Are you ready for an Agency?
The Blog Series
written by Jonna E. Capone
Many aspiring models always seem to ask me the same question. How did you get signed? Or What is your secret to getting signed? I always answer with the same response; “I came prepared”. What I mean by that is, I did my research and believed I was prepared to be signed with an agency. Now I don’t claim to be an expert even after being signed but I knew I had to follow some steps before moving forward and pursuing a modeling agency. When reflecting on this article, I wanted to find the most helpful tools, advice, tricks or tips that I could give aspiring models about getting ready for an agency. There are many factors that came with this preparation, including knowing which agencies I wanted to look into, what contracts I might be presented with or standard procedures of an agency to follow. I have broken the process down into six different categories that aspiring models can follow. That being said, everyone’s journey is different and these aren't quick fixes to getting straight into an agency. These tips and tools will help however, to inform you on the questions and information you should have at your disposal to move forward.
Do your research!
This is incredibly important in understanding the differences in agencies, what contracts you should look into, and if certain agencies are right for YOU. Not all agencies will be a perfect fit for you. Don’t forget that you have something to bring to the table as well. If you have put in the time, and have the knowledge of your craft you want to make sure that an agency you submit for or inquire about is an agency you can also be proud to stand behind and represent. I started off by reaching out to fellow signed models, googling different agencies and their submission requirements. I learned the difference between exclusive and non-exclusive contracts; the rules of percentages for models and agents. A specific “trick” that I learned was to actually go to the agencies websites and look at the models that were already signed. Look at their photos, measurements etc and try to decide if you would be a good pairing. This brings me to my second point of preparedness for agencies.
This includes knowing your measurements! It is
incredibly important to know your measurements not only
to keep track of them but you will also be asked! Model calls
that your agency sends you on or for meetings with agencies you WILL be measured so it is vital that you know these measurements. It makes you look very professional and is incredibly helpful to always have. It also keeps you consistent in your measurements, which is also key in booking agencies and clients. Knowing yourself also means knowing your strengths in the fashion industry but being willing to know your limits. Trying out new looks and styles shows versatility but knowing you are a strong print model, or runway model or that you have a commercial look are key in how you present yourself to an agency. You can show your diversity in looks with the material you present agents. Leading right into my third point.
Photos! Photos! Photos!
It isn’t enough to simply post pictures, tag agencies and wait for someone to call you. It is important that you actively search for photographers with different styles. Photographers that work just with natural light, or just shoot boudoir or only shoot outside; the list goes on and on. Working with different photographers, not only helps with more connections but also gets you to push your boundaries, and try out new angles. Being comfortable in front of the camera and in new experiences is for your benefit as a model overall and agencies will see that. You can find photographers via social media or pages like model mayhem that may be willing to collaborate with you on projects. This is a great way to save money on photos and to also network with people in the industry, which is also a vital key in preparing yourself for an agency.
Networking is everything!
Once you have the material, photos business cards etc. you want to share them! It is easy to find events, and network with fellow models, designers and photographers! Even if you aren’t modeling in these events, going to the events is just as important! You should be prepared to have comp cards with you or business cards and ask questions! You can find out what agencies people work with and put your work out there. It is smart to get opinions about your photos and show up to events so that others can see you in person.
Ask the tough questions!
Am I physically ready to be seen by an agency? Am I financially ready to gather materials or purchase comp cards? What are my strengths; commercial modeling; runway or high fashion, etc? What market would I realistically find work? Am I willing to travel? These are just some of the questions I asked myself. It is important to be honest with yourself about what you can do. Walking into an agency, they might ask you some of these questions and you want to be able to answer honestly and confidently. This leads me to my last point about preparing yourself for an agency.
Build your skin!
You can submit to a lot of agencies, I know I did! Some of them turned me away or never even replied to me. There are some that I would still love to work with and I keep trying for. One model told me once it took her three years to work with the agency she works with now! You have to develop a thick skin and be patient. You may hear a lot of No’s from agencies; that doesn’t mean it is your only option. Find what works for you and makes you feel confident, strong and share your story. You may come to find that your place isn't with an agency at all.
Preparing yourself for any task is never easy work but it is necessary. These tips, tools and tricks may help you go even further in taking your next steps from being an aspiring model to a signed model! You can find a list of agencies below that once you have prepared can take your submissions!
You can also find more tips, tricks and advice from me Curvy Capone on my patreon page (www.patreon.com/curvy_capone) and social media outlets ( IG: curvy_capone)
Stay tuned for more from this series and to hear from professionals in the industry!
Dorothy Combs Models
Hampton Models & Talent
DNA Model MGMT