I heard from a sweet aspiring model who asked me about age and modeling recently "Since I'm aspiring model representation & not only petite (5'5"), but late in the game (age 29) though I look & photograph young, is this realiistic? For over a year I've been submitting to agencies (calling each & asking what they required beforehand) and though most have been helpful & polite, still I've not been picked up. I'm wondering if my best bet is to go the Talent/Acting route - though my love is for modeling (print, fitness, lifestyle, catalogue)."
My reply is below, I think it will help your own modeling pursuits no matter your age:
Hi Hun, I wanted to get back to you about modeling and age. I just published another book called Short Stuff: on the job with an x-small model, and have been in book-land for awhile.
Well, actually for high fashion you have to be a certain height and usually the fashion models are teens till about 23. But fashion modeling is a very small percent of the modeling world. Commercial print modelnig is for all ages and there are actually more commercial print modeling agencies than fashion agencies but the type of photos you need to pursue commercial print modeling are different than fashion and the submission process to agencies is different as well.
Here are some posts from my blog that will inspire you about modeling for all ages. And actually if you look at magazines, like Redbook, Glamour, Marie Claire, Women's Health, you will see that the models modeling for the lifestyle ads inserted in the magazine and in the editorials are not all giraffe tall, but they have personality, they give off a girl next door feel and they are happy and showing their ability to work with lifestyle products naturally. Being the natural you is what it involves to be a print model. Print modeling is about personality
I am not trying to smash your fashion modeling hopes, but realistically I would be pursuing print modeling, models from all ages are print models, babies to 80 year olds for Advil commercials and print ads.
These posts below should help:
These are on why and how models that are 25-45 are working the most actually in print ads, fashion can be brain washing to think that young is better to pursue modeling but actually mature models are working a lot..and even more than young fashion models!
Focus on marketing yourself the age you look. And remember being more mature when you attend a casting is not a bad thing, you are more confident, more ready, perceptive sometimes than a younger model would be. And accept reality and the areas you can pursue in modeling to get opportunities and as frustrating as it might be accept that fashion modeling and fashion agencies might be out of reach, but you can still model with print agencies and there are many, you just have to seek them out with the right comp card.
The biggest reason a model wouldn't get in the door with a print agency is because the photos she is using to market herself are not print modeling friendly.
And remember most shorter models, print models, and non-fashion models, do not get "signed" by an agency exclusively, you will often work non-exclusive with more than one agency and build your portfolio over time, and then could seek exclusive representation but remember exclusive is not the end-all, you can still model, and model ALOT by working non-exclusive with agencies.
Most models are not super young:
These posts are on the print modeling basics:
What is print modeling:
Model marketing tools:
The type of photos for print modeling:
Why your photographer needs to know what print modeling is:
Why you need a comp card before the modeling agency for print modeling:
Notice what you have, your assets and market those assets, height isn't everything, age is not a setback, but be realistic and ambitious and strive on!