My youngest daughter, aged 15, has been a professional model for the past year. She has had many exciting (and some not so exciting!) opportunites come her way, including a job as a professional celebrity lookalike in a segment that aired both nationally on “Inside Edition” and “Entertainment Tonight” and on live New York City television as well. That’s food for another article; what I want to share with you is how my husband and I worked to develop a contract for professional models who work with agencies as independent contractors that will serve you well and be more than acceptable to agencies also. Once you have written up your own contract, keep it with you for all open calls, go-sees, etc. Most agencies will whip out their own contracts; it is obviously in your own best interests to have your own contract already prepared. Many girls and guys don’t bother to really read and review the contracts that are handed to them; we get so caught up in the bliss of being offered a contract that the temptation to sign on the dotted line is irresistible. Arm yourself with a contract that favors both you and the agency, and have it on hand at all times! Bear in mind that the agency will be impressed as well that you have your own ‘standard’ contract; it gives the sense that you have been in the business long enough and often enough to have thought this process through.
Obviously, you’ll need a computer and a printer! Let’s go, step by step:
1. If you know the name of the agency in advance, at the top center of the page type in the agency’s full name, address and telephone and fax numbers, if you have them. You should also have copies of your contract with this information left blank as well; make multiple copies so that the pertinent information can be hand-written on these three/four lines.
2. Space down about three lines, and center the words “Model’s Agreement”.
3. The first paragraph should be exactly that, a paragraph. It should be typed as follows:
I, ______________, (insert your full legal name therein), residing at _______________, ___________, (insert your permanent street address, city, state and zip code), understand and agree that all modeling and/or other professional assigments offered to me by any representative of _________________________ (fill in here the name of the modeling agency), including such assignments not actually worked, will be governed by the following:
4. 1. I hereby warrant and affirm that I am working as an independent contractor hereunder and not as an employee of _________ (insert the name of the modeling agency therein).
5. 2. Compensation for services provided hereunder shall be due to me upon receipt by ____________ (insert name of modeling agency) of good funds from the client hiring my services. ________________ (insert name of modeling agency) is not obligated to pay me in the event that the client hiring my services fails to pay.
6. 3. I hereby agree that, as compensation for its services, ____________ (insert name of modeling agency) shall be entitled to ____________% (insert herein the agency’s percentage, which is normally 20%) of any and all payments made by the client to _____________ (insert name of modeling agency) for the services that _____________ (insert name of modeling agency) and I have provided to the client.
7. 4. Any person, partnership, and/or corporation for whom I actually perform work or for whom I am offered work and decline, whose services were secured by any representatives of _____________ (insert name of modeling agency) for the purpose of modeling and/or other professional assignments shall be considered a client of ______________ (insert name of modeling agency) for a period of three (3) (you can choose to make this one year, two years or three, but the standard time period is unfortunately three years for most agencies) from the initial date of such service. Any modeling and/or professional assignments offered to me whether accepted or not by me for/from such client, whose services were secured by _______ (insert name of modeling agency) during said three (3) year period shall be deemed to be the result of the efforts of _________ (insert name of modeling agency). In that event, ________________ (insert name of modeling agency) shall have the sole and exclusive right to enter into an agreement with such client for my services hereunder.
8. 5. Should I accept any modeling and/or other professional assignments from such clients, whose services were secured by _____________ (insert name of modeling agency) directly, I understand that I will be obligated to pay __________(insert name of modeling agency) not only the twenty percent (20%) (again, this is the standard agency percentage) commission described in Paragraph 3 above that is owed to _____________ (insert name of modeling agency), but also the twenty percent (20%) commission of the client costs or other expenses incurred by _____________ (insert name of modeling agency) in enforcing the Model’s Agreement.
9. 6. Services provided to me hereunder shall be subject to the direction and control of the client of ___________ (insert name of modeling agency).
10. This last paragraph again is exactly that, a paragraph.
Either party may cancel this Agreement by written notification to the respective parties’ address(es) indicated in this Agreement. However, Paragraph 4 above shall remain in effect and ___________ (insert name of modeling agency) shall be entitled to their 20% commission for a period of three (3) years from the initial date of such service for any contact for whom I actually perform work.
11. Last sentence:
This Agreement is entered into the State of ____________ (your permanent home address state) and shall be construed and interpreted in accordance with its laws.
12. Finally, you have the signature lines:
_________________(type your name in here)
Model’s SSN: (insert your Social Security number herein)
_______________________________(insert herein the name only of the modeling agency)
By:_______________________________(the agency representative/owner should sign here)
Bear in mind that neither I nor my husband are attorneys, and as such do not represent that any of the work, wording, advice, etc. contained in here are the works of a licensed attorney. We recommend that you have an attorney review your Model’s Agreement in order to comply with state and local laws as well. What we have found is that this contract has worked well for our own daughter and the agencies with whom she is associated. Professional modeling is a hard, tough industry itself; anything that you can do to make the process a little bit easier along the way is a blessing!