If you dream to be an aspiring model and you believe that a so called modeling agency can help you earn millions, think again!
There are just too many modeling agencies in the big and small cities that you are lost when you have to decide which agency to choose. However, it is important to run a check on the agency you are about to contact. You also need to know the state laws, policies and demands of the agency prior to getting involved with an agency.
Just like any other industry in the United States, modeling agencies also work around some laws depending upon state employment laws. All the states differ in this regard. Some states have union laws interlaced with employment laws while others don’t.
Being informed of the State Laws – Playing it Safe
In December 2010, Congress enacted a law which makes it illegal for an agency to charge any fees upfront. This law also applies to photography and fashion models. However, your company might ask for a small fee to host your photos but ask the company beforehand if they charge any fee for it. It is better if your photographs are published on the agency website as this gives you more credibility as a model. This also exposes you to potential clients and gives a boost to your modeling career.
Know Your Rights – Be Less Vulnerable
As a model, you must ensure that you do not end up paying for a job you are being hired for, especially before signing a contract. You should be aware of all the terms and conditions on the contract before signing in any case. Verify all the clauses from an external source and take your time to understand the agreement before signing. Preferably, seek a legal opinion. This will keep you away from scams and fraudulent agreements as a first line of defense. It is better to spend $100 for a legal opinion instead of floundering thousands of dollars and a promising career. By getting into a wrong commitment you are losing both the time and money!
Scams – Avoid Them with A Fool-Proof Strategy
Usually, some agencies charge for printing photo books or for subscribing to talent directories and this cost a nominal amount. This is very common in the case of child modeling agencies. Always pay them after signing the contract and have this clause included in the contract with all the data and bills.
Maintain Records – Hope for the Best but Be Prepared for Anything
Up to date records of your modeling activities will be very helpful in managing a modeling career. Some contracts are hourly; some are on a daily basis. Others are long-term contracts for an entire campaign. Keep a note book for the check-in time, check out time and other details of the client. You should be able to present this information at any time at a short notice. Before the photo shoot a model should also have the definite idea of the publishing domains and magazines the pictures will be published.
Copyrights and Tax laws
Copyrights mean that when a model signs up for a shoot, all the images belong to the photographer, even though the photograph is yours. Some states don’t need a release form from the model. For example DC is one such state. A release form is where the details of the publishing rights of the photographer is mentioned. Any agency who works without a release form is practicing illegally. Therefore, it is very crucial to get everything documented.
Independent models must make sure that they have paid taxes to stay away from trouble with IRS and huge fines. Understand that each state and country has different tax laws and you are required to know that. You are guilty of violating the tax laws even if you do it unknowingly.
Following these tips and getting educated about the laws and policies can help you earn a long-lived career by helping you save time as well as money.