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Is eModel Golden Opportunity Or Big Business?

Modeling Web Site Posts Photos For Price

POSTED: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Scouts for an online modeling agency are scouting malls, grocery stores and the streets of San Antonio for aspiring models. But is eModel a golden opportunity or is it a business preying on young women's dreams?

Vanessa Lopez of San Antonio told KSAT 12 News that she was flattered when she was approached at a local mall recently by an eModel scout.

"Has anybody ever told you could be a model?" Lopez said she was asked.

Lopez said even though she is only 4-foot 11-inches tall, she accepted an invitation for an open call hosted by eModel, a fast-growing business based out of Orlando, Fla., that posts pictures and statistics of young women on its Web site.

"It all seemed all glitz and glamoury," Lopez said. "They (eModel scouts) mentioned people who'd had success with it and kept mentioning Tyra Banks and Cindy Crawford."

Lopez said she passed the open call and was then interviewed over the telephone where she was told a director wanted to talk with her.

"He came back on and said 'I'm so impressed, I'm going to take you. How do you want to pay for this?'" Lopez said.

Lopez said she was told that if she wanted to appear on the eModel Web site, it would cost her $495 up front to get her picture up on the Web site, plus a $20 monthly fee for the photo to stay online.

Lopez added that she wasn't pressured into accepting the proposal, but when she started to decline she was told "I don't think you're serious about your career," she said.

Another woman said she too was accepted by eModel, but the fee she was asked to pay was higher than Lopez'.

KSAT 12 News intern Jodie Engel said her up-front fee was $500.

eModel claims their fees are much cheaper than if someone would make their own industry comp cards.

When contacted by KSAT 12 News, eModel officials agreed to an interview, but only if it were live and unedited. The director of the San Antonio eModel office told KSAT 12 News that eModel does not try to sell anything to anybody, but what it sells is a service.

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