as anyone in this industry can tell you - there are a LOT of creeps out there. this particular photog however, introduced only as "Ian," was an extra exceptional case...
1. HE contacted ME
2. i stated that my out of town rates are $80/hr in my VERY FIRST MESSAGE to him
living in bakersfield i often travel out to the LA area for shoots. typically i will wait until i get one or two paid gigs lined up, and then i will put out a casting call and message my list of "would like to work withs" and book up a full 2 or 3 days from there knowing that at least my gas and possibly lodging is covered.
"Ian" was my paid gig. he contacted me about a shoot, i said $80/hr, he said 2 hours in Culver City, we set up a day, and i subsequently booked two meetings, a group shoot, and a fashion show (ALL non-paid work) around that shoot. during my message conversation with Ian i had frequently become frustrated. i would write back a lengthy message asking questions about when/where/concept/wardrobe/make up/ etc and the most i ever got back was one line. typically only in response to my very LAST question. it was not until his SIXTH response that he gave me a name, even though i had asked before. no last name, just "Ian".
his next message regarded money. since he had asked for a two hour shoot i had responded let's go ahead and make it $150 for a 2-3 hour shoot (honestly, i'm not greedy! i just can't travel 2 1/2 hours for free!). seven messages later, however, he informs me that we 'had not discussed price' and that $150 was too much, could i do $80. as i mentioned, i now had a very busy weekend planned around the expectation that i would be making money to go towards my gas/food/lodging/etc. i was irritated, but being professional and not wanting to cancel my only paid gig, i said $80 would be fine but we could not go over the two hour limit.
here's where it gets interesting!
i told him, no, i would like to introduce myself first, although we can certainly incorporate the panty removal later into the shoot (hey, i got nothing against the concept, it's hot! but holy gawd let me say hi first!).
i then proceeded to double check that i had packed my mace.
oh, by the way, here's his MM profile! complete with links to his recent videos of some very young girls, quite intoxicated, in a women's restroom in Hollywood.
on to the day of the shoot!
about a half hour out i sent Ian my first text. his response, a half hour later, asks if i am "nervous" about the little introduction he had asked for.
'uhhh.. you mean the one where i don't say a word, just get out of my car and take off my panties for you? the one i said i was not going to do? that a simple hand shake and introduction would be proper? yeah, no.'
'excuse me, what does this have to do with anything??"
except that the address given to me is NOTHING.
there's a small business complex with a coffee shop at 4510, but i was told to go to 4508. about two buildings farther down however at 4580 is a small group of apartments. so either he meant the coffee shop but gave me a rough estimate of the address (like you do), or one of us suffers from dislexia and he lives in the apartments but forgot to include the unit number (another common mistake).
i don't know though, because Ian is no longer answering his phone.
during that hour and a half, Ian never once answered his phone to my 9 phone calls, but would respond to texts about every 15 minutes or so...
finally, an hour and a half later, the long awaited "Ian" shows up....
the first thing he tells me? 'i was really hoping the grapevine would be closed.' ..??!
in his nervous, round about way, Ian brings up the idea of rescheduling. either at my hotel that night if i text him the address, or he could pick me up and take me to venice (yeah, sure, i like assisting kidnappers). or perhaps the next day at midnight after my 12 hour day of shooting. that would mean either an early morning drive back to bakersfield or another night paying for a hotel. i say that later that evening is a possibility after my two meetings regarding other projects, or possibly on a future visit to LA. this is when i drop the bomb and tell him that either way, while i'm happy to reschedule, i would appreciate the $80 we had agreed on. the money will go towards the expenses i was already out and would absolutely go towards shooting together either that night or in the future.
he did not take this well.
he eventually offered to fill up my gas tank. not at the station right there across the street though, because he needed to go to a bank. he needed to go to a bank because he had no money. in fact, standing in this random ass coffee shop parking lot, he pulled out and opened up his wallet to show me that, indeed, he had no money.
'so wait a second.. after i showed up at your mystery house, wherever it may be, and dropped my drawers instead of, oh you know, saying hello and here's my release etc..... how exactly were you going to pay me..??'
he meets me at the gas station and puts in $20 of gas.
as he is hurriedly trying to make his way back to his car, i ask him, what about the other $60?
here are some of my favorite responses...
'well, let me talk to my friend and see if he wants to pay to publish these photos first.'
'there's, like, a 50% chance that i'll come to your hotel tonight.'
'you know, i'm sick of being harassed by these models that are all about money.'
'that wasn't a contract!!'
'i don't like being blackmailed.'
'i didn't know you were going to want the money right away.'
'what do you want??'
'i'd like the full $80 that we agreed on.'
'.. fuck it. i don't give a fuck.'
and he got in his car and drove away. not entirely sure why, but i snapped a photo of his license plate as he did.
five hours after leaving bakersfield, my 'photoshoot' with Ian was concluded.
-trust my instincts
-ask for references
-record the conversation
-take a picture!
-and pay attention to make and model dammit. followed right behind him, couldn't even tell ya what kind of car he drives... two door? kinda gay? that's all i got...
you may have noticed in the MM screenshots that he blocked my ass. i've sent one text two days later, to which his response was a threat to take out a restraining order on me. nice!
Ian has now earned a stellar spot on my growing list of photogs i'd recommend you avoid (if you are a model in the LA area or Idaho and want the full list, please email me!).
i was so relieved after this nightmare was over, that at my next meeting with incredible artist & current Smashbox photographer, Joseph De Sanze, i gave him a HUGE hug & thanked him for sending me a real address =)
i'm sure you've noticed that Ian's actual phone number is visible... feel free to give him some love. tell him that you're calling on behalf of the $60 owed to Jin N Tonic and you'd be happy to either take his credit card information, or he can find me on paypal using my email address ;D