Over the years I have worked with The Good, The bad and even worse, The UGLY photographer, in experience and also the quality of the work. Today I plan my shoots and I don't like to waste time. My advice comes down to two things. Don't Pay and Get what you need!
I think it comes down to your own ambition. If a modeling agency wants to charge you for photos, please walk out of there, it is a modeling scam.
I work with 4 NYC agencies who send me to work with brands like Bath and Body Works and I make my own compcard here www.compcard.com and I mail them about 20 comp cards each and they submit the card out and get a percent when I book a job and ONLY when I book a job.
WHY would you pay a photographer that you don't even get to choose?
If you do pay...Pay someone ONLY if you Pick the photographer and you like his work ALOT and the money appears to be worth it.
But you don't have to pay. I made that mistakes once and I have NEVER paid again. I have gotten alot of work and great photos by using my creative energy, my research skills to contact photographer and to bring an idea to the table.
If you can go to a local college and stop by the photo department and get your own photos for free maybe, or if you can promote yourself to photographers and bring your ideas to their camera and try to get the images you need on your own then you don't have to pay money, but it does depend on your creative promotion skills.
Use the computer for research of quality photographers who are worth the money OR try to get your own images. Express the type of work you want and ONLY work with a photographer that accepts your ideas and doesn't make you take your clothes off to get what you want!
You can find an agency, a commercial print modeling agency, a print agency, that will accept you and your comp card.
Also!!! Remember to add products to your shoots. NOT JUST YOU posing, but a brush, a handbag, shoes, look at catalogs, commercials, print ads, beauty ads, skincare ads, handbag ads.... Think about WHY you want to Model. What products do you want to model?
Girls forget that modeling is not just about YOU, it is about the products you model.
Think about the brands and products you can model. Why not mail your own photo to a magazine or contact the brand you want to model for?
Go for it!