Tear sheets are the gold standard of the modeling industry. Agency clients want tear sheets; agencies want tear sheets; and models want tear sheets.
Tear sheets are pages ripped from magazines, etc. They are pictures of models at work. They are proof the model has worked. They are proof the model has been published.
Tear sheets are so important new models will go to another country if they have to in order to get them. They will work in a foreign country to get tear sheets so they can get work in their own country.
Aspiring models need to take tear sheets seriously as they consider representation by an agency. Just as an agency's clients demand to see tear sheets, they need to demand to see them. They need to ask to see tear sheets at a modeling agency's office and look for tear sheets on their website.
Tear sheets are proof that an agency can and does get its models print work. If an agency has managed to get its models published in magazines, etc., they will have tear sheets.
Models keep tear sheets for their portfolios, and agencies keep copies of their books to promote them. If they have not and cannot get their models work, there will not be any tear sheets.
There is no reason to believe an agency will be able to get an aspiring model editorial or print jobs if they cannot produce tear sheets to prove they have already been successful.
Bogus model or talent agencies say or imply they can get high-end work, but they have no tear sheets to prove it.
Scam modeling agencies promote modeling for magazines and catalogs, but they have no tear sheets, because they can only get their models promotional work, which does not pay very well, and certainly nothing near true modeling.
Hype means nothing: tear sheets mean everything. Do not just listen to what you are told; look for published pictures. Talk is cheap and can be deceitful. But it is much harder to fake a tear sheet.
When a picture is a tear sheet, it is worth a thousand words. A tear sheet picture is worth something because it is basically about the same as showing a copy of a check which a model received from being represented by the agency.
Go to one of the Ford Models websites, and almost every picture in their models' portfolios is a tear sheet. Go to the website of a scam agency and you will see no tear sheets.
The same screening process used to check modeling agencies can be used to check photographers.
Some of these scam modeling agencies claim big-name photographers are going to take the pictures of new models.
One modeling agency even says its new models must be photographed by a photographer whose work has been published in a national magazine.
Well, fine, but let's see the tear sheets. Photographers are just as careful to keep tear sheets as models. They will both be able to advance their careers by proving they were published.
So ask to see the website of the photographer and look for tear sheets.
Tear sheets should be one of the first things to look for when checking out a modeling agency to determine if it is legitimate, or to find out if a photographer is respected.
Do not make it the last thing you look at and definitely don't forget to check. Tear sheets should be prominently displayed on a website or at the very least available by request.
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