In this Internet-age I am thankful for how great it to communicate with aspiring models, and my readers, however the Internet-age has also inspired many modeling scams.
Often girls write me from facebook and share the good and bad time they are having trying to work with agencies and work as a model. Many times it involves that they experiences a modeling scam.
Here is some insight on preventing a modeling scam from happening to you.
I highly suggest you "be a part of your pursuits" not "expect someone else to make you a model." Only you can do that.
When I write "be a part of your pursuits what I mean is "manage it". Set your goals, stick to them, and be realisitic and ambitious, if you don't like to work hard then modeling is not a business for you because before you even get to "modeling for something, a product, brand, magazine, and get hired as a model" there is ALOT of work to do.
So, the first thing involved with this WORK is creating the proper photography to market yourself.
A shorter girl especially has a more hands on pursut and has to prepare her own comp card -- don't expect an agency to "hand you a modeling career" --that attitude only attracts scams.
The more "prepared" you are for opportunities, the better.
Being prepared means creating your model marketing tools.
Here are the basics of not getting scammed:
Do not ever pay an agency ahead of time to work with them- Do however be prepared to manage your own photography and take a hands-on approach to your pursuits.
An agency has a job to work "with you", however to prevent scams I encourage you to create your own photography materials.
A legit agency will promote your modeling ability and photos/compcards which you provide. Trust me a legit agency that wants to work with you will at least take what you give them as you go on and improve your photos over time. When I started modeling I had a shitty comp card but an agency that wanted to work with me, worked with it, gave me tips on how to improve but did not pressure me to pay a fee, or sign up for a photo-package. So also understand that LEGIT is out there, and you just need to find it.
An agency might suggest a photographer but DO NOT feel pressured, --do what you want to do.
I suggest producing your own headshots, commercial print photos and comp cards. Manage your photography, this alone is a major way to skip scams. I can not repeat that enough.
Also know that fora shorter girl the path to work as a model is a lot different than fashion or what you might see on reality tv, etc, ---YOU are suppose to create your comp cards, you are suppose to be a part of your pursuits. You are not discovered, you are not handed anything. What you put in and you get.
The agency is needed to get to bigger clients, better pay and there is that reputation factor of working with an agency and booking jobs with great brands that makes you a more professional model. But print agencies are very different than fashion agencies.
Print agencies, do not invest in their models, like fashion agencies do.
When I write "Invest", I mean, creating your comp cards, making your portfolio, handing you a career.
Print agencies get calls for ALL types of models, therefore they have MANY models they work with. So the relationship is non-exclusive, and not as hands-on. And while you may become one of the more popular print models, still there are many working with that agency. So the agencies do not create comp cards for the models, it is simply a major cost that many agencies can afford.
So then YOU have to invest in your pursuits.
Fashion agencies work with a limited amount of models, and contract them for a couple years and help craft their career, for print it is totally different.
Shorter girls often do not get signed or sign exclusive contracts, so they work non-exclusive with agencies mostly, (work with more than one agency is typical)...so produce professional photos, be ahead of the newbies and already be prepared, and know what print modeling is, have a comp card ready, and know how to model.
20-30 years ago a modeling scout could have been legit, but this was before the millions of girls today who wanted to be models. The Internet-age also has inspired many modeling scams. The website says "Just download your photo, be seen.~" Be discovered pay a monthly fee to be seen", "downlaod your photo and be a model, meet photographers." There are too many scams to count.
The technology doesn't replace the human agent. How did I get my agencies?
I mailed them my comp card in the postal mail. I worked on my photos and submitted again and again.
I got a call back. I have been working with them since.
They now call me and email me castings, but I met them in person, gave them my comp cards, and at the end of the day I know it is great to have agents and work with them, but also YOU are a major part of your success, how much YOU put in, care, and work for your goals.
The girl's desire to be a model has risen in huge ways, therefore scams are everywhere. Prevent scams by being a smart aspiring model.
Here are the differences between fashion models and short models and more insight on how to prevent scams.
I hope this helps, aim high, strive on! :)