I just graduated from a modeling school and they said they would represent me as a model if I paid a fee and used their photographer. Should I go ahead and pay more money so I will have representation?
First of all, I want to congratulate you on graduating from modeling school. I hope you received an insider’s view to the industry, built confidence, and learned some tricks of the trade. Modeling school is great to do, especially when you are from a small town that doesn’t have much of a modeling industry. However, schools sometimes lead their students to believe they will get them work or guide them in their modeling future. Schools are a place to learn and grow, but no one can guarantee you a future in an industry such as modeling.
You should never have to pay a fee to anyone to find representation. A legitimate agency or agent only makes money if you book work. Also, agents never hire you or can make you “book” work. They are not the ones who hire.
You should also never shoot with a photographer just because your modeling teacher or modeling school is telling you to. This photographer is probably paying the teacher or school to recommend them and it is not ethical. Your teacher, school, or agent should recommend a list of photographers whose work they like. You can also ask your fellow classmates or on-line forums for advice on the photographers which are recommended to you. Also, no photographer can guarantee you work. They are providing a service to you; to get the best pictures for your money and then their job is done.
You trust your instincts by questioning whether to pay a fee for representation or be “forced” into using a certain photographer and I commend you on doing your research. If something doesn’t feel right then you know it isn’t. You are already off to a great start in your modeling career.