Girls often ask me about how to start modeling and also share their concerns about paying an agency, modeling scams, and also the confusion over making comp cards and who makes them?
The fact is, you have to invest in yourself. It takes money to make money, to find legit and respect work as a professional model you have to invest in yourself. From day one. I did not say pay an agency to work with them, THAT my friend, is a scam. But on the flip side, you have to be willing to create your marketing materials and get the professional model marekting tools you need. To work with print modeling agencies and talent agencies it is best to already have a comp card pre-made. Already have your marketing tools.
Also usually when a check comes from a modeling job it often goes right back into my pursuits, with printing, comp cards, new portfolio, or upkeep, (beauty, manicures, etc) before anything else. Self-investment does not end. Understanding this is important.
Often girls write to me saying.
1. They paid an so-called agency a crazy amount of money for a photo package and then the agency didn't call them once for a casting. And basically the so-called agency just sold them a photo package-that's it, and you do not have a working relationship with the agency. You have photos, maybe you have the rights to the photos but not always, beware of photo-scams. I always think it is best for a striving model to manage her own photography, in fashion the agency is more hands-on, for a shorter girl, focusing on print modeling agencies should be her goal and SHE is more hands-on with her goals and photography and pursuits as a model.
2. Other times I hear from girls who have sent photos to a fashion agency when they age only five feet tall.
3. Sometimes girls ask about how they end up working in fashion, while not focusing on where they can find real opportunity, and they should spend time researching the areas of the industry that fit who they naturally are.
4. Print modeling is not talked about enough in the media, but it is the largest area of modeling and it is where models of all ages, types, and sizes find work for non-fashion products and there are more non-fashion products than fashion products out there.
5. The relationship with the agency is often a concern and question I get. Working non-exclusive is the lifestyle of a print model, who will also often freelance with more than one agency. She makes her comp card and like a writer writing for different publications, or a handbag designer whose bags are in different stores, the model freelances and works with different agencies.
Yes! You can work with profesional agencies, but first and foremost, you have to know what type of modeling agencies to target that best fit who you naturally are, and for a short girl, that is print modeling agencies (also known as commercial print modeling agencies) and talent agencies. Then you need to know the type of photos you need to create/ the photography you need for this area of modeling. Then you need to create a comp card for yourself with these photos. You also need to be sure to work with a photographer who understands what print modeling is (make sure you know as well), and don't waste time working with amatuers who do not understand what type of photography a real professional print model needs and the type of photos a print modeling agency wants to see. You want to use proper photos when making a comp card. Your comp card is your most important model marketing tool, and it is what introduces you to the agency. The comp card for a short girl, is your life line for self-promotion. Forget a jpg, a website, a social site, these things do not matter to the professional print modeling agency. What you need is a compcard. If you do not have the money to spend on compcards which can range from $1 per card, and usually packages of 100 cards, which is $100-$150 dollars depending on where you go, and if you can not afford a professional headshot, commercial print styled photos, and you do not have the marketing mindset, the positive personality, the ambitious perceptive mind to approach a professional photographer--- then I would not pursue modeling. Trying to half-ass it, won't work. Modeling involves a self investment, you have to invest in your pursuits, like a painter needs a portfolio of work before a gallery works with the painter, a model needs a comp card and needs to be in the process of building a portfolio, each cost $. Along with stamps, envelops, energy and time. Make sure when it comes to photography you get the basic shots you NEED. Headshot, and commercial print photos that have a "selling" feel in a natural way, shots that look like catalog shots, editorials from magazines, and shots that involve your personality. The styling should be basic, not overly fashion forward, basic clothing, nothing too extreme usually is best, and natural makeup is better for print modeling.
Here is more on marketing yourself as a model when you have your comp card, and more on why you need to invest in professional photography, and the hands-on work a shorter girl has to have the mindset for before she considers pursuing modeling.
4 things it takes to work as a model:
Being realistic and ambitious as a shorter model:
Five modeling jobs where height doesn't matter:
Aim high and strive on!