Someone stops you on the street and tells you that you should be a model, or maybe someone contacts you on a social network and suggests that you have great looks.
This is not that common, but that’s how some models such as Sebastian Sauvé have been scouted.
If this eventually happens to you, take these advices in order to spot a possible scam.
They ask for money upfront and avoid high-pressure tactics.
Legitimate agencies never ask for money upfront and they get paid only when you’re paid. For example, if a clothing brand wants you to be part of their campaign, they’ll contact you exclusively through the agency.
Once you’re getting paid, the agency will receive a small commission from that money. This is how they make revenue.
If they tell you: “Hurry up or you’ll miss this great opportunity”, RUN.
They make a lot of promises and warrantee work.
Modelling work is pretty irregular, and you might get offers and you might not get them. If someone promises that you’ll be featured in the cover of a magazine, or that you’ll be modelling haute couture in a runway in Paris, London, Milan or New York, then that’s another red flag.
Even some of the top models don’t get contracts as often as they wished, and many of them didn’t make large amounts of money when they started.
Modelling agencies are not modelling schools.
These two things are completely different. Modelling schools can provide some guidance on how to build or create your portfolio, or teach you how to walk or behave on camera.
They force you to use their photographer.
You’re completely free to choose the photographer that you want, and a professional agency might even recommend some, but that’s it.
You might eventually need to pay for some photos, but you have the right to find a photographer on your own. If they don’t allow you, then avoid them.
Classifieds looking for models.
As I said before, modelling agencies generate enough revenue with contracts and it’s not very likely that they would need to pay classifieds on newspapers or social networks asking for talent.
Be aware of websites such as Craigslist.
Confirm casting calls.
Many agencies announce open casting calls where you can go and participate if you meet their requirements, but always contact them first to confirm the legitimacy of the event.
Scams are more common in small cities and countries without a big modelling industry.
If you live in a small city or community, or in a place where modelling is not that common be careful. Watch out! Scams generally occur in places like this, so always be skeptical.
Always ask for names or addresses.
If an agency claims to place models in specific jobs, try to contact some of the companies and verify if they’ve hired talent from that agency.
Google is your friend.
Always search on Google the name of the agency, confirm their addresses, profiles and even write the name of that agency with the word scam. You’ll find plenty of information online!