Thinking about becoming a model? One of the first things that any new model does to get started is typically seek out modeling agencies, mostly in major markets such as Manhattan New York, Miami Florida or Los Angeles and then apply to every talent agency that they can find. But the rise of social media, it is easier than ever to find a photographer to take your photos for free.
For those just starting out, or those with a limited budget, getting free photos from a photographer online might seem like a great deal. What do you have to lose? Well not only does this cost you more money in the long run, as a model you do not own the copyright to these photographs.
Let’s say at 16 years old you want to become a model and you meet with the photographer you met online like on Instragram. They do a couple photos and head shots and three years from now when your career is actually blown up, let’s say you actually sign with a modeling agency and are getting some major bookings, the photographer could then go and resell all the photos, or possibly even advertise them for products that you wouldn’t want your face on. This can be very detrimental to a career for a model or actor.
Many unexperienced models assume that photography and investment costs to get started are always covered by an agency. Not only is this wrong, it’s never free to start something that you are passionate about. Gone are the days when a modeling agency would cover all of the start up costs. Whether it was 1999 or 2019, all agencies recoup the cost to they invested in a model, whether upfront (most common in 2019) or after they book projects.
Invest a few dollars it takes into getting real quality marketing materials and use those to start your own career. Trade for pictures is great if you are looking to get comfortable in front of the camera however for many models and actors, it will not put you in the direction that you need to become successful.