Monday, April 4, 2011

So You Want to Become a Model? Tips on Finding an Agency.

After doing a little research and trying to decide what I wanted to write about next, I came across this article from Marie Clair magazine written by Diana Vilibert.  

Aaron Newbill, Director of Scouting for Ford Models, gives his tips for aspiring models trying to find an agency and I just had to share what he has to say!  I've summarized the article below:

1.  DO YOUR RESEARCH-  A little research goes a long way!  Aaron says, "The biggest mistake that aspiring models make is not doing the research beforehand."  Having trouble knowing where to start?  Aaron says, "One should check to see who is reputable first, length in the business, and who an agency represents."  

You can do this by simply searching on the internet.  Also, asking around at various shoots or fashion shows helps.  I've found a lot of people willing to help out with information in this industry.  Don't be afraid to ask someone for their opinion.

2.  BE PREPARED-  Let me start this one out by pointing out that CLASSES ARE NOT MANDATORY, but they can be helpful if you get involved with the right ones.  "Classes can be helpful to individuals in terms of self confidence and comfort with aspects of the business," says Aaron, though he emphasizes that classes are by no means a prerequisite. 

If you feel like your lack of knowledge of the industry or your confidence is holding you back, then you may want to consider taking so modeling or even acting classes.  Some agencies will even offer to train you once you're signed, or have classes that you can take if you'd like offered through the agency.

3.  MAKE YOUR PORTFOLIO PICTURE-PERFECT-  The agency will help you decide which final pictures to put in your portfolio once you are signed, but Aaron .  Make sure that your book has enough variation that an agency can see your potential. Aaron says, "The basis of a good book should show a model who is comfortable in front of the camera, one who has a range of expression and movement.  As to length, a few great pictures can look better than a long book of fluff.  A flow to the book is important — after all you want to get and keep the client's attention," Aaron says.

4.  BE YOURSELF-  What do you do once you've booked a meeting with an agent?  You don't have to feel the need to go out and by a new wardrobe or have a professional make-up artist and hairstylist pamper you right before you head off for the meeting.  Aaron says, "I always say 'come as you are.' If you have a quirky look or style naturally, work that! Don't be concerned about changing who you are to impress an agency. When meeting prospective models we prefer to see them as they are: no makeup, natural hair, and their personality."

Think about wearing a pair of skinny jeans and a fitted tank top, so the agent can clearly see your body type.

5.  SMILE FOR THE CAMERA-  "When we meet with prospective models we ask to see a couple of snapshots or Polaroids," Aaron says. "A simple headshot, bodyshot, profile, and a smile is good."

This will help the agent see your range and what you look like in a normal setting.  It will help the agent see your true personality, especially if you're a little nervous at the interview.

6.  SPEAK UP-  Personality is really important, so make sure you sit up straight and don't chew gum! Aaron says, "An outgoing personality is always a standout."  He says that "the models that do well are confident, ambitious, and have a certain humbleness about the fact that being genetically gifted is what got them in the business," says Aaron. "In the end this is a business and respect and professionalism is really important."  

Make sure you always arrive early to an interview and RELAX!

7.  READ BEFORE SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE-  If you end up getting an offer from an agency, read the entire contract before you sign.  Don't be afraid to take it with you and take a few days to look it over.  Aaron can not stress enough, "Do not sign anything without reading first!  Do your research and go with what your gut tells you."  

Always make sure all your questions are answered before signing anything.  If you're unsure how something in the industry works, like payment, commissions to the agency, etc. always ask.  No question is stupid.

Remember too, that you are also interviewing the agency.  They may want to sign you, but you don't have to sign with them.  You can interview with several agencies and pick which one feels right for you.

Looking for an agency can be a frustrating and scary task if you don't know what to look for.  Hopefully some of this information is helpful for those of you who are contemplating being represented by an agency and don't know how to get started.

You can find the full article at:

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