One question we hear over and over is, “How do I get started as a model?” With the latest advancements in technology and ever increasing trend to diversity within the industry, it is a great time to break into the business. Here we’ll break down some of the simple first steps you can take, while AGENT is here to guide you and support you during your journey.
The first step is doing your first test shoot in order to have something to market yourself to prospective clients. Since the vast majority of bookings on AGENT are direct, clients will be making their decisions based solely on the photos in your portfolio.
Great starter photos can be done easily with bright natural light, a phone camera with portrait mode, and a friend with a good eye. These pictures should be simple and showcase how you really look, as opposed to being overly done. You do not need heavy makeup or extravagant outfits. Usually you will shoot somewhere like the beach, or the city, typically somewhere outdoors with beautiful natural light. If you like, you could also contact a photographer in your network to book a test shoot. At AGENT we are always happy to recommend photographers that we know and trust. Investing time and money in great photos is money well spent with the right photographer, who often can help teach you what to do in front of the camera as well.
Clothes needed for your first test shoot:
Tops in a flattering color for you
Heels and heeled moto boots if you’re a woman
Swimsuit or swim shorts
A casual look
A dressier look
A swim look if you’re by the ocean or lake
Makeup for women:
Make sure eyebrows and facial hair are groomed
Eyebrow gel to keep them in place if they tend to move
Skin matching foundation, nothing too heavy
Shine correcting powder if you’re on the shinier side
A natural blush
Some light mascara
A natural looking lip color
Some highlighter around the eyes to make them pop
For women, hair should look natural, bouncy and full. A slight wave or curl looks nice. Bring a hair tie too in case it’s windy or just to have another look. For men, style your hair in your usual way, make sure your hair is looking it’s best.
Once you have your pictures, (you should receive high-resolution digital images) you can submit them to us at AGENT and to traditional agencies in your area.
When applying to AGENT or traditional agencies, make sure you provide accurate measurements and height is always by how tall you are when not wearing shoes. Always update your measurements on AGENT if they change as you could be booked for a job because of those measurements and if they are off, could compromise the shoot and be sent home (without pay!) when you don’t fit the clothes provided or meet the client’s requirements.
Traditional Agency vs. AGENT
If approved on AGENT, you will be provided with a custom AGENT portfolio link (url) that you can everywhere and anywhere, including social media, email footers, etc. and directly with prospective clients to promote yourself and increase the likelihood of booking jobs. Clients can book you through the link which still requires them to go through a background check, and have a working credit card on file so you can be sure you won’t get stiffed on payment. The AGENT platform is the safest and most efficient way to independently book modeling jobs. AGENT puts the power back in the hands of the model by allowing you to set your own rates, book jobs according to your schedule, decide which jobs you want to work, getting you paid the same day as the job and then letting you rate the clients.
If you decide to send your book to traditional agencies, be aware most reputable agencies do not require you pay money to join them. Agencies make their money when you book a job through them. Although it’s not uncommon for an agency to recommend a certain photographer, it should not be an exorbitant amount to pay for these photos.
At AGENT we only accept models who are 18 years and older. There is a real push in the industry for brands to only book models under 18 if the job is in support of a product or service targeted at customers who are also under 18. If you are younger than 18, a parent or guardian should be involved with every step of your journey including researching the industry (so you will have real understanding of the time commitment required to pursue modeling at a young age and its potential impact on your school studies and home life), searching for a reputable agency, and attending all castings and jobs. Minors will also need a parent or guardian to review and sign all contracts. Modeling under the age of 18 should only focus on age-appropriate jobs.
Be Diligent and Resilient
The most successful models not only have the “right look” but they also have a tremendous amount of determination, don’t take rejection personally and always act in a professional manner. If you choose to pursue modeling you should embrace these qualities and know that there will always be other models out there (your competition!) doing the same.