Sunday, November 23, 2008
Modeling tips: Shorter Models, how to start modeling
"Is it really a scam if an agency asks you for money up front?? I've heard many people say that if they ask you for money up front, then it is..how do you know, if it isn't one?"
A girl recently asked me this on Myspace, and I get the question all the time about how to know if an agency is legit and how to find one, and for a shorter girl I find this more of an issue, especially since there are many girls who want to be models and they fall for the first person, agency, photographer telling them that they can be, without thinking or questioning " is this agency,photographer, situation, legit."
First, you need to ONLY approach commercial PRINT modeling agencies. NOT fashion agencies. A short girl can find modeling jobs and work with professional agencies but really only with print modeling agencies. So your perception of modeling might need some work. You have to understand that modeling is about lifestyle products, commercial products, hair care, tampons, cell phone brands, banks, computers, think Target, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, nail polish, not fashion forward brands. Not Gucci, not vogue. More Marie Claire, Glamour, and Latina magazine type of appeal.
Finding an agency: With so many girls wanting to be models it means so many scams are out there. You can tell if an agency is a scam if they are saying you need to pay them for photos and ONLY work with their photographer. I do not pay my agency for the creation of my compcard and I take it upon myself to get my photos and get the portfolio images I need. It is normal. Many agencies charge girls crazy fees because they are clueless and do not know how to get what they need themselves, and feel they are hopeless. You should be willing to get the photos and marketing tools you need and it will prevent you from scams. When mailing modeling agencies you should be sending YOUR OWN made compcard and photos.
An aspiring model can and should make her OWN compcard ( meaning you go to www.compcard.com and upload your photos and make it yourself.) This is a benefit because you always, always, always want to be in control of yourself and marketing, and you want to have your OWN marketing tools, which you can mail to many agencies. Not just one that has one agency name branded on it. Also as a new model should be freelancing with many agencies not just one. There is need to pay hundreds for photos either.
Agencies and money and photographers can be a tricky thing for a new model, here are my thoughts:
1. If you are short, shorter, under 5'7" you should not submit to Elite, Ford, Ect, you should submit to print modeling agencies. Look for the words "commercial print".
2. Getting the agency meeting: To get a modeling agency you should be mailing your photos out first,-even snap shots, and then when the agency is interested they call you. Do not direct the agency to your Myspace, facebook, or internet profile site, agents, legit ones, do not care about that, they want to see your PHOTOS physically in their hands.
Also when you meet the agency you do not want to go empty handed, bring your phtos, show you are serious and professional and you will be less likely to be scammed if you “know what you are doing’ and “what you are interested in as a model.” Don’t be a dumb, naïve, model. Have a plan and know what type modeling you want to do and know how you fit into the business and don’t expect the agency to hand you everything. Real, legit agencies, top commercial print agencies in NYC, do not make compcards always for their models, their models do give them the cards. Then the agent mails the card to their clients, and that is how you get a call for a casting. The work the model does upfront is work. So don’t get scammed and know what to expect!
3. Making the compcard and agency tips:
If you are unsure or clueless about what should be on a compcard then see my blog here about the photos short girl should when marketing herself as a commercial print model:
If you are still unsure or do not have photos you can do two things:
A. Have your mother or friends take some natural smiling personality shots and shots that look like ads and editorials in magazines. A close up, a beauty shot, a lifestyle shot, a shot of you walking down the street, laughing, being you is best because commercial print modeling is about that. Being you. Being natural. Skip the fashion makeup and clothing. If you are short and want to model with brands and magazines, being YOU without the fashionista appeal is best. It is best to also make sure the background isn't super busy, you want a white background or a very simple background.
B. Or you could call some local agencies and ask if they can suggest a photographer you can work with. Then call the photographer and you two can discuss a price you can afford. Stop by a photography store. You want to be around professional photographers so you have to ask yourself, "where do professional photographers go?" At a photography store you could ask an employee if he could suggest a headshot or beauty or commercial print photographer?
Also you could try a local college that might have a photography department. And I have mentioned before here in this video ways you can find free quality photos.
When speaking to a photographer: Be honest about your budget, if you only have $50 then focus on getting a headshot, a nice beauty shot/headshot will get you further as a commercial print model than some corny glamour shot. You need to market yourself, your personality, and your energy as a shorter model, NOT your fashion looks. A headshot is the best shot an aspiring short model can have. Bring ideas to the shoot, don't just say " I want photos." Think of the photos YOU really need to get a commercial print modeling agency. A commercial print modeling agency wants to see two things:
1. Your smile, skintone, and eyes
2. Your energy
Remember when it comes to self marketing, there is more to modeling than just modeling agencies, you could also submit your photos to marketing companies, pr companies, promotional companies, newspapers and local magazines, but of course you do need a nice photo of your face, headshot, and a nice full body shot, and full body shot does not mean naked.