A girl on facebook recently asked me about the type of photography to send an agency since she does not have an agency to work with yet, she asked:
Is it common for photographers or agencies to ask for non-professional photos from a model? In the past I have been told this is so that they can see how I look without Photoshop and direction from a photographer. I have never followed through with it because I am not sure why they would need this. I was always under the impression that most agencies and photographers would prefer professional photos so that they aren't dealing with a picture using a mirror or even worse the outstretched arm picture of you.
The style photography on this first compcard doesn't have to be SUPER over top the photoshopped, or over done with styling. They should be basic shots of yourself, well shot, and not cheesy, you want to look like yourself, you want it to be in good lighting and if you can work with a professional, someone who knows the craft of photography THE BETTER! But you do not need to go broke putting this together. Here is another post on the PHOTOS you need to start modeling and how really your compcard should be basic, a headshot, a full body shot, shots showing your assets, so think of products you COULD realistically model. Modeling is more than fashion, print modeling agencies know this but YOU have to see it this way to better market yourself. The way I got an agency was to show the agency I COULD model ahead of time, to show I had some experience, I knew what it meant to Model "something" and I made sure to work with quality photographers who love photography, know the craft of it, and know how to take a good shot of my assets without me directing them on how to do it!
An agent won't always baby you and tell you what you need, they will look at the compcard you sent in the postal mail and ask themselves. How does this girl fit into our clients needs. How will this girl be as a model. If your photos are not showing you can, or are not professional or something they could mail out to their clients, they simply will not call you.
So you DO need to have photos that look nice, nice lighting and showing the REAL you.
A good headshot is the girls in on the haircare dye boxes. Smiling, fresh, pretty, marketable, could model any product. For print modeling that is what you show.
Tips on the type of photos you need:
I always think YOU will come off more professional if you make your own compcard to get a modeling agency, --mail to the print agencies you want to work with. There are many print modeling agencies out there, but they do not always provide or make compcards or help with photography for models, so if you do not have one then you might not hear back at all, it can be a turn off. The agency is often not someone that helps you create marketing material for modeling, they USE the marketing material you give them. An agency is more the in-between of the model and the client, but YOU as the model have to create your own marketing material. Now I am writing from a petite perspective, a shorter girls experience of how I got to work with agencies. Many girls get scammed by thinking they should pay an agency a large fee for photography but at these very early stages YOU should be controlling the images, photography, and compcard, and you do not have to pay the agency until you get paid and they get a percent of it (20%).
Most print agencies even have height requirements so you do have to know how to market what you do have and show your personality and assets beyond your height to get their attention for how you are a good model despite your height.
Here is more detail on WHY you need to make a compcard BEFORE you have an agency, because IT IS THE WAY you getone.
Here are details on why you need a compcard, the type of photos you need can be found in the link below:
Also having your own compcard helps you better market yourself, it is a self-made world, it is unlikely an print agency will grab up your goals and make them all happen. Or help you. Agencies have become a help to aspiring models but also they are a source for marketing, and until you have experience many girls find working with more than one agency and freelancing is the way. No contract is needed, many models do this, but you can work non-exclusive while building your protfolio and experience.
So it is important to take control of your pursuits, know the photos you need, get your marketing materials, headshot, compcard, and use these tools to submit to agencies, it might take 30-100 submissions,to different casting directors, and print agencies, depending on your city and where you live... but if you want something you are willing to do the work. I hope this encourages you with a realistic perspective.
Also I strived to work with professional photographers, I aimed high, I seeked out more professional people, and gained some tearsheets by doing so in magazines, and having tearsheets also helped me to work with agencies and get better work as a shorter model. You have to Put in ALOT of effort, it is time, energy, days, months, years. :)
And not giving up is a major thing, and having realistic goals, and being ambitious in a realistic way,