• Report: #923711

Complaint Review: UR Supermodels

  • Submitted: Tue, August 07, 2012
  • Updated: Sun, September 16, 2012

  • Reported By: Anonymous — Chicago Illinois United States of America
UR Supermodels
Chicago, Illinois United States of America

UR Supermodels "CEO" Asha Spacek Scam, Abusive, Slander, Theft, Inappropriate, Chicago, Illinois

*UPDATE Employee: EXCITED To Respond: CLEAR THE AIR

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A terrible joke of an agency. "CEO" Asha Spacek frequently "books" models for jobs in which the new talent believes they are doing as a portfolio builder, while the "agent" aka "Asha" pockets the money.

She is incredibly unprofessional and abusive. She will take credit from photoshoots that were not booked through her. She claims she has 'connections' but beware because no one of any legitimacy will work with her. She offers non-exclusive contracts and then pressures and manipulates new talent into "working" for free. She also uses photographs on her website which do not belong to her, taking credit from photoshoots which she never had any involvement.

This is just a warning to any new talent - stay far away!!! Do NOT pay for any services which she offers. This is a scam.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/07/2012 11:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/UR-Supermodels/Chicago-Illinois-/UR-Supermodels-CEO-Asha-Spacek-Scam-Abusive-Slander-Theft-Inappropriate-Chicago-I-923711. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

EXCITED To Respond: CLEAR THE AIR

AUTHOR: WhenYouAssume - (United States of America)

EXCITED ABOUT RESPONDING TO THIS COMPLAINT!

Note: that the company, nor Asha have ever been contacted directly about this concern, BUT are thrilled to clear the air--FINALLY! All companies have complaints, unfortunately this site does not check their validity. Anyone, can post, anything, about anyone, anytime. Someone could say we died yesterday, but before we died, we hit someone with our car, and it would post. Some of the most successful like companies, are also posted here- it is unfortunate, but an opportunity to respond in full honesty some concerns wanting to address but can not reach everyone talking or spreading untruths.

Over the years, UR SuperModels attempted to "Let girls be girls," to "Take the high road," all the do good, "turn the other cheek," things a business feels they SHOULD do when they know one rumor started a while ago, spirals out of control, and resurfaces from time to time, when people do not actually communicate, or not certain what to say or do, they go with something they heard quite some time ago to support their uninformed concern, that was never quite resolved about one's reputation, even if that person, or in this case, a business, has matured and moved on since then--a lot like high school.

Correcting makeup artist or photographer angles, model expressions, movements, lighting, shadowing, skin conditioning, etc is also not being abusive, it is being a director. When photos come back where someone was not present to correct along the way, end up RELYING on photoshop (which many sources do instead of shooting proper to begin with) which is not as authentic, and is more  costly, plus delays the project.

It is also very ironic the author says knowone legitimate will work with her, when the photo the author uses is actually Asha with Reggie Wells, the nationally known primary makeup artist of OPRAH, and she was approved by two publicists, and a magazine to interview. The image also includes credit of the photographer that took it.

THE FACTS ADDRESSED and WITNESSED in person and by emails.

1. Images on the company site are broken down like this: 95%/3%/2% Photos are NEVER purchased as stock photos as many similar companies, never stolen. 95% is actual produced, constructed, and created by the company to benefit and highlight the current talent, or testing talent. Unfortunately if someone decides they no longer want to model, or do makeup, or whatever, we still have other parties, and as a company are still invested and allowed to display that photo. The company and/or Asha usually creative direct and then seek the talent to fulfill the already scripted and outlined direction for the shoot before anyone arrives. Often times this scripted shoot details, are emailed to needed, if not all or most parties involved from company email. So if an outsider, or testing artist arrives onset, they may not be aware of who or how the shoot was constructed because they were not on the scripted detail email. They simply see people working; especially if they are new to the industry and if are introduced to the creative director, artistic director, or stylist, may not quite understand although that person allows the photographer and other artists to simply do as instructed, the original production or direction was created from the company. 3% are GIFTED or presented and shared rights to the company from photographers or artists that have worked or tested talent we work with, represent, or consult, as a submission piece to show that they too have worked with a common talent or style of work, and have gifted the image for our use so they can too say we have a work displayed that they have done. Think of it as an editorial submission to a magazine. Many photographers "submit" editorials to magazines, they may even shoot the magazines muses to higher their chance at publication, and the magazine prints and uses the editorial. Some shoots the magazine produced themselves, and some may be submissions, with approval to use. Now if the photographer that shot the image did not seek permission from everyone involved, it does not mean the magazine did not seek- they were only the published source. Barely a handful of these photos exist on the site, and most likely has been removed as an update to keeping images fresh anyway. The remaining 2% of images that appear on the site have come from the talent themselves showcasing them in projects in addition to, or prior to working with us, and they ask us to please consider using the image because they really like it, or feel it can market them in a way they are proud of. Before using this image, we ask talent to submit permission to use or show agreement that their release for images includes or is extended to use of a company, which is different than just a model release. Most general releases do not allow another third party to use the image (for potential gain) unless that talent purchase full rights, which more photographers are doing now because they know talent is seeking to be multi listed, which even the author pointed out, is allowed; this is why many agencies or management have decided to go exclusive. So the photographer charge more for the shoot to include a full release instead of just a model release which would only allow self promotion to the talent. Again, let it be known the company NOR Asha have been contacted about improper use, or the inability to use an image, or claiming credit for something not part of. Most times including or even when used for social media, the company does, and also request all talent to post the credits of EVERYONE involved in that shoot. We have dozens and dozens of emails reminding talent to post credit for everyone, from the designer, to makeup, to photographer, stylist, the client, everyone involved or can benefit. This is actually a very well known in house practice and sometimes touchy topic because it is heavily encouraged and enforced. Models have been asked to take images off the internet in fact that did not credit all or most individuals until they can add those titles. Anyone that knows us, knows this claim of taking credit when not earned, is the joke, because it it nearly preached to everyone allllllllll the time! It is even why some talent left, because they thought our overwhelming asking of crediting parties on images even for social pages, was annoying, or they did not want to have to think about credits when they just wanted to hurry and post an image they like. There really is no way to take credit for a shoot, not booked through us, unless the talent was multi listed, the other company booked the talent, and then we claimed our staff participated instead of the hired or staff of another company, but then shared the image use with both companies which is common, which if so, that other company would contact us not post here about correct display or use, and then it is resolved, as professionals should, and may be misunderstanding, not theft. From a client side, if a client hires us or anyone, and allows everyone use of the image, including them, there is no booking in question, there are hired persons and companies but the client is the booking person. Unless this is a client, this does not really apply either. Saying once more, knowone has contacted them about misguided photo use or credit.

What we think happened in accusation! A particular campaign shoot, all of our company was hired for the client in which we have worked many years with. Models, stylist, and Asha as creative and artistic director were asked to produce and create the campaign (local not national and for company use only). One of the models not involved in the shoot, asked us to consider working with a new photographer still in school, but had a good portfolio in fashion, and the model had modeled for for trade (tfp) in the past on their own merit when he was starting out. Asha focuses in fashion for her direction of shoots, but has a difficult time finding fashion photographers and artists in Chicago since most everyone is commercial or lifestyle trained. Meeting with the photographer a few times, and visiting the photographer's website, she decided to take a chance on the student artist and would offer a more consistent opportunity after graduation depending on the outcome of this shoot. Because Asha had worked with this client before, she figured she could test a new artist, as long as the image met deadline. Asha actually forfeit any payment whatsoever which is verifiable, and instead asked the client to pay the new photographer instead because she believed in her and wanted to encourage the future of their relationship. The payment being less than $1,000 she thought it would be in good faith to allow the photographer to post her first client on her website and to a student would be of more immediate value, rather than just test shoots with other students, talent, and friends. The photographer asked out of comfort if she could use her friend that was a makeup artist and she worked with on most of her shoots if not another artist. For the sake of time and comfort Asha agreed. This meant that Asha was working for credit only, models were also working for credit and portfolio only because they were new models that had not had much experience posing for such a shoot. They had practiced runway, and simple poses, but never had done a similar shoot, which would make difficult to management to encourage a day rate on their behalf, or even refer them to an agent, if they had never done any campaign shooting before, most of their parents were onset. With emails and invoices from client to photographer only, it is possible the friend makeup artist did not know her "friend" had received payment for her shooting services, and found out later. Because there was no interest in working with this makeup artist in the future, knowone stayed in contact. She received her image in high resolution from her friend photographer for printing, and as far as we all know, all was well as they were posting and commenting on social pages. Perhaps they had an argument, or revelation of payment, but was no bearing on us. We do not know if friend photographer told her it was her produced shoot, or what for her to agree, but it has certainly taught the company a lesson about ot using our own in house artists, and working with artists who have never worked on a non-student, no-client shoot before. Everything to perfect the image of the shoot, or the models was taken personal, rather than as instructional so that the client will select the image. This was not a home or group project. This was an order to fill. Ur Supermodels attempts to work with novice artists because they email us saying their schools do not seek opportunities to better their resume, portfolio, or hire chances. ur also try not to judge someone's lack of experience but judge their potential as an artist. It also works well with clients with a small budget that have never tried updating campaigns before, especially in chicago where they use campaigns over 10 years old comfortably.

2. Next topic: Before this is even addressed, Asha is not an agent, this is not an agency. She is a manager, artistic director, creative director, stylist, but also the founder. This is a management and consulting company. They can and may place talent at agencies for a split commission just as other managements may. Sometimes, but not often, agency is used as an easier conversation or description of classification.  Anyway, Asha does not, and has not ever pocketed any money. Chicago is not a fashion based city which is her focus, and so there is not a ton of business for her to pocket from. In fact, she took the past year and a half, and went back to work a regular job, so she could work closer with new face models with fashion potential and build their portfolio and rate to a point where she could help them get out of the city and work in a fashion one. She has taken money OUT of her pocket to pay for things. She has never charged the models, even though she should have, for coming to their shoots as a stylist so their photos come out the best they can for their portfolio, giving them image makeovers at no charge except to their colorist or artist needing services with no paid commission to company or her to save them money as a thank you for their services and improvement, she never charged them for coming to events they were part of to not only give them support, but take photos or send a company photographer to take photos of them, she never charged them for consulting, or anything else. In fact, the only thing they have ever paid for was their own makeup, shoes, portfolio books, headshot photos (not always), printing, transportation, parking, and all things how it is anyplace else. Often times she thought this would benefit the company, and the talent, and she invested time, money, and more time in making them informed, confident, and despite having zero on their resume when they entered, they now have anywhere from a full page to two or three full pages of content and building work so they can now in confidence charge a comparable rate or agency referral and she and the company can now see a financial and branded return. Unfortunately she should not have lead with her heart, and she should have charged for artist services, because now that many of them are finally developed, tall enough, some finally braces off, or some have grown their hair out as asked, and now they have or will go else where after the development was done by her. This was a lesson she has learned and is training those involved now, to be and think like most managements and consulting with stricter rules and yes, services charged for. Asha has always wanted to build herself, the company, and talent with the right content and exposure, and thus has only worked harder. Again, she has worked over the past year a regular job in addition to this company, because she wants to select now who they work with, not feel forced for the mney and it will never benefit their career or portfolio. And not all was for trade, this is speaking specifically to this, or similar times.

The author of this, do they know how many times the company did NOT take a commission from the models, as a way to say thank you on smaller pay outs! Does the author know that talent can and does contact Asha directly whenever they have a quesiton or concern? Does the author know when they need help with industry information, Asha researches the answer for them and again, never charges them, never uses time as an excuse to ignore them. Does the author see all the thank you and kind words talent say online about her and the company? If she is busy she stays in communication with them about timelines. Models are never pressured or manipulated into anything. In fact, most of the talent is under 18 and their parents are dealt with, and the parents are involved onset, backstage runway shows, and more. This can also be verified. There are countless of photos taken by and with models and parents while working. The company can not go on forever never charging for services, never profiting, this is a business not a charity, so the author speaks out of context. Even charity presidents or founder pay themselves a salary in running the nonprofit, why because it is still an organization and the person running it at some point, does need to support themselves.

She gives much more than she receives- that is undeniable by every client, every talent (past or present). This rumor was started about 4 and half years ago when company started and one of the female models did not understand what commission was. Instead of coming to us, she went to her boyfriend and said she found out the rate for a job was one rate (the job was also posted online), and then when she got her payment, it was for a little less (20% standard commission actually), not the same, and they must have "taken" it. Instead of contacting the company, the protected boyfriend said, "I'll take care of you, I'll damage their reputation, im a hairstylist and I hang out in the club scene, I can spread the word to a lot of people." The two told same industry people for over a year, until after she became more experienced (she had none then), and realized what happened. She actually became a makeup artist instead, and came back to Asha and the company apologizing that she did not understand then, that she was young and venting to her boyfriend, and she asked for a job, and even that same lady can be found now following both company and Asha on social pages. Knowone wanted to embarrass her, so everyone let it go, but obviously a few people take a past misunderstanding, as an opportunity to say something they have not taken the step at contacting the proper people themselves. It is amateur to accuse, Asha of saying she has "connections," this is not a movie, who says that? Referrals and clients are language of a company, connections are what friends or actors, or politicians may speak about. The word scam is a heavy accusation without proof and will look into this further. Ignoring such misinformed authors has not worked. It is asked that potentials reading this visit websites and previous works and see the stories do not match. Images are credited, reviews, page comments, and testimonials are given, and contact information provided so that you can make your own decision by asking questions. Also note there is another similar website that seems to be affiliated because they copy the same information with a different url, and this site offers a VIP group that costs over $2,000 to bury this complaint. Is the author aware of that? But its a free country, right?
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