Fake model agencies - beware
A wolf in sheep's clothing...That's what they are. Photographic studios that pretend to be model agencies to ensnare young, raise their hopes, make money out of them and then achieve nothing else.
This is how it works. The studio has a plausible model agency name which doesn't mention that they are simply a photographic studio. They market themselves as a "model support agency" with lots of lovely enticing words about how wonderful being a model is and how they can help you do it. They then ask you to register and send in an application and a photo. If they think that you “have the potential “ they will invite you in for a photoshoot with a makeover. (This should be ringing alarm bells by now). You pay a deposit (another alarm bell) and then you have the shoot where they ask you to pose for magazine style images which you MUST buy the same day. (DING DING DING).
Why the alarm bells?
Any model agency worth its salt will not charge you to go on their books. They make their money from commissions once the model is working, which means they work hard to find work for the model. It also means that they will only take you on if they feel that you genuinely have the potential to be a model.
Model agencies do not want to see photographs of you in a magazine style pose, with lovely backgrounds and hair and make up. They want to see what you look like without all the bells and whistles, they want to see what potential you have so they would ask you to pose in front of a plain, light coloured background, with natural hair and no make up. The pose will normally be face on and sideways, hands by side. The photos pedalled by these photostudios will not help you become a model.
Any photographic studio which tells you that you have to buy the photos the same day is only worried about one thing - their bottom line, getting as much money out of you as possible and probably applying a fair amount of pressure to do so. A photo shoot like this is tiring - the last thing you want to do is make important financial decisions on the same day whilst you are still wired and quite possibly exhausted by your shoot.
And finally look at reviews and posts on forums. I looked at the reviews for the UK's largest "model support agency" and all the reviews looked the same - fake at worst, written to a template at best. There were also lots and lots of removed reviews - with a note saying defamation disputed etc etc.
In short, you have as much chance of being hired by a genuine model agency through these studios as you would have if you had sent them a photo of a fish.
If you would love some beautiful photographs go to a genuine makeover photographer who takes their time to get to know you and lets you choose the images without hard selling techniques. If you want to be a model, go to a professional photographer who knows what genuine model agencies want to see and get their advice.