The leading modelling agencies in Toronto do not give or require modelling
courses. They will work with their models to develop potential as required.
Outside Toronto, many modelling agencies are associated with schools but
an agency should not require you to take a course as a condition of representation.
Every model is required to develop a portfolio which includes a series
of photographs of the model in a variety of clothing and styles. This can
be expensive so be sure that you have the real potential to model professionally
before you invest money into photos. A photo shoot will likely cost you
four to five hundred dollars including wardrobe, make-up and hair. You will
need three or four shoots with different fashion photographers to create
a beginning portfolio. Comp cards and inclusion in the agency book will
add to your expenses. And there are no guarantees - do not spend money you
canít afford to lose.
Reputable agencies are prohibited by the industry code of ethics from
advertising to the public. Modelling agencies all have open calls to see
potential models for which no payment is expected. Modelling agencies do
not require payments up front and will charge models 20% commission on work
fees. Modelling agencies do not provide photographic services. Any contract
with an agent should be taken to a lawyer before signing and must include
cancellation clauses for both parties to the contract. Reputable agents
will not pressure or threaten you or try to make you feel insecure; nor
will they flatter you or guarantee you work. Never enter an agreement with
an agent without going away to think about it or to get impartial advice.
Modelling conventions range from the clearly
fraudulent to a waste of time and money. Leading agencies such as Elite
and Ford have their own ‘Look of the Year” competitions. The
Canadian Model and Talent Convention (www.cmtc.ca) is another legitimate
convention held the first week of May of each year. If you go you will be seen by national
and international agencies. U.S. based conventions, which advertise heavily
on TV and in the newspapers are expensive and a waste of money.
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