A girl recently told me that a modeling agency she met with in NYC wanted her to pay $150 for 100 cards and the agency will put their logo on the cards, is this a good idea?
You might think having an agency interested in you means you are jet set, but commercial print agencies usually do NOT sign models exclusive. So having a card made by them is a bit odd.
If a new model lets an agency make her cards, the agency name will be on it, and that means you can't or will feel awkward sending the card to other agencies to use.
I would find out if this is a must or an option? Most legit commercial print modeling agencies in NYC will accept models to give them compcards and will work with the cards the models give them. So even if your photos could improve if an agency likes your look they will work with what you have or suggest a photographer or give you some advice. I suggest all new models to get a few things straight when it comes to "working with a modeling agency," and things a model should be prepared for:
Expect and prepare to make your own cards before you see the agency, and this is a good thing. You want to be in control of you, your goals and pursuits, by slapping an agency name on your card it limits where you can send the cards. So I would focus on making your own cards and mailing them to commercial print modeling agencies and this way you can promote yourself with many agencies, and also test out cards.
It is normal for a model to freelance with many agencies, this is because usually you will NOT get daily calls from just one agency, and it takes more than one person to help you get modeling work. Making your own compcard lets you be more active within your pursuits. Same with a headshot, you get one made and mail it to many casting directors and try to build your resume.
An agency is usually not going to end up your best friend. You might be surprised to know that modeling agencies and bookers are just that. They do not care if you have your period most of the time, the question is "are you available for the casting or job and can you show up on time?" It is a business relationship.
It is best for a new model to put together her Headshot, smile shots beauty shots
And energy shots that show her doing something, being active, in the moment, and also her body shots, fitness or catalog swim or lingerie, or in a dress, and make her own comp card. Especially if you are a new model DO NOT sign with just any agency, make sure you do your research on them, and most commercial print models will be freelancing with agencies, not signing exclusive contracts.