Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Aspiring models, please don't pay for a modeling conference, tradeshow, etc!!

A mother recently wrote me about her pretty, 15 year old daughter who is 5 1/2" wondering if a modeling tradeshow in Chicago but costs $900 was worth it?

My reply I hope inspires your own pursuits! :) I know it might be exciting to get a call to attend a tradeshow or conference or showcase for modeling, but honestly it is a total scam! Mainly because it is not needed. You can simply mail your comp card to the agencies and also you don't need to walk in front of the agency at a conference, in print modeling the agents don't care about how well you walk, they want to see your personality, so the conference is really pointless.


Put your energies into doing the right thing, and you can save money and time and tears.

A girl under 5'8" should be pursuing print modeling agencies, talent agencies and casting directors. Like an actor, she will need her marketing tools, a comp card, and a portfolio.

The comp card is the main focus.

The portfolio grows over time.

Any agency, event, tradeshow, conference that charges you to get inside or work with them ahead of time is a scam. Skip it. The more you know the less likely you will be to get scammed. It is good to know the differences between print and fashion because a fashion model is invested in by a fashion modeling agency, a fashion modeling agency works with less girls and spends time crafting and helping that girls career. In print modeling is a totally different ballgame! The model does a lot of her own photography crafting managing, comp card printing, etc.  Being prepared with the right marketable photos and the right mindset is what will get print modeling agencies interested in working with you. With you, not for you, but with you.

Ok, let's get the money thing down first, do not ever pay an agency ahead of time to work with them.

n agency's get paid by marketing their models, by building relationships with their clients and they get a percent of the money made from booking their models. Which is standard 20%. End of story!

So if I book a job for $1000, my check would read $800. The agency typically also charges the client a booking fee to book their models, so they get that also on top of the percent they get from your check of 20%. Does that make sense?  That is professional. That is what professional agencies do.

So, you do not pay an agency to simply work with them or be a model that they market.

You will most likely be working non-exclusive with more than one agency. This is common.

You will be managing and crafting your own photos and comp cards. This is common.

Your phone might not ring every single day and you might not be jet-set around the world modeling. This is common for a print models life. It is more about what you put into it, how prepared you are and the amount of something I calle 'realistic ambition' that you have.

Here are some tips and advice for starting out and skipping scams:

1. I would manage your daughters photography, it might not sound as exciting as the thought of being "discovered" or "signed exclusively", but to be honest print models are typically  "not signed exclusive to agencies" they work with agencies non-exclusively in print modeling, and here is insight on that, these links below are loaded with free info that I have lived through.

First and foremost, I would manage your daughters modeling photography, know what photography you need, know the marketing materials you need and be ahead of the game, here are tips on all of this:

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2010/02/six-differences-of-fashion-model-and.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/08/commercial-print-modeling-photos-for.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/09/do-you-have-model-compcard-you-should.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2010/08/scoop-on-modeling-marketing-tools-comp.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/08/does-short-girl-get-signed-to-modeling.html

2. I would spend ALOT of time investing and researching the right photographer. A photographer who understands what print modeling is, and understands the photos a print model needs. Here is more on that:

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2010/03/does-your-photographer-know-what.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/09/models-not-finding-photographer-on.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/12/photography-on-budget-for-models-tips.html

http://yellowpages.backstage.com/products/list-products.php?category_id=41

3. I would be prepared to be picky. It is SOOOO easy to be scammed these days, but a way to skip a scam is to be prepared. To know that no one is going to want your daughter to succeed more than you and your daughter, so don't be scammed. What I mean by don't be scammed is this:
a. don't be scammed into paying for a photo package. So you pay for a photo package but do you have the rights to the photos, does it mean you will book work from them, are the photos even quality...the answer is often NO. So manage your own photography. Print modeling agencies actually like it when you are prepared, they don't have time to teach you how to model, and don't spend time investing in your photos so, be prepared.
b. don't be scammed into paying to work with an agency before they book you a job. $900??? no way!!
c. know that an agency is great to have, you want to work with an agency but you are still your best marketer and you need to be the one calling the shots.

So, your first step is to find a photographer and get some print modeling shots. See examples above, a headshot, smiling shot, and these links below on teen modeling and submitting your comp card to agencies which will also help:

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/09/getting-print-modeling-agency.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2010/12/submitting-photos-to-agencies-open.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/12/put-that-modeling-compcard-to-use-and.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2008/10/improve-your-model-marketing-for-small.html

http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/12/modeling-agency-height-requirement-and.html

This might seem like a lot of reading and it is! But print modeling is a loaded and very hands-on pursuit.

I hope this helps, and keep me posted on your progress. Goodluck!
~Isobella

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