Modeling Scams: Tips for Canadian Models

This article will give you some tips on how to avoid common modelling scams for models in Canada.


11/26/20212 min read

In this article, I am going to talk about some of the common modeling scams for Canadian models. I have been in the modeling space since I was about 14 and I have been modeling for the last 3 years as an adult and have been represented by a few agencies in the past.

in this article

1. How to verify the legitimacy of Talent Agencies

2. How to build your portfolio for free

3. Avoid unnecessary courses

4. Recognizing Scams

5. Industry Standards for Pricing

6. Conclusion


If you’re approached out of the blue by a talent agent, this should be a red flag. Most reputable talent agents do not approach models and actors this way and rarely represent you if you have no experience or training.

When shopping around for talent agents look to see if they are registered. For example, talent agents in BC have to be registered under the Ministry of Labor. You can search the database of the Ministry of Labour website to verify if the talent agency is properly registered. You can match the registration number from the Ministry of Labour to the one listed on the website of the talent agency you are interested in. Talent agencies should be listing their registration numbers on there.


For those new to modeling, consider Time for Print photo shoots as a means to build your portfolio. Time for Print is a term that means that you exchange your time as a model in exchange for photos from the photographer. This will help you build experience and you can create a tailored portfolio that you can then use to submit to agencies.


Agencies that say you must attend their classes or lessons are most likely just interested in collecting course fees. Your talent agent should not be pressuring you into taking courses. That should be something that you voluntarily do on your own. You can seek guidance from your talent agent on which courses are appropriate for your goals. Reputable agencies expect models to arrive with prior experience and training.


Beware of ads you see that ask you to audition. I encountered a modeling opportunity via an Instagram ad, went in for an audition, and was advised that I had to pay $5,000 for training to be on a TV show. A consultation with my talent agent confirmed this was a scam. When you audition for something you are picked for a gig based on perceived experience and potential for the job. None of this requires that you first get training and pay them directly.


If you are offered an exorbitant amount of money for a gig, especially as a beginner; beware as this could be a scam. To give you a reference on pricing, a modeling gig from a talent agent in BC can pay $600 for two days of work which includes the fitting and the photoshoot. Your travel allowance is covered and you get a food budget. The buyout for photos is around $1500. If anybody offers you 10 times the amount of that and you’re in British Columbia, I would be suspicious, especially if you’re a new model and you’re not very well known.


If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you! If you want to learn more about modelling I have started a modelling 101 playlist on youtube channel.