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- Ask the photographer/model for a list of people he/she has worked with.
- Check the photographer or model's profile to find people who have left tags on their page about previous sessions. Contact them for references.
- Get the photographer or model's real name and check the white pages to verify address and phone number if possible.
- If the photographer claims to operate a studio, check the yellow pages for a business listing.
- Check with Google, Yahoo, and MSN to see if you get a hit on the photographer or model's name or the studio name. Anyone who has been shooting for more than a year should have some kind of link on the web especially for photographers.
- If you live in a small city, browse for other models or photographers in your city and ask them if they have shot with the person.
- Ask for a shooting contract, model release, and usage agreement beforehand. A photographer who is prepared should be able to produces those immediately.
- Ask the photographer for the exact addresses and locations of where the shoot will take place so you can leave it with a friend.
- Upon arrival, call a friend and report in while the photographer is listening. Tell your friend you will call back in an hour. Tell your friend the address and arrange for pick up at a specific time, even if you drove yourself.
- Arrange for a preshoot meeting to discuss terms, schedule, concepts, and to get a general feeling for the photographer.
- Ask if a MUA will be provided. If not, consider bringing a real MUA if you know one.