The Truth About Modeling

So, you’ve always known you look great in photographs. And perhaps, you’re currently also considering making this a career. But do you really know the truth about modeling and modeling agencies?

We recently spoke to talent scouts and photographers – below are some good points shared with us that we thought you might find useful.

  1. You Don’t Need a Portfolio to be a Fashion Model
    If a modeling agency likes your look, they will get their photographer to photograph you without charging a single cent (it will only be deducted from your first pay-check). They don’t need your money because technically, they’re SELLING YOU.
  1. An Agency Should Be Licensed or Bonded
    In many states, talent agencies must be licensed but in some, they need to be bonded. If you come across an ad stating modeling opportunity but no full name of agency or their permit number mentioned, there’s a high chance it is fake. If there is a permit number mentioned, check with the respective governing bodies to make sure the license is current and valid.
  1. An Agency Should Be Promoting Its Models and Not Itself
    If all they talk about is themselves (the agency), but very little about the models – beware, they might be fake. A legit agency’s purpose is to promote its models hence other information about itself are secondary.
  1. An Agency Should Feel Like an Agency
    Does the agency feel like an agency when you visit them in person? With phone ringing, assistants answering the calls, busy environment? Or is the office as quiet as a mouse? It might be a modeling “school” trying to portray themselves as an agency – so, trust your instinct.
  1. An Agency Shouldn’t Have an Exclusive Photographer
    A legit agency might give you a list of photographers they’ve worked with who they think provide good results, in case you’d like to use them. But it’s not a must for you to pay for shots before even beginning your career. Plus, a real agency will not ask you to go to a specific photographer – if they do, they probably receive some kind of commission from that photographer.
  1. An Agency Shouldn’t Require You to Print a Comp Card
    Please bear in mind, if you’re new you’re not required to have tons of comp card – 100 would be sufficient. If an agency pressures you to print 500 – 1000 comp cards and charging you above market price, it is very likely the agency is trying to cheat you.
  1. An Agency Shouldn’t Charge Very High Amount for Online Listing
    If they’re a legit agency, once you’re signed, they will list you for a minimal fee or completely free. Like mentioned earlier, they’re trying to sell you so it is their job to promote you (hey, it benefits them at the end of the day right?) and it costs almost nothing to host photos these days. Why should they hide your portfolio from potential clients just because you didn’t pay to be listed? If you don’t book any job, they will not get any money. Simple.


We hope you have some rough ideas on what modeling is all about. There are many legit modeling jobs out there, but at the same time, there are an equal amount (if not more) of scammers who are more than ready to sell your dreams to yourself and empty your pocket along the way.


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