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Devizes teenager warns over model studio’s tactics
9:00am Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
DEVIZES teenager Cheyenne King is warning other aspiring models to be careful after she alleges she was caught up in a scam.
Cheyenne, 17, filled in a form and enclosed a picture of herself to register as a model with Form Models.
Three days later she was called by a man at the firm to say she was on the shortlist and invited to attend a photo shoot in London.
She said she had to pay the £50 refundable deposit there and then, otherwise she would lose her slot. Her sister, Ebony Orritt, 22, paid.
Cheyenne, of Waylands, said no other costs were mentioned to her except a £50 charge if she wanted to purchase the photographs.
Cheyenne, her mother, Rosemary Cox, and father, Timothy King, went to the photo shoot at Neptune Studios in Waterloo, London, last month.
After the session, Cheyenne said she was told by one of the staff that she could be a model but she would have to pay for a portfolio of photos.
Cheyenne and her mother were shocked at the cost – £1,250 – which they said they were told would be for 28 photos, a CD-ROM and a website.
Her mother and father paid £200 on the spot, which included the £50 deposit, and her mother agreed to pay the remainder over four months.
However, Ms Cox later cancelled the payments when a friend of Cheyenne’s sister, who does modelling, said upfront fees were not normal. Instead, the money should be taken from a model’s wages when they get an assignment.
They then looked online and found complaints from other aspiring models about Form Models.
Cheyenne, who is unemployed, said: “When Chico (the man at Form Models) phoned me to go to the photo shoot nothing was mentioned about portfolios. He said if I wanted to buy a picture they would be £50 a picture.”
Ms Cox, 50, said: “There wasn’t anything about cost in the paperwork they sent. If there had been, we wouldn’t have gone.”
Cheyenne said she was going to make a complaint to Trading Standards.
She said: “I’m so annoyed, not just for me but for other people. I want to warn other young potential models about being naive like I was.”
Form Models says it is a platform for models and not an employment agency.
Its website states that images for portfolios start at £50 each and for details of the portfolio packages to click on a link to Neptune Studios.
But when the Gazette tried to do so on two different days, the page was unavailable.
Form Models had not responded for a comment by the time we went to press.