Should You Pay to Join A Modeling Agency?

Should you pay to join a modeling agency?

Lemme get straight to the point….NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The End

via GIPHY

But seriously…No, You do not have to pay an agency to represent you.

When it comes to getting representation by an agency, you will have a percentage deducted from your check that will pay the agency for representing you. it can be anywhere from 15% – 25% depending on the agency and your contract. When it comes to spending money in regards to working with an agency, they may ask you to get your pictures done to their standards or to take acting classes. They may have a list of recommended photographers or acting coaches that would be able to help you but you don’t have to use them its completely up to you. They give you these reccomendations because your model tools may not be the right tools for them to use to market you properly.

For example, you may have a ton of photos in your portfolio in the style of an editorial or high fashion model. The agency that is interested in working with you feels that you would make the most success as a commercial model, so they suggest you get a few shots done that represent your commercial look. If you get them done, great, you should start having work in no time. If not, expect that it will be hard for the agency to “sell” you to clients.

If an “agency” asks you to pay money to have access to various jobs that are available, it’s not an agency, its a job listing service and if they are portraying themselves as an agency and not a listing service, don’t bother spending money with them. That just screams SCAM to me.

As a model, or with any profession, you don’t need to pay to get work. With the internet and social media, you can find information on various bookings and agents that can help you along in your journey, you just have to do your work and build your network to help you grow.

Read my post on how I got started in my modeling career!

Alean Elston, Pay to join a modeling agency

Reader Question: I have Pimples. Can I Still be a Model?

Recently I have been getting a lot of questions about modeling and going to castings, but this one I decided to share because it seems to be a recurring theme, especially among teenagers who want to pursue modeling. Check out the reader’s question below and my response.

Reader’s Question:
I have casting this coming Sunday. However my face has some scars and white heads and I’m just wondering if they’ll look at all my white heads and all because I’m sooo not flawless…. But I’m still growing. I know I’ll have clean soft skin if I don’t have these pimples. So I’m wondering if they don’t really care about the scars because makeup artists are able to do makeup for me next time, or do they really want clean face girls? I planned to cover up with foundation and concealer but you said they want to see you as you are. So I’m really not sure. What if I cover up and next time they are shocked to see my face scars?

My Response:
Your skin condition will be looked at when you attend a casting, you are being judged on your appearance, it’s the nature of the business. They may ask you about it, they may not, but you should be honest about its condition if asked about it. With that said, if you attend the casting, you should wear makeup to cover the scarring and even out your skin tone. Makeup won’t cover the pimples from being seen it will just take away the color of the scarring or redness, which will still allow you to be seen as a blank canvas. Should you get booked for the job, you should communicate your condition with the person who booked you so they can prepare for production.
Will your skin count against you? It’s possible. It takes more work/resources ($$$ for editing, makeup artists, [which isn’t always provided], etc.) to work with a model with problem skin compared to one without them. People in business like to control costs and stay within budget and time constraints and problem skin could hinder that. To increase your chances of being booked in the future, I strongly advise adapting a regimen that will help you achieve smoother skin. Usually a pimple here or there most agents look past it.


*The reader’s question has been edited.


So what do you think, am I right? What advice would you give to this reader? Do you have a question that you want me to answer about modeling? Comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.


This question originally appeared as a comment on Model Advice: What to Wear to Casting Calls and Go-Sees

Before you start (or restart) your modeling career, you NEED to ask yourself this first!

I’ve been a little under the weather and super busy since my last post. But I’m back ready to continue where I left off and get back to Alex Beadon’s Blogging Challenge. This post is my response to the Day 3 prompt and I hope you enjoy it. Feedback and questions in the comments is HIGHLY encouraged!

 

About 11 or 12 years ago, I started my journey as a model. Over the years I learned a lot and there have been many times that I have revamped my brand, my image, and my strategy. This year I will be at my 12 year mark in regards to my modeling and I have been thinking about the work that I have done and the goals that I haven’t achieved and how the hell I am going to achieve them! One of the things that I realized is that I never asked myself (and you should ask yourself this too) the most important question in regards to starting a modeling career:

 

What kind of modeling am I best suited for?

 

I know most of you would like to think that you can book any type of campaign or you should be able to get any type of work just because you are the fabu you! But the industry doesn’t quite work that way. Like Meek Mill says “There’s levels to this” in modeling, there’s categories to this. And you shouldn’t waste your time shooting and building imagery (your brand) if you don’t fit into a particular category. Of course there are exceptions to that but these that are the exceptions have already established themselves in other areas and can easily move into other categories if you get what I mean.

Some examples of various types of models:

 

  • High Fashion Model
  • Commercial Model
  • Alternative Model
  • Parts Model
  • Glamour Model
  • Hair Model
  • Urban Model
  • Promotional Model
  • Spokes Model
  • And the list goes on…

Once you have figured out what type of modeling you are best suited for, you should do one of 2 things. Find an agency that specialized in the type of category that you are suited for or you should begin to develop your portfolio and other model marketing materials (comp cards, business card, social media, websites, etc.) in regards to the categories that you fit into. (If you sign with an agency they will assist you with developing the proper portfolio and materials to best “sell” you.) If you are 5”4’ and 125 lbs, you are not a high fashion model, don’t try to develop a high fashion image. You would most likely be a commercial model but not high fashion. Your pictures should reflect commercial imagery and not attempting to be a replica for editorial ads. For example, if you are a commercial model your pictures should look like this:

Source – Pinterest

And not like this:

Image Source – Pinterest

When building your portfolio and looking for some inspiration for the type of look you should be shooting for, get onto my FAVORITE inspirational app – PINTEREST! When you look on there, search for categories as it relates to you but end it with photography or photoshoot, for example, for myself and a beach shoot that I am currently planning on executing I searched “beach fashion photography” or “beach photoshoot” and it turned up thousands of examples that I could use to put together for my shoot, as well as taking note to the poses and angles that the models were doing to make those swimsuits, and clothes looks so great.

 

Some factors to consider that will play into what type of modeling you should be pursuing:

  • Your age (Not your actual age, but the age that people perceive you to be, you can be 30 but look 18, modeling is about the look not the actual age)
  • Your body type (if you are slim, thick, muscular, etc. it determines they type of modeling you should pursue)
  • Your height
  • Your personality (if you aren’t comfortable talking to strangers, promotional modeling or being a spokes model would not be the best thing for you to pursue)
  • Your look (do you look high fashion aka a unique/strange beauty, or do you look commercial aka Your face is relatable and friendly for consumers)
  • Your location (your location will determine the type of work that is typically available to you, for example, NYC known for high fashion models, some acting. While in LA or Miami they are known for commercial models, acting, and glamour models.)
  • Your overall goals

 

Ok, I think this post is getting a bit too lengthy so I’m gonna stop typing now! Lol

Next post, I think I’ll address scams! Stay tuned!!!

Comment below if you have any questions. Your answer may be addressed in my upcoming posts!