The Sales Pitch
The first part of the sales pitch of model hosting firms is you can get discovered by top agencies online.
The second part of the sales pitch is you can actually save money.
The claim is using digital photos will save the aspiring model money, because photos do not have to be reprinted, and they do not have to be mailed.
So the savings are not only typical photography expenses, but also the typical mailing expenses, which, the argument goes, will run into the thousands. Instead of paying $5,000 for all that, you can pay only $500.
It would be great in theory if the presupposition were not false. It is a false argument for several reasons.
At the initial model discovery stage, the only duplicates of photos would be Polaroids or something similar. Very cheap photos. Postage would not cost much. Also very cheap.
The development of the sales pitch typically says or infers sending photos of the aspiring model to hundreds or thousands of modeling agencies.
But there are not hundreds or thousands of top modeling agencies which are reputable. So why would you send your photos to agencies which were not reputable, or which you did not know were reputable?
Then there is the issue of distance or geography. Why send your Polaroid pictures to a minor agency thousands of miles away if they cannot get you enough work to cover travel expenses or justify moving to the state?
In reality there is a limited number of agencies which are worth sending Polaroids. The top agencies in major markets (whose reputation precedes them), and the reputable agencies not too far from where you live (and can travel to) which can make you more money than the cost of comp cards.
Of course the other agencies to contact, if you live in a major market, you can visit by open call, and you do not have to send them any pictures. Why take and send pictures if you can attend a free open call?
How much do two Polaroids (headshot, bodyshot) and postage cost? Multiplied by the number of top/reputable agencies? Models would not pay anything near $5,000; and many would not even have to pay $500.
The other point of course is there is no guarantee anyone will see your picture online. So how could it possibly save you money to use a service that is not used, and nobody sees your picture? Zero use equals total waste of $500.
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