UK Model Agency Scams? / Advice for UK Models and Scam Model Agencies
Questions about UK Models/UK Modelling Agencies , Blue Rooms photo studios, UK model agencies, UK model portfolios, as well as information on UK modelling scams.
UK Models are NOT the same as MODEL NOW UK which is the new name for the people behind Candi Models studios in Highgate London UK Model Agencies website has no connection to UK Models in London.
UK Models may appear from their website to be a model agency in London but they are run by Blue Rooms Photographic studios, they were previously known as Diesel Models. Getting a refund of your deposit with UK Models / Blue Rooms studios
"UK Models is run by Blue Rooms photo studios that previously ran Diesel Models. The advice from UK Models appears designed to sell you a portfolio from their studios."
Blue Rooms studios in London are a legitimate photo studio that sell portfolio photo shoots. At the shoot you will be expected to buy a model portfolio which may cost over £1000 including a website "webfolio".
Blue Rooms Studios run UK Models and also previously ran Diesel Models which some people claimed was a scam model agency when in fact like UK Models it is not a model agency at all. As they are not a model agency they cannot decide if you are suitable for modelling. Their interest is in selling you a portfolio as part of your assessment.
Free photo shoots at studios in London often do not make it clear that only the shoot is free;they are NOT Time for Prints so if you want a portfolio photos as prints or CD you will have to pay for the photos you want and this could be substantial - we have seen reports from models who have paid over to £1000 for photos at some London studios.
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 Blue Rooms photo studios has recently changed hands and is no longer connected with the people that ran Diesel Models.
A model portfolio UK model agency collects data on the models that apply to them and those they represent. This is personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act so any UK model agency or company like Blue Rooms/UK Models must be registered with the Information Commission (ICO). Blue Rooms say they have been trading for 10 years yet have only registered under the Data Protection Act in July 2012 so for the rest of their 10 year history they have been breaking UK Data Protection laws.
"You do not need to buy a portfolio to apply to model agencies. The advice from UK Models/Blue Rooms is not correct."
Are UK Models any good? Is UK Models a scam? Do UK Models get any work? How much do UK Models pay? Are UK Models and Diesel Models the same company?
Can I get a refund on the deposit money I paid to UK Models at Blue Rooms? 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 Blue Rooms in London for this. Some people who have been to UK Models/Blue Rooms for a photo shoot have suggested that they are a rip off because their prices are so high. A top quality UK freelance photographer could be hired for a full day for far less than Blue Rooms charge for a portfolio shoot of an hour or two.
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.
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 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
"Make sure you check the price of any photos before handing over money for a shoot and how you get your deposit back. UK models is run by Blue Rooms photo studios so their aim is to sell photos."
Blue Rooms studios in London are a legitimate photo studio. Blue Rooms run UK Models which is not a model agency and appears to exist to get potential models to attend modelling portfolio shoots at Blue Rooms studios that they own. UK Models it is not a model agency at all just the name used by a photo studio.
UK Models is not a model agency and is run by Blue Rooms Photography studios in London. The same people also run Pure Space studios in London. Blue Rooms studios in London are a legitimate photo studio. They used to run Diesel Models which is not a model agency and appears to exist to get potential models to attend modelling portfolio shoots at Blue Rooms studios that they own. Is UK Models a con?
We were asked "I've been called up today by UK models, and they've asked me to go down to London with my parents so they can take some photos of me, is The Blue Rooms (London) Ltd a scam? They say they like my look,and have worked with various popstars. Were a bit dubious about going down because you have to pay £50 to get the photos done, you get it back but you shouldn't pay anything to modelling agencies!Does Anyone know if their a respectable company?"
The answer is that UK models are not an agency. They want you to go to their studios in London called The Blue Rooms for some photos that you have to pay for. The £50 is only a deposit, it is not the price of the portfolio which can be as much as £800. UK Models/Blue Rooms have not worked with popstars but one of their stylists or photographers may have worked with a celebrity at some point in the past. UK models is not an agency so your information is correct: don't pay agencies but also don't pay photo studios that pretend to be agencies either.
UK Models terms state that if a 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 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 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.
UK Model Scams, Warnings and UK 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.
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.
UK Model Agency Fees
Some modelling websites such as UK Models Agency/UK Models appear to be model agencies but are not. 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 UK 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.
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.
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.