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How do you know if a modeling agency is legit?

Do your research!!

Find out if your state requires modeling agencies to have a license, and if they do, ask to see it.

Also, go on the Better Business Bureau website to see if there are any complaints, as well as the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Finally, if they are trying to charge you an upfront fee, that should be the biggest warning sign.

Has anyone ever had a bad experience with a company? Or a question about a company that claims to be legitimate, but something just doesn’t seem right?

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125 Comments

  • Jodi Herring

    Hi Judy – I guess my question is not only how do you know an agency is legit but why do they charge a fee? I have entered my son in CuteKids twice but as a single mom of 4 – I can’t afford to pay a fee everytime I enter him in a contest. I just don’t understand how they come up with these entering fees.

  • Merta

    Hi Judy – My daughter (Jaden – age 12) is signed with a local agency and they would like us to take additioanl classes for acting etc. as this appears to be the thing agents are looking for – for kids her age. Of course, the classes are expensive – Also, we have been invovled with two agencies that would like for her to travel to the AMTC (Millie Lewis – Actors, Models Talent Convention) and this is very expensive as well. Just wanted to hear your thoughts about that.

    Thanks,

  • Roxanne

    My oldest daughter who is 8 used to do some work, she did print, like for sears and was on the cover of a magazine—at that time we lived in san antonio, texas. Now I have a 4 year old who is extremely talented. She acts like she’s walking the runway and can do the whole model walk and when she has a mic and acts like shes singing, she looks like a real singer/actress (although she cant sing worth a hoot). She also dances—She watches annie and memorizes the peoples lines and the dances they do. And she is just so natural when doing this. She loves being in front of the camera and performing— We since moved to a small town in mid missouri and cannot find a reputable agency in st louis that is interested in children. So this leads to my question—like with the website commercial kids, they sell those lables where you send pictures and info of your child to all these various agencies in other states—well, wouldnt those agencies most likely represent children in their own state who live much closer? Do agencies ever represent children who dont even live in the same state? And do you know anything about the websites such as talenthunter? They charge a monthly fee but they have all these claims that people have gotten acting jobs with them? Also, if a child is so talented and wants to act, would you ever recommend actually moving for that purpose. I dont ever want to push my kids into doing things they dont want to do. My oldest decided she didnt like modeling and pageants and all that, so she doesnt do them anymore. The 4 yr old recently did a local pageant, and one of the judges told me that she had NEVER given a perfect score in the interview catagory until now, she had given my 4 yr old a perfect score. Anyway, i know you probably think im just a proud mother, but for some reason, she just has some extraordinary talent for a 4 yr old. SHe is tall for her age as well and has a great vocabulary for her age—probably because of having an older sister who is gifted and talks non stop. ANyway, just wondering if you would have any suggestions

  • judy

    Hi Jodi!
    Contests are completely different from trying to get into a modeling agency, or even becoming a member of Cute Kid. It is FREE to be a member of Cute Kid, and there is valuable information and contacts on this site.

    Every modeling contest has to have some sort of processing fee to cover costs of the thousands of people that send in pictures. I have been a spokesperson for 2 national magazines’ model search contests, as well as been involved in other model search competitions, and they charged fees as well.

    Trying to get representation though, is a different story! You need to go and find some modeling agencies in your area to send pictures into, in addition to entering contests. It’s hard work! Do your research and start marketing – I bet you will soon see results.

  • judy

    Dear Merta,

    Acting lessons for a child that age are a great idea – yes, they can be expensive, but acting is an investment just like any other entertainment career.

    I’m not a supporter of conventions – I worked for one and saw how they took advantage of people. I think they are a waste of money, and the way to go is with lessons and a legitimate agency.

    Good luck! You’re doing the right thing – your research – Jaden is a very lucky girl!!

  • Stephanie

    Hi Judy, Well my kids went on an interview this weekend for proper representation, what if the agency wants your kids to take a 2 hour workshop for the younger child and a 4 hour workshop for the older one? There ages are 15 and 9 the company has been around for about 25 years I checked the bbb and did not find anything. What do you think?

  • judy

    Hi Roxanne!

    You can’t really live in another location for your child to become an actor or model. There are a TON of castings, callbacks and appointments your child will have to constantly go on. If there is a huge search for a movie or TV show, it is usually done on a national basis in the major cities.

    If an agent or manager wants you to move to pursue your child’s career, then that is really up to you. There are no guarantees, and a lot of it is “right time, right place.”

    And finally, I do not promote sites that charge people for castings, etc. I have not heard many positive things from services like that. You really need to get an agency, and that is not a charge, or subscribe to sites like The Cute Kid where there are many opportunities for free.

    Modeling and acting is hard work, promotion, appointments and 99% REJECTION, so paying anyone anything to move forward in the business is simply not going to help anyone but the person’s bank account whom you are paying. Trust me on this – I have been in the industry a long time, and through hard work and perserverence, you will hopefully get your chance!

    Good luck!

  • judy

    Hey Stephanie,

    I would like to know if there is a charge for the workshop and are the teachers from the agency of from an outside acting school?

    And if they are from an acting school, does the agency own the school or are affiliated with them in any way?

  • Shawnae

    Judy,

    I have been writing back and forth to a scouting source that claims it is almost impossible for young children under the age of 4 years old to get recognized, and after an initial interview with them if they see potential they will help to get an agent. They do not work for free but they will guarantee to find an agent that would represent us. The company claims it has been around for 25 years but would it be smart to go through a scouting source first for my little one instead of getting an agent right away?

    Thanks

  • judy

    Dear Shawnae,

    I’m glad you posted!!

    Do NOT pay anyone to market your child!

    And how can a company GUARANTEE representation? They can’t – and it is unethical for them to tell you that, and probably illegal. The only way they can guarantee something like that is if they have a side deal with one of the agencies who get a cut of your money, and you don’t want to involve yourself with that kind of activity – it won’t get you anywhere in the industry!

    I’m not sure how old your child is but it IS true that children under the age of 4 are usually not considered for acting representation…in fact, I’ve never seen anyone take kids under the age of 4 at all – except for modeling agencies.

    You can do the same thing yourself (for practically no money) that these people are doing! Just find the names of agencies by Googling “model agency your town” and start calling to see who has a kid’s division, then start sending in pictures either by email or postal mail.

    If you want more details about the modeling industry buy my book: “Break Into Modeling for Under $20.”

    There is NO fast track on the way to pursuring a career in modeling!!

  • Claudia Batichon

    Hi parents,

    If you want to know if an angency is legit you need to research the BBB and yes, do not pay an agency anything to represent your child. My daughter is 27 months and she has signed with two modeling agencies (Atlanta’s Young Faces & Sylvia’s Models) in the same state, however they are not in the same city and I have to travel (2 hours) to both since we live in a smaller city, however it is great because she can get more exposure. As stated earlier, DO NOT pay anything to anybody to represent your child. I had a scouting service who wanted to charge me $500.00 to send my daughter’s pictures to agencies who will then find her work. I thought that was crazy because I did it the old fashion way and sent three pictures of my daughter (a head shot and 2 body shots with her weight, height, DOB, and contact information on the back) and both agencies called her back for an interview. But, moms please remember that it is harder to get work for children who wear 2t’s and that 3t’s are the perfect size in the industry. Also, babies are more likely to do print work rather than acting.

    Currently, I am my daughter’s manager and I try my best to get her recognize. Agency’s represent a lot of children, which is overwhelming so parents it is up to you to do some work and research also if you want to get your child noticed.

    Thanks,

  • Tara

    Have you know of the agency Boogie Baby Casting is legit? They want a set up fee to get my son set upon their website. Is this reasonable or a scam?

  • judy

    Dear Tara,

    I don’t personally know of that agency, but once you get with an agency there are minimal charges, yes.

    To be on a website should cost no more than approximately $20/month – I’m not sure about a “set-up” fee – I wouldn’t think it should be more than $50? There was never a charge for a set-up fee when I was an agent, but if you have to pay one it should be minimal.

    Thanks for posting!

  • judy

    WOW – Claudia – thank-you for the info!

    Everything she posted is correct!!

    And if you’re reading this, note the agencies:

    Atlanta’s Young Faces and Sylvia’s Models – these are personal recommendations guys! You can’t get better than that. If you live near those 2 agencies (Atlanta or South Georgia area) send in your pictures.

    Thanks again Claudia, I want to hear all about your successes real soon!!

  • Claudia Batichon

    Thank you very much Judy, I am so glad you found what I said to be correct.

    I hear of a lot of parents who pay scouting services to send their kids pictures out and I think “OMG do you know how much money you could be saving in your child’s trust fund for college instead?”. Another thing parents should think about doing is setting up a personal page/blog of some sort for their child in case they want to get their child notice. I tell agents, directors, and everybody in the industry I come across about my daughter’s website (we are an internet society). I haven’t turned her website into her name yet (so I can have rights to her name as a domain, but I plan on doing that as soon as she lands her first big project). Parents also need to know that they shouldn’t pay thousands of dollars for their kid’s pictures. My husband and I started off with the old walmart digital camera that we had and we took her to the park and took pictures of her (it was fun because she got to be herself). Now, we invested into a Nikon D60 to take better quality pictures (we look at it as an investment, but I don’t suggest everyone do that in the beginning because you need to make sure your child is marketable, agencies want your child, and your child can get work). Another thing parents need to remember is that this is WORK!!! So you have to be ready. My job understand I am trying to get my daughter in the industry so if a job comes up for her(which is usually Mon-Fri 9-5) I can leave. I look at this business as a second job because I have to work for Jada-Symone and since she is a toddler, she depends on me. If she makes it in the industry, I have to be ready to put her career first, which I am. So moms, as I said before, do your research, be willing to invest, be willing to travel, be willing to take new pictures every three months of your child to send them to agencies, be ready to deal with a child who may not want to be in this type of industry (so don’t push them), and last but not least remember the pay may not be a lot at first (so you it may cost you more in the beginning…gas/food/lodging, and you have to be ready for last minute phone calls.

    When you are sending pictures to the agencies always include a self-postage envelope, don’t send pictures with too much in the background, be aware of sunlight/shadows when doing outside pictures, and let the children be themselves.

    I just wanted to share my experience with you guys and Judy because we are currently going through it.

    Check out my daughter’s website if you want to see examples of website/homepage/blogs of your child

    hhtp://jada-symone.weebly.com

    Thanks for writing back Judy.

  • Claudia Batichon

    Thank you very much Judy, I am so glad you found what I said to be correct.

    I hear of a lot of parents who pay scouting services to send their kids pictures out and I think “OMG do you know how much money you could be saving in your child’s trust fund for college instead?”. Another thing parents should think about doing is setting up a personal page/blog of some sort for their child in case they want to get their child notice. I tell agents, directors, and everybody in the industry I come across about my daughter’s website (we are an internet society). I haven’t turned her website into her name yet (so I can have rights to her name as a domain, but I plan on doing that as soon as she lands her first big project). Parents also need to know that they shouldn’t pay thousands of dollars for their kid’s pictures. My husband and I started off with the old walmart digital camera that we had and we took her to the park and took pictures of her (it was fun because she got to be herself). Now, we invested into a Nikon D60 to take better quality pictures (we look at it as an investment, but I don’t suggest everyone do that in the beginning because you need to make sure your child is marketable, agencies want your child, and your child can get work). Another thing parents need to remember is that this is WORK!!! So you have to be ready. My job understand I am trying to get my daughter in the industry so if a job comes up for her(which is usually Mon-Fri 9-5) I can leave. I look at this business as a second job because I have to work for Jada-Symone and since she is a toddler, she depends on me. If she makes it in the industry, I have to be ready to put her career first, which I am. So moms, as I said before, do your research, be willing to invest, be willing to travel, be willing to take new pictures every three months of your child to send them to agencies, be ready to deal with a child who may not want to be in this type of industry (so don’t push them), and last but not least remember the pay may not be a lot at first (so you it may cost you more in the beginning…gas/food/lodging, and you have to be ready for last minute phone calls.

    When you are sending pictures to the agencies always include a self-postage envelope, don’t send pictures with too much in the background, be aware of sunlight/shadows when doing outside pictures, and let the children be themselves.

    I just wanted to share my experience with you guys and Judy because we are currently going through it.

    Check out my daughter’s website if you want to see examples of website/homepage/blogs of your child

    http://jada-symone.weebly.com

    Thanks for writing back Judy.

  • Claudia Batichon

    One more thing…if you are looking for nice shots and want to get it done cheap, check out your local community college or four-year college that have a PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM, if you have one near you and ask a professor to make an announcement a student to take pictures of your child for you. There are a lot of undergraduate/graduate photography students who are looking for photos to put in their portfolio and may be willing to take pictures of your child FREE or at a low-cost (under 30 bucks) if you allow them to use it in their portfolio. I’ve done that before and it works because they have great cameras.

  • Angela DiMauro

    Hi everyone. Judy just wanted to know we had my son take pictures with Inerface here in CT. They charged us $700 or more. Then when we got back to see when they would start sending out his photos and they said to join their marketing co. we would have to pay $1800. That would include them taking updated pictures over the next yr and having him listed on their web site where agency’s look for info on the kids. They are not an agency they are a marketing co. Do you think this is worth it?

  • betty

    my daughter Judy is 19yrs.old,she graduated from Barbizon in 2008 and they said they were going to have agencies at graduation and would let us know if any agents were interested in her.Well 2wks.later she recieved a letter stating an agency was interested in her ,come to find out it was owned buy the same people and we signed for 1 yr.exclusive.We had to pay 1600.00 for the school and 500.00 for pictures and then we were going to have to pay for convention around 800.00 to have national talent agencies to see her,we have barely made any money back and I am frustrated about the whole thing.She gets invitations from other agencies,but they want her to go to weekend classes for another amount,so Im just now finding ouy about you to ask questions,is all of this legite-thanks Betty

  • judy

    Dear Angela,

    You can do EVERYTHING that that “marketing” company will do – and more!! For FREE!!!

    We have had agents pull kids off of TheCuteKid.com for representation and work – so stick with CuteKid website, it’s safe and legitimate, and we’re coming up with more opportunities than ever for people like you.

    As far as finding an agency, you need to find modeling/acting agencies in the NYC area because you will have to go back and forth to the city for castings. I don’t know how old your child is, but if he/she is under the age of 4 years most talent agencies won’t take on children that young (SOME modeling agencies will).

    Start sending your pictures into Ford, Wilhelmina, CESD Talent, Abrams Artists, Generations, Funny Face Today and there are more – just Google, find out if they represent kids, and market away!!

    Let me know what happens!!

  • judy

    Dear Betty,

    I’m sorry that you paid that much money, and I wouldn’t attend a convention or pay ANY more money to anyone starting from here on out.

    You can get your daughter national exposure yourself – by sending in the right pictures to the right people. Modeling agencies do not want people to pay for pictures or modeling schools. My book (“Break Into Modeling for Under $20)will walk you through a simple 4-step process which is the PREFERRED way by modeling agencies to get representation!! I know – I was an agent for several years at NY Models and Ford NY. You can get it on Amazon.com for $11.

    Modeling agencies actually PREFER non-professional pictures – which is why I wrote my book. The agents just don’t have time to tell anyone this – check out NY Models, Elite and Ford’s website -THEY ALL SAY THAT THE PHOTOS YOU SEND SHOULD NOT BE PROFESSIONAL.

    Good luck to you!!!

  • Claudia Batichon

    Hey Judy I am going to buy your book!!!

  • Roxanne

    ok, thanks for answering, I have one more question. There is a place in St Louis called natural aspects—the lady is a photographer and takes a bunch of pictures of your child for a fee of like $175 then claims to send them to different magazines or other places for possible print work. She states that she keeps the pictures circulating for 3 years, and then if or when someone wants to use the picture, they pay money for the photo and in return, she gets like 50% and then child/parent get the rest. Have you ever heard of places like that? and do magazines and different places that use alot of print really get photos that way and pay for them like that? And if so, how can people get all these addresses of places to send pictures to? I did this when my now 8 yr old was 10 months old—we had to make an appt, and then if she thought your child had “the look”, she would schedule them for a photo shoot. Well, i fell for it, had the photo shoot, paid the “small” fee, but never heard a thing from her after that, so i am guessing that none of my daughters pictures ever sold. But I did get alot of cute pics from it. I was thinking of doing this with my now 4 yr old, but i dont want to be an idiot, so here is the link, can you tell me if this is legit? http://www.naturalaspects.com/modeling.htm
    thanks

  • judy

    THANK-YOU CLAUDIA for buying my book!!!
    Happy reading!!! :)

  • judy

    Hi Roxanne,

    I have never heard of anything like that – even if the magazines or catalogues DID do it that way, how would you know so you can get paid? You would be signing your rights away to a picture, and see it on a billboard someday and not get paid – that is most likely what will happen.

    I was an agent, casting director/producer for photo shoots AND an editor for Cosmopolitan and More Magazine, and this is not the way people do business. MAYBE at a start-up magazine, but they would not have the money to pay anyway.

    And I’ll bet NO ONE gets turned down when they schedule that initial “interview” at the photographer’s studio.

    Try Centro Models – they look like a good place to start!!

  • Amber Lyons

    Hi Claudia,

    You posted wonderful and on point advice for the parents. I checked out jada-symone’s site, and it is so nice, and your daughter is absolutely precious. I pray that many awesome opportunities open up for her and for you! Something people don’t realize is that our wonderful children can’t do any of this without the parents, who work so hard to make it happen for them. I ditto the advice from Judy and yourself that this industry is very hard work and takes alot of time and resources (especially before the children start making money).

    I’m the mother of a 10 yr.old actor, and my son and I both work very hard, but he absolutely loves what he does and I love supporting and nurturing his career. Feel free to check out his blog site at http://www.emmanuellyons.com. This was something I set up to get him started, but eventually I will upgrade him to a more professional site like your daughter has… but, it works for now!

    All the best to you and your daughter!!!

  • Claudia Batichon

    Hey Amber,

    I am in love with the site you put together for Emmanuel. He has done a lot of work. Parents… check out Amber’s site to see how much work her son has done. This industry is hard work. Last week, I drove two hours away for a carter’s fitting (and that doesn’t pay)…. so it shows you that if you want to succeed in this industry you have to work hard and not give up. Right now there are a lot of budget cuts so things are slow, but it will pick up!!! just keep pushing your kids, listen to them, and let them enjoy being children as well as future super stars.

    I am glad you liked Jada’s site. It was cheap. Just go to http://www.weebly.com if you want to set one up Amber. It really was dirt cheap.

    Claudia

  • Claudia Batichon

    Another wonderful agency is Atlanta is Modeling Images. http://www.modelingimages.com Gina Henry owns Modeling Images in Kenessaw, GA (exit 273) on I-75 and she is a wonderful person (very professional and hardworking). She represent babies – adults.

  • RL

    Ms. Moore is the President & Chief Executive Officer of catwalk models in Raleigh, NC

    is a scam

  • Lynn

    Hi, Do you have any info on the Michael Turney Agency out of Shreveport, LA? I’ve checked with the BBB and they have excellent standing for 25 years. However, with my background I know that even a faulty company can pass that test by being careful what they state & how they state it…with that being said- They tell me they are very interested in my child but would like her to do workshops thru them because she needs more experience. They consist of once a month for a full day @ $150 each. Is this normal? We are very limited to places in this area but don’t want to make a smart choice. My daughter is fabulous, confident and this is her dream….I don’t want my mistakes to effect her dream! Any info would be appreciated! THANKS

  • Lynn

    opps..meant to say..don’t want to make a bad choice!! LOL

  • judy

    Dear Lynn,
    They LOOK legitimate – how old is your child? Children do need training for acting, but not modeling. Acting is a talent, and needs to be taught, but it should not be required when you first get with an agency.

  • Lynn

    she is 9 years old and limited with choices of who to use in our area

  • judy

    Lynn,

    I would start your child going to castings first, see how it goes, THEN consider workshops, classes, etc. for acting. If that agency requires you to do classes, then that is not right.

    $150 sounds like a lot – but it’s up to you. Do they have any other recommendations for classes? I know, it’s hard in when you live in a smaller city.

  • Lynn

    well..they call it paying for training to compete in their showcase. I know that those things do not lead to anything and really want the training for things I can submit her for myself. We lucked out on our own and got a closed/cold reading for a MAJOR film but had never had any training and totally bombed not knowing what to expect. So, She definately needs some type of training there just aren’t many choices here. The movie industry is majorly picking up in the Shreveport/Bossier area and I want her ready for when there are more choices here. I may try one and see if she learns- if not then we won’t go back! I just want her to be ready for that next big chance! Thanks for your input!!

  • Marley

    I recently had an interview with Carolyn’s Model and Talent Agency. And they want me to pay 1000$ to get started this includes: hair and makeup, pro pictures etc. is this legit?

  • judy

    Dear Marley,
    Where is this agency, and how old are you? It doesn’t sound right, you should be able to shop around for photographers and get a competitive rate.

  • Kelly

    Hi My Daughter was the cute kid in June and we went to NY for the summer and worked with Generations and had a good time. We live in SC and the next big city is Atlanta. We would like to some work through out the year there until we go back to NY next summer. Do you recommend any agency in Atlanta. I have been contacted by SYLVIA’S Models. Do you know anything about them? Thank you,
    Kelly

  • judy

    Hi Kelly,

    I don’t know Sylvia’s Models personally, but they LOOK legitimate from their website – just don’t enter into any conventions, they are not worth it especially at $2,000!!!

    Good luck, please let me know what happens!!

  • Hannah Wilhelm

    Hi Judy,
    I love your website. I found it on facebook under cutekid.com. I joined the fan site on facebook. I also entered my 9 year old daughter in the cutekid contest and the gap casting call. At the age of almost 5, my daughter was on a 5 year contract, but it cost me $595. Wow. Nothing became of it. They wanted my daughter to get photo updates all the time. Her contract ran out last December. I am hoping to get her back in now. The picture that I entered into both contests are her holding her hair up that she gave to locks of love with a caption saying, “Giving the Gift of Love.” My daughter is outgoing, intelligent, likes to pose for pictures, has a sense of humor and loves helping people. I am about 1 1/2 to 2 hours from Chicago. Any advise on where to go that won’t charge me upfront? Thanks for your time.

  • judy

    Hi Hannah,

    My best advice is when someone tries to charge you anything, just say no and walk away. I PROMISE you – the legitimate agencies will not charge you any upfront fees!! Especially when children are involved – often you don’t need professional head shots either (when you are first starting).

    Good luck!

  • Sylika

    *viptalentconnect.com*
    Hi Judy- I, recently, had an encounter with viptalentconnect. They are an agency that charges $1,650 to get you into EXCLUSIVE events with top modelling agencies, acting agents, etc. We got a callback for Caleb, BUT when we could not come up with the cash they began to LITERALLY bash us on the fact that we were not giving up even $50 towards the whopping $1,650. Have you heard of these people? Thanks for your time.

  • judy

    Hi Sylika,

    First of all, I’m so happy you couldn’t come up with the money!! :)

    I have never heard of this particular company, but there are always companies like these popping up, and when they get chased out of town they change their name and pop up in another location.

    HIGH PRESSURE SALES IS THE FIRST KEY TO A COMPANY BEING A SCAM IN THE MODELING INDUSTRY.

    Let me know what larger city you live near, and I will give you agencies to send your child’s picture to for FREE – and also send me a picture, DOB, clothing size and contact info to: judy @thecutekid.com, and I will see what I can do myself.

    Those kind of companies get me really upset, and again, I’m so glad you didn’t give them any money. If I were you, I would report them to your state’s consumer protection agency or the state attorney general’s office.

  • Sylika

    Hi Judy! Thank you very much for your response… With regards to viptalentconnect, they made me feel sooo horrible. That was a major indicator to run fast. However, the great thing is that it set a fire under me to work hard. Caleb always tells people “I am going to be famous. I will end up in Hollywood. You will see me on t.v. soon”. I really want to make that happen for him. In the meantime, I am a single mother working LONG hours to care for my children and siblings. Either way I have joy inspite of it all. I live in The Bronx, NY. And I work in Midtown Manhattan. I sent both of my son’s photos to BMG Models, but did not get word. I really appreciate your advice and support. I will email you the pictures and details. Also, thank you to all of the moms on here for sharing. I was able to start a website for Caleb (he directed the look and I am learning). Feel free to give tips!

    http://www.caleb-camacho-simon.com/

  • Judy Goss

    Hi Sylika!!

    The website looks good, I just think there should be more pictures of Caleb on it.

    Please email me a few pictures (headshot and full length – NON PROFESSIONAL) to: judyg@thecutekid.com, and put in the subject line “PICTURES YOU REQUESTED”

    Also, put his DOB, clothing size and your contact info.

    Here is a list of LEGITIMATE agencies you can send pictures to:

    Send your child’s pictures (head shot and full length with LOTS of personality, age, sizes, hair, eye color and ALL contact info) to:

    Ford Models
    111 Fifth Avenue
    NY NY 10003

    CESD
    257 Park Ave south
    NY NY 10010

    Wilhelmina
    300 Park Ave south
    NY NY 10010

    Generation
    20 West 20th
    Suite 1008
    NY NY 10011

    Abrams Artists
    275 Seventh Ave
    26th floor
    NY NY 10001

    Put on all of the envelopes: “Attn: Youth Division” – very important!!

    And send every 2 – 3 months.

    Good luck!!

  • DAMON ROSS

    HI SYLIKA, MY 12YR OLD DAUGHTER KANDACE WAS JUST RESENTLY APROACHED BY A “MODELING AGENCY” IN THE MALL SHE WAS INVITED TO AN EVENT TO RECRUITE FOR MODELING IN A MACY’S CATELOG. SHE WAS RATED IN THE TOP 10 OUT OF 500 IN THE HIGH FASHION DIVISION. THEY WANT $2000 FOR A PORTFOLIO, MAKE UP, AND A 6 MONTH MODELING SCHOOL ETC. OF COURSE MONEY IS TIGHT AND MY DAUGHTER IS HEARTBROKEN. THE CAMERA HAS ALWAYS LIKED HER SINCE HER WAS A BABY. SHE REALLY WANTS TO DO THIS MODELING THING AND I AM SURE IT’S GOING TO COST ME BUT I DON’T WANT TO GET RIPPED OFF. I THINK SHE WOULD BE SUCESSFUL BUT I CAN’T AFFORD TO WASTE TIME AND MONEY SO PLEASE ADVISE US. THANKS

  • judy

    Hi Damon,

    I’m sorry to hear that, but you can do all of the marketing of your child to agencies for free!

    Just Google “model agency your town” and get a list of agencies, start calling to see who represents kids (not all of them do), and send in a headshot, full length shot (they prefer NON-professional!!), DOB, clothing size and contact info every couple of months until you get a response!!

    GOOD LUCK, and thanks for posting :)

  • Sylika

    Hi Judy! Thank you for the feedback on the website. Yes, I will need to add more pictures. I just need to carve out the time to work on the site more. I appreciate all of your help and follow up.

  • Judy Goss

    NO problem Sylika – GOOD LUCK to you!!!

  • Larry Lockwood

    Hi Judy,

    I was contacted by boogie baby casting and I have seen mixed reviews all over the Internet regarding this company. What do you think? …. It’s the internet so I don’t know what to trust, at the same time I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity.

    Thanks for any advice you may have,

    Larry L.

  • judy

    I don’t know Boogie Baby Casting, but if they don’t charge you anything but a minimal fee for website posting of pictures (no more than $20/mth), I don’t see why you can’t try it for a few months and see how it goes, but that’s up to you. Just don’t pay any fees, or go and get professional pictures done – it’s not worth it, and legitimate agencies market their kids off of non-professional pictures.

  • mary sheehan

    I contacted Baby Boogie Casting, and I haven’t done anything yet with them, but I am weary. First, when I filled out the application and sent pictures I recieved an email back saying my daughter was adorable and I would be contacted by them. The problem was my daughter’s name was incorrect. Not even close. When I emailed back asking about this, (because maybe it was sent to me wrong) they emailed me back saying sorry for the mix up and resent me the generic letter again but this time with my daughter’s name. When I’ve called to return their calls, its always an answering machine. When we finally talked they told me it was a one time fee of $150 for another web company to crop and retouch my daughter’s photos. I was weary about this as well. I told them I needed to talk to my husband who was out of town and he wouldn’t be returning until the weekend. I needed the time to talk to him about this. He said no problem, they were meeting with this web company with pictures that monday and as long as I got the pics in before Monday, I was set. Well he called the very next day and asked me if I was still interested. I had to remind him of our conversation. That my husband was out of town. He said that was too bad because he was meeting the web company Friday. I reminded him he told me Monday. He said no. This seems real shady. He also told me in an earlier conversation that he would be my daughter’s agent.

    1) I have a problem that you can’t directly contact him.
    2) He seems to have his dates wrong and what if this applies when we are going to casting calls presuming this isn’t a scam.
    3)I have a problem with the $150 up front fee.

    Has anyone gotten actual work from this company????

  • judy

    Hi Mary,

    I don’t personally know this company, but I do know that unless you are with a LEGITIMATE AGENCY, you probably won’t get any work…and there is never a requirement to pay for anything, especially when kids are so young. I know this because I was a modeling agent in NYC for many years. The agency that reps my twins asked me if I wanted to be on their website, and I said I had to wait a little bit to pay them and they said NO PROBLEM – WE WILL STILL GET YOU CASTINGS AND PROPOSE YOUR GIRLS IN THE MEANTIME – that’s how it works. :)

    Usually, if you have any doubt, they are a scam…I would do the work yourself for free, and get representation in your area – where are you? I will help you for FREE :)

  • Shawanna

    Hi Judy,
    I have a daughter who is 6 years old and i have took her to ‘Talent search’In the Mobile Alabama area and she got called back both times.With the call back we was informed that we would attend a convention in Orlando Florida that would cost around 2,000.00 and we had 2 days to pat it.I think that if a agency is really interested in my daughter they will not ask for money.Am i wrong what steps should i take?Do you know of any agencies around the mobile al area you would suggest?

  • TheCuteKid Staff

    Message from Judy for Shawanna:

    Shawanna – NO, you are not wrong – you are completely right!!! Good for you for not paying.

    Here are 2 agencies to send pictures into:

    Kiddin’ Around Models & Talent, Birmingham, AL 2053235437 – http://www.realpeople.com

    Red Models, Inc., Birmingham, AL 2058214539 http://www.redmodelsinc.com

    And here is a link to help you even more!
    http://blogs.thecutekid.com/judy-goss/2009/03/13/how-do-i-get-my-kid-in-the-m

  • Natasha W

    I have a question. Recently, my daughter (17 months) and I went to an evaluation at Atlanta’s Young Faces Modelng Agency in Atlanta, GA. After reading different comments about them I am weary about signing to them. We recently received an acceptance letter to begin working with them. I did pay a $35 evaluation fee and there is now a requried $100 class fee for the parents. I do not think these prices are unreasonable (especially since when I was a kid my mom and I went to a “modeling school” and it was 10 times more), but after doing some more research there are other agencies that do not require fees. I see there was a mother on here with a great experience with this modeling agency, but I am wondering if this is hit or miss or is this an okay standard to begin with. You must exclusively sign with them, and so after I pay I will no longer be able to “shop” around for other agencies. Since she is so young, I could begin with baby photo contests or something instead, but I thought perhaps an actual agency would provide more reputable chances of “breaking in” the business. She is a very photogenic baby, full of personality, and highly sociable. I would have never thought of even trying to start her out now, but after a few photographers finally said I should get her started because she had a great look and camera presence I am giving this a try…Now I am just weary :) Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

  • judy

    Natasha,

    Honestly, those fees are not something you should have to pay – especially for a baby as young as yours!! You are right to be wary – ANY upfront fees (besides website maintenance for posting pictures on the agency’s website) are warning signs that an agency is not looking after your best interest.

    Try Babes ‘n Beaus – they’re a terrific modeling agency, and they won’t charge you anything: http://babesnbeaus.homestead.com

    No reputable agency is going to charge for an “evaluation fee” or make you take classes, I promise :)

    Good luck!!

  • Francesca DellaMea

    I am a little weary of going to my daughter’s “audition” today. I sent photos to an agency in Baltimore, MD and received a phone call the other day asking to set up an appt for an audition. I got an email asking me to bring $35 for evaluation fee. I don’t know, I am going to go. We need the experience for her auditions. We are also just looking for modeling at this point and they mentioned possibilities for televesion and so on. After reading all this I am worried. But, like I said I made an appt and I have to keep it. The agency also mentioned that if they are interested in my daughter that I would have to sign an exclusive contract with them. I am new to all this….any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have learned one thing from reading all these postings. Well, we will be going shortly. I will keep everyone posted on how she does….like I said, this is her first audtion. She tends to be a little shy with new people, but, we have been practicing and I am hoping she doesn’t freeze up.

  • Terri

    Hi, Judy, I’ve been reading through all of the comments here. I’ve noticed you’ve said several times that a legitimate company should not charge any kind of “evaluation” fee up front. But I did notice that you recommended Kiddin’ Around to one commenter, but they DO charge an evaluation fee of $35. Are they an exception to the rule?

  • judy

    Hi Terri,

    I didn’t realize Kiddin Around charged – which one? They are in Alabama and Georgia.

    Thanks for posting!

  • judy

    Hi Everyone,

    I have gotten a few comments about us charging for our contests – this is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT then paying an agency to “evaluate” you or a “registration” fee (or a photo package) that an agency may charge you, which we do not endorse.

    When you sign with an agency you may get asked to shoot with a professional photographer, but buying a specific photo package should not be required (you have the right to choose your own photographer).

    We are a resource for the modeling/talent industry, and our photo contest is exactly that – a photo contest for wonderful prizes, including a $25,000 college tuition fund. Yes, the contest does give you additional exposure because we have legitimate industry professionals judging it (and people have actually gotten discovered this way), but you can’t compare a contest to being introduced to modeling/talent agencies directly, and dealing with fees that they may charge you.

    Outside of the monthly contest, we have many invaluable resources that we have offered members for free, and we are happy that you take advantage of them!

  • quiana

    hi judy, i have an interview with kidden around for my daughter haili on sat and of course they want the $35 evaluation fee…. should i be leery if they ask for me to pay a workshop fee for parents? thats what ive been hearing…what are your thoughts about kidden around?

  • judy

    I would not pay either fee, but especially not the workshop!

    I would try Babes n Beaus Model/Talent Agency, or Element – neither one of those charge.

    Good luck!

  • Domenica

    Hello! I too would like to know if I should pay for my daughter’s photo shoot. The agency told me it was for her portfolio. Now, I have been reading negative things about the agency. I do not know what to do. We did sign a contract for 2 years. I am regreting it, now. I could be wrong, but a mother knows, right. Can someone give me some advice. Thanks!

  • Melissa

    Hello!! i just stumbled upon this website and i was wondering if you could help!! Im from around the chicago area and im looking for an agency, but i dont want to get scammed, what should i do? Im sixteen and ive been to John Robert Powers & John Casablanca, they both asked for money and said i need to take classes before i need to take six months of classes before i can start auditioning, and the classes were like a thousand dollars!! HELP!! (please)
    Any recommendations??

  • quiana

    so i went to the kiddin around audition and the atlanta young faces…both wants haili to sign, but they both want me to attend a parents seminar to “learn” about the business. there is a cost of 100-115 and im not comfortable paying it..any other legitimate agencies for kids under 2in atlanta? i noticed element is for 6+. also we have submitted to babes and they accept every baby and sent us vouchers but no bookings yet.. thanks judy! and i love the cute kid…we have been members for a year now and i love it. we submit photos weekly and love the contest…thanks for the info

  • judy

    Hi Melissa,

    No, you do not need to spend money – just google “model agency chicago”, get a list and start calling to see if they charge or not.
    You can also order my book on Amazon for about $11, it will tell you EVERYTHING!!
    http://www.amazon.com/Break-into-Modeling-Under-20/dp/0312372604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246287756&sr=1-1

    Good luck!

  • judy

    Hi Domenica,
    I would need to know more about your situation…how old your child is, what agency, etc. I can’t give advice when I don’t know everything.
    Thanks!

  • Domenica

    My daughter is 12 years of age. We signed with the agency this month. The agency is called Network International Model and Talent in Beverly Hills, California. We paid for her photo shoot which they said that it was not mandatory to get the pictures taken by their agency, but it would help because they know what the client is looking for. Now, I been having doubts. I did not expect to spend money. I am confused. Do not know what to think? Can you give some type of advice.

  • Laura McDonnell

    Hi Judy
    I am new at all of this but I am starting to do some research on some agencies for my 2 and 4 year old. We went to Ad Kids but after they told us it was $495 we walked out. Then I researched the company and found out they were not legit. I also sent a picture of Dylan in your cute kids contest for June and I am thinking of buying your book. I was wondering if you knew of any reputable companies in Chicago for my kids age group.
    Thanks
    Laura

  • judy

    Dear Laura,
    Those agencies in Chicago are FANTASTIC!

    Aria Talent (division of Ford Models) http://www.ariatalent.com

    BMG Talent Group http://www.bmgtalent.com

    Ford Models http://www.fordmodels.com

    Real Talent http://www.realtalentinc.com

    I wish you a good luck!

  • Stacy Brown

    Hi Judy,
    I am new to this and noticed you mentioned Babes N Beaus being reputable and not charging any fees. I had sent my 5 year old sons pictures to them and they called today to set up an evaluation which they said would cost $25.00. I am very leery of paying ANYTHING. Do you know if things have changed since they are know charging for evaluations?

    Thanks,
    Stacy

  • judy

    Hi Stacy,

    While we never condone agencies charging anything upfront, we are finding that in Atlanta almost every agency is charging this upfront fee for a “personal evaluation,” and we can only reason that it is because of the tough economy at this point. My advice to you would be to make sure and get a personal sit-down with a person that is a legitimate agent (not an assistant or receptionist) and get as much information out of them as you can.

    Thank-you for your inquiry!

  • Dee

    Hi Judy – I submitted my 4 yr old daughters photo to a model/talent agency in va and they want tomeet with her in the fall – they are slating an image class for children in the spring of 2011 and they interested in her for that. My question is what can I expect from that. I know its going to cost us money but with a 4 yr old what do they really expect? This is reputable agency in va and affiliated with an excellent worldwide modeling co in ny but my concern is how can they expect a child to benefit from a seminar or do they want the parents to do the seinar – I know its expensive. Is this common? From your experience what should we expect with that first interview – again she is only 4 yrs old. what costs are normal with starting a 4 yr old in the modeling industry (print wk mostly)?

  • judy

    Dear Dee,
    There should be absolutely no charge or financial commitment to you to join an agency, especially at the age of 4! I would go somewhere else – it doesn’t sound right to me, as modeling classes are not necessary, and you are right – particularly for a 4-yr old.

  • TheCuteKid Staff

    Try this link for more help:
    http://blogs.thecutekid.com/judy-goss/2009/03/13/how-do-i-get-my-kid-in-the-modelingacting-industry/

  • Lorri L.

    I was asked to join his agency and they wanted me to pay 1500. 490 up front before I start their classes thay have. 65 every week after I paid the 490 for the next 14 classes. Is this right? They claim I am what they are looking for but why do I have to pay all this money and I also had some experience in this field. So please help me. THis place is Pro-model&talent managgement Barbizon.

  • judy

    Hi Lorri,

    No, you do not have to pay money to get into the modeling industry. All you need to do is to start sending photos into agencies that do not charge fees or require classes.

    Here is a link to help you: http://blogs.thecutekid.com/judy-goss/2009/03/13/how-do-i-get-my-kid-in-the-modelingacting-industry/

    Good luck!

  • Penny

    We live outside of Memphis, TN. My young son wants to get started in modeling. Tonight we went to an open call for a local agency. Only after we got there did I realize this was more of a search for the AMTC group (I thought it would be for more local jobs). Now, it comes down to paying close to $5000 when all is said and done for classes, pics, a trip to Orlando for the chance to meet “real” agents. Something just smells a bit fishy to me. Do you have any advice for somebody who lives in a small town and wants to get started in modeling. We would be willing to travel when necessary, assuming all goes well locally first. I just have a hard time putting up that kind of cash and time for a small chance to “make it” in a huge market, when I feel there should be (and probably are) small local opportunities that would get our feet wet in the industry and help build a portfolio/resume. How do you find those local jobs or at least a local agent who doesn’t want an arm and leg paid up front in a smaller town?

    Thank you.

  • judy

    Dear Penny,
    You do NOT have to pay that much of money upfront, especially when it is just for a test photo shoot or meeting with an agency.
    To start looking for local agencies, you can google the agencies like “model agency ____(name of city)” and get phone numbers. You can start calling them up and ask if they charge you any upfront fees. Yellowpages.com is also useful ;)

    Good luck!

  • phung

    Hi Judy,
    I went to an agency office down in Bellevue call “The colleen bell agency” theyre very nice there :) , and i check their reviews and there was NO complaints… and they would like to give me a representation and they let me do go pick whoever photographers i want… for my headshots but i have to pay $200 for web posting i ask them why…. they said because the webmasters is not their employee….. should i trust this agency? does legitment agency charges for web posting? PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION ASAP! thank you very much Judy!

  • phung

    Hi Judy,
    My names Phung, Im 12 years old. I went to ab open call at an agency call “THE COLLEEN BELL AGENCY” and a couple weeks later they told me that they I would do great in commerical prints and would like to represent me. So they send me this information packet, and its said if i want to have my pictures posted on their website for more chances for auditions ill have to pay them about $200 because the webmasters are not their employee… (but its my choice if i want to pay or not)…. & the good thing is i check their review and there was NO COMPLAINTS… so its this agency legitment? Does legit agency wants you to pay for web posting? PLEASE REPLY TO THIS ASAP :) , THANK YOU SO MUCH JUDY!

  • judy

    Hello Phung,

    Congratulations of getting representation! Yes, sometimes agencies ask a fee like that to post your pictures posted on their websites.

    It is totally optional as you said, though! I hope it helps.

    Good luck!

  • Phung

    Hi Judy,
    Thank you so much for your reply :], that really helped ALOT :], but in your opinion do you think I should pay for the web posting for more chances of audition? Thank you so much! :]

  • Autumn Leigh

    Do you know of any modeling agencies that are in MD Baltimore that arent a scam.?

  • judy

    Dear Autumn,
    Nova Models is our favorite!
    For a more extensive agency list, check out our VIP Kids Club!

  • Terri Isom

    Hello,

    Do you know any legit agencies in New Orleans, Louisiana or around Dallas, TX? Thank you for your time.

  • judy

    Dear Terri,
    Fame Agency in Metairie is fabulous!!
    For a more extensive agency list, you should check out our VIP Kids Club!

  • Phung

    Hi Judy,
    As you know about my agency name “Colleen Bell Agency” and it asked me to pay about $200 dollars for web posting [because the webmasters is not their employee], I thought it was optional like the talent scout told me but now the owner [Colleen] said that its only optional for actors not models! What should I do??? And do you know why its only optional for actors not models? Please reply soon! :) thank you very much!

  • Phung

    Please answer my question Judy! :)

  • Tish

    Judy,
    I was contacted by Michael Turney Agency in Bossier City, LA, about meeting with them about my 10 year old daughter. Do you have any information on this agency and their legitimacy?
    Thanks for your help….

  • judy

    Dear Tish,
    Congratulations!!
    Michael Turney Agency has been a favorite of ours in the past, but no matter who the agency is there should be no upfront charges! Please let me know how everything goes.

    Good luck

  • Anna Bell

    Hello Judy

    My son went to a modeling convention and BMG in NY wants to be his agent only question is that they want $300 for a model wire also they want me to sign a two year contract and their fee if booked for a job is 20%. Is this company legit and is these request usual standards

  • lauren

    hi judy, i’m a young unexpeirenced actor and i was wondering if you know any legit talent agency for kids in the indiuanapolis area

  • lauren

    oops i meant chicago area sorry :)

  • judy

    Lauren,
    BMG Talent Group is a very reputable agency in Chicago! I hope this helps.

  • judy

    Dear Anna Bell,
    BMG is a great and reputable agency!! 300 dollars for model wire is a little bit expensive, but 20% commission is industry standard.
    Good luck!

  • Teisha Perry

    Hi, Judy
    My oldest daughter, Jakayla has been sign with agency since March, she have book a job yet, I keep investing money into their company, but no work. I paid $175 to attend the workshop, but you still have to paid if someone come there a workshop like J.D. Lewis was $175. $29 800Casting, $90 headshots, $185 for the contract, and I still have to send a headshots to Photoscan and the prices range from different price.
    I don’t have the money to keep investing into their company. My question do you know any agencies in NC & South Carolina don’t charge alot of money, thanks…

  • judy

    Hi Teisha,

    That sounds like too much money to be spending when your child isn’t working! In this blog, there is a link to “How to Find Agencies in Your Area” that should help you more.

    Or, if you are interested in delving further into your child’s career, our VIP Kids Club is a super resource! Please go to the Casting Team page on the righthand side for more information.

    Thanks for posting!

  • Sarah

    No! Do not do the Micheal Turney agency! Look at his history..No one is working and if they are (a few0 it is not because of him. It is a scam…Beware!He asks for lots of money but you get NOTHING in return! He asked that we invest in my daughters career at the cost of around 3000.00..NOTHING has come out of it! He will not even give us the negatives from the photo shoots. he is charging us for prints at well above retail

  • judy

    Wow, thank-you Sarah – we have not heard of this agency doing that.

  • Michael Turney Agency

    Greetings Judy !
    I was just made aware of your informative site. Lots of good information here. Unfortunately someone has left a comment on my agency which is simply not true. Please tell me how we can rectify this, as our reputation is everything in this business. We have been in business for 21 years, Certainly we could not have lasted or prospered if we were ripping people off. We do have a training program and we do offer portfolio develpoment, yet cerainly not at a price tag of $3000. Thank you for looking into this for me and thank you for the wonderful service you are doing the public with your site.
    Regards,
    Michael Turney
    Michael Turney Agency

  • DaLisa

    Hi Judy.
    My 5 year-old son is one of your VIP Cute Kids, and he has been “accepted” by Quickbook Model & Talent Agency (as well as a meeting with Michael Turney Agency next week), and I am just wondering about the “insurance” fee of $198 that Quickbook charges to cover the cost of model “no-shows.” Is this ever done? And is this aqency legit? They say they have been in business since 1973, and they claim to have 46 offices worldwide, yet I can’t find any hard addresses for them in ANY city listings online. As far as Michael Turney Agency is concerned, I know that they will be asking for “upfront fees,” yet you say that they are a favorite of yours. I don’t understand the difference in legitimate fees and scam fees. Can you help me please?

  • judy

    Hi DaLisa,
    Wow, great questions!! Good for you for doing your research.

    In my 25 years in the modeling industry I have never heard of a fee such as this “no show” fee. I don’t know if you know my background, but Google my name and you will see that I have been around the block in the modeling industry ;) I have heard of “Quickbook” but do not know them personally, and have never heard of what they do or how they do it. I would stick to the brick and mortar agencies.

    Michael Turney has always been a legit agency, although we have had complaints of them charging fees…the owner promised me he does not charge them.

    A legit fee is a website fee, which should only run you $10 – $15/month. Another legit fee is if your child is old enough to act (ages 5/6 and up) and needs acting classes or 8X10 headshots. If your child is that old, then I can go into detail with you about that also, what you should be paying and what you can get away with.

    Thanks for all of the intelligent questions, and let me know what else I can do!!

  • LAQUINTA

    MY HUSBAND AND I TOOK OUR 4YR OLD DAUGHTER TO AN INTERVIEW AT PAGE PARKES CENTER OF MODELING AND ACTING IN HOUSTON TX. THE WANTED ME ALSO TO WORK WITH THEM BUT MY DAUGHTER AND I BOTH NEED TO PAY UPFRONT FOR CLASSES. MY 1ST TWO CLASSES IS AROUND 1200.00 MY DAUGTHERS IS AROUND 1200.00 ALSO. WHAT DO YOU THINK.

  • A Chee

    Hi

    Cld u recommend a good child modeling agency in the San Francisco area?
    Thanks!

  • judy

    Hi A Chee,

    Stars, The Agency, is a good one! http://www.starsagency.com

  • judy

    Hi Laquinta,

    You do not need a modeling school to model – acting is different, if the person is older than 6 years old and it is an accredited school. You may want to read my book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Break-into-Modeling-Under-20/dp/0312372604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246287756&sr=1-1

    Good luck!

  • SONIA

    I have a 1 1/2 year old and i just want to know the steps i should take to get her into modeling and acting and how much money should i have put aside for everything?? and also is 1 1/2 to young for me to get her started ?? thank you

  • judy

    Hi Sonia!
    It is too young for acting, but not modeling! Here is a link to help you:
    http://blogs.thecutekid.com/judy-goss/2009/03/13/how-do-i-get-my-kid-in-the-modelingacting-industry/

  • Becky Holcombe

    I have a 14 year old that is in drama and taking dance lessons. He is a twin of Justin Bieber and is attacked everywhere he goes. He has wanted to get into some time of acting, modeling but we did not know how to do it. Any good agencies in the Birmingham Alabama area? Tried a couple but they wanted a ton of money so kind of afraid now. Thanks

  • Kristi Brandt

    Hi Judy, BMG Orlando offered my two daughters an Exclusive 2 year contract after I told them no last year (wanted to expand our ability to get castings with other agencies we have non-exclusive contracts with). They have asked us to go to several castings anyway and one Daughter (9) got the Parenting Magazine job. We just took new photos for comp cards and I’m eager to resend to the various agencies who have also given us castings. Just met Doug Bailey from BiCoastal in FL and am eager to see what he can do (my kids act and sing as well and he has tons of experience and connections). Am I blowing the BMG opportunity? Can I counter and say “no exclusive, but I’ll let you have 40% commission.”? KB

  • Kelli

    Hi Judy,
    My 6 year old twin boys were accepted for an evaluation with Kiddin Around in Atlanta. The evaluation cost $35 each. They passed the evaluation and I was required to attend a Business class that cost $115. At the class I was informed I would have to get a comp card. The photo shoot would cost $300, to get them printed would be $200, and $100 to put them on the website each. Is this legitimate? The company is owned by Eva Stancil and they have offices in Alabama as well.

  • judy

    Dear Kelli,

    William Reynolds and Element Model Management in our experience in dealing with them do not charge anything for you to be represented by them.
    I would go with an agency that is not charging fees.

  • judy

    Hi Kristi,
    How old are your kids?
    I would go with your gut – most likely BMG will still want them when/if you are ready. I would never offer more than the % that they take though, just in case they make it big! BMG is a little more corporate, so if their contract is exclusive, that may not be negotiable. GO WITH YOUR GUT – it’s important that whoever does represent you is crazy excited about the kids – you’ll feel it ;)

  • Ki

    Is it normal for an agency to charge photo session fees and then take a 10 percent cut of your work? I’m new to this industry.

  • judy

    Dear Ki,
    That all depends in what way it was handled – are you SURE they are an agency? It is normal to need prof photos to start in the industry, but again, depending on the situation (how old the child is, etc.) And 10% is low – modeling agencies normally take 20%.

  • Elena

    Hi Judy, I am in NYC and i sow the your list and its missing funnyfacetoday agency…is this because they are not good at all? do you know them or heard of them? it seems they have been in the industry for over 40 years… please reply with info. I would like to know about them

  • hil

    Hi I recently went to an appointment for at Carolyn’s Talent Agency in Canada. they asked me to pay fees totalling up to over $1000 (registration, photos, makeup, one class, etc.) the only thing that is keeping me to want to join this agency is that I personally know 2 others who are part of this agency and have found work and got paid for it too. They also have a rating of A+ on Buisness Bureau. Is it safe to still sign a contract with them if there asking for these kinds of fees?

  • judy

    Hi Hil,
    You seem like you did your research, knowing your agency and reputation! If you know all about this and if you can afford, I’d say go for it :) Good luck!

  • judy

    Funny Face is great! Good luck.

  • Karmin W

    Hi Judy. I have 12 year old twins that I have marketed to several agencies including Babes N Beaus in Marietta, GA. They are asking for a $35 evaluation fee up front. I’m very leary about paying the fee since most legitimate agencies do not charge. Since you have recommended this agency, I wanted to get you feedback on the $35 evaluation charge. Thanks!

  • judy

    Hi Karmin,
    I have found that most agencies in Atlanta charge that type of fee, and Babes n Beaus is reputable, but here is another agency that does NOT charge that you should also look into
    William Reynolds Agency, they are great. Thanks for posting!

  • Audrey

    I’m very frustrated at this point. I have been working to get my son with an agency and now he finally is but they are a young agency and right now, only do fashion shows and some acting. They don’t offer any sort of acting classes for children (my son is 6). I know my son has a great look and he has won local photo contests and he shot for the cover of a free local magazine and calendars. How do I find good acting classes for the camera? Also, it seems like getting Print work is like being part of some secret society. No agency I’ve talked to is giving up any info on how to get print work. I’m thinking these agencies aren’t really connected with the right people! I live in South Carolina but at least 3 hours from all of the good agencies in Atlanta. Do you know of any good reputable agencies getting print work in Charlotte or Columbia? Sorry for the rambling and different questions.

  • Audrey

    Oh, one last question…I had an agency say they would represent my son without fees but I had to sign and pay for a database called 800Casting. Is this legit or just a scam?

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