Let us see how many red flags we can count in this scenario.

I received a message on Instagram from someone I’ve never heard of before who wanted to connect with me, but wouldn’t say what about. The message simply said “would love to connect on some things.”

I looked into the person and they had 2 million followers on Instagram. Interesting because I have no idea who they are, but 2 million other people do.

My response was to ask what it was in regards to and provided my e-mail. I never got an e-mail from them. Instead another message a week later on Instagram asking me for my phone number to discuss a photo project they needed done the very next day.

I responded to say that was far too short of notice to properly set up a project and to contact me with specifics so we could correctly plan a shoot together and sign a contract of services.

I receive no response from him but instead a call from his “assistant” requesting the same thing; a photo shoot the very next day. I send nearly the exact same response to say I would be happy to discuss a shoot at a later date so we could properly plan, sign a contract of services and execute the project. No response from him either.

Also they called me by my last name (huge pet peeve).

What is your count for red flags?

1 – Vague message not indicating any details except wanting to be in touch

2 – A very inflated social media following for someone I’ve never heard of

3 – No response to original request for information

4 – Follow up later requesting phone number with still no details

5 – Wanting to schedule a big project the very next day

6 – No time given to plan nor sign a contract or agree to terms

7 – No response from him nor his “assistant” when there was a request to properly plan.

10 million – Got my name wrong. Okay, okay, so probably not as egregious.

Our industry is filled with leeches trying to cheat you. Watch out for red flags when individuals or companies contact you with their opportunities.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto