Modeling and talent agencies have the power to transform a total unknown into a world-famous star. Millions of people flock to their doors, answer their ads and send them photos every year – all at the hope of getting signed, getting work and getting famous. And that is why the climate in the world of aspiring models is so ideal for top rate scam artists.
Modeling and talent scam artists will take your money, crush your dreams and not lose a minute of sleep over it. They are always a few steps ahead of the law, and have refined their trade to sharp point.
Here are some of the most common scams currently found in the modeling industry. If you feel you’ve been a victim of any of these scams or double-dealings, contact law enforcement immediately!
1. Legitimate modeling agencies never use small newspaper classified ads to find talent. If you’re learning about a “top Hollywood agency” in the local Penny Saver, you can be sure you won’t find the girls from The Hills interning there. Think about it. There’s an abundance of talent approaching real agencies every day – why would they need to find more via a $25, 100 word print ad?
2. You should never have to pay a dime of your own money to be represented. Real modeling and talent agencies do not charge their models for representation. An agency will (obviously!) take their cut when you get booked, but will never ask for your hard earned cash up front. If they do, run far away (then contact the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org)
3. Beware the photographer hard-sell! Many unscrupulous agencies will push you towards their “recommended” photographer. Oh they’ll make him sound great – as if not working with him means you aren’t even serious about success. But don’t be fooled! Chances are, the photographer is kicking back money to the so-called agency – which is illegal! Pick your own photographer and forget about the agency that’s pushing the hard sell on you.
4. There’s no such thing as a guarantee (no matter how great you look). Many less-than-up front agencies with give aspiring models an iron-clad guarantee that they will get work and make money. NO AGENCY can promise such a thing. Whether or not you get booked for a job depends upon a variety of factors that no entity can control. Look into an agency’s past successes and then make a judgment about whether or not you want to move forward.
5. Don’t go nude. One of the most potentially dangerous situations an aspiring model can encounter, is a photographer that pressures individuals to pose naked during their first shoot. This kind of behavior should set off warning bells very quickly. Many times, these so-called professionals will claim that they want to create a bond between themselves and their subject. And going nude will do the trick. Baloney! Never, ever do anything of this nature if you don’t feel comfortable or have received personal references or recommendations about the photographer.
And of course, the most important rule of all….
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Use your common sense!!!