Do you want to be a Model? How to spot Model Agency Scams and Find Genuine Modelling Agencies
Update: Sep 2012 Form Models/Neptune studios feature on BBC TV show Rip off Britain
Photo Studios and the fake model site names that are used by them. These are not modelling agencies but portfolio studios that sell expensive shoots to potential models - the cost can be up to £2750!
Form Models/For Models = Neptune Studios (also Form Models Scotland)
Capri Models = Pacha Studios
Luxe Models = Kube Studios
Models in Demand = Models Of Style = MOSM=MIDM
Candi Models = Mint Brown Studios/Highgate Studios
UK Models = Pure Space Studios/Blue Rooms London
Diesel Models = Pure Space Studios/Blue Rooms
Mint Models = Neptune Studios Waterloo
Form Models & Candi Models have suggested we are lying with the information about scam model agencies here. We have many years of experience spotting scams and have named and shamed many fake model companies in the past despite threats to our business and personal safety.
Who do you trust to give impartial, truthful advice?
A company like Photo3 that gets real models, real paid work or fake scam model portfolio companies that are not model agencies that are out to rip you off? We have recently booked top UK models Katie Green and Kate Errington Taylor - both booked for paid jobs for our clients! Links to their modelling websites above so contact them if you are in any doubt who is telling the truth!
Above left: Katie Green & Gemaine B on set for Style Secrets Show, Above Right: Kate Errington Taylor during styling for client shoot
Why believe studios that are not model agencies and employ high pressure sales staff on commission trying to sell you a portfolio at an inflated place that will say anything in order to get a sale. Studios that hide the link between their Modelling website and their own studios?
Photo3 with industry experience giving advice that portfolio is not needed to apply to agencies
Worked with some of the top UK models such as Katie Green, Wonderbra Model & Size Zero campaign
Consistent advice over many years warning potential models of scams and backed up by industry advice from genuine model agencies
Interviews with BBC radio about fake modelling companies and how to avoid rip offs
One of the administrators running the largest UK Modelling website (Purestorm.com)
A proven track record of naming scam model agencies over the last 5 years (Edge, Replay, Dynamic, Zebra etc)
Fake agencies named as scams claimed to be genuine but have since stopped trading and left models seriously out of pocket with no work
To get updates on modelling scams and news about modelling work please click here to like the Photo3 Facebook page
Questions about modelling, photo studios, model agencies, model portfolios, modelling scams.
Is Edge Models A Scam? / Edge Modelling Agency | Diesel Models Scam / Is "UK Models" A Scam?/Diesel Modelling Agency?
Replay Models Scam/ Replay Model Management / Guava Talent Management / Zebra Collection /Vanity Management
MSN Chat scams | Facebook Scams | Email scams | How to make a complaint about model agency scams/fake/con model agencies? | Models Direct
Before you make contact with any company/person regarding modelling make sure you know exactly what type of organisation you are dealing with. Is it a photo studio selling you a portfolio, is it a model agency that will get you work or a model directory that will charge you to be on their books with no guarantee of any work? If you don't know which then there is a very good chance you could be misled and ripped off.
"No model needs a portfolio to approach an agency."
There are quite a few scams that are designed to catch out the unwary or potential models that do not know the industry. This page has answers to general questions that are commonly asked giving information about modelling and what to check to help you avoid common modeling scams.
If you have a question about modelling scams and want independent advice we would recommend one of the modelling sites like Purestorm, Net-Model or Model Mayhem, but make sure you have the correct website as some scam model agency companies are creating similar sounding names. To avoid legal action against any of the sites you should avoid calling any of the photo studios that appear to be model agencies a scam as they operate within the law. Companies such as Candi Models, Form Models and La Mode Models are not model agencies but photo studios that charge you for a portfolio; as the y are photo studios they will not provide you with modelling work. Form Models are run by Neptune Studios in London
As with many things it is what they don't tell you that is more important that what they do say!
Many free photo shoots at studios in London do not make it clear that only the shoot is free;they are NOT Time for Prints so if you want the portfolio photos as prints or CD you will have to pay for the photos you want and this could be substantial - we have heard from models who have paid up to £1000 for photos at some London studios. At other studios it may be more so it could be advisable to check total prices before agreeing to a shoot to avoid any nasty surprises on the day of your shoot. You are likely to be required to pay a deposit to confirm the shoot but our advice is to carefully check the terms of any deposit before handing over your credit card number as some studios do not allow any changes and will levy additional fees if you need to cancel or are late.
Photo studios such as Blue Rooms/Pure Space/Sugar Rush studio are not model agencies and often in the small print you will find this shown. You can read the responses to the investigation into scam model agencies published in The Sun, article about model agencies/photo studios here Capital Casting London have appeared but seem to have no online presence or website
Find out the total costs of any shoot including how much each photo costs, how many prints are included and if all images are provided on CD
In our opinion you should find out the overall total costs of any shoot including how much each photo costs, how many photos are included and whether all images are provided on CD within the price before booking an appointment at any studio so that you can compare like for like prices. In our view if a company is unwilling to provide this information to you then you should proceed with caution. Once you have included the cost of your photos and the CD of images, a free shoot may work out more expensive than a shoot that includes everything in the quoted price. If you are travelling a long way to get to London then you should also take account of the travel cost for you and a parent. Remember that there are many very good photography studios around the UK that can produce suitable photos for an initial modelling portfolio and you do not need to travel to London for this.
If you are looking for information about diesel models, also known as diesel modelling agency in London then this page by Reputable Model Agencies has some helpful warnings here as does the named and shamed page on Alba Models.
Modeladvice.info offers model assessment days in a similar way to London School of Modeling. You have to pay a £50 non refundable deposit but are liable for an additional £99 if you cancel. If you read the small print on their pricing page it shows that the full cost of their modelling portfolio is £1500 so make sure you are fully prepared before you go. You can find out more warnings about modeladvice.info on Alba model website who make clear that their model advice is not associated in any way.
Many fake model agencies / photography companies promoting free photoshoots do not publish any prices for the photos or CDs on their websites so it would be sensible to ask prices before agreeing to a shoot to allow comparisons and avoid being scammed by high pressure sales techniques.
Some studios offer "Modelling Assessment Days" where you spend a day at the 'studio' being pampered, having a 'professional photoshoot' followed by a private model assessment advising you of the various portfolio packages available and which are suitable to your needs. In other words, you go to their premises, they take photos and pressure you into buying them at extortionate prices.
You may also find that you are offered free Time for Prints/Time for CD (TFP/TFCD) shoots in London studios or elsewhere which will not cost you other than your time and travel. These are only worthwhile if the photographer knows what they are doing. There is no point wasting time on a shoot if a photographer has no idea how to take, light and compose a photo and is purely using you for training as the results will not be of use for a portfolio. Our shots have been used by the finalists of Next Top Model and Page 3 Idol.
Is Diesel Models Scam?/Diesel Modelling Agency London / UK Models London
UK Models is not a modelling agency. They are run by Blue Rooms photographic studio and their 5 steps are written to sell their shoots. You do not approach an agency with a portfolio; their advice is totally wrong. The UK Models website makes it very clear that they are not an agency.
UK Models are not a modelling agency and will not get models work. So why does the UK Models website say:
"If you are looking for a model agency UKModels.co.uk are one the leading modeling agencies, get in touch today"
If you believe you have been misled by UK Models then the information on their website may be of use for getting a refund of your deposit money. You can report them to trading standards for misrepresentation as their website is clearly designed to mislead readers into thinking that they are a model agency when they are not. The trading standards department covering London where UK Models are based is Westminster so if you google Westminster trading standards you will find the information you need to contact them.
We are frequently asked about Diesel Models in London (now known as UK Models/UK Modelling Agency) and if Diesel Models/UK Models is a scam. Diesel models run various websites that state they are Diesel Modelling agency but this is untrue as Diesel Models are not a modelling agency and do not find models work. UK Models/Diesel Models is the trading name of Pure Space & Blue Rooms studios London and although their website states that diesel models are not a modelling agency they run other websites that say " diesel model agency I want to try modelling and keep coming across diesel modelling agency in my research." These fake websites include lots of made up positive replies. Check any website that appears to be a modelling forum to make sure other model agencies are listed; fake ones only list diesel models. The following websites are all run by diesel models (modellinginfo.co.uk,modellingscout.co.uk,modellingforum.co.uk,modellingmayhem.co.uk)
A free shoot does not mean the photos are free! A £50 refundable deposit is used to pay towards the photos
Despite what you may be told you do not need a modelling portfolio to apply to model agencies. In fact Mike Hannah of UK Models/Diesel Models/Blue Rooms Studios/Pure Space Studios said to The Sun "No model needs a portfolio to approach an agency." Check this page from genuine model agency Models1 with a list of requirements to apply to be a model.
Do you have to pay for a Diesel Models/UK Models photo shoot? Some people believe Diesel Models pay for the photo shoot at the studio - UK Models/Diesel Models and Blue Rooms/Pure Space are all part of the same company - but the photos are not free, walk away without paying and you'll be empty handed.
Diesel Models told The Sun that you have to pay at least £350 but some people have paid over £800. The answer is if you book a shoot with one of Diesel Models studios then they say that the minimum spend is £350 for the photos. The portfolio shoot with Diesel Models is not free or a test shoot but a shoot where you pay for the pictures. Diesel Models website has a list of UK Modelling agencies on it that you can apply to yourself. You do not need to pay diesel modelling any money to get this list and do not need to go for modelling portfolio shoot with their studios. When you register on the Diesel Models or UK Models website you will get a sales call for a shoot at their studios run by them Pure Space and Blue Rooms.
To apply to any of the model agencies on the Diesel Models list all you need to send are clear snapshots of yourself so the agency can decide. As Diesel Models are not a modelling agency they cannot make any decision whether you are suitable for model work or not. You can see a warning about diesel models sales tactics on the Reputable Agencies website and Alba Models warn against using UK Models/Diesel Models studios.
"You do not need to pay for a portfolio to apply to a modelling agency."
"Paying a fortune for a modelling portfolio does not guarantee work or agency representation."
Studio London Is a Free Photoshoot at a London Studio really free? What are the key model portfolio shots? Do I need good quality photos for my modelling portfolio? Do I need to be signed by agency? What is a TFP/TFCD test shoot/time for prints shoot? How does a TFP/TFCD shoot work? Do you offer model portfolio test shoots? How do I apply for glamour modelling? What is a model release form? How do modelling test shoots work? Booking a test shoot? Scam emails offering a Fashion Shoot for £3000 pounds for well known brands? I've been offered a Webcam modelling interview? How do I spot scam/fake Model Agencies? How to complain about scam/fake/con model agencies?
This page has lots of mention of studios in London and scams so appears if you do a google search for "Studio London scams". We are happy to confirm that Studio London are not a scam but offer free photoshoots where you have to pay for photos once you have had the shoot. There have been complaints about their sales tactics and the repeated dialling of phone numbers from their call centre. Remember that although a shoot may not cost you up front the studio still have their costs to pay so they are not giving their photos and time away for free - make sure you know exactly what the costs are before you book. You will be liable for a cancellation charge if you do not turn up to your shoot or cancel with short notice. Our makeover and modelling photo shoots are an all-inclusive £275 with no additional fees to pay on top.
Edge Models Complaints, Is Edge Models a scam?
Edge Modelling Agency give False and Untrue Information
Click here for the Edge Models complaints about the information on the Edge Models website . Is Edge Models a scam? Edge Models are giving out fake, misleading and false information about copyright of photos on their website. Is this to promote the photo shoots that they sell to models?
Edge Models are also posting fake replies on message boards saying that they are models who have had well paid jobs from Edge Models. These are scam messages created on behalf of Edge Models - some even are posted using the Edge Models staff real names!
"You do not need to buy copyright of photos. The advice from Edge Models is plain wrong."
Edge Models state that you need a professional photo shoot to own the copyright of your photos. This is totally untrue, both legally and factually and Edge Models only appear to be saying it to sell photo shoots to models. Paying for a professional photo shoot DOES NOT give you the copyright to your photos! Most models do not need to own the copyright; all you need is to be able to use the photos which is very different legally. Does this mean that Edge Models is a scam to sell you photos?
A genuine model agency ought to know exactly what the status of photo copyright is - which begs the question why do Edge Model Agency not know this basic information? Are Edge Models really a model agency? Model agencies do not sell photos of their models; they are meant to get models work.
Edge Models state on their website that "The UK modelling industry is akin to an island surrounded by an ocean full of sharks out to take your money. There are numerous companies out there who portray themselves as companies out to give independent modelling advice yet, in doing so, ask you to come in (having paid them a deposit of course) so they can see whether you have modelling potential. "
Yet this is exactly what Edge Models themselves do! Edge Models send applications to photo studios SkyLites Makeover Studios or Model Goals for their "model assessment" We are not aware of any genuine agency that uses a photo studio to conduct assessments of models applicants and to sell them portfolio photos. Scam advice on fake model agencies. Real model agencies make their own judgements on which models they want to represent - they do not rely on photo studios to do this for them. A genuine model agency will do this assessment before considering sending the models to a photo shoot - it should never be a condition of being signed to an agency.
Edge Models clearly state on their website that the portfolio shoot with them is £300+ but that they will not guarantee any work for anyone that joins them. Is this just an excuse for Edge Models to be able to sell you an expensive modelling portfolio photo shoot?
Edge Models send you to Skylite Studios in London but strangely companies House show that Skylite Studios is no longer a trading company and was liquidated in 2010. There are many complaints that Skylite Makeover Studios are a rip off as they are a makeover studio offering competition prizes of free shoots - exactly the type of makeover photo studio that Edge Models advise you not to use? Do different rules apply when they are getting your money?
What Edge Models/Modelling Extras/Edge Modelling say - our views
Edge Models say"it will be your responsibility to pay for the portfolio as you’ll ultimately own it, the copyright and thus around 80% of the income from the photos should a client wish to use them for their campaign"
This is the most ridiculous statement. Models do not need to own copyright of their portfolio. Model agencies do not sell photos of their models; the chances of selling any of your portfolio photos are NIL. Companies just do not buy photos from model agencies and makeover portfolios shots are of no use to anyone wanting to promote a product. Model agencies should be getting work for their models not selling them over priced portfolios that they do not need. If Edge models are suggesting that models can really make money from selling their porfolio photos then they are scamming models.
Edge Models say" Please note that in reaching this far, it essentially means that as long as you acquire yourself a portfolio from the studio, you are guaranteed to be accepted onto our books as a model."
We say - it is very misleading and against government regulations to insist that you have to buy a portfolio from their studio to be guaranteed onto their books. If they will accept ANYONE who pays for the portfolio regardless of their chances what does that say about them as an agency!
Edge Models say" Edge Models & Extras Agency requires a minimum of 5 pictures & a maximum of 40. This will enable the agency to select your best 30"
30 photos in a modelling portfolio is WAY over the top especially when they are from a single shoot at one studio. The only reason they seem to be specifying this number is purely to increase their sales of photos. A modelling portfolio should ONLY include your best photos not padded out to 30 to boost their sales commission.
It is very flattering to be told that an agency want to sign you onto their books but before you part with money we suggest you carry out a few checks. Firstly ask whether they are actually an agency. Many will state in their small print that they are not an agency but this may not be obvious from the front pages of their website. The BBC recently ran an expose on scam/con model agencies and can be seen here. If an agency want to sign you without actually meeting you then it is likely that they are not genuine.
If you are under 5'8" tall and are told that you are ideal for fashion work then be very cautious as they will almost certainly want a fee for doing so. Fashion models tend to be over this height and if a genuine agency think they can get work for you they will not charge fees. Suggest that the agency take their fees from the first work that they get you - it is very unlikely that they will do so if they are a scam. If an agency want to sign you there should be no fee to pay upfront regardless of whether this is quoted as a charge to appear on their website, for copyright of your photos or for printing of comp cards. A good agency should make their money from commission as a result of getting you work. The Sun recently ran a story about bogus child model agencies.
"You do not need to pay for a portfolio to apply to a modelling agency."
An agency making their money from signing people onto their books doesn't need to find models any work! No agency can guarantee work but if they take on so many people purely to get joining fees then there will be very little work to go round.
As an example with Models Direct its a £125 fee, but assume an agency sign up 10 people per week, thats £1250 a week or £5000 per month just on sign up fees.
If they actually sign 10 per day then they would make £6250 per week or £25,000 per month in signup fees! To get that as 20% commission on jobs booked would require them to book models to the value of £125,000 a month - so you can see why joining fees could be a far better earner than actually finding modelling jobs.
Many websites that appear to be agencies such as Diesel Models are just photo studios not modeling agencies and others such as Zebra Collection are portfolio hosting sites when you read their small print carefully. More info about the way Zebra Management/Collection and Vanity Management operate is here. Alba Models website has useful info about genuine modelling agencies as well as scams to watch out for.
In the past being scouted by a model agency was a good way into modelling. Unfortunately some organisations other than model agencies now use scouting techniques to recruit people for expensive photo shoots that you will have to pay up to £1000 for. If you are genuinely scouted by an agency they will not require you to pay for your test shoot and will want to interview you. If an agency is keen to get you to pay for a portfolio shoot for their website before interview then be very careful to check out their details. Zebra Collection/Management appear towork in this way, for example scouting on Oxford Street (near Top Shop) in London and in Manchester and then talk you into a photo shoot at the studio The Light Rooms and promising offers of work according to those who have been. Unsurprisingly the offers of work disappear as soon as you pay them for the shoot.
"Paying a fortune for a modelling portfolio does not guarantee work or agency representation."
It may not be immediately obvious but some organisations appearing to be agencies are actually trading names for photo studios. A common word to look out for is Management in the name - for example companies such as Zebra Management, Zebra Collection or Vanity Management are not model agencies but will sell you photo shoots to feature on their portfolio hosting sites. Apparently Zebra have now changed their name to Guava Talent Management. Other hosting sites such as Purestorm.com do not charge you for portfolio photo shoots. Clive Hurst of the actor/model union Equity has some useful info about scam/fake model agencies on his website.
The BBC ran a documentary about Zebra Collection/Guava Talent Management showing how their claims of working with big brands are completely fake and a scam. You can view the BBC Model Scam documentary here.
While it is a fantastic confidence boost to be scouted unfortunately that is what these fake modelling agencies are preying on. If an apparent agency are very keen for you to only have a shoot at their recommended photo studio then be very wary - many of these companies are not modelling agencies but are just photo studios selling modelling portfolio shoots regardless of whether they say you are paying for the shoot or for the copyright.
A common answer you may find is no but unfortunately like many things you get what you pay for. We all have bills that need to be paid but a photo shoot does not need to cost a fortune. Our prices for model test shoots & model portfolio starter packages are very reasonably priced and allow you to get a good selection of pictures to start your portfolio. Some portfolio photo shoots may be promoted as being free but you then have to pay £1000 for photos or a CD of images after the shoot at a hard sell sales presentation.
You can view one of our fashion modelling shoots on YouTube here We have now provided photoshoots for finalists for GMTV Next Top Model and Britains Next Top Model. Visit the new Models3 agency website to apply to join
Some fake model agencies are now claiming that their shoots are free but that you need to pay up to £800 for the copyright of the photos. This is completely untrue and is just an excuse to charge you for the photo shoot without saying so. You do not need to own the copyright of photos to use them in your portfolio. Most genuine professional photographers would never sell the copyright of their photos except for a very large fee. We do not sell copyright of our photos and it has never caused any problems for our models. You can read more about their tactics for selling photo shoot copyright here
"You do not need to buy copyright of photos. The advice from Edge Models is legally incorrect."
Is Startup Models a scam? Organisations such as London School of Modelling are offering model photoshoots, model assessment days and model boot camps. They state in the small print of their website that they are not a model agency which raises questions about the independence of their model assessment days the main purpose of which appears to be selling further model training courses or photos. Their website shows no information about the costs of their photo other than the shoot day being £99 but this does NOT include photos so we would recommend you get prices before agreeing to attend to avoid any surprises on the day. In our opinion a commercial organisation offering modelling advice and selling model boot camp courses has a big conflict of interest when they make their money from selling photo shoots and model training days to potential models. Models have been recommended to spend hundreds of pounds on model boot camp courses with no guarantee that this will gain them work.
Solicitors acting for Beesure Limited, the company behind Replay Models/Replay Model Management have contacted us to state that "legally Replay Models is not the new name for Zebra Collection or Guava Talent Management" This may be true legally but the directors of Beesure Limited and the people behind Zebra Collection are the same. They have also stated that Replay Models is not a scam but have not commented on Replay Models aparently breaking the law by not displaying information legally required on their website. You can find more information about Replay Models complaints here
January 2011 - Replay Models website is no longer online - have they gone the same way as Zebra Collection taking models money?
If you have paid money to Replay Models for a photo shoot and to be on their website then you may want to contact their solicitors for information about the company. Replay Models is represented by Marcus Rutherford of Reed Smith who can be emailed on MRutherford@reedsmith.com
Common complaints about Replay Models photo shoots are that the photos taken are nothing like the ones that appear on their website as they are all taken against the same background. Models who have been to shoots at Replay Models complain that the Replay Model Management website shows no real modelling jobs and it is not possible to view model portfolios on their website.
Abigail Williams, Customer Services Manager for Replay Models, claims that Replay Models "have spent many years developing our studios" However earlier in the message she posted on Yahoo answers she also states "we have never changed our name. Replay Models has only ever been known as Replay Models."
Yet Replay models have only existed since April 2010 so how can they possibly have spent MANY YEARS developing their studios when they have been in existence for 3 months and have NEVER been known as any other name. Replay Model Management complaints on Yahoo.
If you are considering paying money to Replay Models for a shoot to be represented on their talent website you should ask them how many people are on their site. The more people on there the less likely anyone will get any work.
"Zebra Collection were exposed by the BBC. The same people are behind Replay Models "
The BBC ran an expose documentary on Zebra Collection scams highlighting their fake and untrue claims of working for top brands and High Street names that were completely fictious. Apparently Zebra Collection have now changed their name to Guava Talent Management and the people behind them are now called Replay Models. You may wonder why any model agency would want to constantly change their name unless they have something to hide? View the BBC Report on Zebra Collection here Zebra Collection scam forum posts on Cosmopolitan website
Companies such as Zebra Management, Zebra Collection or Vanity Management are not model agencies but will sell you photo shoots at their studios to feature on their portfolio hosting sites. Zebra Collection/Management/Replay Models appear to work by scouting on Oxford Street (near Top Shop) in London and in Manchester and then talk you into a photo shoot at their studio The Light Rooms by promising offers of work according to those who have been. Unsurprisingly the offers of work disappear as soon as you pay them for the shoot.
The people behind Zebra Collection have started a new company now called Replay Models.
A model portfolio test shoot or time for prints shoot is where a model or potential model attends a shoot with a photographer or studio without having to pay a fee and may receive pictures to use for their portfolio. Although often described as Time for Prints (TFP) it is far more common now for images to be supplied on CD which allows easy use for web portfolios and is therefore known as TFCD (Time for CD). All images taken at a TFP/TFCD/test shoot are still the copyright of the photographer and must not be used or sold without their permission including submission to magazine competitions such as Nuts or Zoo. You may find that you are offered free Time for Prints (TFP/TFCD) shoots which will not cost you other than your time and travel. These are only worthwhile if the photographer knows what they are doing. There is no point wasting time on a shoot if a photographer has no idea how to take, light and compose a photo and is purely using you for training as the results will not be of use for a portfolio.
A photographer can test out new lighting setups that can't be done on a commercial shoot as the client may have specific requirements for pictures. It also allows photographers to discover new models and enhance their portfolios with more creative images. There is always a demand for new models and test shoots can help them begin. However there is also a risk that the photographer has no idea what he is doing and just wants a model for free to practice taking photos so it is essential that you check examples of their work to ensure it is suitable.
You should always check the quality of work by photographers offering test/TFP shoots and ensure that they carry out the types of modelling you are wanting to do.
NOTE: Remember that even if a shoot is offered on TFP basis there is still a cost to the photographer. Any shoots that are booked with us where the model does not turn up or cancels with less than 48 hours notice will incur a cancellation fee of up to the full cost of the shoot if it had been paid. In most circumstances this is limited to the studio cost/booking fee of £75. You will be invoiced for this amount if you no-show for your booked shoot or will forfeit your booking fee if you fail to turn up.
A model release is a form that formalises the details of a shoot between the model and photographer. In the UK it is not strictly needed as the copyright laws automatically assign all rights to the photographer so a model release will generally restrict photographers usage rights. If you want to be a model then you will normally be expected to sign a model release before or immediately after a photo shoot and normally be asked for proof of ID. We also always ask for a copy of ID such as driving licence or passport to ensure that you are over 18. Much concern over model release forms seems to be misplaced as photographers are within their legal rights to use images from a shoot with or without a release form. If you are not happy about your photos being shown then modelling is probably not the right career for you! Bear in mind that once your photos are published online then it is virtually impossible for them to ever be completely removed from circulation on the internet.
A test shoot or TFP/TFCD session can last for around an hour depending on the looks we achieve and the number of pictures taken. We can also arrange for a professional makeup artist to complete a stunning makeover for an additional fee. Details are available on request.
Scams, Warnings and Model Safety Advice
More advice on avoiding scams and general model help can be found here. Unfortunately the modelling world and associated industries are full of traps and scams that can catch out the unwary potential model. Please make sure you follow basic advice here and on sites such as model safety to avoid become a victim of a scam that could cost you money or risk your safety. We have met models who have sadly fallen for many of these scams please don't add to the list of people affected. We have listed photographer/agency as an interchangeable term below as we have now come across a number of so-called agencies that were just a front for a single photographer. You should also not assume that the person on email is who they say or even the same sex as the name they use. We have seen examples of emails answered by a female name that proved to be from a male photographer.
REPLAY MODELS WEBSITE NO LONGER WORKING - HAVE THEY GONE OUT OF BUSINESS TAKING MODELS MONEY WITH THEM?
Company behind EDGE MODELS stopped trading on 18 Jan 2011; will they follow Replay?
If you pay by Credit Card (not debit card) then you could get your money back under the Consumer Credit Act.
Received an scam email offering a Fashion Shoot for £3000 pounds for well known brand such as Diesel?
Unfortunately this type of email is a scam to get your details and then for you to cash a fake cheque for them. Well known brands such as Diesel or Coca Cola and genuine agencies will not email potential models directly. This kind of fee is not the level that would be offered to anyone directly off the internet by email, it just doesn't happen like that. The scammers are taking advantage of people wanting to believe that they can make it and have been selected for their looks. The brands, email addresses and amounts may vary but the basis of the scam is the same. Agencies and well known brands do NOT use yahoo or hotmail email addresses to contact potential models. If in any doubt contact the company directly to check if a message is genuine but do not reply to the message and above all DO NOT send any of your details or you will be bombarded with further scams as the scammers sell your details on.
We have been made aware that individuals are posing as Photo3/Models3 employees to scam potential models on Facebook. We only ever use Photo3 email addresses - not Hotmail or Yahoo accounts and do not request photos to be sent by email or via MSN. Please contact us via our contact page to alert us to any scams using our name.
If you are contacted on Facebook by someone supposedly representing a big model agency or photo studio then make sure that you get ALL their details so that you can check. In general major companies DO NOT recruit models via Facebook. Any email addresses provided should be for the company NOT a hotmail, live or Yahoo account.
We have found fake photographers and agencies on Facebook pretending to be from Photo3. If you receive any message from us then it will be from an email account at photo3.co.uk. If you have any doubts that an email from us is geniune or need to check out any contact received then send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are going to a model shoot or meeting with a photographer or agency you should always have details of their contact address and landline phone number. Just because someone claims to be an photographer or model agency does not mean that they actually are one.
Don't arrange to meet in a location such as train station or street to then move on to a "studio". A genuine photographer or agency will have an address and landline phone to work from. A common comment is to avoid photographers using internet based email accounts such as Hotmail or Yahoo. Someone using Hotmail with only a mobile phone number, unwilling to provide an address and no website would immediately ring alarm bells.
A genuine agency or photographer will not conduct interviews over MSN or webcam. It is not something that happens in the real world. If a photographer or agency like your photos then they will ask you to attend an interview or test shoot. You are very unlikely to be paid for auditions over webcam so please do not fall for these scams by people pretending to be agencies or photographers. You do not need to send topless or nude photos by MSN or webcam as part of an interview process for any genuine modelling agency.
Chaperones / Parents at shoots
If you are new to modelling or meeting an unknown photographer/agency then it is advisable to take a friend with you. However if you are being paid travel expenses for the shoot don't expect your chaperone to be paid for as well. The person attending the shoot with you should remain in the background and not interfere or they may be asked to leave the studio.
If you are under 18 it is very likely that any genuine photographer will require a parent to attend your shoot with you or provide a suitable chaperone to accompany you to the studio. For any shoot with anyone under 18 we will always require a parent to be present during the entire shoot. We are extremely concerned to hear that Diesel Models does not allow parents to accompany their children to shoots at their studios in London despite claming they require a parent to attend with anyone under 22 for their safety. This appears to be purely to provide someone able to pay for your photos and not for your protection. One 16 year old girl we have heard about took her mother to a diesel models shoot in London but the mother was not allowed into the studio during the shoot. She subsequently found the photographer had encouraged the girl into glamour shots which could be inappropriate photos for someone of that age. We will not shoot any glamour style work with anyone under 18 and insist that a parent is present throughout any shoots with under 18s.
Websites and Examples of Work
Check any agency or photographer website and see examples of their work. Does it look professional and are the images high quality? Most photographers now have websites to showcase their work and to promote themselves online. If a website address can't be provided you should ask why.
So many people now have digital cameras that you have to be very careful that a photographer is real. As moderator of Purestorm, one of the top UK modeling sites I frequently see examples of people who have no photographic ability claiming to be photographers. Emailed examples of work should be treated with caution as they may not be genuine or produced by that individual. Also check that the photographer does the types of work you want to do - it is no use contacting a fashion photographer if you are looking to do glamour.
Locations to meet agencies or photographers
Don't meet in locations such as a train station, deserted buildings or even houses to then go onto a shoot unless you are very experienced. Make sure you have the actual address of the shoot location, ideally a studio along with full contact details for the photographer and take someone with you. For your first shoots it is far better to only work in a recognised studio with full street address provided in advance to avoid possible problems.
Some modelling websites such as Zebra Collection/Replay Models/Diesel Models appear to be model agencies but are not. As of early 2010 their current list of pending work is over 6 months old. Some agencies will accept anyone who pays their fees and make their money from models joining their site. These fees may be shown as charges for Comp Cards but a genuine model agency will earn their money from commission by getting models work. In many circumstances composite (comp) cards are have been replaced by websites. An agency taking on hundreds of people per day cannot possible get sufficient work for them all. Even if an agency takes on 10 people per day (a very low estimate) that is 3600 other people per year that you are competing with which gives an idea of the likely chances of getting work. A mainstream agency may have 30-40 key models on their books that are being placed for work. If an agency makes their money from models joining their books there is no incentive for them to find any work for the model. Most top agencies are very difficult to join so it is a real buzz to be told that an agency want to sign you. Unfortunately some scams prey on this and will accept anyone who is happy to pay to join which is the first warning sign that an agency is not genuine.
If you believe you have been scammed by a company pretending to be a model agency and offering you work if you go for a photo shoot with them which then turns out to be a photo studio selling you a modelling photo shoot then the first place is to contact the company involved to ask for a refund for being missold.
If you have booked via the internet then the distance selling regulations should apply which mean you have a 7 day cooling off period to obtain a refund. With many of these companies the small print may well say that they are not a model agency and will not get you work which means that you need to be very clear what you are applying for. It is not a scam if the company has given you information and you haven't read it, although most people would consider it to be a con or a fake and want to complain about their treatment being conned out of money.
If the company do not resolve your complaint then you can contact the Trading Standards department for the council covering the area where the scam/con took place. For example many of the photo studios operating in London pretending to be a model agency would come under Westminster Council. You can find the contact details for registering your complaint with trading standards by searching the council details via Google or Bing.
Ensure that the modelling agency is genuine and has a track record. I have seen recent examples of a so-called agency site where content has been stolen from other sites (see comments from Banana Glamour on the illegal use of their content by Bluebell Models) and judge whether you would work with someone who acts in such a manner. You should judge the style and content of the website and consider whether it gives a professional impression to potential clients. If not then proceed with caution. Some internet sites that appear to be genuine agencies are not - watch out for phrases such as "we are not a modelling agency as we do not find models work" which may be hidden in the small print.
Some makeover shoot companies that appear to trade as model agencies suggest that you have "been specially selected for a photo shoot" which some people allege could mislead you into believing that you have been chosen by an agency when they are just a photo studio only interested in selling you a portfolio photo shoot.
Just because someone claims to be a photographer or agency doesn't mean that they are - the internet makes it very easy to hide behind aliases so please check to avoid the scams, cons and rip offs.
To contact us to discuss options for arranging your model portfolio shoot, please use one of the methods below:
e-mail : email@example.com
Phone : 07710-444227
Please bear in mind that we receive many emails per day and have to prioritise shoots so an email with incomplete details or emailing your phone number asking to be phoned back is less likely to get a quick response. It will also speed up a response if you send an email from the account you want a reply sent to.
We have no connections with any sites listed or links provided on this page. We recommend that you make up your own mind by asking relevant questions to ensure any information is relevant to your circumstances. Information may contain change over time or contain errors and should not be relied upon to make any decisions. Photo3 Solutions Scam?
We are often asked modelling portfolio questions by potential models who want to know more about modelling and portfolio photo shoots so compiled this Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) guide.
Our pictures are supplied to Celebrity Pictures photo agency. This page has details of model agency scams and information if you need to complain after being ripped off by bogus agencies.
Our main work is with lingerie/glamour models but we do also work with models for portfolio fashion shoots.