Posted by candyposes on 19 Mar 2007 at 10:28 pm | Tagged as: Fokus-Foto
Last summer, when I first went full-time art modeling, I had a photographer in the Richmond, Virginia area- “Fokus-Foto”- stand me up without a word; it caused me to lose what on my budget is a good deal of money.
When he no-showed on me, I wrote an entry here about it. A couple of months later, I got an email from a girl who had shot with him- he left without giving her any money. When she went down to the police station to report it, they knew of him. Basically, he’s a scam- he either stands you up or takes photos of you and then doesn’t pay you.
He goes through different venues to find models and do this to them; when I noticed that a model on myspace was scheduled to shoot with him, I wrote her to warn her. She never wrote me back.
That was, until yesterday, when he did the same thing to her. She also lost money- twice the amount that I did, and it appears that she’s on a budget similar to my own.
When it happened to me, I was pissed. I posted his phone number and email in this blog. Later, I felt bad- like I had sunk down to his level, and that I should just get on with things and be the better person. I removed the personal information about him I had revealed. At the time, however, I did not know the extent of this scam.
This blog is fairly popular; it’s big enough to be found if you google certain phrases or words. Now it can be found by the phrase Fokus-Foto.
The photographer’s name is Jim, and he goes by “Fokus-Foto,” among other names. Models, if you are contacted by him, do not shoot with him. He’s located near Richmond, Virginia.
He’s good. He knows the names of the local models and is familiar with various photographers. He might mention a place where is work is shown, or something else that makes him seem legitimate. He will be in contact with you by phone and email right up until the very second he no-shows on you; if he shows and takes your photos, he will appear to be the real deal. But he’ll scram without giving you any money.
If you are contacted by someone who might be this guy, ask for him to put down a deposit or pay for your train ticket and/or hotel room ahead of time. Ask for the phone numbers, not just emails, of references.
There’s nothing I can really do about it; the money I spent last summer is gone. I just don’t want it to happen to another person.
David Le Beck, January 2007.