Model suffers first degree burns after 'traumatic and terrifying' fire photoshoot

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
Freelance model Robyn-Lee Jansen was left with first and second-degree burns after the failed photoshoot [Photo: Instagram]

A freelance model received first and second degree burns after a fire photoshoot went tragically wrong.

On June 13, Robyn-Lee Jansen, 22, responded to an advertisement for a freelance modelling job via online site Model Mayhem that involved the use of fire.

The photographer, who must remain anonymous for legal reasons, had positive reviews from previous models, therefore Jansen had no reason to doubt him and accepted the job.

“I want to clarify and make very clear that many freelance and agency models do this all the time,” Jansen told Yahoo UK. “Because a lot of people victim shamed me for going to an abandoned house with a stranger. No, I went to a job that on paper seemed to check out. Lots of models do it.”

“To say I was misinformed is an understatement. I arrived at the shoot and the photographer goes, ‘I’ve run out of waivers’ so I asked what the waiver outlined so I could be informed,” she continued.

“His reply was that the waiver details I am entering an abandoned house at my free will. So if I cut or hurt myself on debris or glass and need a tetanus shot, that would be my fault. Not once were any risks or dangers about the fire shoot mentioned.”

Yet towards the end of the two-hour shoot - in which the photographer envisioned Jansen as a “fire queen” - he became rushed. According to the model, his family repeatedly rang his phone as the shoot took longer than anticipated.

“He proceeded to work with fire behind me, and then yelled: ‘stand still, this part gets tricky!’”Jansen explains on her GoFundMe page. “Before I could even ask what he wanted to try, or any sort of explanation, he squirted a bottle of liquid paraffin oil while standing closer to me. The next thing I knew, I was up in flames.”

Described as one of the “most traumatic and terrifying moments” of her life, Jansen managed to roll into a puddle to put out the flames.

Yet instead of helping, the panicked photographer made her wait until he had packed up all of his camera equipment before he would take her to a nearby hospital, she said.

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As a result of the incident, the international student suffered second degree burns across 25 percent of her legs, with first degree burns on her anterior legs, hip, back and right arm.

She said she has since been unable to walk and has had to cancel all forthcoming paid jobs for the next two to three months.

In order to pay for bills, lost wages and legal assistance, Jensen has founded a GoFund Me page where she has also issued a warning message to fellow models.

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“Please more than anything take my story and let it raise awareness of the dangers of accepting risky shoots,” she wrote. “I honestly thought this would be an awesome concept. The photographer assured me it was safe, and had been vetted by other models.”

“Don’t trust other people’s words when going into a risky shoot. Demand that there be safety procedures in place. And if the photographer can’t guarantee or provide them. Then just don’t do it. It’s not worth your time and safety.”

Jansen is also planning to take legal action against the photographer for “negligence and recklessness”.

The model will be sharing updates of her recovery over on her GoFundMe page.

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