Thursday, 10 January 2013

Tell your Scam story

Have you been scammed by a so called Modeling Platform or a so called agency? I emphasize the phrase so called because scams can not be called by their real names. They are only scams, which were created to cheat, overcharge and manipulate people in order to make loads of money. I stepped in a trap like that and would like to hear other people's stories as well. Where did it happen ? What happened ? What was promised and which promises were not fulfilled? My list can be found from a post before and I suppose the false promises mostly fall into same categories. But still, it would be very good if some of you could share your negative experiences whether it was about an official agency or a platform. Emphasize: So called. ;)

Please, send your stories, short or long, to my email address (on the right hand side) and I will publish them in the blog. It is very important to raise awareness on crabby businesses in the modeling industry. Let us all know who has scammed you and who we all should avoid!

All the best to in stepping into industry and making your dreams come true. Don't let the liars put you down.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Honesty is an over-respected virtue

Luckily enough, I have saved all the emails and messages sent between me and the platform and I have gathered all the evidence on my issue.

The main controversy: What they have promised versus what they have provided. It is obvious and clearly visible that the main promises did not come true and I was badly scammed. I based my whole webfolio purchase on the following statements made by the members of the platform:

"We would never pass anyone on the test shoot that couldn't make money sweetheart or it would be a waste of not only your time but mine also." -Natalie

--> Yes, I passed. I have not got any help in making money and getting jobs. I only got a list of agencies where I could send the portfolio by myself. I did not get help in a way that was promised. More information in the following email sent on 6th of November 2012:

"We will most definitely help you in any way we can to gain you work out of the industry and support you on any job you do get. You are most definitely not on your own after your portfolio I will be here to support you every step of the way. If you are successful you will automatically go onto our website, free of charge of course, with a picture of yourself, your name, your age and also your model reference number."  -Natalie

--> At my case, nothing came true. I have not got any support (instead of the lists of the agencies, which has nothing to do with personal help and support). And most importantly: My pictures did not go onto the platform's website; not the picture of myself, not my name, age or the reference number. This is the main issue I will raise up on the table and which I have emphasized since the very beginning. This is the only single promise I based my whole purchase on. And it failed. And I remained unemployed and lost my money.

                           Don't do the same mistake. Don't be cheated, dear girlies. :)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Information page and verbal promises: only fairytales?

My biggest concern: not getting jobs, even though it was promised. The guy, who made my portfolio told me face to face: "We can guarantee that you will get jobs 100% when you buy this package." The package meant 40 pictures in a CD and a webfolio including those pictures. That's what I got indeed. But that's where the problems also began. According to Form Modeling webpage and information provided me in the studio, the "package" also includes all the help from the platform to make me employed. I have an email from the female manager telling me that I am not left alone after making the pictures, but instead, the platform is there to send my pictures to the agencies and to give me a "kick start" to the modeling industry. This was the key factor and the main reason for me to have the courage to pay the huge amount of money: I was promised to get jobs. This failed completely.

Due to my big hesitations and suspicions, I asked the guy to explain the process to me very thoroughly. I also asked the female manager to explain me more about the employment and how to get jobs. They both told me not to worry; my pictures (webfolio) would be in Form Modeling webpage available for the "clients" (whoever they are?) and through the Platform those clients (professionals) can find me and make an inquiry about me in case they want me to their photo shoot. The female told me that the platform exists to help me become employed.

This has been my main question ever since my webfolio was made: Why aren't my pictures in the webpage as promised and why no one has an access to my webfolio via Form Modeling webpage? Why does the platform state that their ultimate aim is to make the models employed and in the emails the manager tells me that no one has promised me that I will get jobs? There is a "smallish" controversy in these two statements.

One thing raised my greatest suspicions: after I made my complaints about this issue and mentioned about this controversy, the statement was deleted from the Form Modeling webpage without any explanations. Still today, I have not received an answer to this most important question. Employment is an issue on which I based my webfolio purchase decision. I was promised work, but I did not get the pictures which provide me jobs nor any help with getting the jobs. The whole agreement has failed due to this miscommunication, failed photographs and misleading information.

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Luckily enough, I took photocopies of the original statement in the webpage. Here it is as it was before 13th of December (the day when it seemed to be deleted):

"Form Models understands how hard it can be to break into the modelling world! It can be daunting and at times confusing. So it’s good to know you’re in the company of many of the top TV and modelling professionals.  --> SELF-LEARNING = PROFESSIONALISM?

To make the process easier and to assist aspiring models, Form Models have a very dedicated team consisting of top professionals, who will aim to provide you with the assistance you need in order to overcome the hurdles and uncertainties involved with undertaking paid modelling work. --> WHAT ASSISTANCE??

Hundreds of modelling agencies are allowed, and encouraged to access your portfolio. This provides you with additional exposure to model agencies, as well as fashion and casting directors, which is vital to success within modelling. --> ALLOWED TO ACCESS MY PORTFOLIO?? WELL, NOT MINE...

Our team is made up of key people from all areas of modelling and TV. Including ex models, creative staff (make up, lighting fashion stylists and photographers) who have worked on productions such as: Britain’s Next Top Model, X Factor and The Voice, plus assisted with shoots for magazines such GQ and Vogue; as well as working alongside stars such as Jade Jagger, Tina Tampa and Professor Green. These industry professionals are able to spot modelling potential, and as a result they can suggest suitable fields of development as well as upcoming opportunities. --> NO OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDED

The Form Models team will provide access to your portfolio for casting companies, fashion magazines, television production companies and model agencies. The ultimate goal is to secure you paid work within the industry. This could include television appearances, magazines shoots, catalogues work, reality shows, Internet promotions, promotional work, catwalk (national and international) and so on. However, before you can start working it is essential you understand how the industry works, as well as which areas of modelling you are best suited for. --> WHAT ACCESS? WHERE? THAT GATE SEEMS TO BE VERY MUCH CLOSED... ULTIMATE GOAL TO SECURE PAID WORK? WHERE IS THAT ULTIMATE ACTION?

Networking within modelling is very important. Your contacts are just as crucial as your ability and looks. We are constantly working on increasing our contact list in order to ensure you are marketed to as many people of the right people as possible. --> WHAT CONTACT LIST? I HAVE NOT BEEN MARKETED TO ANYONE BY THE PLATFORM.

As a modelling platform we offer a free service to successful models for the first six months after which we have to charge a £29.99 admin fee. We are not a model agency we are a model platform; which means we work along side you to kick-start your modelling career. We aim to make money by charging clients who book a model a referral fee. This means it is in our best interest to find you as much work as possible. The more money you earn - the more money we are also likely to make. --> KICK-START? NO ONE HAS WORKED WITH ME TO GIVE ME ANY START TO THE INDUSTRY. THE FEW OPTIONS I HAD WERE FOUND BY MYSELF WITH NO HELP AT ALL. I HAD TO DO IT, BECAUSE I HAD NO OTHER OPTIONS IF I WANTED TO FIND JOBS. IF THE COMPANY MAKES MORE MONEY ON MY MODELING, WHY AREN'T THEY WORKING ON MY SIDE TO MAKE ME EMPLOYED?

However it is important you understand this is a competitive industry, you may not get every job you apply for, or every audition you attend. You must work hard and be determined. The more you put in the more you will get out." --> YES, IT IS. BUT FIRSTLY I WOULD LIKE TO GET ASSISTANCE ON THE SO CALLED AUDITIONS ETC. AND SEE THE PROMISES FULFILLED. PLATFORM WAS SUPPOSED TO ALLOW THE PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE AN ACCESS TO MY PORTFOLIO AND TO MAKE ME KNOWN WITHIN AGENCIES. I HAVE DONE ALL WORK BY MYSELF NOW.
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Thank you for reading. This is all based on my personal experience and, unfortunately, mostly on hearsay. That is not heavy stuff, but that is the truth. I tell what I have seen, heard, experienced and been told and despite the Platform's email threaths, I have all rights to spread the information on my personal experience and raise awareness. There is nothing illegal about that. I am not willing to be rude, abusive or inhumane anyhow, but want to remain honest, reliable and truthful in everything I say. This is all true and based on what has happened to me. I stand behind my words and I wished that Form Modeling Platform could have done the same: to see where they have gone wrong and to take responsibility.

Friday, 4 January 2013

List of promises that failed

Hello again!

Here is the full list of promises I was made in the Neptune Studio in London. To your information, I have now approached the civil advice bureau and they are gathering evidence against Form Modeling Platform in my case. They will probably prosecute the company. I have emailed the company a number of times and made my complaints very clear. Being clear was obviously a bad thing though since I received a ridiculous and childish reply:  

Im afraid you will get no more replies from anyone here as we do not tolerate rude and abusive messages.



I did´nt know, whether I should laugh or cry. In the light of all their cheating and failures, this comment is just a joke. They refused to reply me anymore because they do not tolerate my "rude" (clear and straighforward) messages. This is truly a rubbish company, believe me girls.

Now, the list for your further information...

Promises that were made:

* I will get a webfolio with 40 pictures in 2 weeks after making the payment. (fulfilled)
* I will get a CD with my pictures straight away after making the payment. (fulfilled)
* All pictures will remain natural and they will not be modified anyhow (Axel). (not fulfilled -all pictures were modified with computer)
* This package (a webfolio + pictures in a CD = 1350 pounds) will guarantee me jobs and it will be very easy to get back this money, as I will be paid around 300-400 pounds per job. (Axel) (not fulfilled: no one helped me with finding the jobs and no contracts or jobs were offered, as the professional people saw the bad quality of the pictures, which were also NOT natural)
* I will get all the support in finding the jobs and Form modeling platform is there to help me to become employed. (not fulfilled -I was left alone after making the payment)
* I will get a letter via mail (post) telling me what to do next. (not fulfilled -no mail arrived, I was not told that in order to get jobs I need to send my pictures to someone called Caelain in the Platform. I got to know this after 1 month of making the payment, in which time I had already ran through different agencies and heard that the pictures did not meet the standards)
* My pictures will be in Form Modeling Platform Webpage (webfolio) and they are available for the "clients" of Form Modeling Platform in Internet. Through the Platform the clients can find me and send an inquiry if they want to use me in their photo shoot. (not fulfilled -my pictures are not in the webpage. My webfolio is not available in Internet for anyone but myself. And no one has answered my inquiry: who are these so called clients or are there any ?
* There are professional people in the studio and platform. (not fulfilled -I talked personally to the photographer and the make up artists and they told me they had learned their job by doing, not in any schools. They only had the personal experience, no education.)
* There are no other costs but the webfolio 1350 pounds. (not fulfilled -when I registered online, it said: we will charge every model an annual fee for running the webpage)
* 1350 pounds is a normal price for the portfolio and the professional portfolio will be required if you want to enter the agencies. (false -I got to know from real professionals that a portfolio should never cost more than 300 pounds and that the agencies do not require a portfolio made in the studio. I was told that I would get better and more natural pictures at home)

This is all for this time. I suppose that this list makes it very clear, what has gone wrong and why no one should ever waste their money to this rubbish. However, as you could see from the emails, my message has obviously not been clear enough for the people in the company...

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Watch out girls: Form Modeling Platform!

Hey you beautiful girl! Do you have a dream? Do you have a secret wish that one day you will become a famous model, who's pictures can be seen all over the place, in international news papers, women's magazines, street adverts and in public transport just like Carrie in the series Sex and the city? Have you always, always dreamed of fame, beauty, photo shoots, cat walks, high fashion and life in the modeling industry? I bet many of you have, even if you don't admit your passion. There is nothing wrong with a dream like that, vice versa. Each of us have our own passions and secret dreams, which we wish to make come true one day, sooner or later. But even though there is nothing wrong with our innocent dreams, there is something absolutely wrong in the system, where many of us are heading. Do not let yourself be cheated.

                                                      Be aware! Be cautious! Be careful!

To be honest, I am not one of those dreamers. I decided to try modeling just by a spur of a moment. A friend of mine suggested me to try it out as she saw the potential in me. I was astonished and thought: why not? I am young, energetic, tall, skinny and experienced in many areas of performing arts such as theatre and movie making. I though to go for a new challenge, just because we live once and everything is worth trying. So I did. So I stepped in a trap.

The trap was called Form Modeling Platform. Firstly I want to give a short and sharp advice (in case you are too lazy to read further): Do NOT try it out! For the ones, who are eager enough to continue reading, go ahead and follow me...

 Form Modeling Platform is not an agency and they state it very clearly in their webpage. However, they also state a few other, slightly controversial things as well. They claim that they do their best to provide their models with work in the industry and I personally was told: "When you take this package (=when you pay us 1350 pounds), we will guarantee you jobs 100%." The package included a CD with 40 pictures taken at their London Studio and a so called webfolio, where these pictures were put along with my personal information. This was done within 2 weeks after I had visited the studio for a photo shoot and paid the money (yes, I, idiot, paid the money and was brainwashed to believe that it was worth it).

However, they also state this: "The Form Modelling Platform team will provide access to your portfolio for casting companies, fashion magazines, television production companies and model agencies. The ultimate goal is to secure you paid work within the industry. This could include television appearances, magazines shoots, catalogues work, reality shows, Internet promotions, promotional work,
catwalk and so on." --> I copied this statement on 13th of December, which proved to be a right thing to do. Later I visited their webpage and saw that this part had been cancelled, most likely as a result of my inquiries and demanding emails. They had no answer to my question: Why am I the only person, who has an access to my web folio? Why do you claim that the people in the field can access my web folio, if they can't? The web folio was not available in Internet or Form Modeling webpage as promised. I paid for pictures only, even though much more was promised.

This rubbish company provides their "models" with a portfolio and charge an enormous amount of money for it.Later I was told: No one should ever pay more than 200-300 pounds for a portfolio! I am completely new in the industry and so are many others. I a not a blue-eyed person of any kind and I tend to suspect and question EVERYTHING. This time I was badly cheated, what makes me very angry. They are very good at manipulating and brainwashing young women, who dream of the lifetime job in modeling industry. And I did not even dream about it! I just dreamed of a nice, new experience, a little bit extra money to fund my studies and so on! And still: I believed it. I paid and was left alone without any further help. I got answers to my emails and inquiries, but every time I was told this: I am not responsible for this issue. You have to contact this and this and this person in order to get your issue solved. I was thrown to different people all the time and no one answered my most acute questions, which were vital in order to find out how to get jobs.

In addition to this, the company claims that they have professionals in their studio making the portfolios. Rubbish! I talked to the photographer and a make-up "artist" while they were doing my photo shoot. The girls (I emphasize: the GIRLS) told me that they had studied their profession by themselves and not gone to any schools. The customers pay ridiculous amount of money for the portfolio made my amateurs! And naturally this leads to natural consequenses when showing the portfolio to professional people in the field. I walked in to a number of different agencvies in London to show my portfolio and in 80% of them I got a reply: You look very interesting and your look suits to commercial photography, BUT this portfolio is not of the best quality. They could instantly see that it was not done by professionals AND that it had been modified by computer. I was disappointed, again. In the studio I was told that the pictures will not be modified at all but they will keep them natural. That was a lie. A big big lie, just like everything else in the company as well.

As a result of my totally negative experience and a great loss of money, which I was supposed to earn back very easily, very soon and very much beyond the sum I paid for them, I decided to open a blog. This blog is for all women and girls with a dream of a career in modeling and all the others as well. You are free to share your experiences with any Modeling Platforms or Modeling Agencies and as anonymous you can tell all the hidden facts and stories from behind the surface. I am also happy to hear the opinions and experiences of the Form Modeling Platform itself. I started to realise that all the "positive comments" and feedback they have got in Internet, may actually be written by theselves as well as all the praises and texts in their facebook page. I do not believe anything they say anymore. And so shouldn't you.

Let's reveal all the bullshit that the people in the modeling industry try to feed to young people who have dreams! And girls: do not let anyone destroy your dreams! 

Stay alert! Stay clever! Question every single promise and offer!

Do not fall into a trap. Do not become cheated, do not lose your dream and do not believe what you are told unless you can prove they are 100% right. And finally: Do not pay anything in the first place. Asking money in advance is a sign of unreliable business. If they need to charge you in advance, it means they do not have enough money in the end either.

Hugs and kisses.

- An angry woman who wants to raise awareness of shitty businesses