Empowering Safety in Modeling: An Exclusive Interview with Mitzi Venus

Empowering Safety In Modeling: An Exclusive Interview With Mitzi Venus

Written by Ruben Quinones on Jan. 12, 2024, 1:07 a.m.

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Welcome to our latest blog feature at Radiance Boudoir, where we delve into an insightful conversation with the talented Mitzi Venus. Based in Austin, Texas, Mitzi is not only an accomplished model and actress known for her creative, fantasy, and boudoir shoots, but she's also a passionate advocate for model safety. In this exclusive interview, Mitzi shares her journey in the industry, her commitment to ensuring safety in modeling, and offers invaluable advice about recognizing red flags and fostering a respectful community. Join us as we uncover the depth of Mitzi's experience and her vision for a safer modeling world.


Could you please introduce yourself and share a bit about your journey in the modeling and acting industry?

Hey there, I’m Mitzi Venus! I’m an actress/model and overall artist! I live and breath the fine arts. I’ve been in the entertainment field for about 6 years now and I absolutely enjoy it. Its not always easy putting yourself out there but I try my best and that’s all I can really do. 

Passion for Model Safety:

What ignited your passion for model safety, and why is it important to you?

Well when I first started I wished someone told me about the dark side of the entertainment industry. I mean I knew going into this field there would be some creepy strangers but sometimes these people can really disguise themselves as a “nice” person. A lot of young people are coming into this field, and they have no idea that there are predatory people and scams out there. Especially for young women. A lot of photographers prey and pressure them. It's not right. 

Can you share a personal experience that heightened your awareness about the need for safety in modeling?

Well at a young age, my parents were really big on stranger danger. I remember being a teen and my mom showed me a film about a young girl who wanted to be a model and she ended up in a human trafficking ring. I won’t lie that movie made me very afraid but it opened my eyes about what I can do to protect myself. I learned a good lesson from the film and I would never wish such a thing on anyone. 

Remember how I said some people can disguise themselves as a nice person? Well unfortunately I’ve been in some situations where I was groped or basically used as an object for self-entertaining purposes and not for the art. That’s why I charge for my work as a model. These people aren’t photographers. They’re just a person with a camera. A huge difference! This is why I try to bring awareness to young/future models. There are photographers who actually practice the art and then you have these people who ruin it for them. It really sucks for the photographer/model community at times because of all these predators and scams as well!

Recognizing Red Flags:

Based on your experience, what are some major red flags models should be aware of when working with photographers?

In the many years I’ve worked as a model, the people who strictly photograph edgy boudoir/erotica/and or lewd shoots are a huge red flag to me. From my experience, these are usually people with a camera, who want to see a naked girl. When you ask for them to pay up or if you can bring someone with you, these people will try their best to persuade you so they can have it their way. There are some models who are in this type of field and that's so awesome, but for the ones who are brand new or the ones who are experimenting with the idea please do your research. Look at their quality of work! I know instagram lowers the quality of the photos bad but these people with a camera tend to take really bad photos. Use your judgement on their work/portfolio before accepting anything from anyone.

If the photographer doesn’t let you bring a friend/parent/guardian to the shoot. Unless you actually know and are friends with the photographer always bring someone with you. Even if you met this person once before. Its always good to be safe than sorry. 

In my opinion it's a red flag if the photographer keeps insisting the model to send photos of them or a photo of them in bra/panties. It's common to discuss outfits when planning a photoshoot. In the past I myself have sent photos of me in planned outfits to photographers but that was my decision. Majority of the time I send photos of my outfits on hangers, furniture or I just describe my outfit on text. Real and professional photographers would understand and won’t pressure you to send photos. Especially if they wanted a photo of you half naked. That is a huge red flag and is absolutely not necessary. Professional photographers will ask for a clothed full body photo if they really want to see your body. 

Inappropriate topics, comments, flirting and jokes that push a professional boundary. Your photographer should not be talking/texting you in a vulgar/perverted/flirty way. They shouldn’t be thirsty reacting to your instagram/snapchat photos. Lastly they shouldn’t be talking to you about their personal life or anything that’s not about the shoot. These type of people will start the conversation off normally but in the middle of the conversation they usually start showing their true colors. Don’t be afraid to cancel or block these types of people. 

A photographer that touches you without your consent. They should always ask you first, have their assistant, your friend/partner/guardian or have you adjust your hair/clothes. No one should be placing their hands on you unless they have your consent. 

If they tell you personal information about other models. Believe it or not there are plenty of photographers who talk about models they worked with. Especially if it was a nude shoot. I’ve gotten after some photographers when they show me their portfolio and specifically showing me models who have a good reputation and asked to remain anonymous. How can I work with a person like that? Outrageous! 

If they want you to meet them at their house/apartment for the first shoot. While some photographers do work out of their homes, it’s always best to avoid such places especially if you’re new to modeling.

Offering alcohol/drugs to the models. That can seriously put you in a vulnerable and dangerous position. 

Are there any subtle signs or indicators that you feel are often overlooked but are crucial for model safety?

Personal Learnings:

Throughout your career, what important lessons have you learned about ensuring safety and professionalism in photoshoots?

It's good to have boundaries and rules when working with a person/team. Make your intentions known on how you want to be treated, what you’re comfortable and uncomfortable with, and lastly stand firm with your “I will not” types of shoots. It is alright to cancel the shoot at any time. Even if you just got to the location, if you don’t feel comfortable just leave. Don’t push through it. 

How do you approach new projects or collaborations while keeping your safety priorities in mind?

I ask my usual questions “What type of project do you have in mind?” “May I see your portfolio” “Can I bring my partner”. Depending on the type of shoot, I’ll ask for a female to be present. I always make sure that the person I’m working with is understanding about my concerns and questions/suggestions I might have.

Improving the Community:

In your opinion, what steps can be taken by photographers and models alike to foster a safer and more respectful community?

Talk/ask the people they’ve worked with before. Plenty of models and photographers have come to me asking about a person. I would give them my honest opinion of the individual and my experience working with them. 

Create local groups on social media, get to know each other. Alert each other about avoiding certain people for work. All of that really does help. 

How do you think awareness and education about model safety can be effectively spread within the industry?

If everyone in the entertainment industry gave advice to the new aspiring individuals. Tell them ahead of time what to look out for. Give them recommendations of photographers they can work with when starting out. Make a private instagram or facebook group for models only. Those pages really help. Have zoom meetings on what can be improved when working as a model. I’ve been on a couple of zoom meetings about model safety and lots of people have such great ideas.

Advice to Aspiring Models:

What advice would you give to aspiring models, especially when it comes to ensuring their safety and well-being in photoshoots?

My golden rule: If you’re uncomfortable, then don’t do it. Just don’t. There’s been plenty of photographers I didn’t work with because the theme or person made me feel uncomfortable/unsafe. I’ve been bribed with money before too, and I can say with past experience, it’s not worth it. 

If you must go alone, please charge your phone or bring your charger with you. Let a person know your location and have them check up on you. Do take a taser or pepper spray, just in case! You can never be to safe. Be aware and trust your intuition. 

I can’t stress this enough but please just do your research on the person!

Future Goals:

What are your future goals regarding your advocacy for model safety, and how do you plan to continue making a positive impact in the industry?

I have a facebook group for models back in my hometown. A model can message me on my personal or fb group warning me about a person. I then write a summary of their experience anonymously and post it on the group. Models are also encouraged to ask about photographers they want to work with. I would like to revive it again and perhaps make it more of a state model page. There are models who travel around. I think everyone should be aware about unprofessional people in Texas. That would help a lot. 

Connecting with Mitzi Venus:

Mitzi, for our readers who would like to follow your work and stay updated on your advocacy in model safety, where can they find you online? Could you please share your website and social media handles?

You can follow me on:

I will always respond to messages! I’m also open for TFP projects as long the theme is really interesting and original, or photographers who plan on submitting for magazines!

Mitzi Venus. Photo by Paul Lopez Garcia.

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