Does the agency First models & talent agency have a charge, and are they a real agency, not a scam or anythin?2 years ago - 2 answers
Never heard of them and you don't mention where you live so I can't comment specifically as there are many agencies around the world with that name. Yahoo Answers is a global board and I've found agencies by that name in the US, UK, Spain and Brazil
A legitimate agency should only make money after they book you on a job then take their commission. There might be a one time marketing or administrative fee, even the big NY agencies are charging this, but you should not pay the agency for classes, photos or anything else
While a model has to pay for the photography for his or her comp cards, any good agency will have a list of 5-10 recommended photographers to contact on your own, negotiate a price and pay the photographer directly. You should never be forced to use an in-house photographer or one specific photographer/studio the agency makes you use. That's called a "portfolio mill" and is a very bad sign that the agency is not booking their models on enough jobs to cover their costs so they have to make models pay them out of pocket
Look on the ModelMayhem forums to see if models are talking about any agency you are considering. Call the agency and ask who their biggest clients are, then call the marketing departments of those companies to verify they book models through the agency and that they are happy. Ask if you can speak to any of their current models to see how often they go out for castings, how many jobs a year they get, what the pay is like. Be wary of any agency that won't tell you who their biggest clients are. That means they don't have any. Most agencies brag about their client list
They are not really scams.
But there is never a promise of a job or that you will make money.
How all these agencies make money: From you.
They have no other way. No one works for free.
They will get you to buy portfolios, classes, clothes, training, etc.
Money out your pocket. No jobs.
Oh, and retirement age is around 28.
So have a back up career.