What is the first concern when it comes to planning your modeling career? Of course, choosing a modeling agency immediately comes to mind. A modeling agency; one who will advise you, believe in you, treat you as a family, and who will ultimately be just right for YOU- an important decision indeed! But how do you choose from such a large variety of modeling agencies, when so many of them look promising? And what are the important questions to ask a modeling agency once you meet with them?
Where and What:
First and foremost, decide where to look based on the modeling market where you are geographically located. Next, decide which division(s) of modeling you are the best suited for. Are you a classic beauty, have minimal acting skills (commercial, lifestyle modeling)? Or you are tall, edgy-looking with unusual features (fashion, runway, and editorial modeling)? Or maybe you’ve been told you have gorgeous hands or hair or are a sample 6 shoe size (parts modeling, shoe modeling)? Either way, it’s easier to find your market if you are being objective and honest with yourself. As you don’t want to waste your time, you can apply firstly to the agencies who have a relevant division.
All agencies have their division sections on their websites. Modeling agency’s websites are also good to look through to get an idea of which modeling profiles this agency is seeking to work with. Check their Instagram accounts for client names, see what kind of models those clients used for their latest campaigns. If you are unable to distinguish your modeling type on your own, you might need to ask a couple of agents and your model friends who have more experience. Just try to get an appointment with those particular modeling agencies that you feel may like you/be interested in your look; once you have them face-to-face, ask their opinion and go from there. Professional advice from the pros will go a long way, even if they won’t take you on board.
Full-Time or Hobby:
Ask yourself, are you planning a full-time career or do you want to engage in modeling as a hobby? In the case of the second option, it might make better sense to consider smaller agencies where full commitment isn’t that serious, and models just work on occasion. When it comes to the top modeling agencies (ie Ford Wilhelmina, etc), an aspiring model is risking to “get lost” among the “stars”, so at the first stages of your career, it’s wiser to choose a smaller agency that is particularly interested in YOU. As your professionalism, experience, and modeling portfolio grows, you will be able to switch agencies in favor of a bigger one.
Famous agency names can’t guarantee you a successful career. Many of the best/top modeling agencies are even harder to track down because they don’t advertise. They already have an established client base, and models pass the information about the modeling agency by word of mouth. That very same reason is why the best way to gather truthful information about any particular modeling agency is to ask models who work with this agency for their honest opinion and review. You will likely get real and candid information about the quantity and frequency of work they receive, the types of castings, who their clients are, etc. The most effective way to compare the agencies is to compare the looks of the models who work with these agencies.
Be aware that most agencies don’t accept walk-ins; many of them arrange open calls (days when the agency wants to see new models). But almost every agency has a “become a model” section on their website where you can easily submit your photos.
What Feels Right:
Choose a few modeling agencies, which you feel might be right for you, and arrange to meet with their representatives. Pay attention to detail, to the atmosphere, to how friendly their staff is, just to name a few. Don’t be shy to ask questions (how long has the modeling agency been on market, who are their regular clients, how busy their models normally are, etc.) A trustworthy modeling agency won’t ask you for any sort of payment before you even book your first job, nor will they push you to do modeling courses or finance an expensive portfolio.
You must feel that the agency is interested in you as a prospective model, not as a source of short-term income. You must feel supported. Try to visit all of the modeling agencies from your list. After considering all of the pros and cons, then make your decision. Choosing the right modeling agency is just an initial step in your modeling career. How successful you will become from there entirely depends on you.