Model Portfolio London – How not to get scammed.
The Ultimate Guide For Aspiring Models
I have decided to write this article touched by increasing volume of rather sad phone calls and emails I receive from young boys and girls that dream of modelling career.
They all have one thing in common, they are victims of their own dreams and ruthless people that are prepared to shamelessly take advantage of a vulnerable, young person and run with their money. By now you are probably wondering what I’m on about? I am talking about so called “professional model portfolio” or modelling portfolio photo shoots.
The story is always the same. One way or the other (they are really good at marketing) they get your attention and lure you in.
Along the way they convince you that you are absolutely gorgeous or insanely handsome and the only thing that stands between you and the cover of VOGUE is lack of “professional” portfolio.
You can not believe your luck when they tell you that today they have very special offer and the £2000 package goes for mere £750. What a bargain!
While wave of excitement washes over your body, you empty your account, squeeze something out of your parents, maybe even call your grandma. You are completely green in this field so nothing triggers your suspicion… until few days later you proudly present this marvel to a modelling agency. Unfortunately this time you deal with real professionals and after quick scan they reject your photos and tell you to come back when you’ll have something they call a portfolio.
You are shocked, speechless, wondering how this could happen?
You just became another person that have been scammed. I personally work with several modelling agencies so feel qualified to explain you why.
Reputable modelling agency would NEVER put on their website anything that is even slightly below their current standard. That would lower the agency’s perceived quality and damage their reputation.
If you are really drop dead gorgeous and the agency wants you very much, they may offer you a test shoot (more professional term for model portfolio building session) but this time with real professional from within the industry rather than some weekend warrior/happy snapper or your local high street studio that is guaranteed to deliver results matching their standards.
Then they deduct the cost of the shoot from your future earnings so it all happens painlessly, without further damage to your budget.
Only few of you will be that lucky though. Unfortunately most will have to prove their potential before they would be accepted.
So what do you do next?
Have really good look at your agency’s website. See what quality of photography they display and find photographer that will deliver it.
Don’t panic, it’s not going to cost you arm and leg again. You may be surprised that often real commercial or fashion photographer will charge you less than your awesome, flashy local studio. The point is that our main source of income is commercial photography for commercial clients and we don’t feel the urge to scam naive, young people.
We are actually happy to help, give something back to the industry, not only take professional looking photographs but also teach you something along the way.
Give you advice on styling, latest trends on hair & makeup, shed some light on posing techniques, even give some homework so you can practice and progress on your own.
I often get to work on commercial projects with models that few years back have showed up at our door green and clueless as you are right now. But they’ve worked hard, they’ve persevered. Some of them failed… but some have succeeded and they say it was worth it.
Please share your thoughts and related experiences in the comments below.
More information on this topic in my other article Modelling Portfolio – Expert advice.
Please note that I do not intend to comment on particular studio, agency or other individual cases as they are all different. My intention was to give you information and advice that is hard to find elsewhere and enables you to make conscious and rational decision before you send your hard earned money. I really hope it serves the purpose.