SHOULD I sign with a modeling agency?
In most cases, the best thing you can do in modeling is to find a good agency to work with. You can brave it alone, but in most cases, you will be selling yourself short in the long run. Just as actors and athletes rely on agents to manage and maximize their careers, models do too. The old saying is true; “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know. An agent more than likely has resources that are not readily available to your solo model.
WHAT does an agency actually do?
An agency has clients already looking for models. They have photographers, make-up artists, lawyers, and anything else a model needs on hand to build her career. Most clients are less apt to try anything underhanded with you knowing you’re with an agency. Most companies actually prefer dealing with an agency vs. a self-managed model. If a client says they don’t work with agencies, there’s a good chance they’re trying to take advantage of you. Does being with an agency mean no one will ever try to cheat you? Absolutely not, but now you have someone to help you navigate through it all. There are many moving parts involved in your success, and an agency will help you pull it all together.
HOW do I find the right modeling agency?
Finding an agency isn’t always easy. Many models expect to walk into an agency, do a few twirls and have an agent sign them on the spot, but this is just not reality. Having worked in an agency for many years, I can tell you that anywhere from 10-20 people would unexpectedly walk through the doors on a daily basis, asking for a contract. Agencies are very busy and usually have girls fill out paperwork and submit photos for review. They almost never see girls by just walking in. More important than whether or not you are right for an agency, you have to do a little research and know which agency is right for you.
- Find an agency that specializes in your genre of modeling. Most Agencies try to offer a diverse selection of models. Knowing the types of clients an agency caters to will give you an idea of whether or not they would be a good fit. If you are 5’5, and mostly do print modeling, an agency that specializes in fashion and runway may not be the best fit.
- Unfortunately, there are plenty of people are out there ready to take advantage of young models looking to be famous. Agencies should never ask for money up front, and if they do, you can rest assured it’s probably a scam. If an agency is requesting money to be seen or get a contract, my advice would be “Walk Away.”
- A good agency should understand your personal needs and be clear on how they plan to help build your career. Remember, an agency works for you, not the other way around.
HOW does it all work?
Agents aren’t free. Although you are not paying upfront for the services an agency provides, they are investing in you. I’ve worked on both sides of the industry and know the time and resources that go into building a model’s career. For this, the standard agency fee is usually around 20%. This may seem like a lot, but when you look at everything an agency does for you and your career, it is far more worth its weight in gold. You must understand, although an agency will find and bring work your way, you are an independent. Your brand is your business! You should always be networking and searching for your own sources of work. Of course, you always want to seek the advice of your agent before taking on an assignment, they will help you negotiate the terms and make sure the details are carried out. It is always a good idea to keep your agent in the loop.
If you are looking to start a career in modeling and don’t know where to begin, drop us a line… we would love to talk to you!
I wish you the best as you pursue your dreams… Peace, Love, and Glitter,
– The Party Angelz
Taylor Angel is a Model Manager and Recruiter with The Party Angelz
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