Should I expect to pay for anything at a model agency?
- Any type of signing fee.
- A fee to be on their website.
- Paying the agency to have a modeling portfolio or pictures done for you.
- Any monthly or recurring fees (other than housing).
The above things are generally a good indication that the model agency profits from its talent, not by getting the models work.
It’s not uncommon to need certain things including pictures, comp cards, and in some cases living expenses.
To use the example of pictures, many top agencies have photographers they work with that will shoot their talent for free, or at greatly reduced prices. If the agency makes you pay them, that’s a bad sign. But paying the photographer directly isn’t necessarily a good sign either. Many model agencies get kick-backs from such deals.
What the agency may pay for:
What an agency may pay for depends how badly they want you. Only in very rare cases will a model agency pay for anything without wanting the money back, but top agencies may front some of these expenses to be paid for out of future earnings:
- An apartment or boarding.
- A small stipend for food.
- Pictures for your modeling portfolio and comp cards.
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