The legislation which affects our industry can be very confusing for those considering their next steps towards a career in modelling or entertainment. With this in mind, we have taken some time out to explain how things work below. Please read on for our summary of model agency fee facts, or feel free to call us with any enquiries on 0844 334 0000.
Opinions around model agency fees are divided. If you research online you will find lots of conflicting information regarding what they are for and whether or not they are legal.
The facts are that - for those who wish to be represented for work in advertising, films or as extras etc. - a fee may be legally charged. This is because employment agency or ‘work finding’ services in these areas incur valid and recognised costs.
Be wary, however, of the many photographic studios and model agencies that are currently charging fees for photo-shoots and portfolios that they claim are an essential part of your representation. Some studios may provide you with good pictures at a reasonable cost but the vast majority are over-priced at best and quite simply a con at worst. It is probable that a studio or agent demanding that you have ‘professional’ shots taken by them, or their associates, are using this tactic to persuade unsuspecting individuals to part with money unnecessarily.
While it is important to provide agencies with an accurate representation of your current look, remember that professional images will go out of date very quickly - particularly in the cases of children and babies. So, consider your reasons carefully before you take the step of going ahead with a photo-shoot that you are being charged for. Maybe you would like the pictures to look back on in years to come, or feel that the shoot will give you valuable experience. If this is the case, it may be worth approaching a photography student who could well offer you similar benefits without the hefty fee attached!
A portfolio is a nice item to have as a model or talent but it is not an essential one, as most reputable agents will tell you. In fact, a snap can often provide a more helpful point of reference for potential clients as it is more likely to show you in an accurate light. For this reason many of the models on our books who are selected for paid work by clients have been chosen on the strength of a home-shot picture. Take a look in our Models Direct Review section to see for yourself.
Models Direct is a government regulated Employment Agency and, as such, we have a legal responsibility towards our models and talents to protect their best interests. Alongside 20 years of experience in the business we follow strict guidelines that set us apart from many other agencies.
Charging a registration fee for modelling alone is now illegal and we provide this service for free. However, if a model wishes to be additionally considered for film, TV, theatre, music and other entertainment industry opportunities they will be charged a modest, one-off fee that covers our admin costs. In return for this, we can actively seek work for the models and talent represented by our agency and - when their look is called upon - supply them to clients in the TV, film, advertising, photographic and fashion industries, from whom we receive new enquiries every day.
When choosing representation, our advice would be to spend time thinking about what is right for you. What are you looking for? Advice and nice images of yourself so that you may try to find yourself appropriate clients and legitimate paid work, or representation from a modelling/talent employment agency who can do that for you?
If you would like some free advice from an experienced industry worker, someone from Models Direct would be happy to talk to you at your convenience on 0844 334 0000, or you can come in any time and meet the team in person at our UK Head Office.
Alternatively, please take a good look at all of our advice pages before filling out a Models Direct ‘New Model’ registration form if you decide that you would like to be considered for work with our company.