One of the most important aspects to becoming a successful model is a good portfolio. A strong set of photographs can lead you into your first paid modeling gig or land you a spot with an agency. However, there are many downfalls that come along with broadcasting your portfolio online and exposing your personal information in the hopes of striking up a professional relationship with photographers and industry creatives. It is important to try and build a trusted network of talented people but along the way you may be met with scams. It’s a sad fact but, in many cases young, hopeful models have been lured into human trafficking scams. Tricked into posing nude for photo shoots with photos result in exploitation on the internet or being used for their body without any professional benefit to the model.
The problem stems from a difficulty in breaking into the modeling industry, especially at a young age (when models are generally recruited). It’s easy to get lured into potentially hazardous situations when you don’t know how to navigate the complex network of the modeling industry. ModXchange feels that it is an important issue that needs to be addressed. The website strives to provide a secure location to communicate with a network of creative professionals without the threat of exploitation. Modxchange is hoping to educate its members on taking safety precautions when contacting other professionals and setting up photoshoots.
1) Do your research
Our first piece of advice is a simple but effective method of figuring out if someone does not have your best interest in mind. Most professionals nowadays have an “online presence” (it’s become a necessity) and will likely have some sort of online portfolio. So go ahead and ask for a web address where you can see more of their work. Alternatively you can look for them in a search engine or on popular social media websites. Most professionals will be set up on at least one of the following accounts; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It is important to note that if they are just starting to build a portfolio, than they may not be professionally accessible on multiple social media platforms, which is when you will have you use your own judgement (and
maybe look them up anyways, it couldn’t hurt).
2) Bring someone with you
If the photographer, makeup artist, director, etc. is a professional business person, there should not be too much of a problem with you wanting to bring someone to a photoshoot. Especially if you are under the age of majority.
3) Ask questions
Asking questions is a great idea when going to a photoshoot. It will help you figure out what kind of style the shoot will have, what possible items you need to bring, etc. And not only will it allow you to get to know the professional you are interested in working with, but engaging in conversation will give you more opportunity to make sure the project is legitimate.
4) Be mindful of fees
No reputable agencies will ask for a fee. They earn their income (in the form of a commission) from booking jobs for the models they represent. Mostly, you should also be wary of fees that are asked for upfront. They are generally unnecessary and should be questioned. Your agent should be spending his/her time trying to book you jobs rather than selling you their services.
5) Referral Photography Sessions
If your agency refers a photography session in which you have to pay, be aware that it is not necessary and you are allowed to say no. You are not obliged to pay for their referral but can find your own reputable photographer.
6) Agencies located overseas
Be careful of agencies that are located overseas which state that housing, expenses, etc are taken care of. Once again, do your research through the Better Business Bureau, the internet, other resources to confirm that the agency is legitimate. Check for complaints, scams, testimonials …etc. If you do receive a contract with an agency overseas, make sure to carefully read each detail in order to protect yourself from any unwanted surprises that may leave you broke in a different country.
Putting together your first modeling portfolio should be an exciting experience. While it’s important to showcase strong photographs, it’s good to keep a set of common sense rules that help deter people from trying to exploit your lack of experience within the modeling industry.
Modxchange is looking to help you set up a network of trustworthy and creative professionals that can launch your career into the modeling industry. Which is why we have a “0” tolerance policy on spam, scammers, etc. We will delete any account which features illegitimate information with regards to castings. Please do your diligence and report any suspicious activity on our site to info@modXchange.com. Modxchange strives to be the trusted industry standard for models to have a safe environment to enhance their skills and most importantly, build a great portfolio.