Many young women either dream of a career as a fashion model or are approached by others who suggest it. Sometimes young women are approached directly in the street or are attracted by advertisements inviting them to ‘free auditions’. Often these are merely a front for disreputable agencies and photographers whose only aim is to sell photographs and services that do nothing to help these young people into the modelling business.
If you want a personal portfolio as a Jane Rubin record of how beautiful you truly are, capturing you at the peak of your youth, then a responsible portrait photographer will be happy to take stunning images for you and your family to treasure.
But if you want photographs to get into modelling work, note right now that you do not need professional photographs. That may surprise you but this is based on our work with a top London modelling agency, who kindly offered advice which we hope you find useful in making a decision about whether or not you want to have professional photos taken for a portfolio.
If in the end, you still want a professional photographer to take the required shots, then that is a personal decision rather than one being imposed by a scam agency.
So, how do these disreputable agencies operate?
Firstly, they exploit the dreams of hundreds of young hopefuls who attempt to break into the fashion industry each year. But it is not as easy as some so called ‘model agencies’ would have you believe.
Young people are approached directly in the street or respond to adverts purportedly searching for ‘models’. When they have turned up for ‘auditions’ it turns out that the ‘model agency’ is nothing more than a photography company who want to charge them large sums of money for photographs which may be lovely to have, but are never going to help them find work as models in magazines, catalogues or as extras in film and TV adverts.
These disreputable agencies persuade girls to part with their money by promising them that the photos taken will get them recruited by top agencies with high returns and lifestyle. Some of these ‘agencies’ promise to promote the model, but unfortunately the only communication they receive is a bill asking for more money to keep their details on record.
They will tell girls of all shapes and sizes that they are guaranteed work and the end result is a lot of very disappointed girls who have learnt a hard lesson and are out of pocket too.