A girl on facebook recent asked me about working a new smaller agency that wanted her to sign a contract.
She asked, "I have an agency that is interested in signing me, but they're a new agency and they only want to sign me exclusive. They're aware that i'm a commercial print/parts model and still want to sign exclusive. The head of the agency signs exclusive because, in Denver, it's such a small market and he's been screwed by people getting models at cheaper rates because everyone knows everyone here. I'm concerned because they're a new, small agency. Any advice? There are very few agencies in Denver (5ish), so I feel like I "have" to sign them to try to get more work. Only getting lke 2 good paid gigs a YEAR on my own! help! :) "
Well, since it's a small market, could you ask the the head of the agency if you can renegotiate that exclusive contract after one year or something? Put a time limit on it so at least if it is not working at all you are not stuck? Explain to him you are ambitious and you understand it is a small market and also a tough time in the industry /economy, and you would like to work with the agency but if possible add to the contract that you can renegotiate in a year. Asking is worth it. A lot can change in a year, so give yourself the option to stay or continue working with them.