Monday, July 18, 2011

Signing With A Modeling Agency

Aspiring models ask me all the time to refer them to agencies or other photographers as well as "How do i start my portfolio"? How do i and what is a comp card? etc.

There is no one answer or necessarily a right or wrong  way.

Along with my own experience, i will pass on information from more informative sources to help steer you in the right direction.

This is an excerpt from a book by Aaron Marcus:

Some commercial modeling agencies ask models to sign exclusive contracts. If you sign an exclusive contract, you may only accept bookings from that modeling agency. You may, however, be able to accept a booking with another modeling agency if you obtain permission from your modeling agency.

If you are not signed with a modeling agency, you can freelance and accept bookings from any modeling agency.

There are pros and cons to signing with a modeling agency.

On the positive side, you will have one person working very hard on your behalf. You will only need to supply one modeling agency with composite sheets, mini books, and head shots. Life is simpler. When you are not available to work on certain days, you only need to notify one modeling agency.

On the negative side, some models sign contracts with modeling agencies that can't or won't get them work. I met a model on a shoot who was signed by a large New York agency. Let's call the model Tom. The modeling agency had no intention of sending Tom out on go-sees. They signed him because they feared if Tom signed with another agency, he could take away business from their own signed models. Tom was given a contract for the sole purpose of not allowing him to compete with the modeling agency's signed models.

If you are just beginning, don't sign long-term agreements with a modeling agency you are unfamiliar with. If asked to sign, find out how many other models in your "category" are already signed. Your "category" includes other models who could be booked for the same job as you. There will always be other signed models in your category. However, it is not in your best interest to be one of 50 others who could be submitted for the same job. If yours is the only modeling agency sending models to a go-see, you have a much better chance of getting booked for the job if there are fewer models in your category. See if you can work out a trial period of three to six months. If you like the way you are being represented, sign a longer-term contract.

Before signing with a modeling agency, make sure you understand everything in the contract. If you are not sure about something, show it to a lawyer. Be careful out there.

Getting a Modeling Agency's Attention
If you want to be represented by a particular modeling agency, but you are having a difficult time making a connection, here is something you can try. Book a job on your own, and ask the modeling agency if he or she will handle the booking. Chances are the modeling agency will be glad to represent you. It will be easily made money for the modeling agency. The small percentage that you will lose will be well worth the connection you will have made. The first time I gave a booking to a modeling agency I actually made money, because the modeling agency negotiated a much higher fee than I could have.

SOURCE: Taken from the book "How To Become A Successful Model - Aaron Marcus

Additional Information: Briian Dargon

PHOTO: Jason Starr shot by Briian Dargon

No comments:

Post a Comment