Just say NO to modeling schools
Save your money!! No respectable/legitimate agency HAS EVER recommended a modeling school for aspiring models. Don’t be talked into taking the classes to get images for your portfolio either because odds are the images that you receive from a modeling school will NOT be useful for legitimate agencies. If a legitimate agency wants to sign you, they will teach you everything that you need to know about the industry FREE OF CHARGE.
It does not cost money to sign with a legitimate agency
If they are asking for an upfront fee or you have dues to pay…RUN!!!! It’s that simple! Legit agencies are paid commission, meaning you MUST be paid for work that you do before they EVER are paid a dime. While agency laws vary from state to state most legal limits are 20% meaning if your agency books you on a job and you are paid $500 your agency receives $100. In some smaller markets, you may be required to pay for your own portfolio, but we’ll touch on that
in a few. ;-)
Do NOT Go out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on photo's for your portfolio
IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SIGNED TO AN AGENCY!!
Aspiring models do NOT need to have professional images to be considered by LEGIT Agencies!!
Things to remember when taking images for agency submission:
1. Keep it simple; use your cellphone camera
2. Do NOT wear Makeup
3. Have you hair pulled back
4. Do NOT wear prints or logos on your clothing
5. Visit the agencies website for specific details on what kinds of images are required for submission.
Find The Right Agency/Market
Once you've snapped those agency submission images with your cell phone camera. Now you have to decide what is the best market for you!
If you are a female and at least 5'7 or 5'9 for males, then you need to look for agencies in the Miami, Florida market.
Top agencies in Miami include:
The Green Agency http://www.greenagency.com
Click Models: http://www.clickmodel.com
MC2 Model Management: http://www.mc2models.com
If you are a female who is 5'8 or taller or a male at least 6'0, then you need to look for agencies in the Dallas, TX or Los Angeles, CA market.
Top agencies is Dallas and L.A. include:
Callidus Agency: http://www.callidusagency.com (TX)
The Campbell Agency: http://www.thecampbellagency.com (TX)
LA Models: http://www.lamodels.com (CA)
If you are a female at least 5'9 or a male 5'11 or taller, then you need to look for an agency in the Chicago, IL market.
Top agencies in Chicago include:
Ford Models Chicago http:www.fordmodels.com
BMG Talent http://www.bmgmodels.com
If you are a female at least 5'10 or male at least 5'11 or taller, then you need to look for an agency in the New York, NY market.
Top agencies in New York include:
dna Model Management http://www.dnamodels.com
Wilhelmina Models http://www.wilhelmina.com
Red Model Management - RED NYC http://www.rednyc.com
If you are at least 16years old and under 5'7 odds are you will not be signed to a modeling agency however, acting may be your true calling but small market organizations like The Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC will always make room for you on our runways and at our photoshoots! :-D There are also talent agencies that you could be signed to but it is important that you do your research first and DO NOT be afraid to ask questions.
Most of the agencies in these markets do represent children; again you MUST do your research because some agencies will require that the child live within 40 miles of the agency to be represented.
So you've followed the first 4 Tips BUT you were not selected by agencies in those markets...now what?
So You Want To Be A Model???
The Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC has compiled a list of tips for you to help navigate your way through the process, avoid scams, and gives you the information on what steps you need to take to be signed to an agency.
While (DE-FI) is not an agency or a management group nor are we affiliated with any agency or management group, we happily answer all questions regarding the industry, make recommendations to reputable agencies, and we do it all free of charge! So without further ado…Here’s what you need to know!!
You have two options!
1) Resubmit your images to the agencies in the major markets every 6 months
2) Find a local Mother Agency in smaller markets.
What's a Mother Agency you ask? A mother agent or agency is usually the first modeling agency you begin working with when you start your modeling career. A mother agent can also be a scout that discovered you and helped you get your start.
Before you sign MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE AGREEING TO BEFORE SIGNING!!!
We cannot tell you the number of horror stories we have heard from models that we have worked and are signed with agencies in smaller markets. Anywhere from Mother Agencies blocking models from being signed with larger more reputable agencies due to the overly eager model OR their parents not understanding the exclusive contract that they signed with the smaller agency.
To models scrapping their very last dime together to purchase one- way plane tickets to fly across the country to meet with a booking agent JUST to find out that their Mother agent did not properly arrange a meeting. To models agreeing to pay a Mother agent for 10 years after their contract is over for any paying modeling job that they may receive after leaving said agency even though they didn't book them on that job.
It is important to ask as many questions as you can before signing your name to a contract. Legitimate agencies will not be offended by your questions, if an agency gets angry or pressures you into signing anything walk away and DON'T look back because odds are you are about to scammed!!
This is a "Here Today, Gone Today" industry! Don't let signing a bad contract ruin your dreams!!!
Tip # 7
You’ve found an agency and you've signed your contract, NOW is the time to begin building your portfolio!!
Your agency will recommend photographers for you. Depending on the agency and/or market the agency MAY pay up front for your pics BUT please understand once you begin receiving paid work, you MUST reimburse your agency for the images and those monies will be taken out of your pay check on top of the commission.
Agencies in smaller markets MAY require the model to pay for their images because there is not enough paid work in that market.
In short, before you cough up hundreds or thousands of dollars for a photographer, ESPECIALLY if you decide to NOT use the photographers recommend by your agency...Ask your selected photographer for their portfolio, schedule a meeting with your agency and the photographer to make sure everyone is on the same page. There is nothing worse than spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a portfolio and having your agency throw it away because the images are not useful.
This is a business, agencies and clients alike only want to work with BUSINESS MINDED MODELS.
We have a whole list of models that we refuse to ever work with again due to lack of professional courtesy, not being dependable, having poor attitudes, and not being coachable, just to name a few.
As frivolous and vain as this industry may seem, the beautiful picture and 30 second strut on the catwalk is just the surface. This is a $900 Billion a year industry and business minded models are successful models!
We receive a lot of questions about Modeling Conventions and the legitimacy of them. Truth be told, there are some legit Modeling Conventions. The key is DOING YOUR RESEARCH. Most of these conventions bring in some of the biggest modeling agencies in the world and sometimes that can come at a hefty price. DO NOT MORTGAGE YOUR HOME TO ATTEND ONE OF THESE CONVENTIONS they can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 for modeling conventions during a cruises!! If it cost more than $500 it’s not worth it!! If you did NOT receive a call after you’ve tried Tip # 4 and 5 free of charge, you need to become more realistic about your future in the industry.
Also note that most legit agencies hold free open calls in their cities if you want to be seen in person by an agent. #KeepingThemHonest #WhatDoYouDEFI #FirstFlightNowFashion
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Every year (DE-FI) takes a group of models to Chicago to participate in Open Calls with some of the world’s top modeling agencies.