Actor Headshots VS Model Portraits

I hear a lot of people mix up these definitions so I thought I’d clear up the misunderstanding…

          Only Actors get headshots done. Models do not.

          However, both Models and Actors can have portraits done. 

Headshots are different from portraits because they show what roles you can play, they are either straight on or at a slight facial angle, they’re always chest to head, never just neck up, and they have a different function than portraits. Also, casting directors for acting will look at an Actor’s headshot along with their résumé. Whereas, casting directors for modeling will look at either you in person, your digitals, your portfolio (which includes portraits) or any combination of those items.

Portraits showcase beauty.

Headshots show what acting roles you could play.

(Or if your in business / real estate, simply what you look like with a trustworthy expression)

*Check out the “Headshots” highlight on my Instagram to see example Actor headshots!

My Actor headshot is the one in the denim, my Model portrait is the image in the black tank.

Identifying Modeling Scams

1) Agencies that won’t let you join their roster unless you take model classes (especially the ones they offer) or that sell photoshoot packages (which they use make money off you) are scams. 

Paying an agency directly instead of the photographer doesn’t make sense. An agency is supposed to connect you with photographers so you can pay them to build your portfolio. An agency that makes you pay them directly to work with their on-resident photographer, instead of having you pay the photographers that they should send you to in order to build your portfolio, want to become the middle man. This way, they can increase the charge of the photoshoot and keep the extra money. So, if X photographer works with Y agency, and X photographer’s usual rate is $700 to build a portfolio with a model, but then Y agency tells the Model it costs $1,200. Then Y agency is keeping the $500 for themselves. And if they’re already making money off of you, what motivation do they have to book you jobs where you make money? 

2) Also never pay for casting calls. Casting calls are free. 

3) Any legit agency will contact you via email first, not WhatsApp, when scouting you. Sometimes they’ll duet you on TikTok or DM you on Instagram, but then they’ll give you an email address to continue the conversation on.

Only if you or your agent live in or are from another country, and only after you’ve signed with them, is WhatsApp appropriate and acceptable professionally. It’s strange to be reached out to via WhatApp in The United States with a message saying “we love your look and would like to sign you as a Model”.

If you want to ask someone via Instagram if an agency is a scam use vanish mode to protect you and the person you’re talking to. 

Shit Model Management on Instagram also has lists of scam agencies and exposes major abuses committed by some of the top Modeling agencies. You can also report abusive agencies, agents, and photographers to their Twitter blacklist. is a great resource to find agencies that don’t charge signing fees. Not all legit agencies are listed on their site, and your experience with any agency will vary depending on which agent you get. Unfortunately, fair treatment at all agenciescaround the world, even the top ones, isn’t guaranteed, and won’t be until it’s made into law.

Learn about The Fashion Workers Act proposed by The Model Alliance NY which aims to make it illegal for Modeling Agencies to charge signing fees etc… This’ll greatly reduce Modeling scams and industry abuses within New York! They can also help you if you need to pursue legal action against a Photographer, agency etc… And you can report Modeling scams in New York anonymously to them.

☆ Click here for a Guide to Spotting Model Scams

☆ Click here to Report Modeling Scams to the FTC

☆ Report scam modeling agencies Instagram pages to Instagram.

Red Flags in Acting Classes

1. They pester you to come back.

2. They verbally abuse you or other students.

3. They punish you unfairly (especially for things like going to the bathroom)

4. They use bribes to keep you in class.

5. They never give you constructive criticism or clear criticism, even after you ask them to clarify.

6. They ask you to sign a contract that auto-renews. 

It’s class, not an agency.

7. They don’t want to let you go, or quit their class.

8. They force you to do things you’re uncomfortable with. 

My Acting Teacher in college forced me to kiss my scene partner… after our scene had ended… in front of the  entire class. 

9. They flirts with students.

10. They ask students to appropriate an ethnicity, or make a fake identity.

11. They consistently misgender students.

12. They make students cry.

13. Classes are too large. 

10, maybe 12, is the max in my book. I want there to be enough to for me to get individual attention/critiques.

14. They aggressively mock or single out one student. 

A teacher reprimanding a student who’s late or doesn’t do their work without a valid excuse is normal. What isn’t is them raising their voice or insulting a student without good reason. Actors shouldn’t be mocked for their accents or physical attributes. And teachers shouldn’t be harder on their non-white students than their caucasian ones etc…

15. They rant more than they teach. 

16. They force you to reveal personal traumas like sexual or physical abuse to the entire class, or even just to them.

17. There’s no time for individual training.

18. Class is cancelled without sufficient notice and no replacement is provided… and Actors still have to pay for that class day.

19. They gaslight you.

I had a teacher who’d constantly gaslight me. For example, I’d say we scheduled class for this day, then they’d say that never happened. And they always blamed my poor memory… Despite me writing everything down…

(check out this link to learn what gaslighting is and how to address it)

20. There’s group feedback

You’re paying to have the teacher instruct you, not the students who are all of varying skill and experience levels, and who may or may not give you good feedback. Some students can even give bad feedback. It’s also overwhelming to get 10 critiques on 1 scene, all with different directions. It leaves the Actor unsure of where to start repairs.

21. They talk badly about other teachers and name them.

Google every Acting teacher, class, and studio before working with them. And ask other Actors who’ve taken their class how their experience was before signing up. 

How to Choose an Acting Coach

A good Acting coach can really make a huge difference in your Acting career and development. 

But in the words of a Voiceover coach I once had, “some coaches never want to let you go”. 

It is important to choose someone who is more interested in your development and willing to part without issue instead of someone who wants to keep you as a cash-cow. 

Before choosing an Acting coach ask yourself the following questions:

1) Do they have a plan over the next number of weeks, or do they have no plan with no concrete end?

2) Is working with this person going to help me develop my reel?

3) Am I being led by their low prices or by what they have to offer me?

4) Do I ever feel gaslighted when speaking to them?

5) Are they willing to do a trial session?

6) What skills do they have and what skills do they not have?

7) How can their skills help me?

8) Do they have any negative Google reviews?

9) What do others who’ve studied under them say?

10) Am I being led by their popularity or by our chemistry?

11) How do they accept payment?

Example Model Rates

The reason Models don’t publish their rates is because they change quickly as the Model becomes more developed/experienced. And they change greatly depending on the client. There is also a fair amount of negotiating that goes into the rates of individual jobs.

But this doesn’t help new freelance Models figure out how much they should charge and it contributes to the outbreak of Models, Instagram Models, and Brand Ambassadors being low-balled today.

I remember on my 1st go-see with a major denim brand -that I procured on my own- I was just starting out and was signed to a scam agency and wasn’t taught what my rates should be. When I told the designer I charged $150 flat rate an hour her exact response was, “you can charge more”. My lack of experience was made evident then and in the end it contributed to why I didn’t book the job.

There is a recent phenomenon of Brand Ambassadors, Models, and Instagram Models charging too little as a result of brands low-balling them due to the creation of Brand Ambassadors.

Even though Models and Brand Ambassadors are different professions; which overlap within the profession of Instagram modeling, they all are being low-balled. And they all deserve to be paid more.

Many Models complain that because Brand Ambassadors will work for less, they flooded the market and made brands uninterested in paying high rates for Models when they can save basically their entire budget on Brand Ambassadors. And this happened because it is a profession that the public can quickly get into. And the general public is unaware of Model rates. 

I propose a solution of teaching Brand Ambassadors, Instagram Models, and Models to charge more! If they can’t afford you, that’s it. Move on. This is the only way to reset the market and to get everyone paid what they deserve!

So to help, here are some EXAMPLE rates for a NEW (has worked for less than a year) FREELANCE Model working in NEW YORK. 

(These rates are not definite and should be viewed as a general example rather than an end all be all)

☆ When figuring out your rates you need to take into account your…

1. Years of Experience

2. Whether your signed or freelance

3. Location

These are example rates I found through a YouTube video. Do your research and Google more example Model rates. There’s hella stuff on YouTube!

(These rates are not definite and should be viewed as a general example rather than an end all be all)

An influencer told me this is how much she charges per post and I derived this formula for how much to charge a brand per feed post through her rates.

(These rates are not definite and should be viewed as a general example rather than an end all be all)

Using Format