“Research, research and RESEARCH again, but also to believe in yourself…
…otherwise, how can you expect casting directors, model scouts etc. To believe in you too.
There are a lot of rogue agencies out there, as well as nasty individuals that pose as, usually, photographers or their assistants. This is normally in an attempt to get you to part with large sums of money for a substandard portfolio with the promise of a fruitful modelling career that will never actually come to light. On the contrary, it could be to lure you to share your information and images under the guise of professionalism (e.g. a male on social media posing as a female photographer requesting pictures of you in your underwear for her upcoming lingerie shoot so she can “see your body shape and size for the lingerie samples”).
Some common red flags are:
- Not having any links to their work online whether that be a website or social media account with a good following and quality images
- Only sending you individual images as examples (which could have been pulled from anyone’s website but their own)
- Fresh profiles set up within the last few days with minimal information about them and their work
- Very vague details about the shoot (e.g. No specific date, location or time)
- Offering extremely large sums of money (possibly in different currency) for the work involved e.g. 8hr/ full day portfolio building shoot with compensation of $5000
- Claiming they are scouting on behalf of a well-known brand but are using inappropriate channels (such as Facebook groups) to source models rather than reputable casting agencies
- Stating a specific job in their public casting brief but offering something completely different when you enquire by email or message
- Casting by video only (often Skype or similar) where you can be seen and heard but you can’t see or hear the caller due to “system errors”
- Refusing to provide – or simply not having any – references from other models and creatives that have worked with them
- Not offering the option to bring a parent/ guardian or chaperone to the job or responding negatively when you mention you’d like to bring a trusted person with you
- Becoming defensive, ignoring messages or blocking you when you begin to ask more probing questions rather providing contact details and their requested images straight away
Finally, you will hear a lot of “No”s in this industry, but it’s essential that you dust off that rejection and show yourself that there’s is a reason to chase that ‘Yes’!”