Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why do modeling agencies charge you for photos


I was recently thinking about how and why agencies charge aspiring models for photos. Is this wrong, is this ok? It is helpful? Or is it a scam?

I decided it is wrong.

I think they are charging you because they think you are unable to handle making photos. They want some easy money from knowing you don't know what you need and how to do it.

Well if you do know what you need and how to do it, you can save money and time.

If a model is ambitious, can create her own photos, and is determined to be apart of her marketing process and basically isn’t a lazy model she can skip scams, get ahead faster, and even save money. I have never been one to just sit and wait for things to happen, or believe that someone else can totally make my dreams and goals come true. Having the “want” to do something is not enough these days, you have to “want to do the work.” The work involves making your own comp card, working with professional photographers, knowing what type of photos you need and really being apart of your process of working as a model.

It is a process. It is time. It is not an overnight thing.

Recently a girl commented to me about an agency charging her for photography and to be on their website…she asked if this was a scam. I think it is.

If you can produce your own compcard and photos you can skip the scams. Also the scams will be less likely to approach you. If you come off professional, together, and capable, ready, then how can you get scammed?

I always suggest a girl manages her own photography, her own look, how she wants to be marketed, and the photos she shares, however a commercial print agency will often give girls tips, comments, advice on photography you should never be forced to use an agencies photographer. There are even warnings on legit modeling agency websites that mention this.

Remember at the early stage, you also do not need a “whole” portfolio to start modeling. You just need some good commercial print modeling shots. A nice headshot. So don’t go crazy over getting photos that won’t help you. Focus on what you need and get in and get your compcard made and get rolling!

It is a scam if an agency charges you to be on their website, it is also a scam if they force you to use their photography. An agent is a person who is suppose to “market you” and while you will give the agency your own marketing tools, provide compcards, --the agency will use what you give them if they want to work with you and at least try to use it to market you, until you can improve your photos. Even when I had a not so marketable compcard, the agency took it and did their best with it, until I had better photography and a better compcard to give them.

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