Highlite Modeling and Casting Agency
Complaints / Queries
To Whom It May Concern:
My neighbor's son (age 25) was "selected" over
the weekend by Highlite Modeling and Casting
Agency to be a model.
So was his friend, when they attended what I guess you
would call an "open call" for models in Burlington,
Her son was told he would need a portfolio, and he could
either find his own photographer, or their own photographer
would do it for $200.
That immediately raised a red flag for me. I thought
that if a legitimate agency wanted to contract you, they make
the investment in whatever is needed, not vice versa.
I found the following location information on the internet:
Highlite Modeling and Casting Agency, Corporate Headquarters
at 415 N. 8th Avenue, Scranton, PA 18504, 570-346-3166/NYC
212-779-9668/FAX 570-347-0195, operated by Jerry Sangiuliano.
They also operate as Models Net and Models Net International,
and have a website at www.highlite.com.
The Better Business Report includes this statement:
- Highlite Modeling mainly promotes their models through
their website (www.highlite.com), and mails headsheets
to advertising agencies throughout the country.
- Highlite Modeling voluntarily wishes to inform
consumers that the probability of obtaining a modeling
assignment through their promotional service is small.
I was just wondering if you had ever heard of them or
My neighbor seems quite excited that her son is going
to make it big as a model, but I've tried to temper her
enthusiam with a "be wary, investigate first" approach.
Thank you for any information you might be willing to
No complaints have been sent to Modeling Scams Research.
Highlite Modeling and Casting Agency features a BBB
logo and link prominently on its website home page.
At the other end of the link, i.e., on the BBB website,
it does confirm they meet the standards of the Bureau.
- Highlite Modeling & Casting Agency meets all
BBBOnLine Reliability participation and Better Business
Bureau membership standards and is authorized to display
the BBBOnLine Reliability seal.
You said: "I thought that if a legitimate agency
wanted to contract you, that THEY make the investment
in whatever is needed, not vice versa."
This is sometimes true, but it does not always happen
like that. It is most likely to happen with a big agency
which can afford to foot the bill for photography.
The photography prices of Highlite are quite low. You
said it would cost $200 to use their photographer. The
red flag is when the prices are high and they require
you to use their photographer.
The price of photos for a modeling portfolio can often
range from $500-$1,000. So if there is a flag, it could
be that the photography is not high quality, if it is
costing only $200.
Now sometimes these companies will have additional fees,
which they do not state up front, splitting the charge,
first for the photographer taking the pictures, then
for developing them.
The best thing would be to say you don't know which
photographer to choose, theirs or another photographer,
then ask for the name and website address of their photographer.
It is not unreasonable to say you would like to see
his/her work. Most photographers are now online, because
the internet is an exceptional visual medium for photographers
If a photographer does not have a website, it could
suggest they do not have much experience (new photographers);
they do not want others to see their work (it's so bad);
or they are so good, and so in demand, they really don't
need a website for advertising and marketing. Their reputation
precedes them. (You can probably rule that one out in
this case because the cost is only $200.)
Another good sign about Highlite Modeling is they are
not new; they were established in 1985; they are also
licensed and bonded in three states. Or so their website
Regarding the potential for promotion. You mentioned
the BBB quoting them: "Highlite Modeling voluntarily
wishes to inform consumers that the probability of obtaining
a modeling assignment through their promotional service
It would be difficult after reading that to remain "quite
excited," as you said your neighbor was.
Still, if there are no hidden costs paying only $200
is one of the lower risks you might find in the modeling
industry, where aspiring models in the beginning often
shell out $500 to $1,000 —or more.
If you were to investigate further, you could try to
find out their success rate. If you cannot get their
success rate, read their success stories.
A reputable business is one thing: a successful business
is another. You could have integrity but still not be
able to get anyone work.
But it is good to look a little deeper than how much
work a modeling agency gets. The two things to look at
are both quality and quantity.
One agency, for example, could get models a lot of work,
but it could be all promotional modeling. The pay for
promotional can be far less than print, sometimes similar
to the minimum wage.
Big agencies in New York will get models high-quality,
high-quantity, and high-paying modeling jobs. Small agencies
elsewhere may only get models low-quality, low-quantity,
and low-paying work.
It varies from place to place. The point is you can't
assume anything, but the aspiring model has a right to
One of the best things a potential model needs to know
is the right questions to ask and the right answers to
the right questions.
To Whom It May Concern:
Really don't know if I can get any kind of answer quick
enough, thought there would possibly be an immediate
rep. to reach.
Well, my child was chosen to be photographed today by Highlite
Modeling and Casting Agency.
Worried it's a scam, as I really can't afford the $260
for him to be photographed. Would be borrowing the money
to do it, and am worried I'm wasting money I don't really
Hopefully will get some input before his appt. today.
You didn't say at what time your appointment is today,
but maybe this will get to you in time.
It is probably not a good idea to borrow money for a
child modeling photo session. No complaints about Highlite,
but child models do not get a lot of work, generally
Have you asked Highlite about their success rate? You
need to find out what percentage of their child models
get work, how much work they get, and how much they earn.
You didn't mention the age of your child. The younger
the child, the less the need for professional photos.
How old is your child?
P.S. I just found something that looks suspicious. Someone
from Highlite Modeling and Casting Agency, PA, said the
following on a model website: "I want this guy for
my next shoot. Please contact me ASAP."
He obviously sounds like a photographer. If Highlite
is going to be taking pictures of your child, they could
be running a photography scam. There are photographers
who pretend to be modeling agencies but they make their
money from photography.
Their website doesn't even say that got one person any
work? I don't see anything there. Do you?
Is Highlite going to take pictures and never get your
You must read the article (see link below) which exposes Highlite
Modeling and Casting Agency!
You have been a wonderful help.
Unfortunately, my appointment was at 11:30 am yesterday,
and therefore I did sign him (three years old) up to
have his photos taken.
I was very skeptical; however, I went through with it.
Just read your emails this morning, and must say I was,
of course, disappointed.
I tried to research as much as I could the night before,
but I'm not that good on the computer.
Thank you for your time and effort. What a wonderful
service you provide!
Too bad there aren't more honest people in this world.
To Whom It May Concern:
I just read a letter written to you about concerns regarding
I was one of those selected in 1996 by their rep to
be a potential model.
The only thing I can say about this company is avoid
using their photographer. Get your own if you want to
My mother paid for my photos and the quality was so
poor, I could have done better myself.
The photographer used a wide-angle lens on my pictures
making me seem disproportionate.
I had the pictures examined by a professional who confirmed
the photos were not of a professional standard.
There were flaws in the finished product and, quite
frankly, they were not worth the money.
However, when I wrote the company, they were prompt
in returning my money.
My advice is, if you are serious, pay the extra money,
and get them done right the first time.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Modeling and Casting Agency Letters Index