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Agents, Agencies, and other Vultures
Old 10-18-2005, 06:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I went to a meeting with a model agent today. Since I'm new in the Mid Michigan area, I thought I might do a bit of networking and accept her invitation to see her studio and what not.

I have a few girls that I've shot with that asked me about representation, and I told them that I'd see what I could find out.

I asked this agent 3 different times, if she charged for representation. Each time she said no.

3 times. No was her answer.

I look around her studio, and I'm not too impressed, I have after all been in Ralph Haseltine's studio, so it's gonna take a lot to impress me.

near the end we talk about representation.

I ask her what the process of representation is, and she says that in order to be represented, the model has to be listed on their website, since that's where most of their clients come from.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Most of my models have portfolios ready to go, shouldn't be a problem. I say.

RED FLAG!!! You could hear her mind switching gears.

She tells me that in order to be on their website, they have to be shot by their photographer.

RED FLAG 2!!!

Seeing where this was going I just ask her THE QUESTION,

And how much does that cost the model?

$450.00

Some how we went from no fee for representation, to 450.00 to be listed.


I this how all agencies work? Is 450.00 too much to ask to be listed or represented?


Does anyone know of any agencies in Mid Michigan? Or where I can go to look for one?


Seriously, I feel like part of my soul was taken from me today. Do these people actually get away with this?

And the worst part was that there was a beautiful girl waiting as I was leaving, I really wanted to yell

"REPRESENTATION ISNT FREE" and run down the street like Soylent Green.

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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Re: Agents, Agencies, and other Vultures
Old 10-18-2005, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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"She tells me that in order to be on their website, they have to be shot by their photographer."

End of conversaton! It's a scam, a portfolio mill and not an 'agency'. They are selling portfolos instead of gettting work for models. Legitimate agencies will normally give the names of at least two or three photographers with whom the model makes her own deal. Legitimate agencies normally do not have studios, they have no need for them. Real agencies are in the business of getting jobs for models, not photographing them. I've no idea of agencies in mid Michigan, but it sounds to me as though that isn't one.
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Re: Agents, Agencies, and other Vultures
Old 10-18-2005, 06:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Is this how all agencies work?


[/ QUOTE ]

that wasn't an agency. that was a scam. real agencies--at least here in the L.A. area where, trust me, there's also plenty of scams going on--might *recommend* a photographer or even photographers. when you ask how much they'll tell you you'll have to speak to the photographer(s).
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Re: Agents, Agencies, and other Vultures
Old 10-18-2005, 08:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]

that wasn't an agency. that was a scam. real agencies--at least here in the L.A. area where, trust me, there's also plenty of scams going on--might *recommend* a photographer or even photographers. when you ask how much they'll tell you you'll have to speak to the photographer(s).

[/ QUOTE ]

I'd be happy to jump to that conclusion, but they've been in business for 12 years.

Don't scams have to be quick?

So how do I go about finding someone reputable?

I really want the models who have posed for me to be able to make some money at this, where do I go first?

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Re: Agents, Agencies, and other Vultures
Old 10-19-2005, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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no, not all agencies are this way. I have tried in the past to compile data for each state on the laws and regualations regarding agencies, but I haven't recieved much feed back, so here is what I know.

In Texas, Florida and California for sure, agencies have to be licensed and bonded and are NOT allowed to charge for representation, though may strongly recommend certain photographers, acting class's, ect. Obviously since this business you speak of has been in business for 12 years, Michigan must not have such laws.

Also, I find the website thing a little odd. She says that's were all her clients come from???? I have worked as a booker for an agency and I know for a fact that most clients do not come from websites, they come from the agent getting his/her butt up and hitting the streets and makeing connections and marketing his/her talent, dropping off hard copy agency books, attending mixers, ect. Only in the past couple of years have many casting directors and directors started using websites or digital headshots, and even then, most still want hard copy in hand. Scenario: client calls and says "I saw some talent on you site that I might be interested in auditioning, they are so and so and so and so. I would like to see them on so and so date/time." Agent/Booker "sure, I also have talent bla bla and talent bla bla you may like to see that arn't on the site (for what ever reason), can I have a packet of all my talent that fit's the description droped off to you?"

OK, I think I made my point, rambeling now. All in all, I don't know what Michagans laws are on agencies, but this is still unethical and scammish (new word!!!). I would contact the Better Business Bureau for information and keep searching.

PS: I would have told the girl to run!!! Just the truthfull bitch in me [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Alicia
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Re: Agents, Agencies, and other Vultures
Old 10-19-2005, 01:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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all 12 years in the business means is there's plenty of "fish" in the sea. what was it P.T. Barnum said? and no, a scam doesn't have to be quick and scams don't have to be illegal. when scams prey on things like ego--greed's another good one--they can have lots of staying power. in the geographic area you live in, i dont' know any reputable agencies to recommend. making money is certainly tho goal of most all models. but it's a tough biz with lots of competition. having the right stuff (physical attributes) and also including determination, persistence, grit, and luck are all part of the game.
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Re: Agents, Agencies, and other Vultures
Old 10-19-2005, 02:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a similar experience with a woman contacting me about shooting her models. Thing is she said I kept all the money from the shoot. But I had to pay her to become one of her photographers. A yearly fee equal to about one of her mandatory shoots.

I told her I'd shoot her models for free, but the whole thing sounded fishy too me. On Alicia Rachel's suggestion I reported her to the Texas Agency Licensing department. They keep sending me updates that they are investigating, but haven't actually done anything yet.
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Re: Agents, Agencies, and other Vultures
Old 10-19-2005, 06:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Alicia, thanks for the info, I will contact the BBB and see what's up.

thanks for your input guys, when I told the model of the situation she almost laughed and said "No F****** way!" She couldn't believe that someone would want her to pay that much just to be listed.

So... one down.
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