Modeling Scams

Location, Location, Location

To Whom It May Concern:

I live in Chattanooga, TN, and I do not know of any local agencies that are within my city.

I am about two hours from Atlanta and there are agencies there, but so far, I have sent some photos, but not got a response.

I have had several different agencies contact me in other cities, but really, they are too far for me to work with.

I am really hoping to get as much exposure and experience as I can, so I am also looking for smaller jobs like promotional work and catalog work, like with J.C. Penney, Dillards, and that kind of thing.

Do you have any idea how I could get in contact with the people who pick the models for the department store catalogs?

I am trying to get started in the modeling industry, but it seems so far I've had bad luck with getting scammed.

I think I have a decent chance at success if given the chance, as I am tall and skinny. Many people have told me I look like a model, but I have very little experience other than promotional modeling.

If you hear anything about the agency called Quickbook Worldwide, please let me know.

Thanks for your time and for writing.




What could the Quickbook possibly do for you in Chattanooga, TN, that you couldn't do yourself? Or, for that matter, in Atlanta?

The ability to get work for models is based on several factors: what the model looks like; what other models (the competition) look like; where the agency is based; the working relationships the agency has with casting directors; and how much work is available.

Quickbook is off in another state, thousands of miles away, right? Seattle, Washington? Do they have ANY offices outside WA?

Unless they have an office in Atlanta which has already got many models lots of work, in the last year, for example, it's most likely a dead end.

Location is very significant in the modeling industry. You've probably discovered there is nothing where you are in Chattanooga, TN. Atlanta, GA, two hours from you, is a major modeling market, but it is too far away to commute.

And you said even the agencies which were interested are too far away: "I have had several different agencies contact me in other cities, but, really, they are too far for me to work with."

Modeling agencies choose models based on their looks, first and foremost, but there are other important issues: reliability and expense.

For instance, if an agency booker needs to provide a client with a model, and he has the choice between a model who lives in the city where the photo shoot will take place, and a model who lives two hours away, who do you think he is going to choose?

Will he avoid the extra expense and logistics hassle and higher risk the model won't make it on time or at all?

You expressed an interest in promotional modeling. The thing you need to realize here is promotional modeling, although it is entry-level modeling for many models, does not pay very well, and it does not get you tear sheets. It cannot easily move you into better work or a larger market.

Tear sheets are what can move you into a larger market. The agencies in larger markets who are looking for new faces want tear sheets which prove local success, and justify being "promoted" into the larger market.

Cindy Crawford lived in Dekalb, IL, when she was a teen. That is where she grew up, lived, and went to high school. She used to commute to Chicago where she started modeling; Dekalb is 60 miles from Chicago. She worked in Chicago for two years and got tear sheets, and then she was called to a larger modeling market by a modeling agency in New York.

Catalog work, of course, can get you tear sheets. But you can believe agencies are competitive over the high-profile or big brand "accounts." Major brands typically seek models from top modeling agencies.

Not being in Atlanta puts you at a significant disadvantage. You could possibly call the booking department at the big names, but you are probably going to be told they hire models from agencies, perhaps even the ones to whom you have already sent pictures.

But you could still ask them from which agencies they book models, and if they tell you, and they are agencies to which you have not already sent pictures, you can then contact the agencies, and ask if you can send them your pictures.

But they could still be reluctant if you don't live in the city. You may have think about moving. You may need to do some soul searching and decide how important modeling is to you. If you are really serious about modeling, it may require relocating.

One model who wrote the site was sort of selected at a model search but not plucked from obscurity the way it is glamorized. She was told if she was ever in New York, she should contact the agency, and they would send her on go-sees.

Agencies are naturally reluctant to commit to an unknown model, or ask them to relocate, unless they are absolutely sure there will be a lot of work for them —enough to justify asking them to move —and enough so the model can make ends meet from modeling work in a new city.

One reason why modeling scams are effective in small markets is because there is the natural pressure of aspiring models who have a dream, but can't find anything locally, and then along comes what looks like it could be their only hope, the one chance in a life time.

It's like being in a desert for so long, and suddenly you see what looks like an oasis, but it's really only a mirage.

I don't know if you've thought about relocating, or even if it is an option. I don't know how old you are, but many models are teens, living at home, and moving is not really feasible.

You need to figure out if everything needed to do modeling is going to pay for itself. From photos to travel, to moving, etc., etc., and so on and so forth.

Some aspiring models pay more on photos and conventions or even travel to the conventions than they will ever make modeling.

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