Enter the Mayhem
For several weeks of my life, I’ve been trying to get approved for a Model Mayhem (MM) Individual Member Account. I have worked with a handful of models on the site and I have more scheduled.
My purpose is two-fold for joining Model Mayhem:
- Enable the Mayhem Models that I have worked with to get their due “Verified Credits.” This helps boosts their MM reputation and ensures that their portfolio has high-quality MGXC portraiture.
- Expedite communication with Mayhem Models that don’t have alternative means of communication written in their profiles.
Alas, I can’t seem to get the “Mods” to approve my account profile as-is or as-changed three times.
The Member Mayhem
Model Mayhem only allows individual member accounts. The rules clearly state that you can’t create accounts that represent groups, teams, or companies (with the exception of husband/wife teams or identical twins). That seems to be a fair rule and well-stated policy for the community. So why did my account get rejected.
MM believes that MADEGRANDBYCAM is a global conglomerate with a team of employees. Perhaps my branding and world-class digital business site seemed too polished for an individual photographer. It’s funny to me. The other day someone said that my photography was a hobby and a supplemental income stream. And yet, the community moderators think I’m a giant brand agency.
I guess I should be flattered that my MGXC branding is so effective!
The Seedier Side of the Mayhem
As a business owner, you have to protect yourself and your company. However, there are reports of unscrupulous actors in the Mayhem community. A series of reviews on SiteJabber tell the sordid details of sexual predators, pedophiles, porn stars, and prostitutes. It is hard to discern who’s who from an online profile. There are no warning signs to keep models away from predators and photographers away from panderers.
An account with Verified Credits isn’t a guarantee of professional conduct and good ethical behavior. So, do your homework and check your answers against the sheet in the back of the book to make sure you’re getting what you want. I have been successful and please with my results. However, I did the due diligence necessary to ensure that I was working great people that just happening to be on Model Mayhem.
The Professional Photographer’s Dilemma
So after all of the drama, here’s the real question: Do professional photographers need a Model Mayhem Member account?
In a word, “No!”
The photographer’s dilemma: Model Mayhem has a diverse community of models. If seems like it would be worth the effort to be a member of such a strong community, right? I thought so, otherwise I wouldn’t have attempted to join.
I personally know one local, pro photographer on MM. He and I have a portfolio of pictures of the same model who is also a member on MM. This is what led me to believe that this was a wise move. While waiting for my account to get approved, I contacted several other models and did shoots with two. The community seems legitimate when you have actually met people and worked with them.
However, I contacted the models I worked with through Direct Message on Instagram. The aforementioned pro photographer and model I met through an event that photographer hosted. I learned about their MM member status after the fact. So, in truth, there are other networks that enable professional photographers to connect with a broader community of artists and models than just MM.
For me, I wanted to work with various models to refresh my portfolio. They are just as easy to find and easier to communicate with on Instagram and Facebook as they are on MM.
I have found very few professional photographers that also have a Mayhem Member account. The one professional photographer that I did find on Model Mayhem is Jason Lanier. Jason Lanier Photography has a team of people working with his photography business, but he does have an individual member account.
Moderating the Mayhem
So after several messages to various Moderators (Mods) of the MM Community, I received the final message:
Per our site rules, we do not allow companies to utilize Model Mayhem.
You will need to remove all emphasis of MADEGRANDBYCAM if you would like to use Model Mayhem as an individual member. Please change your profile to reflect an individual, not your company.
Please reply here once you have done that, and we’ll take a look”
-Admin Model Mayhem
Like most professional photographers, my name is a part of my company name and brand identity. MADEGRANDBYCAM™ is established across all social media platforms to ensure that people know they are dealing with me wherever we might connect.
So the question becomes: “Why would I change my brand identity for anybody? It inherently defeats the purpose of having a brand.”
I’ll close with a question for you: What would you do?
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