Sunday, May 31, 2009

We only hire models who are with an agency

A recent question about self promotion as a model from Youtube messages:

Hello Isobella
When I send thing off to magazines and companies they usually say "We only hire models who are with an agency" and blah blah blah how can I prevent them from saying that having professional pics or should I get an agency and tell my agent to mail my pics off to certain clients or do it myself and tell the businesses to contact my agency if they are interested in hiring me?

Thanks for your time.

This was my reply:

Fashion forward magazines, Vogue, Elle, etc, (those that are very active within the fashion world) will ONLY work through agencies for their models, however more women's lifestyle magazines such as Marie Claire, Glamour, Nylon, Redbook, etc might consider working with a model based on your mailed(postal) mail submission to the photo editor. It is best if you are based, located, live -in the city the magazine is based incase they want to meet you. Sometimes lifestyle women's magazines also feature women with interesting life changing stories so if you have one you should send it to them. Also I have noticed in lifestyle magazines there are models who are not all tall being used. Especially in their fashion styling before and afters. However if you want to be considered I still think you will have a better chance if can show your personality and a good looking face shot and full body shot within your compcard and the photos you send.

However to promote yourself in anyway as a model: You do need to have professional photos, or at least ones that are well produced. That doesn't mean over photoshopping them or going broke making them, but it does mean having a quality headshot, face shot, and a nice lifestyle, friendly commercial looking full body shot. To raise your chances I would submit to the "right editor-the photo editor is usually best, and also submit to the right magazines."

I do think working with an agency helps obviously to book quality modeling works, so I would continue to submit to agencies, and of course you can suggest what you would like to model for, what magazines, etc, but an agency gets phone calls, breakdowns (daily casting requests) from magazines, brands,etc, so if you fit for something they will let you know. (also It is best to freelance with commercial print agencies.)

So you could be hands-on and approach the companies and suggest your agency, this tactic can be harder for an inexperienced model, vs someone who has already shot an ad campaign before...but if you are ambitious about it you could try to approach some brands you would like to work with, try to hustle yourself, but be prepared for the No's, it is a challenge, and don't get discouraged. A new model needs experience to get the job sometimes, and to get the experience you might have to start smaller, work with aspiring brands, hit up smaller print agencies, then hit up the bigger ones once you have some credibility. And remember the agency is not the end-all either, it is just one other marketing tool, towards getting what you want. You still have to be very active within your own pursuits...and trying to build your portfolio.

Being a model means working hard, and creating your own. Especially for a shorter girl. It is not easy to market yourself, manage your goals and stay upbeat along the way, but if you want something, the work is worth it.

Having photos is a big deal, it is your marketing tool you need to focus on getting quality to market yourself at best. Once you have a compcard and some good shots you should of course send agencies, but also don't forget to approach some aspiring brands, this is especially good in smaller cities as well... don't forget In smaller cities you could try sending photos to photo editors at local magazines too-a City magazine. And: Aspiring brands, brands you might see at tradeshows, craft fairs, ect, would be more welcome to work with an aspiring model, than a brand that is already nationally known. I suggest building your portfolio, getting some experience working with more brands,

And of course MAIL your photos to agencies, new photos, a new compcard, every 2-3 months, if you do not hear back yet.

Modeling is about marketing, and improving your own marketing material, compcards, experience and portfolio, and showing you are a good model.

So making one compcard is not the end-all either. You will most likely make dozen's more during your modeling pursuits. :)

I hope this helps!


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