Modeling school scams

Most modeling schools charge $1000 to $2000 or more for a few weeks of classes and a "portfolio" they will put together for you by paying someone $50 or so to take a few quick pictures of you upon "graduation."

FACT: Assuming you have real potential, every top agent in the world will tell you that - instead of attending a modeling school - you would be infinitely better off putting most of your time and effort into getting great pictures, where it counts.

Want to learn how to walk a runway? It does not have to be expensive. Instead of paying a school to teach you outdated methods for big money, simply go to a fashion show at the mall, introduce yourself to one of the models there and offer him/her $50 or so for an hour or two of their time.

"But their ads say that a famous model went to their school."

Maybe he or she did, but he or she probably drank milk too. (Just because someone went to a modeling school does not mean that is what made them successful.)

Want to go to a "model camp" or a modeling school for fun or for something to do after school? Great. Just don't expect a whole lot to come of it.

Things you need to know about modeling schools

1. You do not need to go to a modeling school to become a model. 

2. There isn't a modeling school in the world that can teach you to be tall.

3. There isn't a modeling school in the world that can teach you to be photogenic.

3. You will get the experience and training you need through test shoots, on the job experience, through conversations with your agent or personal manager, and, if necessary, from brief classes arranged, often for free, by your agent.

4. A lot of what modeling schools teach is just plain wrong. Some schools have instructors that used to be models 20 years ago and - and that's if you're lucky.  A lot of instructors aren't models at all, and never were. They're just graduates of the same schools, imperfectly passing on what they learned - and all you are going to pick up from them are bad habits.

5. Pictures from modeling schools won't cut it in the real world.  OK, once in a while a school gets lucky and they get real, professional quality pictures done for their models.  But the vast majority of the time you get junk. The school counts on the students and their parents not knowing any better, and they (the schools) are usually correct. So all the money you spend on pictures through the school is wasted. 

6. They don't tell you what you really need to know.  At least, not if it keeps them from selling you classes, or pictures, or attendance at expensive modeling conventions they say you should attend. 

A school (no matter what they tell you) is NOT an agency. Schools make their money by taking it from you, not making it for you - so you can't count on them to tell you certain things. 

What are some of the things schools won't tell you?

a. There isn't much modeling work in small towns and you can't be a model in the big city unless you live in the big city.

b. With very few exceptions, no modeling agency in any major market is going to front expenses for you to move there to work with them.

c. Talent buyers (people who actually hire models) don't care that you've been to modeling school.

d. You don't need to know how to walk on a runway. OK, maybe if you are a very tall, very skinny teenage girl you do, but someone that knows what they are doing can teach you that in an hour.  No one else needs to learn how to walk a runway as that's not the kind of modeling they will be doing.

e.  No photographer can take good portfolio pictures of ten people in one day - and shouldn't even try - as that would be totally unfair to the models.

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There are thousands of fake modeling and talent agencies and a relatively small handfull of real ones - especially in the state of Florida - so feel free to send an e mail with your name, stats and a small jpg photo or two and we will try to point you in the right direction.
 questions and comments are always welcome!

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