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Classes

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.

Photos

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.

Agents

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.

Conventions

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 in March 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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