Models Connect is a great place to get reliable information and advice. If you want to find out more about the potential dangers of modelling scams, you can visit our site at http://www.modelsconnect.net/.
So you want to be a model: you know there are pitfalls out there, but what are the obvious things to avoid? When starting out, the internet can seem like a great resource (and it is), but be wary of the following dangers which are listed in greater detail at http://www.modelsconnect.net/modelling_agencies/scams.html:
· Online modelling invites (especially via an unknown ‘friend’ or contact on Facebook);
· Companies asking for large sums of money to put you through an assessment day to grade your suitability for the modelling world. Models Connect offers a free evaluation when you register at: http://www.modelsconnect.net/index.php5?do=talentSignup
· Finally, Models Connect recommends you avoid any agency that charges something called a ‘casting fee’ or asks you to spend thousands on a professional portfolio. Portfolios are created at the agency’s cost once you sign with them, and they gradually recoup the costs when you begin booking jobs, by skimming a small percentage off your earnings. This is standard practice for modelling agencies: the pre-signing portfolio scam is the oldest modelling scam in the book. Don’t fall for it.
Another pitfall can be via those shiny leaflets, often found stuffed in-between the pages of glossy magazines, offering you a makeover and a day’s shoot at a professional studio. If you want a fun day out having your make-up done and posing for a few photographs, all well and good. But it’s worth bearing in mind that if you are an aspiring model, that these makeover days aren’t a good way of getting a leg-up into the industry. These studios do not have any link to the modelling industry. As a fun day out, they’re great. But if any makeover studio promises you advice, or worse still, access to professional industry contacts for a fee, avoid like the plague. These people are not your friend! Still not convinced? Go to Models Connect and see this page on its website, http://www.modelsconnect.net/?page=66 as it very clearly illustrates the difference between makeover and portfolio shots. Just remember the golden rule: if there’s a straw hat or feather boa involved, it’s not portfolio-worthy!
Models Connect offers an evaluation process that is quick and easy. If you do have model potential, you will be able to find out (free of charge) and more crucially, what area of the modelling industry you might be best suited for.
The most important thing to remember about avoiding modelling scams is that there is no guarantee of work – ever. It sounds grim, but even the top agencies, like Elite, Storm and Models 1 don’t know what or how much work will be coming their way from week to week. If an agency tries to sign you, promising they can get you work – step away from that contract!
Modelling is, by its very nature, an unpredictable business. You can be run off your feet one month and left twiddling your thumbs the next. If you do manage to get a meeting with a reputable agency, don’t be surprised or offended if they seem very guarded in what they can offer you. The general rule when looking for agencies and avoiding scams is how much does this agency promise me? If they confidently predict riches beyond your wildest dreams, be very, very suspicious.
It does pay to be on your guard, but it’s also worth noting that modelling does have some expenses. Models Connect lists the following as costs you will be expected to meet yourself:
· Grooming (hair / make-up / gym / dental upkeep and maintenance)
· Travel (to and from castings, even if you do get the job!)
· Z cards (known as a model’s business card. Some – but not all – agencies ask for a small contribution for design and printing costs. Other (usually bigger) agencies can absorb this cost themselves)
The trick to avoiding modelling scams is to remain alert: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check agency credits, client lists – everything. Don’t be too eager to sign on that dotted line and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Dive headfirst into the first opportunity that comes along at your peril: it could end up costing you a lot more than you think.
For up-to-date advice, blogs and news on the modelling world, plus a free evaluation, register with Models Connect today at http://www.modelsconnect.net/