My niece recently signed with MMG - Model Management Group. They have two websites (nymmg.com and modelmanagementgroup.com). Because of her booker's flowering promises, she decided to invest in her 'career'. She recently had a photoshoot (paid for the complete package for make up artist, hairstylist and wardrobe person). She went home very unhappy. The crew was very professional but she felt like she was robbed. The hairstylist is also the photographer, who did questionable styles with her hair like pigtails and side ponytails. She is 15! The next model who came after her to do the photoshoot did not look like a model at all. Unproportioned body and very short for a model. This alarmed her and her mother immediately. It's stated on the site that they represent actors as well, but it seems as if they have no requirements for their talents at all. Perhaps a credit card and a little bit of 'hope' is all it takes.
I decided to do more research and it looks like this agency has changed names many times - 411 Model, Options Talent, Transcontinental Talent. A big STOP sign for any parent that did some research! These people have to be stopped. My niece and her mother don't want to complain because they paid already, and are both 'hoping' that they get something out of it. I am writing this in hopes of getting other clients' attention, and to stop future clients.
They will work with anyone who pays money up front, and they tell everyone they have some type of talent, whether or not they really do. The fact that they charge up front for signing fees and photo shoots is a big NO-NO sign.
I am good friends with an agent at Ford and she took one look at my niece and told me frankly that she has no potential whatsoever. Any agency that will sign her will take advantage of her money and her dreams. I am not one to tell anybody what they can't be. My sister is a nurse and knows nothing about the industry. She is a mother first and foremost that only wants to support her child's dreams. I am guessing this is the case for all the other clients of MMG. Perhaps 5% of their models are successful, and the rest of the models pay for the agency's office rent, the booker's salary, the photographer and her crew, and the owners expensive apartments and vacations. This is very sad, and it is a reality.
They possess all the trappings of a fake modeling agency that makes money from photo shoots and printing comp cards. Here is what her booker emailed her -
"The whole photo shoot including hair, make-up, retouching and a copy of the CD mailed to your house costs $900. The photographer also has an amazing wardrobe stylist who brings clothing + accessories. The stylist charges $200 for the service and it available upon request. I would also like to have theatrical headshots done for her. If taken the same day, the photographer charges only an extra $510.
Then we will need to get a Digital Portfolio set up for her, which is though MMG. It is a computer version of her portfolio book on our website- www.nymmg.com- secure by username and password. The Digital Portfolio will be for our company use. The bookers will be submitting her to casting directors digitally via computer most of the time. Our electronic submissions account for 70%-90% of all submissions. You will receive your own username and password to fill out your personal information: sports, languages, music instruments, accents, etc. A set up fee for the Digital Portfolio is $200 and the maintenance fee for a full year of submissions costs $250. After that we will print out composite cards for you. We will get 100 of them. The composite cards cost $260 and we will keep 75 for the booking room and you will receive 25 of them to take with you to castings and auditions. Printing headshots cost $220 for 100 and we will send you all of them. You will attach your updated resume to 25 of them and send them back, when we need more we will contact you to send more."
To the parents, I know you want to support your child. But please do more research. ALL reputable agencies require NO FEES. In fact, they give their models advance money, a model apartment, and set them up with photographers for free. Be careful of scouts at modeling conventions because these are the easiest ways for them to find their blind and hopeful 'prey'.
New York, New York