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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Modeling Contracts


Modeling contracts can be very intimidating for new models so I've decided to clear a few things up about them.

What is a modeling contract?

A modeling contract is a piece of paper (usually more than one page) that establishes the professional and official working relationship between the model and agency. It also contains the rules, regulations and guidelines as to the duties and obligations the model must fulfill as a committment to the agency and vice-versa.

What does a modeling contract talk about?

These contracts basically give the essential information such as how much the agency will take as their finder's fee from the model's booking (also known as "commission." The current percentage agencies are allowed to charge per booking they get their models is around 20%), the way payment works, the types of bookings and jobs the agency will get for the model and the way the working relationship will be run.

What is an exclusive modeling contract?

An exclusive modeling contract is one where the model is not allowed to be represented by other competing agencies. The model is bound to this agency and must follow everything the agency says. This type of contracts give a lot of power to the agency and are normally used by the top notch agencies such as FORD, Elite, IMG, etc.

What is a non-exclusive modeling contract?

A non-exclusive modeling contract allow models to sign with other agencies (usually not within the same market area) and find gigs on their own. This type of contract is very common and allows a lot of flexibility for models.

How long do modeling contracts last?

Normally a model is under contract with an agency for a period of one to three years. Sometimes there will be an additional year added automatically, which gives both parties time to decide if they are interested in renewing the contract.

What do I do when my contract expires?

Your agent will notify you of your contract's expiration date well in advance. They will simply have you sign another contract with the dates adjusted. Sometimes there may be new changes to the contract so be sure to read this one as well.

What if I don't want to renew my contract?

This is a big decision for a model to make and you should consult with your agency and be honest about your reasons. But it is your right to not renew--no agency can force you to do otherwise.

What happens if I want to get out of my contract but it doesn't expire for a long time?

Try to avoid this type of situation. Breaking your contract, also known as breaching, can be messy and will not make your agent happy. Depending on your reasons, you should always try to stick it out until your contract is up. There are legalities that may come with breaking a contract as well as the fact that the reason you signed the contract in the first place was to honor it.

However, most contracts contain an exit clause, which explains exactly what you need to do in order to terminate your contract. A modeling contract can be terminated by either the model or the agency at any time but there are procedures that must be followed. Check your contract and make sure you go by the book.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi i understand everything you said about the contracts but what if you signed the contracted and they asked me to pay 250 dollars a year for three years for the website crap, plus an additional 20% which i know is normal when i ever get a job!. I've already signed the contract like a dummy and its almost a year and i've only been to one audition! How can i get out of this!

sign, Help I've been fooled!

Dania Denise said...

Oh, no, how awful! Please read my new post answering your question in more detail. It is titled, "Answering a Reader Question #24." If you have additional questions that you don't want to post on my blog, please feel free to email me at DaniaDenise@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I have been with an agency for over 12 months and have now resigned.
They are telling me they can charge me commission if I work for their client direct.
I don't think this is possible. My contract had no time limit or information regarding fees which I don't think is legal.
Can you advise?
Cheers
BB

Dania Denise said...

Hello, BB, and thank you for your question. Please refer to the most recent post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #25."
~ Dania

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I've been with an agency for 2.5 years and my contract is for 3 years. I want out! NOW! they have done nothing for me. I wrote them saying I wanted out ( in a nice way) but wanted to keep it short because I didn't know what to say. If I can get out of my contract I have so many other chances for modeling already. I can't tell the agency that because then they will know they could make money off me. How do I get out? Last time I spoke to them they said "ok you can be released in 6 months" but I can't wait. My whole life is in Europe! my boyfriend and all my friends. HELP HELP HELP.

Dania Denise said...

Hello, and thank you for your question. You'll find your answer in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #59."

lucp92 said...

Hi I'm a little concerned about my contract I just signed and I almost feel like it's not a legit company. But like any contract its hard to get out of but I want to get out of it! What should I do? Please help

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Lucp92! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #203." Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

where can I find all these Reader Question # whatever?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! I've created a new blog for just my reader questions. Here is the link:

http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/

That blog has questions #363 onwards. Questions #1-362 are here on my Modeling 101 blog.

All you have to do is use the search bar on my blog and make sure to select the option to search my blog and enter the keywords "Answering Reader Questions" and the posts will pop up.

Tara said...

Hello! I am in London for a year and a half on my husband's military assignment. Do you think it is worth it as a new model to seek out an agency with that short amount of time? Do you know of any reputable commercial print agencies here?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Tara! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #451," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to ask if an exclusive model can still get jobs on their own but let their agency know so that they can be in charge of those jobs?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #516," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Kourtney does Kouture said...

Hello,

I was just offered a 2yr exclusive contract by a potential mother agency. I took my contract home to show my parents, and they had a lawyer look over the contract. There were minor errors in the contract that needed to be changed. I am now negotiating my contract with the agency. I was wondering if this will make the agency not want to work with me?
Also is it normal to have to pay a website fee every year?and expenses for building your book?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Kourtney! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #558," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

I am currently working overseas as a model. I have a mother agency back home and have signed a contract to work with this agency overseas for 3 months. They payed for my plain ticket and have been paying for my rent the month I have been here. Whilst being here they have hardly sent me on any auditions and most of the auditions they have sent me on have been acting auditions and I have no acting experience! I dont even want to be an actor. Before coming here I was told that it was a busy time for models in this particular country (they told me verbally, not on paper) and that I would be working or going to castings every day I was here. But whilst being here Ive only had 3 jobs, all that pay very little and nowhere near the amount that my plane ticket cost the agency and I have had very few castings. Everybody I meet over here tells me that this is the quiet time for models and that most international models go home this time of year and that I was crazy to come here in winter.

Before coming here I was told (verbally once again) that if I didnt like it here I could leave and return home when ever I wanted. The country I am in is not a safe country and it has a very high crime rate. I have been sent to castings in very shady areas where the people Ive seen have told me "are you crazy?!!? you came to this area on your own!??! its not safe!!"

I told my agency that I plan on going back to my country next week and they told me that if I were to try and leave they would "have me arrested at the airport for breach of contract" and that I have to remain in this country until I work off what I owe them. I'm running out of money for basic food and transport and all they are giving me is money for my rent and even if they were to advance me more money that would leave me further in debt.

I stupidly signed a contract that states I have to give them 2 months notice to end the contract and they are trying to use that against me to keep me here. I feel like Im being held hostage!!

can somebody please help me? I dont know what to do. Also the country I am in is South Africa.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous...this is a very serious situation you're in and I don't feel comfortable discussing such a personal matter publicly through my blog. PLEASE do me a favor and send me an email directly at: daniadenise@gmail.com so that I have a way to contact you outside of my blog.

I truly want to help you in any way I can so please send me an email and I will do my best!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am based out of NYC, I have an exlusive contracts with my agency. I'm not very good at understanding these legal documents but in the fist line in says.

"Model hereby engages (agencies services), and (agencie) accepts such engagement, to act as Model's exclusive Manager throughout the world (the “Territory”)"

Does this mean that I can't sign with an agency in another country? If not is there a way to change that?

Thank you,
A

Dania Denise said...

Hi, A! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #640," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Jeff Castro said...

Hi,
My wife and I signed a 3 year contract for our 5 yr. old son in NYC. And we live 9hours away not thinking about what or how we will do this. We need at least a month to transfer with my job. How should I approach this with my agent that as of right now we can't do "go-sees" that to give us at least a month to get everything situated. Right now they went to a go-see the day we signed and they called us back for another look with the company. Thank you

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Jeff! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #673," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you new if CP Talent Management has a non exclusive or exclusive contract?

Also How do I find out about open calls from brands/stores, etc on my own for my 1yr old son?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #701," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Stenly said...

Hello,

I signed a contract with my agency about 6 months ago and now, since they're trying to be a very 'exclusive" agency in town, they're dictating whom I may hang out with and whom not. Also, I signed the contract, not knowing if it is 100% legal to sign a contract, if I am a student on an F-1 student visa who is about to go through an adjustment of status? I am trying to get out of this contract as soon as possible, and I also sent a request letter to be released from the agency, professionally explaining my situation and the information I'm concerned about. Any ideas? Is this even legal to sign a contract with an agency, even when at the last page of the contract it's asking for my SSN, but it's just left blank by the agency?

Thanks a lot!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Stenly! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #715," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dania

So I signed with an exclusive agency in Minneapolis about 5-6 months ago for 5 years and I just found out i will be moving to California in the summer and I haven't had the chance or guts tell my agents that I'm moving. I want to continue to model in Cali and wasn't sure if I can be with other agency like la models or elite and also with my agency now because agencies like that are also exclusive? Would i be possible? Do i just do a submission to cali agencies or do I let my agency deal with it? Because my agency and ones in cali like elite or la models are exclusive would it still be okay to sign with an exclusive one in cali and also be with my Minneapolis agency?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #733," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I was wondering if model agencies can move with me or find work in other countries? I am an upcoming senior in high school this fall of 2014. There is a lot on my mind about college and what I am wanting to do after graduation. I am going to be attending college in Amsterdam, hopefully the fall semester of 2015.
This summer one of my modeling friends recommended that I attend the Runway Loud fashion show in August. She guarantees that I will get signed with an agency if I go. Considering that I am "exactly what they're all looking for" at 17 and 6ft tall, and as thin as a board. She says they would snatch me up in a heartbeat.
Should I sign with a modeling agency if I have the chance? Even though I will be leaving for college in just a little over a year that is halfway across the world?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #740," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

I signed a 3-year contract with an agency for my 16 year old daughter, who is now 17 years old. She has had ZERO auditions, castings, paid jobs, etc. I have emailed the owner of the agency and have not had any response from the last two emails. He only emails back when it is for his benefit to ask for someone to volunteer to do something with no pay, but for exposure. How do we get out of this contract?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #752," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!