If you want to sign with a modeling agency, then there are a few pointers you will need to know. It's great if you were born with outstanding features or incredible height but that isn't always enough to get signed, especially to a larger agency. Modeling is hard work, like any other profession and if it's something you seriously want to pursue it's a good idea to be prepared. Check out my top tips on how to sign with a modeling agency and prepare to turn your dream into an attainable reality this year.
1. Be Natural
If you want to sign with a modeling agency be as close to your natural self as possible. Some of your unique features may actually help you stand apart from the rest of the potential talent hoping to sign. When you go to your first meeting, wear as little makeup as possible because agents will want to see your skin. Also, be sure to wear your hair down. If you don't go without makeup often, practice going out in public a few times so you can get comfortable in your own skin before meeting with potential agencies.
2. Be Healthy
The other day I read an article about the regimen of Victoria Secret models. Because their job is to look great, they work hard at eating clean and working out regularly. I also read an article from the casting director of the annual Victoria Secret Fashion Show and she shared something interesting. She said that they don't look for the skinniest models, they want the models to be healthy. Health isn't something you can fake. You can tell if a person is genuinely healthy from their eyes, the glow in their skin and more. If you want to model professionally, shift your mindset from having to be thin to being as fit as possible.
3. Be Realistic
Usually when I talk to aspiring models they immediately cling to the idea of being the next Kate Moss. Why Kate? Because she is only 5'7 and has had a successful career as a supermodel. Let's be realistic ladies. Yes, it's possible that can happen but is is probable? There are plenty of categories for modeling that you may fall into, not just runway modeling. If you are under 5'8 you can find work in fitness, lifestyle, glamour and print. Also, if you aren't in shape you need to take yourself and your goal seriously and get in shape. If your goal is to work as a plus size model, that category has specific requirements as well.
4. Do Your Research
Many ladies want to sign with a top agency, not realizing that they will probably end up as a "wall girl". What's a wall girl? A wall girl is when you sign a contract, get your portfolio on the agencies' site for others to see but rarely go out for work. Sure, it may feel great to be able to say that you are signed with a specific agency but ultimately your goal should be to work professionally. So take some time to research the different agencies in your area. Often a smaller boutique agency will have more to offer you, especially if you are just starting out.
One of the first things that agents will want to see from you if you get a meeting are your photos. Be prepared! If you go through a typical modeling school like Barbizon or Page Parkes you will walk away with a few different looks for a portfolio. But you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get images. Sign up for Model Mayhem and create a profile. From there you can search for photographers in your area and see if any of them are willing to shoot TFP or TFCD (time for prints or cd of images). If you want to get paid to take photos professionally, agents will want to see if you are photogenic.
6. Best Foot Forward
I noted earlier that you should be as natural as possible when meeting with agents. This is true, but don't mistake this for simply rolling out of bed and not putting any effort into your appearance. When you meet with agents you want to be well groomed. Make sure your teeth aren't stained, have fresh hair, and be sure to show your best assets off. If you have killer legs by all means wear a fabulous dress and heels to your interview. Oh, and whatever you do, don't wear perfume. You never know if the agent is allergic or just doesn't care for your favorite scent. Something as minor as this can leave a bad impression.
7. Interview Prep
Be prepared ladies! This is a job interview so treat it as such. Take some time to research the different agents with the agency you are meeting with. If the agency has a website, browse it and see how many models they represent and if there are any like you. Practice walking because they may ask you to walk for them. And be prepared to take a polaroid picture. You want to look as comfortable as possible in this shot. Also, think about what your long term plan is for your potential career because they may ask you about it.
8. Be Prompt
Time is money. Make sure you are on time for your appointment ladies. This means be early if possible. It's not unusual for agencies to have you wait past your scheduled appointment time so be prepared. Make sure your meter has more than enough time in it. Don't show up hungry. Factor in time for traffic if you live in a major city. Whatever it takes, be on time.
I always include this point on any post I write about dreams. If you have a dream you have to develop perseverance. I can't tell you how many people I know personally and stories I have read from celebrities who mention perseverance as a key factor in their success. You never know when the door will open for you. And with dreams, you have to face countless nos before hearing that one magical yes. Believe in your dreams and don't stop believing, ever.
I hope this post inspired you if modeling is a dream that's in your heart. This industry gets a lot of tomatoes thrown it's way because of some of the images it puts out. But I believe that it's possible to have control over your career as any type of artist, models included. If you don't believe in a project, don't accept the job. Be a face for products you believe in.