothes and walked out.

    By that time, I actually WAS drunk though. Nor could I predict that things would go from "slightly avant garde" to downright weird and embarrassing!

    My thanks again to everyone who contributed to my conversation today, this has been a good learning experience and I thank you for not making fun of me and my dumb mistake.

  • Wed, Nov 21 2012 7:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    N.Treuby:
    I actually WAS drunk though

    Could have said no to the booze, too.

    N.Treuby:

    My thanks again to everyone who contributed to my conversation today, this has been a good learning experience and I thank you for not making fun of me and my dumb mistake.

    I think the conclusion here is that you might very well be stuck with the consequences of your mistake.

    Wouldn't hurt to go over it with a lawyer just in case. See if you can get a free or low cost consultation with one.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Thu, Nov 22 2012 7:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    Chancey1:
    I think you need to re-think the membership picture (I still can't fathom why this site seeks them)

    Perhaps then you haven't visited many message board forums. Many offer the option for members to include as part of their profile a picture that serves as an "avatar," i.e. a way to visually identify who is posting, much like a trademark does in advertising. They don't insist on members using them nor require that people use photos of themselves. Indeed, just looking at the posts here, you'll see many regular posters like Adjusterjack, ClydesMom, and myself using images to help identify our posts, but that aren't photos of us. The reason this site does it is the same reason others do it: people like having that option. That you don't want to use it and don't see why others like it shouldn't make it hard to understand that sites are providing what a lot members want.

  • Thu, Nov 22 2012 8:45 PM In reply to

    • Cica
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Sep 23 2003
    • Posts 6,520

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    The one thing I would agree on is in changing the image and user name -- if it's actually his name -- and if the intent is to further review a potential claim of "being tricked into pornography." 

    "Tricked?"   

    Perhaps I'm incorrect, but if there were a case, I would think defense counsel would have a field day if they were to stumble across this post in its current layout.

     

     

  • Fri, Nov 23 2012 8:53 AM In reply to

    • N.Treuby
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Nov 21 2012
    • NE
    • Posts 21

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    I debated on whether or not to include a real name and/or profile pic here. On one hand, this is the sort of predicament one would rather keep anonymous and say it happened to a "friend." On the other hand, I felt that including a name and a sample from my portfolio would help demonstrate that I am a flesh-and-blood person with high hopes for a semi-professional modeling career someday. I eat well, exercise, say no to drugs and attend church. Granted, the shirtless photo was probably a bit much and I have removed it on everyone's wise advice. 

  • Fri, Nov 23 2012 9:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Tricked into a pornographic photo shoot

    N.Treuby:
    I am a flesh-and-blood person with high hopes for a semi-professional modeling career someday.

    Then the first thing you should learn is that reputable photographers don't consider chain store budoir photography as a resume selling point.  Reputable modeling shoots don't take place in all but abandoned strip malls,  And reputable photographers do not get their models drunk to make them compliant.  

    While your aspirations for a modeling career are wonderful the problem is now that you have done this shoot of a pornographic nature the odds on a legitimate agency signing you are slim to none.  They won't want the negative publcity should you hit it big.  Their clients won't want you as the front man for their stores or products either. Reputable agencies will want your portfolio and you don't want to list this shoot but rest assured they WILL find it.  You might want to pay for a consultation with a respected agent and find out how lethal to a long term upstanding career in modeling this shoot could be before you sink any more time and money into it.

     

     

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

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