The future is definitely not orange…

“This isn’t a scam isn’t it?” I asked Laura from Orange Models. “I mean I know people do lure young girls in with the promise of an illustrious modeling career and all they’re really doing is selling them a portfolio.”
Laura assured me it was not. Several times. And as I normally do when someone answers a direct question, I believed her.
The reason I was talking at Laura at all was that my daughter Olivia had spotted an ad online. ‘Models needed’ it read. And gave an email address and instructions on how to upload pictures. Olivia has had some modelling experience. Well she did one job, for Centrepoint, a charity that helps homeless young people. So she figured she would give it a go. Minutes after the sent them her picture, Laura was on the phone to her. And then she had to talk to me, as Olivia is a minor.
“We really like her look,” she gushed. “She’s quite mature looking isn’t she for her age? She’s got a really interesting face. We think she’d be perfect for High Street brands like Top Shop and Zara and catalogues.”
Laura continued for about 15 minutes, telling me all about how the High Street brands are looking for new, young faces, girls aged 15 or 16.

“But she’s too short to be a model,” I said. “She’s only 5 foot six.”
“Oh there are no height restrictions for that age group,” Laura assured me and then proceeded to tell me what the procedure was.
Olivia was being invited for a four-hour assessment, where there would be people on hand to do her hair and make-up, a stylist to dress her and a photographer to take pictures of her.
“But this must be a scam,” I said. “You can’t possibly provide all that for nothing. What is this going to cost me?”
Nothing at all I was told bar a £50 deposit to secure the studio and staff. This would be refunded as soon as I showed up on the day. “We make our money by passing models on to agencies who get work for them.”
I asked her again if it was a scam or if we were going to be asked to buy the images. Not at all I was assured. They were simply assessing Olivia’s potential to become a model.
“So if you think she has potential you will take her on without me buying a portfolio?”
“Yes of course.”
Olivia was very excited about her future as a model. She recently dropped out of school and was facing the prospect of one mundane job after another. The thought of becoming Kate Moss was incredibly appealing.
I had by now started to believe Laura. She really did talk a good game and she seemed genuinely keen on my daughter, telling me again and again how interesting her face was and what potential she had.
As the day drew closer though and I was faced with the prospect of trekking up to London for it I thought I ought to just double check. So I called Orange again. Laura was out but her colleague asked if he could help me.
Again I repeated my scam question. Again I was assured Olivia was there for a genuine assessment, and that if she were successful she would become a model.
Olivia and I arrived at the studios of Metro Photography at the allotted time with her vital statistics listed and a bag full of clothes for her to change into for her various “looks”.
We were greeted by a girl called Gisela and her stylist Pedro. Gisela painstakingly filled out a form with us, all about Olivia and what sort of model she could become. Then came the photo shoots. Five different looks, involving five locations (outside in the freezing cold, in the studio etc), makeup and hair five times and so on. The whole process took hours. I had to dash off to a meeting so Olivia’s father had to come and take over while the team “assessed” her pictures and decided if she had a future as a model.

Olivia said it was lucky I wasn’t there for the so-called assessment. A man with a rather annoying lisp droned on for ages, keeping them in suspense as to whether Olivia had “made it” until the last minute. They looked at the photos, apparently she looked great, and then EUREKA! She had made it, she could be a model, she could be the next Kendal Jenner. Olivia of course was utterly thrilled. Rupert was happy too, until they told him he would have to buy a portfolio. For £700.

So they had repeatedly lied to me. I wonder how these people can sleep at night knowing they make their living giving innocent punters false hope. How could Gisela (if indeed that is her name) go through all this all day, day in, day out knowing it’s all a lie?
I have to hand it to Orange “models” as they call themselves and their partners, Metro Photography. The whole process was meticulously thought out, every detail made you think they were actually serious until of course they slap you with the bill.
By that stage of course there will be people who have been so overwhelmed and seduced by the whole “modelling” experience that they just can’t say no. And heaven knows what lengths they will go to in order to come up with £700 for something that will be of no use to them whatsoever. We saw two other people fall for it while we were there; one very sweet girl who was about the height of my 12 year old son so is never going to be a model and another woman who was even older than I am.
At best what Orange and Metro are doing is preying on people’s vanity, at worst on their insecurities and their need to be loved.
Whichever it is, they need to be stopped.

72 thoughts on “The future is definitely not orange…

  1. Hi

    I found your blog interesting as my son has an appointment to attend one of these assessment days.

    Could you please advise what photo packages were available? You mention £700 what was that for and was there any lower priced options?

    I’m considering cutting my losses and losing the £50 rather than spend over £100 on train tickets and a day’s holiday from work

    Thanks
    Angela

  2. My daughter and I are just back and were completely sold . What can w do to retrieve out money if it is a scam . Any advice ?

  3. Hi Angela sorry I just saw this, £700 seems to be the only price and they say you have to pay it before you leave otherwise they delete the images. It is for a portfolio of images.

    Allison I know we are in touch by email, just to say the Daily Mail is looking at this and I will know more tomorrow.
    H xx

  4. Helena, I would be very interested to be in touch with you. I’ve been looking into this company because a relative of mine nearly got involved with them in the same way your daughter did. Your review helped me a lot but I have since been digging deeper and wonder if I may be of any assistance to you or any investigation relating to the company. Hesitant to put my name on here as I don’t want “Orange Models” to get any details about me, but you have my email address if you want to be in touch. All the best.

  5. Just to add — I have a few things that may help to make a case against them.

  6. Hi many thanks for your response, I emailed orange after sending my message to your blog. Orange referred me to the photography’s website. Once we saw their price list and knowing of your experience I emailed them to cancel our booking. I quoted the distance selling regulations and requested a full refund (their terms state if you do not attend a booking then they will automatically deduct a “no show” fee). I also advised my bank to reject any further payment requests. I did receive a cancellation email and a full refund. I would like to thank you for saving us the time, money and trauma of continuing with this situation. We have not had any further contact from orange models, obviously they haven’t wanted to pursue my son as a “sure bet”. At the same time as my son submitted his orange application he sent the same information to a few other agencies…. Guess what they all wanted to sign him up to an assessment day as the potential face of zara, catalogues etc… These companies are basically sales companies (ppi etc) in disguise. If you take the time, spend money and effort to attend what are the chances of you walking away without spending money for the pictures……thanks again you have saved one family your trauma
    Kind regards
    Angela

  7. Sorry just wanted to add for other potential victims….they give you an approx 2 hour deadline to commit to signing up and paying the deposit. Again another high pressure sales tack tic

  8. Angela I’m so happy to hear that, and many congratulations to your son, I am so pleased! Meanwhile I had another email from a lady who was conned out of £2000 by them…just appalling.

  9. Thanks so much I will email you. I feel very strongly we need to stop these people, it is just dreadful.
    All best
    Helena

  10. I was there 2 days ago and was pressured into a credit agreement to pay the 800 pounds over 4 months. As 19 year old girl who’s new to London I was extremely excited about the day. At the end of the day my ‘assessor’ wrote out my reciept before I even confirmed the payment as well as making me feel incredibly awkward after what seemed a special day. I feel utterly humiliated! Do you know of anyway I could end this direct debit I have with them?

  11. It is most definitely a scam, I think maybe a consumer watchdog is your best bet and I am going to try to get one the national papers interested.

  12. Hi Helena, just seen your response. I have sent you an email, please check your junk folder just in case. Apologies for it’s length, but I do hope it is useful for you.

  13. I am SO sorry to read this. This is just terrible. Am trying very hard to get the national papers interested. Meanwhile why not approach a consumer watchdog or post a google review? I just did that.

  14. Hi friends.I was there 3days ago.I know I have a good appearance but they made me feel i can make big money and all these stuff. I felt so good and like a fool I signed to pay in instalments 1400P!!! Can I cancel it even if I have signed? Does it worth the money? For some hd pics?! Please gimme a help word before I have to pay the first instalment.

  15. I had orange models call me saying I was beautiful and be great for catalogue etc (I actually really am not) but at the time when she said that I was elated and agreed to pay deposit for the “audition” (which apparently only 10 females ages 30-35 were picked) I have it this Saturday and even if loved the photos I cannot afford even 1 picture. I was going to go just so I get £50 back as I really need it. Is there anyway around getting this money back without going? I feel completely duped 🙁 many thanks…

  16. I am so pleased to have read this. I had a phone call from Orange models this morning after submitting a photo of my 16 year old son. I was suspicious but the woman called Olivia assured me it was not a scam. I gave them my £50 deposit but I am now calling the bank to let them know it is a scam and hopefully get my payment refunded. My son will be disappointed. Thankfully we have been saved further expense, time and the humiliation of building up my sons hopes. These people have no shame and should be reported and stopped.

  17. I’m so glad when I looked up Orange I found this. I applied yesterday and today had text to ring them. Cassie I spoke to, sdvised me exactly as all of the above, I am 56 very young looking and I know older models are in catalogues etc. I m size 6 to 8, and although I agreed everything when she said that Evans use people like me as well as Next and catalogues I was suspicious. Evans are 12 to 24 size. No 6 there. I have done modelling in the 80s and am aware of paying for a portfolio but she never mentioned a cost of this. Which also made me suspicious. Luckily I did not have enough to pay 50 on the spot so she advised me that if I call another day no guarantee my place would be there. The whole thing is very wrong as for me this would be a major source of income, I am now going to apply where I live when agencies come to the Holiday Inn here for models and commercial tv work. At least you pay nothing for an interview. Thanks for the information.

  18. I forgot to add, Cassue also pressured me saying couldn’t someone help me and pay the 50 now

  19. I mainly attended this today 1 to get my deposit back fingers crossed and 2. To veiw what the camera crew where like as I love editing etc and I’m never the other side so the directions given to me I’ll use in the future for when I take more photos. Although I did really love all my photos. I actually wanted them. But you know what they want you to want them. She told me after my day orange had phoned her 3 times to see how I was getting on! Well that’s aload of bullshit. If I was Gullable I would have been sold. She got a pad and paper out and started writing down figures to what I’d be earning if I accepted the “job”
    Hold on a
    Minute a job??? I said ..

    And she said I must know that you really truly want this.

    I said of course but what about the portfolio… Here it goes
    For 10 photos on my portfolio.. £500 but you’ll need 30
    Photos which means it’ll be around £1500

    Oh but you can pay £100 a month it’s very possible…

    Erm excuse me but why am I paying for he job surely I should just be accepted …
    Anyway I said sorry but I cannot afford it reguardless of it being monthly

    This is a scam do not fool for it

    I even said to the photographer how long have you been doing this and he said 3 months and ion freelance meaning they don’t even have proper professional photographers because I asked him what did you do before this job and he said worked in a pub…. OK THAT SAYS IT ALL OVER

    SURELY METRO AND ORANGE ARE MEANT TO BE PROFESSIONAL… Absolute bollocks I say

  20. Thank you so much for your comments I got a phone call today for my daughter saying same thing interested in her but I won’t be taking up there offer
    Elaine

  21. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to post this article and for all the responses. I have just been on the phone to Orange Models with a very pushy woman called Cassie making all sorts of promises and urging me to take the place on a shoot next week before the chance disappears. All for £50 (no mention of the further £700). I thought I had better google the company before I booked it. Was told I had to decide in the next 10 minutes or the place would go to someone else. DREADFUL and totally UNACCEPTABLE. The company should be struck off! BE WARNED all other mums/dads and steer WELL CLEAR.

  22. Hi im glad i found this blog had a phone call today and am booked in for my daughter on friday at 5 and paid the £50 deposit. I won’t be going to this appointment so can anyone advise how i best get back my £50 or is that lost now, i paid by credit card. Many thanks

  23. Wow! Thank you so much for writing this. I sent them my photo and amazingly I was successful! Ha! I thought I’d check out online first for any experiences and hey presto! Thanks so much again.

  24. Kerry put your cancellation in writing quoting the long distance selling regulations I got my money back the next day also tell your bank not to allow any further payments to be processed to orange

  25. Angela, I would love to know how you went about cancelling and got your money back ??? Also please tell me this happened sometime recent as I just got scammed yesterday and want to do something about it asap! PLEASE HELP

  26. I wish I’d read this before last week. It seems I am another one of the suckers who has been doped into this scam. I attended the shoot last Thursday at the Metro Fashion Studios and actually really enjoyed the day. Of course I was told that I have great modelling potential and that I needed to buy a portfolio to take it any further. With the short time frame and it now being 22:30 in the evening I felt immense pressure to make a decision weather or not to purchase the images. I decided to buy all 67 images at a cost of £575. I had a suspicious feeling at the time but was not brave enough to walk away with the promise that the images would be deleted upon exit. I felt physically sick as I walked out at the thought of what I had done and the pressure I had experienced from ‘Adi’ the so called talent manager who is clearly just a sales man. If anybody has advice about how I can get my money back I would be hugely grateful and lets not let anybody else get sucked into this scam!

  27. A friend rang me about your article after I’d recommended Orange Models. I’m struggling to see the motivation behind such negativity. Your daughter does bear more than a passing resemblance to Kendal Jenner!
    My daughter Clare and I had a very positive experience with Orange Models, resulting in Clare obtaining a top class portfolio to market herself with, and as a proud Mum I have a stunning set of photos no amateur could have taken. I was more than happy to pay. Were the photos not to our liking, I would have got my £50 deposit back, and the day would have been 100% FREE.
    You moan ‘it took hours’. Yes, 5 complete outfit, make up and hairstyle changes do! As for being out in the cold on location, Clare was advised prior, to bring a warm outfit. Her shots are around Soho Square, the Cafe Royale, and with the Piccadilly lights!
    Lastly, in my opinion, it isn’t preying on vanity or insecurities. There are models needed of all looks, shapes and sizes, not just those fitting the Kardashian mould.
    I look forward to your response Helena

  28. Hello gays am at same situation can somebody tell me how to refund my money back (depossit) I can’t believe it’s happening with me , I feel like am a idiot thanks

  29. does anyone know do you get the photos after? trying to dispute the payment with my bank by saying that you don’t receive them, as I have said that it is a scam but they needed proof other than this website. cant believe this whole set-up it’s disgusting. any help would be much appreciated!

  30. Hi Arthur and Christina, you DO get your portfolio as well as on disc. This can take 2-3 weeks, but I’m very happy with Clare’s, so don’t panic or think you’ve been scammed!

  31. Hi

    While i was reading through the posts. I was actually refreshing my memories back in May 2016 i dont have any more to say apart from whatever has been said its exactly my story & i paid £50 refundable deposit & £40 cash. The lady at Metro photography was named as Grace. Iam from Fiji Islands. I was so upset for months being tricked like this. What can we do?

    Susan

  32. Beware of the company ‘SIX MODELS’ they are just another alias for orange models and apple models. As soon as one gets bad publicity another so called modelling platform agency pops up. DO NOT TRUST SIX MODELS.

  33. I did have an apointment but I shall not be going because I do not support what they have done to u and I do not want it to happen to me I am 11

  34. Help! I spent yesterday with my son at one of these test shoots and totally fell for it and signed up for portfolio even though I can’t afford it. Please tell me if and how I can get out of this.

  35. I have just been through this whole process myself 22/07/2016 and been conned out of 2000 pounds also. Of which they said was for my photos, portfolio, and my own website on line, as well as help from orange models to get jobs.
    Now trying to call them to get jobs etc is proving impossible.
    I cant believe how they can do this too people its totally wrong.
    This wont be the last of what they hear from me. I will be taking this further and as high as I can.
    Has anyone else had trouble getting in touch with them?? X

  36. Thanks for you comment I had a call today about my daughter and thought before paying £50 deposit and traveling to London I would do a little research! Wow so glad I did.

  37. Thank you for saving me for this, I just received “the call” but I was suspicious knowing that I am not THAT good looking….Glad I did a little research….Thank you!

  38. Hi – I’ve just been “Oranged” to the tune of £1600 this Sunday and wished I had done my research. Orange have gone totally quiet on me even when I introduce legal language into my e mail. Spoken to Citizen Advice and also got legal advice. Summary is that I “chose” the buy the Portfolio and as this is an on premise purchase you don’t have 14 days cooling period to cancel.

    The issue I have is that I was categorically told that Orange had secured a deal with H&M for my son and Orange apparently even called during his shoot to see how he was getting on, hence I agreed to spend that amount of money. Now I can’t even get hold of Orange I feel I have been totally mislead and mis-sold. My advice is stay well clear of any platform and stick the Agencies. Not sure how to break it to my 10 year son

  39. I’ve been through a similar situation with Orange Models. I had a great shoot with Metro Fashion Studios, passed the 4 hour test and so was happy. Then I was told id have to pay £575 for a portfolio, otherwise all of my pictures would be deleted. By the way, it’s not even a portfolio; it’s just a CD. You have to purchase the remaining materials, eg the A3 folder and printing out the pictures. I was made to feel like I could trust these people, and so gave them everything that I had earned during summer leaving me with nothing in my bank account. Suddenly, I coild not contact Orange Models. The line kept cutting off every time I ring, and nobody was replying to my emails until I threatened to report them to the police. A staff member angrily contacted me, adamant that they’ll be in contact and that they’re having technical difficulties (all of a sudden). We shall see how it goes.

  40. Mark please contact me, as I am going through the same issue as you with Orange Models. You may have seen me on Sunday 14th. I was there from 10.30 until about 2 pm. I do recall seeing a man with a young son, about 8 years old, which may have been you. I don’t know if you will remember me but I was the young black girl with black and red/pink braids.

    Misskb98@hotmail.com is my email, please get in contact as soon as possible.

  41. Reading more the comments above I think we should all get together on this and do something about it. Some legal advice from a friend suggest we could possibly get our money back by taking them to court for fraudulent behaviour and with the four / five cases I read above we would stand a good chance. Anybody interested?

  42. Hi all I think it’s an excellent idea for you all to get together and will help in any way I can but as I have not been scammed I can’t really do much. I did get my deposit back and refused to pay any more than that. I am appalled at the amount of emails and comments I am getting, their reach is far and wide, including children and a disabled lady. Just horrific.

  43. I’ve spoke to the Association of Models and they are trying to help. They did suggest to get in touch with Trading Standards. I’ll do this today and let you know the outcome – here’s my number 07527 053931

  44. I have an experience with the studio. I booked the “audition” , paid a deposit and canceled “the contract” 5minutes before start my appointment time in the studio by worlds “According the long distance sellling regulations I cancel the contract (shooting + modeling assessment).
    They replied to me, that it is not possible to get the money back because of I need to give them a notice 24 hours before… Could you help me anyone?

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