Looking to become a model? Joining an agency is the number one way to find work – and that means you need to know how to properly fill out a modelling agency application.
Read on to find out how to become a model, what to look for in a modelling agency, and how to apply.
How Does a Modelling Agency Work?
A modelling agency is a company that signs models onto its books. They are then approached and paid by brands, who can look through the agency’s books and hire the right model for their campaign.
A model usually joins an agency by applying online or attending a casting call, though some of the most successful models are “scouted” (this means they are approached in public by a model agency scout.) Being scouted is a rare occurrence as it relies on being in the right place at the right time.
Finding the Right Modelling Agency
Finding the right agency is crucial to your success as a model. Most agencies are located in London, though there will be a few in other major cities like Manchester.
The best way to research agencies is to use the internet. While some agencies can be found via social media, they are not always legitimate and effort should be made to ensure any agencies you apply to are not scams.
Once you have created a list of agencies, make sure you delve further. Look at the website and the models it currently has signed. Look at the companies they have worked with. Check any employee reviews. Read the T’s & C’s thoroughly.
You can apply to as many agencies as you like, as many times as you like, though a good rule of thumb is to only apply every 6 months or so; you don’t want to annoy the agency by constantly sending applications.
How Much Money Does it Cost to Join a Modelling Agency?
It should not cost you anything to join an agency. If an agency asks you for money upfront (for a registration fee, for example, or photography fees), this is a huge red flag.
An agency makes its money by taking a cut from the model’s work. This is why agencies are so specific about who they sign; they only want to work and put money into models they can guarantee will get work and be successful in the business.
What to Expect from a Modelling Agency
All modelling agencies will have guidelines on their website about the type of models they are looking for. Ensure you read this and follow them to give yourselves a better chance of success.
Modelling agencies can differ depending on the type of brands they work for. If an agency works predominantly with alternative brands, for example, it’s likely their roster of models will also be alternative (with tattoos, piercings etc.) to help the brands they work with reflect their customers. Similarly, if you want to work in fitness, there are agencies who cater specifically to fitness-related brands.
It’s a good idea to determine what sort of model you want to be and look for an agency that will represent you best.
What Do I Need Before Filling Out a Modelling Agency Application?
You will need a portfolio before you apply to an agency.
A portfolio is a model’s CV; it showcases all her best professional images. A successful working model will have plenty of images to choose from, but an aspiring model may need to hire a photographer to help her create some high-quality, eye-catching images to include.
Some models like to cut out images of themselves if they feature in magazines or newspapers and include those in their folders.
A model should also have an online version of their portfolio, or their own website.
A portfolio must be updated regularly and contain up to 20 images of them. It’s a good idea to include head-shots as well as full-length images to show off your modelling flexibility and potential. Photos taken in natural light will help colours to appear realistic while also helping to soften skin, make hair appear shiny and give makeup an airbrushed look, though a professional photographer should be able to achieve this effect with studio lights too if your shoot is inside.
Again, a model who wishes to work in a specific modelling field (for example, fitness or beauty) should cater their portfolio to show this skill. A beauty model should include plenty of beauty, skincare or make-up shots. An aspiring underwear model will use lingerie photos. A fitness model should include lots of physique images. And so forth.
If you have worked at fashion shows before, it’s a good idea to include photos of this to show off your experience.
It might also be worth thinking about getting some business cards created; an aspiring model should work hard to create contacts, and keeping cards on you at all time with contact information (and your modelling website/online portfolio) will be handy to give to potential employers, colleagues and acquaintances you meet in the business.
How to Fill Out a Modelling Agency Application Form
An agency application form will usually be found somewhere on their website, though you may have to request it via e-mail.
When filling out their form, you will be asked for details such as your body measurements, shoe size, hair colour and height. You will also be asked to attach your best photos. Don’t forget to make sure your details are as accurate as possible, particularly your contact details such as your e-mail and telephone number.
You may be asked to write a short introduction about yourself; this is when you can talk about past modelling credentials or experience. Keep it short and sweet; they won’t have time to read an essay.
The forms are usually straightforward to fill out. Once it is complete, you send it and wait for a reply.
A reply may take several weeks to arrive, though unsuccessful applicants may not hear back at all.
If you do hear back, you will be asked to attend a casting or to have an online call (such as a Skype call). This is your chance to impress them in-person.
Reasons Why Agencies Won’t Sign You
Don’t be discouraged if you are rejected or do not hear back from an agency – nearly all models will face rejection at some point during their careers. An agency may reject you for several reasons:
– They do not have the space to sign a new model
– You do not suit their agency
– They already have a model signed who looks too similar to you
You will rarely receive feedback from agencies, but it’s important to keep applying and be tenacious about your applications; you’ll find the right agency for you soon enough.