Modeling Scams: How to discover and avoid them

Modeling Scams: How to discover and avoid them?

The modeling industry is one of the toughest grittiest industries to work in. There are not any standard set rules to play by.  Some models our discovered and signed by modeling agencies while many other talented models endure a longer path by creating a portfolio and set out to “knock on doors”.  With the rigorousness and unstandardized playing field within the modeling industry, the opportunity for scammers and fraudsters is forever prevalent.  Scammers have taken the lack of clear directives as an opportunity to scam naïve and innocent newbie models that are seeking the chance to be involved in the exciting world of modeling.   So, in order to help stay focus and avoid potential modeling scams the Industry Exposure team has outlined some basic tips to help uncover potential scams:

  1. If a modeling agency asks for money, it may be a scam: any form of upfront payments, joining fees, membership fees, etc.  Most legitimate modeling agencies will not request any dues upfront.  Typically modeling agencies will work on a commission basis.  This means that the modeling agency will find work for working models and receive a commission or percentage of the models earning fee.
  2. Cross-sell other services such as modeling classes: A large part of modeling is “the look”.  Models are generally blessed with distinct features that tend to make them stand out.  In this instance, modeling classes are not very useful – Unfortunately if you don’t have “the look”, no modeling class in this world will provide that.  If you are a newbie model with great potential then there are certain lessons that may be extremely useful such as poses and having correct posture.  In the event that you are asked to pay large fees or pay to join a modeling service offered by the agency before being presented with a contract, it is very likely that the services offered are not very legitimate.
  3. If a modeling agency operates solely from a website, they may not be legitimate: legitimate modeling agencies have brick and mortar offices.  These offices are in locations where potential models can walk in and schedule appointments with scouting agents.  Most legitimate modeling agencies will not sign a model without seeing them live and in person.  So regardless of how flawless your pictures may be, if you get signed by simply uploading some photos, the chances are that the modeling service is not very reputable.
  4. You should not have to pay modeling agencies for your portfolios: The top modeling agencies sign talents and then assist them creating a proper portfolio.  At worst, if a modeling agency is not very large but is still legitimate and sincerely works hard for their models, they may refer you to a photographer that they frequently work with.  Most legitimate modeling agencies will never ask you for money to get you a portfolio.  If you’re in negotiations with a company and they are asking for upfront money for a portfolio – proceed with caution.
  5. Top agencies don’t advertise for models in newspapers: Hundreds of aspiring models are continuously breaking down the office doors of the top modeling agencies every day.  These modeling agencies do not need to advertise in any paper.  In the event that a reputable modeling agency is looking to find new faces or modeling talent, they will send modeling scouts out to recruit talent.
  6. False claims: If the modeling agency is in a smaller town or market however they claim to have famous well-known models signed with their agency, the odds are that these claims are false and the agency is not authentic. Top models generally will not leave large market agencies in perhaps New York or Los Angeles to be signed by a smaller market agency in a town with not as high population.
  7. Legitimate agencies are licensed: There are various state rules and regulations which make it compulsory for modeling agencies to be licensed. If your modeling agency is not licensed, they could potentially be a fake.
  8. Modeling is a business and it is operated like one: This is very important – legitimate modeling agency will generally operate during business hours and not have meetings in strange isolated locations.  Legitimate modeling agencies will not meet with new clients late nights or on the weekends.

Knowing the potential modeling scams is only half of the battle.  The next question is how to avoid modeling scams like the ones mentioned above.   The first step is to evaluate yourself.  During the evaluation, it is important to be fair and extremely honest with yourself.  It is important to ask question such as – do I have model features and or attributes?  It is encourage to search online for well-known models.  Look at some of the well-known model’s photos – can you see yourself modeling.   Ask yourself – What genre of modeling is best suited for me?  If you’re not cut out for the runway maybe a career in commercial modeling, glamour modeling, or alternative modeling may be better suited. There are many different sub genres in modeling too. See which will suit you best.




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