I've seen many posts on social media about modelling agencies "Amateur models needed, all ages, sizes, and looks." or perhaps "New faces needed! No experience necessary" or " Huge demand on children models".
You've always known that you looked good, or someone told you you are very photogenic or your child love to pose to the photos and have a great smile. So perhaps you've always considered that career as a potential future for yourself or your child...So, when you call back, you're told that they are holding a session this weekend. You show up, dressed to the nines, and you are told you need to pay a £100 photographer's fee for the session today. Then you're given a lecture about commitment, determination, and deeper pockets, about how important a portfolio is for a model, even an amateur one.
You ask if you can supply your own pictures. You have plenty of good portraits on your smartphone. They tell you they require you to use their own photographer with professional equipment.You ask if this constitutes a contract, and you're told no, this is just a meet and greet, where they get a few pictures to see if anyone else would want to book you. You have to build a portfolio first, they emphasize. And that costs money.You are told that you can earn big money as a model for very little work.
That is just one of the scenarios and it happens more often than you think.
These con artists only get away with it because they are not confronted. The more people the realise that they are a scam and question their conduct the more people will be saved from falling victim to them.
Firstly DO NOT hand over money to anybody that invites you to a test shoot. You may be told that you need to pay a deposit for a test shoot - this is not how real agencies work. DO NOT hand over to anybody that says your child needs a portfolio. They DO NOT. Under no circumstances does a child need a portfolio to enter the modelling industry. A few professional snaps are always nice BUT a legitimate agency will sort that out for you or at least point you in the right direction. It certainly wouldn't EVER cost £2000, not even £1000, in fact... Not even £150! Do NOT give these con artists your card details or set up a direct debit for overpriced, rubbish, unedited photographs that you DO NOT need.
These 'agencies' are simply photography studios, some don't even have professional photographers. They pray on dreams and hopes of children and parents. They make you think that your child has star potential and they use that to squeeze money from you. Real agencies do not conduct themselves like this.
If you have been scammed you can file a complaint with the EAI. The link is below, make sure you fill it out and send it. They will be investigated and shut down. The more people that know how a scam agency works, that know how to complain, the HARDER it is for these agencies to operate.
Please read the link below and share with friends that are thinking about it too. This is government link - it's reliable, legitimate and trustworthy.
With around 20 child model agencies across the UK, each with several hundred children on their books, it is a competitive world. There are lots of stunning children out there, all vying for similar jobs. It’s not unusual for agencies to receive more than 200 applications a week from parents of would-be child models – but 95 per cent get rejected by return post. Even if your child is beautiful, he or she might not have what it takes. Looking great in the flesh, doesn’t always translate on camera. Best models are happy and natural, don’t mind being photographed and love dressing up. They need to enjoy being the centre of attention.
If you haven’t been put off yet and you would like to practice your child modelling skills contact me to arrange a photoshoot because the most important are the memories and stunning photographs you will have.