Beware the sleazy photographer, warns model
First, the "photographer" wanted her to pose in a bikini.
He also instructed Miss Angel Lin, the model, to use the see-through lingerie he brought.
Then he told Miss Lin: "Just take it off. It makes no difference if you were naked."
It is this method of coercion that led the model, then 22 and new to the industry, to bare it all in front of the photographer.
The explicit photos, taken when Miss Lin and the photographer were alone in a hotel room five years ago, have tormented her since.
They were implied nudes - pictures that showed Miss Lin covering her private parts with her hands or a scarf.
Says Miss Lin: "Even though he told me that the photos were for his own private collection, they were leaked.
"He did the same to some of my other model friends. One of them was dumped by her fiance when he found out about the pictures."
These explicit photos of various girls are traded online for hundreds of dollars per set, she says.
In another incident, a photographer asked to place her hands on the wall, turn around and whisper "I love you" to him.
Such stories are all too common in an industry that is lacking in ethics or regulation, especially for first-time models.
Lured by dreams of glamour and riches, these girls lower their guard and place themselves in vulnerable scenarios.
Says Miss Lin, who also works as a paralegal: "I would say that 90 per cent of all lingerie shoots that I went for, these so-called photographers asked for sexual favours."
Now 27 and wiser, the model at Jeffrey Chung Models no longer accepts jobs that involve seedy hobbyist photographers or potentially sleazy lingerie shoots.
Her assignments now involve modelling at corporate events, fashion shows or more recently, being featured as the April girl in a 2016 calendar for her agency.
Modelling has become more rewarding and respectable after she found an agency that protects her, she says.
She makes no pretence about her naivety back then, when she was motivated by easy money and vanity.
She says: "At that time, I thought I could protect myself. Naivety was what led me to strip for the lens."
Each lingerie shoot paid between $60 and $120 per hour.
That part of her career led to arguments with her family and cost her the respect of her friends.
Boyfriends do not last long either, says Miss Lin.
"They always seem accepting at first, but they slowly grow jealous because of the nature of my job."
Miss Lin readily admits that there are black sheep among models too.
These are girls who accept lewd propositions from clients or photographers for the sake of money - sometimes for $400 or more.
Because these girls exist, some photographers think it is okay to ask the models for sex, she says.
Says Miss Lin: "It is very sad that all models who are starting out will come across this type of jobs.
"Newcomers always think they are going to be the next Victoria's Secret model. Not here, not in Singapore."
SECRETS OF THE TRADE
1 To protect yourself, always do research on the photographer. Some names may have been blacklisted by other models or photographers already.
2 You can call off a shoot if you feel you are in danger or being exploited.
3 As a newbie, consider joining a reputable agency rather than going freelance.