A girl asked me recently about a modeling scam and she told me she met an agency at a hotel and they were going to sign her. They wanted money like $600 and then another chunk for photos. She asked if it was a scam, and hit me up on twitter with her concerns because she only had another day left to end the contract.
I told her to end it.
NEVER, ever, ever, ever pay to be on a modeling agency website. Never ever pay an agency for photos. It is a total scam. However you DO have to take it upon yourself for the work of being a model. You will have to make your own compcard, portfolio, and legit print modeling agencies or talent agencies, WILL work with the compcard you mail them.
Don't forget agents have jobs, their job is to market the models they work with. Usually for a shorter girl it will be a print modeling agency and there will be less hands on involvement from the agency. They will be a booking service but not giving you so much attention towards your marketing material. Basically it should go like this:
You mail them your compcard,
The agency likes it, or something about it.
They call you.
You meet them.
You might sign a non-exclusive contract but typically you will not be signed at all.
You will freelance with this agency, you will be free to work with other agencies as well.
You will give the agency more compcards to use to market you.
You will get called to go on castings, or emailed the info, (however the agency does it), and you will use, bring, and drop off your compcard at the casting.
If you get booked the agency get 20% of your payment. (which is typically already taken out before you get paid by the agency).
DO NOT EVER pay the agency for photos, or to be on the website. The agents job is to market their models and the clients can be directed to the website, but the website alone should not be only how the agency is marketing you.
If an agency says "you must pay to be on the website," or "You should have your photo on the website because our clietns see the models on the website," don't do it. It is a scam.
The agent has a job, and it is not just to wait to see who happens to click on your photo on the modeling agency website. So do not ever pay to be on an agency website. I work with professional agencies in NYC and I do not pay to be on their website. The website is just one tool that an agency should use, not the end-all…so to not be deceived.
I work with great agencies in NYC for print work and I do not pay them to be on their website.