Modeling Scams

Model Talent Management (MTM)

To Whom It May Concern:

I have an issue with a Tampa, Florida, modeling agency connected with, and operating out of, the same office as John Casablancas; it operates under the name of Model Talent Management.

Upon interviewing with the director of Model Talent Management, I was told that there were plenty of jobs out there, and it was only a matter of obtaining a comp card to proceed with bookings.

I went ahead and took these pictures at the director's home, and it is also interesting to note that the photographer is the director's husband. This session cost me $300.

After receiving the final product (the comp card), I received one phone call about a job that would only provide me with experience and no pay. Otherwise, I have not received any work from this agency.

I made an appointment to discuss the issue with the director, and her response was that it was only a matter of time, and to contact her in three months. Still nothing.

I am seeking your advice in this matter, because I have done a lot of work through legitimate agencies and have never encountered such an issue until now. I was also wondering if you may know of any other complaints against this particular agency.

Thanks for your time,



Either the Model Talent Management director was tricking you into signing so you would sign up for photos, so they could get $300 from you, or there are "plenty of jobs out there," and in her "professional opinion," you are qualified.

You already observed the conflict of interest with her husband being paid for her comments which persuaded you to sign up. This could be a modeling scam.

The most basic modeling photography scam, which is also one of the most popular modeling scams, involves management telling aspiring models they can help get them work, they only need to get comp cards. So the model gets comp cards, pays upfront fees, but never gets any work.

Since you were told by the Model Talent Management director there were "plenty of jobs out there," you could press for more information. Why not ask which models they represent have worked in the last three months, or since you signed up, and the names of their clients.

You need to know if they are getting anyone any work, and find out if you are wasting your time waiting for them to get you work. Those who are paid upfront fees can quickly lose interest in getting models work.

Did you sign an exclusive contract with MTM? If you are not under an exclusive modeling contract with MTM, you could and probably should seek representation elsewhere.

You said: "I have done a lot of work through legitimate agencies." Are you also represented by any of these legitimate agencies? Or did you break from them to be represented by MTM?

It is not a good idea to put all your hope in one company if you can be represented by several, at least then you can maximize the opportunities and chances of getting work.

How many agencies are there in Tampa which could get you work?

P.S. There were already serious conflict of interest issues at John Casablancas having a modeling school connected with a modeling agency (MTM), and a modeling school closely tied up with a modeling convention (IMTA). Is this yet another conflict of interest with the modeling agency being "married to" a modeling photographer?

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