Monday, January 9, 2012
Warning Signs of a Fashion Modeling Scam
If you're trying to break in to the world of modeling, you need to keep an eye out for unscrupulous characters. Some people are looking to scam you, promising a great career in exchange for an up front fee. At the end of the day the only thing you'll have is an empty wallet.
Here are some warning signs that you need to keep an eye out for.
1. Classified ads. If you see an ad posted somewhere - in a newspaper, on Craigslist, etc - then think twice before responding. Successful modeling agencies have plenty of walk-in talent, and they don't need to scrounge the bottom of the barrel. You may want to heed open casting calls, but in general general adverts like these are a bad sign.
2. Charging money up front. If the agency charges you money up front before you can work for them, then turn right around and leave. This is a clear sign that they aren't making money on commissions, so they need to make money elsewhere. If they aren't making money, then neither will you.
3. Forcing you to use their in house photographer. A real agency will tell you to get a portfolio together along with some comp cards, but they aren't going to force you to spend tons of cash on their own photographer. You can shop around and pick a photographer or comp card printer who you like. If they really want a specific photographer, they'll pay for it.
4. They want you to pay to take their modeling classes or whatnot. It's simply a way for them to make money. It might seem more legitimate than a "signing fee" or something. But at the end of the day it's the same thing.
5. They guarantee you work. If only it were that simple. No one can guarantee that you'll get a job as a model, and anyone that promises that is just trying to sweet talk you. Chances are, they're trying sweet talk you into paying them some money.
After you've seen a few of these scams, they become simple to spot. The general idea is that they want to bring in as many potential models as possible, charge them money up front, and then throw them a few bones with a few open casting calls. As long as people keep coming in the front door, they don't care you're sitting at home not working. They made their money. Don't let that money be yours.