I am posting this on a throw-away account, as I don't want this event associated with my current life.
In the late 1990s, I was a twenty-something (female) living and working in San Francisco. I was an "exotic entertainer" who occasionally did some nude modeling.
These were obviously legit photographers, who treated me with utmost respect and professionalism. I made a pretty good living.
I had an acquaintance with whom I had worked at several different clubs, and she also did some modeling.
We got along very well, and liked to hang out and have a bottle of wine at her apartment sometimes.
One night we were talking about our different photo shoots, and she asked me if I would be interested in helping out a friend of hers, Scott,
who was an amateur/aspiring photographer who needed models to work with him for practice shots. She said he would pay me well for my time.
I told her I was interested, but as he was not a professional, I would have to meet with him to talk about the shoot. I contacted him and we agreed to meet at a local coffee shop to talk.
I arrived before he did, which I considered the professional thing to do.
As I watched the various customers come in the door, I noticed a man walk in and glance around the room as if he were looking for someone. I guessed it was Scott, and I waved him over to my table.
He excused himself to buy a cup of coffee, and returned. We introduced ourselves, and proceeded to talk about the photo project he was working on.
He was very friendly and professional-acting (for being an amateur) and seemed very excited about it.
"So I'm looking for a few models to photograph in a natural setting.
There's a beautiful farm in Marin County (which is in the SF Bay area, just across the Golden Gate bridge) that I'd like to use for a project I'm doing," he explained.
I told him it sounded interesting (as I'd only been in studios before) and that I would think about it and let him know. We agreed to meet again at the same coffee shop in several days.
By this time I had decided it might be a fun project. You know, enjoy nature, help out a fledgling photographer, and add some new shots to my portfolio. And also make some extra money of course.
We agreed on the day and time he would pick me up for the shoot. (I did not have a car at time, relying on the public transport of the City.
) That morning, I was outside my building waiting at the agreed upon time.
Now my boyfriend at the time had decided he wanted to go along, to watch the shoot and also keep an eye on me, as Scott was NOT technically a professional.
I have learned you can never be too careful, although I did believe this guy was legit.
When Scott pulled up to the curb, I went to open the back car door and put my bag on the floor.
I introduced my then-boyfriend to him and asked if it would be okay for him to come along, as he was interested and also would like to get out of the City for the day.
Scott looked him up and down, scowled, and said "No. Absolutely not. You have to come alone."
Suddenly alarm bells went off. Scott started yelling at me that I had to come alone, no one else was allowed to be there, and that I was stupid for passing up this opportunity.
My boyfriend and I were getting angry at Scott's attitude, and I decided that in no way, shape or form would I ever get in his car alone.
Then I told Scott that he had wasted my time, and I wanted half of the money we agreed upon. He paused and thought for a moment, then said he had to go to the ATM to get some money. I said "Fine.
I'll wait right here."
That seemed to irritate him, and he said "No I need you to come with me."
I pointed to an ATM one block away and told him he should use that one. This made him angry.
"NO" he shouted. "You HAVE to come with me because my bank is in Sausalito." I told him that ATM cards are good at all ATMs and I was not going with him.
He cursed at me and sped off, squealing his tires loudly.
At that moment I knew it was critical that I had trusted my gut instinct.
I also wondered how many other women Scott had actually talked into getting in his car and travelling alone with him to God knows where. I never worked with any amateur photographers again.