Images of St. Louis / John Robert Powers St. Louis (www.images-stlouis.com)
May 13, 2004
Letter from Parent:
My daughter who is three years old just got accepted as a model for Images of St. Louis.
We had to pay a fee of $300 for headshots, since she has no professional pictures. We signed a contract saying that was the only fee to come out of our pockets and that they would get 20% of what she makes on jobs only if they book it for her.
They said we were free to sign a contract with any modeling agency of our choice at any time, since they weren't guaranteeing us job placement, just auditions.
I was wondering if this company was a scam, and if so, do you have any other info on this?
Professional pictures at that price or professional pictures at any price for that age is questionable. Most people advise against professional pictures for children four years old and younger (their look changes so fast). That price is about average for adults. Non-professional snapshots should do fine for babies and small children, or much lower rates, e.g. Sears Portrait Studio.
In any case, look at the BBB record for Images of St. Louis. It shows Images of St Louis is associated with the John Robert Powers School. JRP has a history of getting students to pay for professional photos which are overpriced or aren't necessary.
It is widely established that potential models should not pay for professional pictures until they get signed with an agency. JRP also charges for classes which are are overpriced or aren't necessary. Since the owner of Images is also an owner of a JRP franchise, it is certainly possible you have paid for pictures which were overpriced or aren't necessary.
The BBB report for Images, as shown below, reveals "consumers have complained that few, if any, jobs have resulted from enrolling in the classes or the photographs."
BBB Reliability Report (December 13, 2003)
Images of St Louis
711 Old Frontenac Square
Saint Louis, MO 63131
Original Business Start Date: January 1988
Principal: Nancy Barrett,
Phone Number: (314) 993-0605
Fax Number: (314) 993-2303
Type-of-Business Classification: MODELING/TALENT AGENCIES
Based on BBB files, this company has responded to any complaint brought to
its attention. The Bureau has questioned some advertised claims. This firm
started business in April, 1988. Nancy Barrett is listed as president. The
owners of this modeling & talent agency also operate the John Robert Powers
Modeling School. It advertises for models of all ages. According to reports
received, applicants for the advertised positions are then urged through
misleading sales presentations to enroll in modeling classes for $2,500 or
have the complimentary photos printed for $250. Other consumers have
complained that few, if any, jobs have resulted from enrolling in the
classes or the photographs.
The following data concerns complaints processed by the BBB since the
file was opened or over the last 36 months, whichever is less.
The Bureau processed 16 complaints about this company in the last 36 months.
6 of those were processed in the last 12 months. Complaints are concerning
Selling Practices, and Service Issues. Of all the complaints filed 15 were
closed as Resolved, and 1 was closed as Disputed.
Additional Doing-Business-As Names:
John Robert Powers School
New Faces Division
http://www.stlouis.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=110063250 [May 13, 2004]