Child modelling i.e. Models Direct

(32 Posts)
simplesarah Wed 17-Feb-10 17:39:27


I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with Models Direct, good or bad!?
They've offered my daughter a 3 year contract but after looking around, there seems to be a lot of negativity about them and they've been on watchdog for supposedly scamming people.
It does seem that some people just take it personally when they don't get any work but i'm also concerned they're quite happy to just take your money anyway, no matter how many blonde haired, green eyed 3 year old girls they already havehmm.
I have applied to a few other companies but i've only heard back from 1 saying their books are full.
Any one help!?confused

NewDKmum Thu 18-Feb-10 20:07:02

Hi, I have no experience with Models Direct, but I suggest you try posting under "Other subjects". I believe that is where the child modelling threads usually are.

reddaisy Thu 18-Feb-10 20:09:36

What do you mean "take your money"? Money for what? My knowledge of modelling - from a friend who did it professionally for a couple of years - is that reputable agencies don't charge clients for anything. They do the photos, portfolios etc because in the end they get the cash back because they book jobs and get a cut. So I would be dubious about a firm that was charging you upfront.

SuzyOConnor Fri 19-Feb-10 13:39:18


My name is Suzy O’Connor and I run Models Direct. We are an agency with twenty years experience behind us and a full-time team of professionals who work hard every day to connect models and clients.

While we try our very best to find assignments for as many of our models as possible, we cannot guarantee that every model will always receive work as it is the clients who select the models. We don’t try to hide this fact and it is stated on our website.

Many people question our fee (from 70 pence a week) and this is understandable, there are plenty of scam agencies out there. However, it is also common and a accepted practice that agencies charge some kind of fee for inclusion in either model books or for an online model portfolio. We do not charge for photos for your portfolio or even insist that you have professional photos taken. We do not take people’s money and then disappear, we offer a service and charge a fee for it.

Many potential models will find themselves rejected by agencies that do not require an upfront fee, as you say you have been, this is due to the specific types of models that these agencies take on. Models Direct encourages clients to use a broad range of Modelling looks, giving our models as much of an advantage as possible when trying to break into the modelling industry. We constantly try our best for our models with finding them assignments, and offer a range of services and helpful tips to do this, which you can find out more about on our website.

I hope this information helps with your decision but if you still have some areas you would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to give one of our coordinators a call on 0871 224 6000.

I wish you and your daughter the best of luck for her modelling career.

Kind regards,

Suzy O’Connor

Andy786 Thu 22-Jul-10 13:50:57

Hi wanted some advise on Scallywags child modelling agency who are based in London
My son recently went for a test shoot when we filled in a application form that we did online with a couple of his photos

We have been accepted on to there agency for our son whos 7 mths plus but there say there want £175 is this right and as anyone ever join them and parted with money upfront or had any work by them

would like advise

when I was about 18 Models Direct said they wanted to sign me up, naively I paid the fee and was put on there books for the year. I had absolutely no work in that time. Obviously an agency cannot garantee work, but as I now know, the reputable ones take a percentage of your earnings, you do not pay to go on their books.

Stay away from any agency that wants money upfront! They will always have space, because they do not have to actually get you work in order to make money.

elphiethropp Thu 22-Jul-10 14:01:12

Scallywags are a reputable agency.

Models Direct are not.

Most children's agencies require payments up front for photos, entry in their books etc. There are a few who don't but it is not like the adult agencies, children's ones do require fees.

MrsGangly Thu 22-Jul-10 17:49:37

Starting to type Models Direct into Google brings up "Models Direct scam" as the first option! Other than on their website, I can't see ANYTHING positive about them on the Internet.

They were featured on Watchdog in 2008 and hardly got a glowing review!

I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

MrsGangly Thu 22-Jul-10 17:57:24

They are also "named and shamed" by Alba Model Information who seem to be a bit of a modelling Bible!

Mum81 Sat 24-Jul-10 23:30:13

Models Direct are fine. We signed up with them, our son is a cutie and when I held out not wanting to pay the full amount they offered to sponsor him for over half the fee, so didn't cost much at all (£59). Within a month he had had his first casting for Pampers along with 20 other babies. Going through seperation anxiety though he wouldn't let me go and screamed for most of the casting - oh well! Didn't get the job needless to say!
Models Direct were very professional with how they informed us of everything that was going on.
You can update photos regularly on their protfolio and you get notified every time a client views their profile.
Don't believe all this scam stuff from Models Direct, they are fine! You may find it a bit of a sales pitch at first but that's ok. My son is with another agency as well (costs nothing) and they have done nothing. Sometimes you pay for what you get.

JAKEJEM Sun 25-Jul-10 11:39:58

Models direct ARE A SCAM. I was stupid enough to pay money and didn't hear from them again. Just check them out on Google. SCAM SCAM SCAM.

narmada Mon 26-Jul-10 12:32:36

Come on, simplesarah! Don't pay money for this. I may be a 'legitimate business' but that really does not mean it's a good idea. It just means the owners know how to make a buck or two.

narmada Mon 26-Jul-10 12:34:16

It may be a 'legitimate business', I meant blush.

splashy Tue 27-Jul-10 23:13:51

Models direct will take your money and you won't hear any more from.

Take it from someone who was bitten.

Vicki1526 Tue 12-Oct-10 23:36:52


Saw all your messages and thought I would try and help. My daughter has modelled with Scallywags when she was a baby and did quite well with them, about 7 jobs within a year, I did not renew her contract after a year as I had started a new job and it would be quite difficult to get her to castings.

However, now my job is more flexible I have sent off her photos again to Scallywags, Elisabeth Smith and Norrie Carr, Scallywags and Elisabeth Smith got back to me the next day, and Norrie Carr took approx 2 weeks to get back to me. Scallywags and Norrie Carr have asked her to do a test shoot and Elisabeth Smith have asked me to supply the photos, you can choose the photographer. S & NC do not charge for the test shoot, but they do all charge to go on the website. My mother works in that industry, she is a stylist so works with the children on jobs and they are the agencies that photographers etc recommend as thats who their clients book their work through, another agency a friend of mines child is with is Truly Scrumptious and they are good too.
I would be wary of an agency that offers 3 year contracts as children change, at some stage they are going to start losing their teeth and not many agencies will book them if that is the case.
Scallywags have a higher turnover of models and arn't as strict, but NC & ES are more selective, but ES also keeps them on the books longer. NC & ES also like them to be attending Drama/Dance/Singing classes, so ideally you should tell them at the time of posting your photos what your child does, my daughter attends the Italia Conti Associate school on a saturday and does all the classes so that has helped her.
Anyway I hope this has helped some of you who are a bit bewildered by all the agencies

twirlymum Tue 12-Oct-10 23:51:31

My daughter was with Norrie Carr for three years, and had some really good jobs (Next, Toys r Us, Dorling Kindersley, Nick Jr etc).
I sent her photos off, then they asked me to take her to see them, as they (quite rightly) said that whilst she may be photogenic, she may not have the personality to go out on professional castings/jobs.
They then offered to take her on. We did pay to go on the books, and for the photoshoot, all kids agencies charge something.
She has a very healthy bank balance, but had to stop when she started school as the headteacher was not at all supportive!
Good Luck.

MrsMc82 Wed 13-Oct-10 09:29:30

I used to work as receptionist for a model agency years ago, we specialised in dancer/models for bridal and lingerie fashion shows not chilldren but frequently got calls from parents wanting to get their children into modelling who got our number from a google search of local model agencies. the owner of the agency had been in business for about a million years and on my first day gave me "scripts" for responding to the various speculative calls we received.......... The response for those calling about childrens modeling was to reccomend and agency in manchester who we knew to be reputable (we used them if ever needed any bridesmaids in the shows) and to tell parents never ever to pay to go on an agencies book or for photoshoots......
I'd steer well clear if I were you.......

scotsmuminengland Wed 13-Oct-10 10:40:17

My son has been with Models Direct for nearly 3 years and hasn't had a single job. He is obviously a right minger....

Borgie Tue 18-Jan-11 13:36:21

Hi there
I have just entered my son into Lil' Miss Lil' Mister child model search competition where the winner win contracts with Starfish Models in London, they are a well established agency who supply models for a lot of high street names.

He had a mini photo shoot and I got to take a photograph away with me and also purchased some more for his portfolio, the photos were excellent and reasonably priced.

here is the website if anyone is interested www. lilmisslilmister

jetagemum Sun 30-Jan-11 16:18:02

can anyone direct me on how to get my baby to feature on babytv?

christmasdaybaby Mon 18-Apr-11 17:48:28

Hey everyone,

I'm new but applied to a few agencies with Ethans photos and was accepted by them all, babyshak and Elisabeth Smith seem to be the best ones.

I was wondering whether anyone could confirm that it is worth the £175 as I am willing to pay this if it is??

Thank you x x

Ruthybee Tue 19-Apr-11 16:40:00

hi all. advice please. my daughter has just been acceptd by Starfish Models. quotes from the email.....

'By signing the contract you will be agreeing to our terms and conditions and will be signed to our agency for a period of 1 year. Please read the terms and conditions carefully as these are the rules you will need to abide by whilst being represented by our agency. Payment of the £135 registration/profile fee will be deducted from your child’s first wage. There are no fees to pay if your child does not receive any work.'

'You will also need to send a copy of your child’s birth certificate.'

'Your child will be invited to attend a portfolio photo shoot on the next available date. These are the images which will be used for your child’s profile page on our website database which is searched by our clients to find the right face for their ad campaigns. You are able to supply your own professional photos providing they are on a white background and are of agency standard. If your child needs a portfolio this will be an additional cost of £100, which is payable 30 days from the date of joining. Your application photo will be used until the portfolio photos are complete.'

does this sound right? im new to this and really dont ant to get scammed. im happy with the reg fee not having to be paid if my child gets no work. but i don't understand the portfolio shoot part. if i don't pay £100 will they still put a picture on the website?!? im probably being really thick lol!

advice greatly appreciated

ruth. mother to a nearly 4 (going on 14!) year old.

Firawla Tue 19-Apr-11 17:37:48

ruth have you applied anywhere else? you can get cheaper and more reputable agencies than starfish, they seem a bit 'dodgy' from things ive seen of them, not sure if they do get any work or not but if you are in london there are loads you can apply to

vanessa4kidsandadog Sun 08-May-11 23:10:38

bruce and brown do not charge any up front fees and for acting there are lots of agencies that do not charge up front fees like abacus, A&J, mark jermin, csmanagement, kelly management, D&B management, bonnie and betty and chilli kids are both well recommended and though they do have start up costs i think it is just a small admin fee

poppycockandfudge Mon 12-Dec-11 21:40:02

My DS is 5 months old and has been offered contracts with Elisabeth Smith and Scallywags. Which agency is best for babies? Should we try any others with no/lower fees?

Please advise...

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