How To Avoid Modeling Scams
This weeks blog is about how to avoid modeling scams, because there are SO MANY OUT THERE!!
It really makes my blood boil just thinking about these modeling scam artists who make money by promising people who want to become a model their dreams and not actually being able to help them one bit! I’m even more passionate about it because it’s the industry that I’ve been in since I was fourteen that these scam artists make look bad as well!!
I have seen so many people fall victim to scam model agencies, other modeling scams and completely substandard ‘portfolio’ packages. It’s horrible! Here’s what modeling scams to 100% stay away from:
Models Direct, they’re a fake modeling agency, they are very convincing!! They may say something like they find your look very promising and they would like to send your photos to the head office for assessment, which you need to pay for, or you’ll be accepted and then you need to pay, but you won’t hear a thing after you pay. Several people have approached me for advice after dealing with these people, their sales people will try many different pitches to convince you, they’ll also probably pester you and keep calling until they reach you and sometimes they’ll even call back after you’ve said you’re not interested. Real modeling agencies do not have the time for this, no matter how amazing a model you could be. Models Direct have also got quite crafty recently, by saying that they are government regulated. They WILL NOT get you any real work, you may be expected to pay hundreds, or thousands for a photo shoot via Models Direct too, and the photos will not be good quality. They also work under the name of Talent Management Ltd and in the past they have used the name International Talent Management. They have been found out so many times, but they are very sophisticated scam artists and get away with it, I hope not for much longer though. Even their website is soooo good technically(if you search modelling and your uk location, you’ll probably come to a page they’ve optimised to look like they have an agency base in the location you’ve searched for) and I suspect their testimonials are paid testimonials! But it needs to be good, to look convincing enough to con you out of your hard earned money. Here is what they currently look like at the time of posting:
Stay away from these fake modeling agencies – UK Models, Bluerooms Ltd and Diesel Models, as well as Blackberry Models. These are all modeling scams, they claim to be able to do things that they can’t. Instead you end up with expensive substandard photos and nothing else apart from shattered dreams.
Also, stay away from ‘portfolio days‘ where they are offering a makeover photo shoot, the photos that you will pay over the odds for are NOT suitable for your modeling portfolio, but the scam artists will try their best to convince you that they are. Please check out my Contacts pages of my How To Become A Model Book for a list of real industry photographers, make-up artists and stylists that I have worked with personally so I know that they are decent people as well as legitimate, not just someone with a camera looking to scam you, or even worse.
Unfortunately the modeling industry is not very well regulated, so there will be modeling scam artists and fake modeling agencies popping up here, there and everywhere.
But here are a few tips to keep you clued up:
NEVER PAY UP FRONT…
Never, ever pay up front to register with a modeling agency, no matter how much they sugar coat it. There are only one or two exceptions to this where I know that the agency is legitimate but it’s not worth taking the risk of being conned. There are plenty of legit modeling agencies out there that do not charge to register, they will take fees out of your earnings for things such as website profile, admin, portfolio book, model cards, promotion and of course their commission for getting you the work. If you don’t earn anything, they don’t take any money from you, so you don’t lose out. Also, the fees are small compared to the earnings you can potentially make. I have a long list of legitimate agencies and their personal contact details in my book which I composed to make it a lot easier for you (it took me forever hehe, but it’s worth it because I’m passionate about helping keep people on the right track in an industry that I know so well).
IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE…
It probably is! These modeling scam artists and fake modeling agencies know what they are doing. They know your dreams, they know you’ll probably be prepared to do almost anything to live your dream of becoming a model. They know that there are so many proud parents out there who will do anything for their children to succeed and also to see their child in a magazine or on TV. The truth is that modeling work is not guaranteed. A lot of modeling scams will guarantee you work. Even if you get accepted by a legitimate model agency, you may not get any work, that’s just the nature of the industry. Clients set briefs and one year you could be THE face, the next year you could be totally old news. No one can promise you work, if they do that then walk away right away as they’re scam artists with fake modeling agencies. Real modeling agencies will be honest with you and tell you these things when you join them. Please remember that these fake modeling agencies and modeling scams are SO GOOD at what they do, they could sell ice to Eskimos. You need to be strong and walk away from them.
DON’T REPLY TO NEWSPAPER CASTING CALLS
Legit modeling agencies do not have time to waste on recruiting in local or even national newspapers or magazines, they have hundreds of applicants per day! Modeling scams will sometimes advertise that they’re looking for models. At some point they will be looking for money. Also, bare in mind that these people have not been vetted and are not really in the industry, often they’ll use fake names etc as well… You don’t know what you could be walking in to. It’s best to avoid this situation at all costs. Note – some modelling competitions may be advertised, but research them and ask someone in the industry about them if you can.
MODELING SCHOOLS – DO THEY HAVE REAL CHECKABLE MODELING EXPERIENCE?
There are so many ‘modeling schools’ out there that have no experience whatsoever in modeling or even in the industry, they’ve just seen that they can make a lot of money from ‘teaching’ modeling. You cannot teach something that you are not an expert in! So, check out the owners and teachers in these modeling schools, ask them for their tear sheets and portfolio, proof of their credits, google them, ask other models or industry people about them if you can, as long as they are not associated with them of course because it they’re linked to them they would easily lie for them to gain something for themselves. If you want to check out my legitimacy, I have a downloadable CV on my website. It hasn’t been updated in a while, but it shows that I have been active in the industry since 2004 and that I have genuinely worked with big names and traveled the world, I have tear sheets from publications worldwide and testimonials too. Also check out my press photos with my business awards and ask to see my certificates, there has been a very strange recent surge in people claiming to be award winning, when the only award they’ve won was from their Mum (lol).
Please just listen to your gut instinct as well. There could be more modeling scams going on that I don’t know of yet and which aren’t spoken about on this blog, so please always have caring, encouraging and expert support or a mentor to run things by – I’m always happy to do a Skype or FaceTime mentoring session with you to check things out for you etc, or advise you on whether or not something is a modeling scam because although a model scam may not be listed here, 99.9% of the time I can find out if the organisation is a scam trying to operate in my industry. Or even if you just need personal modeling tips, get in touch. If you want a Skype or FaceTime mentoring session just send an email to email@example.com and we can arrange it 🙂
Have you had experience of a modeling scam? I’d be really interested to hear your story! I can then use it (anonymously if you wish) to help other people avoid the same thing. Please either comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO BECOME A MODEL Written by a REAL working international model Kim Calera (Book) on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/HOW-TO-BECOME-MODEL-international/dp/1515128369/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1442197309&sr=8-1
Modeling Training packages: be trained by a genuine model, learn REAL modelling skills to help you become a model and also get the right photos to submit to agencies, as well as help to submit to the agencies in your correct genre: Modeling Training Courses – www.bestmodelingtips.com/model-training/
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Lots of love, Kim xX