Here are a few handy tips on how to spot a cowboy agency:
- Be cautious of adverts in local papers, classified ads and online advisements looking for models.
- Avoid contact with companies who have no address or contact number.
- Always be wary of companies who hide behind PO Box addresses.
- If you are under the age of 18, always have an adult accompany you. If you are over 18 it is still a good idea unless you are familiar with the people you will be working with.
- Never sign a contract without reading it and understanding its contents first and establishing that they are a legitimate agency.
- Never let an agency pressure you into doing anything you are not comfortable with.
- You need a portfolio that is specifically catered to the area of modelling you are best suited to, and this is a cost you will eventually cover, but never feel forced or pressured to do so.
- A good model is a smart model – use your common sense and don’t be afraid to say NO.
SCOUTED ON THE STREETS:
Many cowboy agencies will send out staff to scout models in the street that they think have potential for fashion modelling. They can often approach you outside top retail outlets and ask if you have modelled before. They will take a photo of you and hand you over details about their so-called agency, and say that they can find you work or have a specific job for you. They are generally not a legitimate agency and will never find you any work but they will try and convince you to part with money to either sign with their agency or produce expensive images which they then won’t promote you with.