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Modelling – know your rights


Modelling – know your rights

Many teens are aspiring to be models, but unfortunately these projects often end in teens getting exploited. Modelling is great, but make sure you go with a reputable agency and that you know your rights!

You should always feel comfortable

If a photographer asks you to do ANYTHING that makes you feel even slightly uncomfortable, then you must not do it! A good test is to ask yourself, ‘would my parents be okay with this?’ If not, don’t do it. This generally speaking means keeping your clothes on. Preferably all of them. Think about your boundaries before you start and stick to them. Don’t be pressurised in the moment into doing things you don’t want to do. Keep it classy.

Don’t be fooled by empty promises

Seriously – no photographer or agent can make you famous!! Being a model is a LONG journey and it takes lots of shoots, lots of practise and lots of patience. Big promises usually suggest the situation is dodgy and that the promise makers are not professionals.

Take an older person with you to the shoot

On a professional set teens will nearly always have a parent with them. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t bring an adult along! And anyone who tells you not to tell you parents about your modelling, it a definite no, no!

Shoots should be done in safe, open places

If it’s shot in a studio, and it’s a place you’ve never been before or with people you don’t know, then you should definitely take someone with you. Steer clear of any shoots in dodgy locations, people’s houses, bedrooms etc…

Protect your health

Beware of anyone who always wants you skinnier and skinnier. Your health is more important the modelling.


There are scammers in every industry, but plenty in modelling. Look out for them! If you are approached and it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is! Only use accredited modelling agencies. Also beware of random phone calls and messages asking for your photos – these are often from creepy perverts, who have nothing to do with modelling AT ALL.

You will always pay for portfolio photos

Shoot one look at a time, and try different photographers. Don’t book a R10k shoot with one photographer you’ve never heard of, to do three different scenes in one day!

You may from time to time shoot freebie jobs

Usually, if you are getting something in return – like nice photos for your portfolio or just a bit of exposure – then it’s okay, but beware of doing too much for free.

If there’s talk of going overseas, alarm bells need to ring!

More often than not the person wants the ‘model’ to pay a lot of money to ‘model’ overseas. A professional model will model in SA for a while and then they will find an agency overseas (usually their local agency will help them with this). Then they make a move to pursue their international modelling career on the wings of a reputable overseas agency. Beware of any other route!


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