Finding a photographer can be done in a few ways to skip the scams and jerks!
Well... the Internet might seem like the first stop to meet and research photographers, but here are also some other options and examples of things I have done which have resulted in great experiences and didn't involve a modeling network site and helped me weed out the perverts from the serious photographers.
1. One of them is contacting some ad agencies, modeling agencies, newspapers, or even magazines -could be local in your hometown- and asking if they can suggest a photographer. Or you can google some photographers you have seen in magazines in the credits, and google them and see if they TEST with models.
2. Another option which can bring some nice surprising results for a newbie model is to contact the photography department at a local college or school and ask if you can be a model for a class or with the students. _ I did this before and it did help me to get some good experience infront of the camera and I got some good photos too.
3. Look in the phone book or google photography plus your hometown. Someone who is a full time photographer will be usually amazing since they take photographer as their career and job not just a hobby. You can email or call and ask about rates and try to get something that will benefit you, your needs and your pocket!
4. Also ask the photographer 1.) Where do the shoot usually? In a studio, in their apartment? Do they have samples of their work you can see, a website, a portfolio/
And if paying the photographer:Make sure you get all information if possible such as the amount of photos you will receive the payment of the shoot in a printed or emailed form-and bring a friend when you are meeting someone for the first time if you are unsure.
During my first shoot ever for my modeling portfolio I brought one of my friends with me. And then of course I became more comfortable managing my self.
The Internet websites that are social modeling and photographer sites can be intriguing but I would ONLY work with a photographer who lets YOU as the MODEL have some say and being able to bring your own needs and creative energy to the table. There are tooo many GUYS WITH CAMERA's out there. Who are not skilled and really have no passion for photography, they just want to shoot girls. _ It makes me wanna puke and in my book I mention some of my own bad experiences.
Also when it comes to being a model, it is good to work with quality photographers, people who take photography SERIOUSLY not just a hobby. Have they worked with magazines, do they take photography seriously. And work with photographers who have ideas, energy, skill and can prove they have quality work and experience.
And remember female photographers can also be good, don't think photography is only a MAN's world.
At an early stage when you are learning how to pose, and be comfortable infront of the camera you want to work with someone who doesn't have an ego, who isn't full of control and who lets you be you!
Also before your shoot I would meet the photographer, it is good to talk face to face before showing up unsure of WHO you are about to let shoot you.