I’ve been in the model industry now for 22 years and it has served me well…and i’d like to think i’ve served it well too! I still work full time as a male model, but also run my business The Model Experience Uk in Leeds, doing model classes, model portfolio shoots and regularly helping people get signed with top reputable agencies (and i always get great feedback from model and parents…. www.facebook.com/modelexperience/reviews It’s such a shame in recent years that i’m hearing of, and talking to, more and more people who have been scammed so have very negative opinions on the industry as a whole.
I’ve probably had 1 or 2 bad experiences personally, but i started long before the internet properly exploded and social media became an every day addiction. Years ago there were fewer agencies, fewer models, therefore more work for the really committed models. The rise of the internet also brought with it people setting up online calling themselves “a model agency”.
Thankfully the powers that be jumped all over this and stopped agencies being able to charge you to join their agency…then you’d never hear from them. We are talking £100’s if not £1000’s which left people out of pocket, thinking they have joined the agency but then not 1 phone call or booking. This is how the “agencies” made their money….proper agencies earn commissions from your earnings so everyone’s happy!
So, this got stopped and social media exploded. But this has lead to all young kids and teenagers with mobiles Googling “i want to be a model”…and new places have popped up, some working alongside these previously stopped “model agencies”, but many more spotting an opportunity. Go on, do it yourself…Google “become a model”.
Most of the places that people upload images to then say “you’re amazing…come to London for a shoot, its only a small deposit, we’ll make you a supermodel!” Yeah, right…i don’t think so!!! So people trot down to London, all excited for the shoot…and then find its potentially going to cost them thousands of pounds. Whats more insane is they pay it ( i spoke to a lovely gentleman 2 weeks ago who did exactly this, but he paid £4000 with all sorts of promises for his 15 year old daughter ).
I must speak to 7 or 8 sets of parents EVERY week that have done exactly the same, and i get the same answer back every time “we just thought thats what it cost to have a shoot and join an agency”. Firstly, NO WAY does it cost that amount, and then the second even harder bit….i’m sorry but you haven’t joined an agency, you will NEVER hear from them again. It breaks my heart to tell people…and more often than not, the images would never be used by a proper agency.
So, have they been scammed? Well actually no, I myself went on 5 of these sites and posted a picture…of me slightly drunk on holiday with my wife, and a beer in my hand, and more than slightly sunburnt. Safe to say it wasn’t going to be new headshot for all my agencies (i looked like Albert Steptoe….Google him if you don’t know who he is!). But “surprisingly” all these places rang me and said i had huge potential, please come see us in London (or Manchester) for a shoot and we’ll start your career.
“How much will it cost?”…diverted the question. “I said how much will it cost???”…more diversion! “You my friend should be a politician not working for “a model agency”… silence!!!
I ask again, have they been scammed? Ethically yes, they are preying on the desires of young people who want to be a model, or parents wanting their children to be a model. But is it illegal? No, of course not. If you look carefully on these websites, it will say “****** models is not an agency”. Some of them have this very visible, some hidden in terms and conditions…so yes kind of scammed, but also, people should read and research more.
(This is my first ever Blog and i’m quite enjoying it!!!)
So people, do you research, are they really an agency, can you see REVIEWS on Facebook ( I get all my customers to leave one… www.facebook.com/modelexperience/reviews ) and can you see their models? If they are a proper agency, pretend you are a client and need to book 2 models….can you go on their site and see the models? If not, or if you need login details, then 99% they are not an agency.
I’m not a model agency, but i do work for some of the best there are, so i know my stuff…take a look at my website www.themodelexperienceuk.com and its all about my experience, how i can help, people i’ve helped, and links to reviews, and loads of testimonial videos from satisfied customers (models and parents!). Click on my Youtube channel to see more videos… www.youtube.com/channel/UCh63yKscyxHchVKzLbZeGCA
I clearly state i’m not a model agency (but i do have links up and down the UK) and another thing…if you want a model portfolio shoot the prices are there to see, if you want a model class the prices are there to see. If you don’t see prices, or they won’t tell you then ring those alarm bells. Here at The Model Experience in Leeds, I take great pride in helping people, doing the legwork speaking to reputable agencies myself, trying to get models placed, and you can see my prices…no hidden costs….and all my experience on both sides of the camera comes free.
Please do your homework people, or ring and ask me 07712 425996 and i’d be happy to help and hopefully set you on the right path. I say the same to every new model and parent “I can’t guarantee what the agencies will say when they see the pictures, but i CAN guarantee they will see them!”
Being a male model has taken me all over the world, and i’m very grateful…no reason why it can’t do the same for you, or your child. But get the right shoot, get with the right model agency or agencies, be professional, treat it as a career and the world is quite literally your oyster!