Agencies - questions and answers:
What types of people are they looking for?
Example of the categories you might be eligible for are: Model Division: Aged between 15 and 30, girls need to be a minimum height of 5"7 and guys a minimum of 5"11 with good skin, hair and teeth and have a classic or unusual look. Specials Division: Aged 15 or over, you need to have a character or classical look but not necessarily the model height. Casting Division: Height is completely immaterial for this division, as is age. Junior Division: Aged between 6 months and 16 years, children need to be photogenic with sparkling faces, natural smiles, bright eyes, good teeth, complexions and hair.
They need to be confident, comfortable, sociable, well behaved children who can take direction and who have the patience to sit around waiting for photographers to set up the lighting.
Do I have to be 6ft tall and Size 8?
As the above categories indicate, height can be overlooked if you have the 'look' or character required for a job. However, for mainstream fashion work, girls have to be between a size 8 and 12 as designers always make their samples between these sizes. For commercial work size is irrelevant as long as you are in proportion.
I am 65 years old and a size 22, have I got
any hope of being a model?
Clients do sometimes look for unusual characters and if you do have a particularly strong and distinctive character there might possibly be a chance of a couple of bookings but certainly not on a regular basis.
Do I need a portfolio before I join an agency?
A portfolio is usually unnecessary before joining an agency. A full length and head and shoulders snapshot should suffice. Once with an agency you will build up a portfolio with examples of the work you do. However, the tools of a models trade are their pictures and in order to land that all-important first job an agency may ask you to invest in a test shoot. This will cost in the region of £50 - £100 and will give you examples of a variety of different looks which will help promote you as a new face. You may also choose to get some publicity material such as index cards printed up. If an agency thinks you have a great look straight away then they may well front part of these initial costs and deduct them from later bookings.
How do I choose an agency?
Take time and do your research thoroughly. Check out an agency's reputation before you part with any money. A well-established and reputable agency should have a good website and books that they send out to clients. Never join an agency if they are charging administration fees. Despite promising you work, these agencies don't usually have any clients and simply make money by conning would-be models out of a so-called administration fee.
When I have registered with an agency, can I
simply wait for the work to turn up?
As it costs an agency a lot of time and money to promote a new face, a good agency will never take you on unless they are almost certain you will get work. However, even if your agency puts you forward for a job, it is ultimately down to the client's choice, so there is never any guarantee that you will be booked. Modelling is rarely a full time career and work tends to come in sporadically, so it is always a good idea to have another career option to fall back on. Part-time or flexible work such as office temping will compliment your modelling career by allowing time off to do a modelling job if it comes up.
I have registered with an agency and never had
You need to re-asses the agency you are registered with. Is it a reputable and well-established agency? Is the agency getting other people work? Are your photographs and publicity material professional enough? If you answer no to these questions then it is a good idea to come off the agency's books and get an honest opinion from a reputable agency as to whether you have what it takes to get modelling work.
Model agency websites that Modelsearch has worked with:
Elliott Brown Agency
Supplies a wide range of professional and commercial models, plus, extras, background artists, specialist models and hair and make up stylists.
Visit them at www.elliottbrownagency.co.uk