There are two sides to the modeling world, good and bad. The good side is that models are becoming smarter and educated. However, despite that fact, the bad side is there too. It thrives with modeling scams. In recent years, there is a remarkable increase in the number of crooks engaged in preying unsuspecting victims in the industry. It is just dumbfounding how crafty they have become in cooking up tricks to take advantage of people who are simply aspiring to become successful models.
These modeling scams have one thing in common. They know how to strike the best deal: an offer of a modeling career that can realize your dream of becoming a top model. Before you know it your money is gone and you are left with no career. To avoid this scenario it is important to be informed of the recurring strategies that these scams employed.
The Photo Mill
This is probably the most common modeling scam because it is easier to execute than the others. The agency sends a model to a photographer for a photo shoot. The photographer is actually their own staff to take expensive pictures and produce the model’s comp card. A comp card or composite card is the model’s business card and the model’s initial opportunity to impress a potential client.
Agencies engaged in this type of scam do not make bookings for models. They make money by selling the models’ pictures at a high price. They also make the models pay for as much as 500 pieces of comp cards per shoot. Normally, the ideal number is between 100 – 200 cards only because after a few months a model needs to update the comp card for new clients. Be wary of these companies that compel the model to go to a particular photographer for a shoot. It means that somebody is getting a percentage out of the transaction. Ask for a testing list because that is what legitimate agencies give out to models to make their own selection of good photographers listed.
The Fake Agency
Legitimate agencies officially conduct business from Monday to Friday, between 9:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon.
If you get a call inviting you to attend a “Talent Review,” be suspicious at once especially if the schedule is not within the official time. More so, if it is held in the evening or over the weekend. Take note that valid agencies never do business on weekends.
If you happen to be lured to come, observe the other attendees. Observe what kind of photographs are in their hands. Are they snapshots? How do they appeal to you? One strategy of these fake agencies is to pay people just to make you give certain information about you. Scan the wall for a license. Ask yourself if the photos on the wall look like cut outs from magazines. Eavesdrop in conversations. Are there actual bookings? Do you hear the phones ringing? Is the staff busy? Do you find the space too large? It may actually be a function room rented because these fake agencies do not have a permanent office at all.
Before giving in to such invitations, investigate a little. Search online to check out their legitimacy. Check their website. If there is the selling tone then it is not legit because real agencies simply allow their clients to view their talents. Ask co-models and talents if they had an previous encounters with the agency. If the answer is in the negative, it is not worth your time.
These are only two of the most common modeling scams that models have to avoid. There are much more out there in the modeling field. Be mindful and be alert once you meet any of these agencies. The important thing is you know them and their strategies, and they know you. You are one model who is not biting the bait.