The American Mall Model SearchScam?

1 Review updated:

Okay, let's get some facts straight. The AMMS is NOT a modeling agency. It's a competition to win a contract with a scouting and booking agency. Again, NOT a modeling agency. So those of you who say a legit company would not be asking you to pay for a portfolio, this isn't really the same situation. For a legitimate modeling agency, yes, do not give them the money if they ask for it. But that is not what AMMS is and should not be confused with it.
Is it bad business to ask for the money so early in the competition? Yes. Should they have licensed photographers taking the photos? Hell yes. Would it cost a whole giant lot more if they did? Well, need I repeat myself?
The cold hard fact is that a lot of the people that pass the preliminaries are not going to win. The contest is fun and they'll be given a fair chance, but realistically the company just wants their money from the photos. These people should take a good, long look at themselves before paying and ask, "Am I REALLY just that good? Or is there an ulterior motive here?"
If you ARE just that good though, then you're going to need a portfolio. It's an inescapable fact of the industry. They SHOULD allow you to submit a pre-existing portfolio if you have one, but as a company they still want your money, and I will admit the merits of having a first-hand account of how the contestant interacts with the photographer. Furthermore it bypasses the problem of fiscal inequalities by ensuring that everyone has the same basic setup, the only difference being the quantity of shots.
On a final note, it might be worth noting that the majority of complainants on this board did not follow through with the competition, but left when money was first requested. To those people, I can only say you are right to be wary. I applaud you for taking care with your money and your children. But you did not have the full experience, or really ANY experience with the company other than reading the complaints on this board and screaming scam. I'm not trying to offend you in any way, but please in the future leave the way for legitimate complaints.

Sort by: UpDate | Rating


  • Bk
      Jan 19, 2012

    I definitely agree with everything you are saying. I have always thought my daughter was a natural for Print Modeling. Now that she is 9, she has the physique of a model so, I also entered my daughter into the AMMS (American Mall Model Search-Cary, NC) and completed it with fees paid. When it was explained to me i understood what i was getting myself into. i did my research and weighed my options: "With the pictures i already have of her, should i make my own portfolio? or should i pay a professional to do it?". I was indeed extremely skeptical then about AMMS being a scam. However, after meeting the scouting agents, photographers, and teen volunteers i felt a little comfort in my decision.
    For many years i thought this would be a scam so i never entered. Well December 2011 was her final show. I found it to be a great opportunity to get my daughter exposed to was performing is like from a realistic point of view. Also for her see first hand what a real photo shoot is like. Since she was young she has always told me how much she wanted to be "in the television". So i took a chance to make that happen. AMMS requires payment for a portfolio, but professional portfolio's can be expensive. Granted, i do think the photographs were a little am-mature, but i did receive what i paid for. AMMS talent scouts are only there to determine your child's level of talent and to provide your child with the bare essentials for starting a Modeling/Acting career. They refer you to The Casting Board, which is a job booking agency. There is no ties to a contract, you can opt out at any time. The Casting Board is who your child will work for. They also ask for payment on Resume Cards, Id Cards, and Casting Cards (These are needed when jobs are booked and required for work.) You control whether TCB get paid or not and they control whether you get a job or not. You have to spend money to make money i always say. You also have to know for yourself if you child's a star or anyone will be able to con you. I have 60 days to decline or accept that contract. but even if i don't my little lady will still have her Professional Portfolio that i will use myself to book her jobs. Also she will always have that memory and what she learned from her Performances with AMMS. Reminder: A chance taken is not a chance lost. I say it's not a scam.

    0 Votes
  • Cb
      Feb 23, 2012

    I have been contacting AMMA so I can receive my daughter's pictures and have gotten no replies. I just want what I paid for.

    +2 Votes

Post your comment