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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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Modeling Fees That Are Okay to Pay For

(This post is intended for models seeking agency representation, not freelance models).

Of the many concerns that comes with wanting to pursue modeling, cost tends to play a major factor and rightfully so. With so many scams and shady people out there, new and aspiring models often wonder just what amount is legit and what is okay to pay for and not pay for.

Seeking an agent to represent you? The good news is that getting signed to an agency almost all but removes a model from the potential of getting scammed or taken advantage of. The most legit and reputable agencies only deal with other legit and reputable professionals and assume responsibility for protecting their models.

However, there are fake agencies out there, too, whose purpose is to get as much money from people as possible. So how does that help newbies figure things out?

Below are the types of modeling fees that are okay to pay for if you're dealing with an agency that you know to be legit and reputable:


When new models get signed, the agency then sets up a "test shoot," which is the photoshoot where the images will be used to create the model's beginner portfolio, headshot and comp cards. Before you jump down my throat to tell me that you've heard that you're not supposed to pay for portfolios, please read my blog post about this very subject (if you haven't already):

The Deal With Agencies & Test Shoots for Portfolio Building

Please read that post first in order to understand the perspective when I say that the portfolio is an expense/modeling fee that's acceptable to pay if you're dealing with a legit and reputable modeling agency.

Online Modeling Portfolio on Agency Website

You're probably thinking, "Okay, Dania, you just said a portfolio was okay to pay for now what's this about an online modeling portfolio?!" Let me explain.

I do have a post I plan on writing that will address this topic in much greater detail but for now let me summarize my points by saying that in today's world of the Internet, agencies know that online exposure is more important than ever for getting their models' images and names out to potential clients. If you've ever visited any modeling agency website, you'll know that there is always a photo gallery where you can view each model's photos and stats.

Not all agencies approach the online portfolio the same way. Some agencies automatically create online galleries for all the models they sign, which appear on the official agency website. Others only list their newly signed models and/or the ones currently in demand. Some agencies cover the costs related to having a model's images in an online gallery hosted on their site. Others charge a fee to cover that expense.

If you find yourself with an agency that is legit and reputable, and they are asking you to pay a fee to have your modeling images hosted on their website, make sure the fee is reasonable. I've seen fees ranging from as little as $9.00/month or yearly fees that are under $100. Both of which I would consider affordable. But if the online gallery fee is outrageous, then obviously think twice about whether or not you'll want to pay for it or if the agency is one that you want to work with.

Travel, Parking & Other Misc. Costs

Unless you've been booked for a modeling assignment, don't expect to have someone pay these types of costs for you. When agencies send models out on castings and go-sees, the money (if any) that it takes to get you from point A to point B and back will come out of your own pocket and that's commonplace. Agencies would go broke if they had to foot the costs for all of their models to get to castings and go-sees.

Traveling to a client usually happens within city limits, which at most means driving or taking public transportation. Be prepared to shell out a couple of dollars for gas, parking, bus ticket, whatever is related to your travel costs. Should you be asked to travel much farther or get on a plane, chances are the agency will negotiate with the client to have this particular travel expense covered.


Anonymous said...

My Name is Damarif S. I'm 15 years old and I'm short (5'2). I think I'm going to grow much and I really want to become a model. But I become discourage because all the models I see are tall. Is there any modeling agency's that sign short girls like me?

Kimberly spear said...

Hi Dania Denise

I am an aspiring model and I have a couple of headshoots that were done by a friend and I wanted to know if it is better to have my headshoots re-taken professionally or submit the ones I already have?
I have been waiting for something like this, a place where true modeling questions are answered by a qualified professional.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Damarif S! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #511," 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!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Kimberly Spear! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #512," 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!